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Hey Sister: Consciously Conceiving, Preparing for Pregnancy

August 4 2017

Women's Wellness Blog Series

Welcome to ‘Hey Sister’ a series in which we explore women’s wellness & wellbeing with the Bala Community! This month, we are discussing Conscious Conception with Michelle Law of Catalyst Health Studio.

Consider this: half of your DNA was already inside your mother when she was inside your grandmother! That is- your mom was born with the egg that would one day merge with a sperm from your dad, resulting in you.

As we discover more about how environment affects gene expression, and how a fetus inside the womb can sense everything, including the mother’s mental state, the prospect of being able to have such an impact on our children can be incredibly empowering (and perhaps a little nerve-wracking).

What this means is, you have the power to not only affect your children, but potentially your grandchildren as well! The choices we make matter, in that we are the ones thoughtfully making them. The decisions we make today certainly affect future generations.

Even if babies are far off in the distance for you, if you have the ability to get pregnant, living healthfully is beneficial, since often pregnancies are not planned or realized until several weeks in. That being said, if you didn’t know, you are still able to influence your present and future so keep your eyes forward! (Because ultimately, life expresses intelligence and we can only control so much.)

If you believe in the importance of intention and that the journey to expressing your full potential is a worthwhile pursuit, then conscious conception may resonate with you. Due to the many facets that can be explored within the subject, we are only able to skim the surface with this post.

WHEN IS PRECONCEPTION AND WHEN DO WE START?
The preconception period is the time when a couple plans for their pregnancy, usually 6-18 months prior. This is a beautiful and valuable opportunity to prepare for growing a child and the evolution of your family. Even if you and your partner aren’t considering getting pregnant for some time, today is a prime time to start optimizing your health, strengthening your connection, discussing future decisions and looking into underlying emotions around conception and parenting.

WHAT KINDS OF THINGS SHOULD I DO?
One of the components of consciously conceiving is creating fertile soil, or in other words, optimizing your health. When I say “your”, I mean both partners involved. While a woman is born with all of her eggs (as mentioned above), a man continuously makes new sperm (and we prefer high quality materials!).

“Optimizing your health” is kind of a big order, especially in a paradigm mostly centered around fighting, avoiding and “preventing” (ie. early detection of) diseases. In my opinion, the place to start is contemplating “what gives birth to health/life?”

Consider your physical, emotional, mental, environmental and spiritual well-being. What feels good to you? What feels out of your comfort zone and will cause you to expand?

For example:

  • Eat nourishing foods
  • Move well and move often
  • Improve pelvic muscle balance and alignment
  • Rejuvenate in nature
  • Take more time to deeply connect with your partner
  • Set up boundaries around screens and technology (and take that cell phone out of the pocket next to your sperm factory)
  • Start journaling or meditating
  • Assess your home/car/work for toxins that you may wish to eliminate
  • Invite more calm into your life (aka reduce stress)
  • Explore hesitations or fears about childbirth or parenting and childhood traumas
  • Envision the light dancing inside you
  • Spark your creative energy by making art or other projects
  • Maximize the time spent in parasympathetic nervous system mode (aka “rest & digest/ feed & breed) and ensure optimal brain-body communication through chiropractic care.
  • Visit a variety of health professionals to understand different approaches to wellbeing
    and so forth!

The list above is long enough, but by no means is it comprehensive, so giving yourself the luxury of time to prepare will be helpful. This might look like taking one month to clear out unnecessary items in your home that no longer have a purpose to make energetic space for your future, taking the next month to cleanse from self-limiting beliefs, and taking another to detox from alcohol, caffeine, processed foods and environmental toxins.

However you decide to do it, take it one achievable step at a time, and give yourself grace.

Please note: the above is not a “to do” list, and if it looks overwhelming to you then the best first step may be to create space in your life. When it comes to adding or changing lifestyle habits, taking one aspect at a time and building it into your routine can make the shift more sustainable.

WHAT DOES PRECONCEPTION CARE LOOK LIKE?

Preconception care is about working with your healthcare team to get you and your partner in the optimal state to conceive, support a pregnancy, and for baby to develop best it can.

As a doctor of chiropractic, I work with your innate capacity to heal through your nervous system, facilitating the connection and communication between the brain and every other part of your body through the spinal cord and nerves.

Chiropractic is becoming better known in pregnancy- inviting more ease and decreasing pain in the woman’s body through the rapid changes she experiences, aiding proper alignment and balance in the pelvis to allow for more space as the uterus expands for baby to grow and move around, and enhancing overall health through improvement of nerve function.

In preconception care, we start by getting to a baseline level of health and build up from there. Improving alignment, function, mobility, stability, strength and the brain-body connection doesn’t typically happen overnight. Also, once pregnancy hormones and the belly kicks in, it’s a different game. All of us have experienced a variety of physical, chemical and emotional stresses since birth that we have brilliantly adapted to, and that most likely have led to a series of compensations that prevent us from being maximally healthy. Basically what I’m saying is, it’s never too early to get checked.

WHAT’S NEXT?
Maybe you are trying to get pregnant, are already pregnant, have several children, or the only thing you are considering of conceiving right now is your business or a yoga practice. Wherever you are, know that you are amazing. Your mindful and loving choices today are creating our bright future.

*I recognize that this can be an extremely sensitive topic and many of us have had emotional experiences around it. As such, please know that I do not intend to offend anyone in the brevity of this post.

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About Michelle: Dr. Michelle Law, DC is the chiropractor and owner of Catalyst Health Studio in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. If you practice at Bala, you may have seen her around the studio. For more information on her practice or about chiropractic care, visit www.catalysthealthstudio.com, email michelle@catalysthealthstudio.com or call 206.483.7207. Schedule a complimentary consultation or mention this blog post to receive a Bala Special First Visit Assessment (including health history, physical examination and review of findings) for $100 ($200 value).

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