Exercise in Pregnancy

Exercise moves Qi – your body’s vital energy which is responsible for all physiology functions. Stuck qi results in feelings of tiredness, tight neck and shoulders, frequent headaches, bloating, constipation, low back pain, nausea and indigestion. Sound like familiar symptoms experienced in the first 12-20 weeks of pregnancy? It’s not a coincidence. As energy needs to be diverted to a growing baby, little else is left to move freely for you. Exercising regularly while pregnant can improve your Qi movement through your body which will increase your energy, reduce pain and improve digestion.

The long term consequences of stuck Qi in pregnancy can result in a breeched presentation, small growth, reduced nutrient supply to baby, longer labour times and extreme pain especially in the last 2 months.

I recommend a 20-30 min low intensity walk every day. Enough for you to feel energized but not so much that you feel exhausted. Swimming is a great option too, especially if you’re experiencing any pelvic or hip pain and find walking long distances painful. Yoga is great too as stretching often will move stuck Qi. Yoga also builds and strengthens your core strength which can improve labour and recovery post birth.

Acupuncture is extremely effective at moving stuck Qi, so if you find you’re doing enough exercise, you’re eating right but are still experiencing symptoms, pop on in for a treatment. It’s a great way to reduce pain and feel energized!


Keeping Calm the Morning of your Embryo Transfer

After all the bloods, scans, dietary changes, acupuncture treatments, supplements, medications, side effects, tears and worry, embryo transfer day is finally here. Many women wake up feeling anxious and worried and this can negatively impact blood flow and energy flow through the body. There are a couple of simple things you can do the morning of your transfer to help reduce anxiety and keep you feeling excited and positive!

  1. Get to bed before 10pm the night before so you can wake feeling refreshed
  2. Wake at your normal waking time and go for a short walk or stretch as movement will help with increasing blood flow around the body
  3. Have a nice warm shower and dress with shoes that keep your feet warm
  4. Go through a mindfulness 10-20 min app (eg. Headspace, Smiling Mind)
  5. Make a warm, healthy breakfast which includes eggs, vegetables or porridge
  6. Drink plenty of fluid with room temperature water or herbal teas
  7. Pack a snack (apple, nuts, nut butter on rice crackers for example) in case you get hungry, especially if the doctor is running late
  8. Have an acupuncture treatment by someone experienced in acupuncture IVF protocol – this is great for reducing anxiety and improving blood flow to your lining to better prepare for implantation

Best of luck!


Emotional Roller Coaster in Your First Trimester

Imagine your body is a kite.

Your Kidneys represent the person holding the kite and your Heart is the kite flying in the breeze.

Your Kidneys are the source of energy, reproduction, birth, growth and development. Your heart is the keeper of all your thoughts and emotions.

The Kidneys are grounded, the Heart is free. As it should be. However, there is a very fine line (literally, in the kite metaphor) that keeps the relationship between these two vital organs in check.

In the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, your Kidneys are under a lot of pressure to provide energy for a growing baby and maintain energy for you to participate as energetically as possible in your daily life. If these have a poor foundation (chronic disease, poor diet, stressful lifestyle) or nourished enough, the strength of the line between the kite and the person holding it becomes weak, the kite (the heart and emotions) starts moving more erratically, the line becomes longer as the person can’t hold on to it and the kite starts diving and rising unpredictably.

The kite needs the person holding it (the Kidneys) to maintain just the right amount of strength and slack to control the kite (Heart) for it to stay in the air but not so much that it can’t move (keeping emotions in check).

To help the Kidneys hold onto to erratic emotions, especially during pregnancy, you need to nourish your Kidneys. This means enjoying life more, eating warm, nutritious meals, reducing work, family and lifestyle stresses and of course get some acupuncture. I use points to strengthen the Kidneys, settle the heart and manage the emotional dips and rises to encourage you a more positive pregnancy experience. For you and for the people around you.