The journey in to motherhood is a sacred one. It is as much spiritual as it is physical, calling upon us to focus the many aspects of our being on bringing new life in to this world.
For many women today, the fertility journey is a challenge. Like never before, we are exposed to physical and psychological stressors that make the miracle of conception more difficult. Whether you have been on a fertility journey for some time, or you are just beginning, this piece is written for you. Here you’ll find a few very important tips for getting pregnant, many of which may be overlooked in mainstream information. I am very excited for you as you embark on this new leg of your journey to welcome a new little one in to your family!
I recommend a 3 month fertility treatment plan, beginning with cleansing and preparation of your womb, followed by a deeply nourishing and fertility-enhancing regimen. The idea is to cleanse first in order to purge any toxins and remove any blockages to your channels that may be preventing implantation of a fertilized egg. Once your blood, womb and body are detoxified, you can build up the juiciness needed to support new life.
MONTH 1 & 2 – Cleanse and Calm
The main purpose of the first month or two is to cleanse toxins from your blood, womb and body, and to relax. Just as you would prepare the crib to hold and nurture a newborn, you must prepare your body and womb in order to invite conception. During this month, you can continue to have sex, but you should do so without the intention to get pregnant. Take the pressure off, and simply enjoy connecting with your partner. During this first month of your Ayurvedic fertility journey, I recommend that you follow the suggestions below.
A key aspect of preparing your body and mind to bring in new life is to find ways to reduce stress in your life. Stress creates a fight-or-flight response in the body that is not conducive to conception. Reducing stress in your life may involve setting up systems and structures to help you manage relationships that depend on you. This may mean setting aside time for yourself to do more meditation, yoga or time in nature. It also means setting aside time for you and your partner to be alone and intimate. Think for yourself about what might help you to reduce stress in your life, and implement your own ideas.
Remove fertility-reducing substances from your diet
Nutrition is a key aspect of fertility. Eat mostly vegetables, whole grains, robust proteins and quality fats. The more naturally colorful your meals are, the better. Most importantly, at this time you’ll want to reduce or eliminate your intake of a few key substances that are known to hinder fertility. Those are:
Coffee/caffeine – Caffeine creates an environment that is not hospitable to an embryo. Instead, try drinking Rasa Koffee (a caffeine-free source of balanced, grounded energy filled with adaptogens) or Tulsi tea.
Gluten – Gluten has been shown in studies to reduce fertility, and in our clinic we have seen great success with fertility once women are off of gluten.
Alcohol – Alcohol is hot and sharp and therefore reduces the likelihood of conception.
Cold and raw vegetables – The cold and rough qualities of these reduce fertility.
Do a kitchari cleanse
A kitchari cleanse is an ancient method used to reset digestion and to gently detoxify your entire body in preparation to conceive. To complete a kitchari cleanse, you’ll simply replace your normal meals with a small bowl of warm, comforting kitchari each day. Kitchari is akin to porridge made from basmati rice, mung dal, spices and ghee. Unlike other cleanses, which can be very harsh on the body, ultimately leaving you weaker than when you began, a kitchari cleanse is designed to enhance your strength and energy by offering your body deep nourishment, which is key when you are preparing to nurture a baby. Cultivate Balance offers a gentle yet powerful kitchari cleanse program.
Yoni steaming is a powerful ancient remedy that has been used for centuries by women worldwide. Also known as vaginal steaming, this is a holistic health practice in which a woman allows the warmth of herbal steam to gently permeate the exterior of her vagina. This gentle treatment provides effective support for the female reproductive system, and has been found throughout history to improve fertility. I highly recommend that you steam two times per week, on the weeks that you are not menstruating, for at least one month before you try to conceive. Once you intend to conceive, you will discontinue to steam. This is because the purpose of the steam is to help cleanse your uterus, which is preparation for the implantation for an egg, but is not ideal once one does implant. Instructions for yoni steaming are included in this plan. You can purchase high quality, organic yoni steaming herbs here.
Emotional and Spiritual Cleansing
This month, focus on integrating practices that support you to release any pain from the past or expectations for the future. This may include meditation, affirmations or counseling. An affirmation you may choose to use is: I release all forms of pain that keep me from being fully present. I offer my highest self to the child that is to come.
Be sure to include your partner in this process.
Castor Oil Massage (Optional)
Have your partner massage your lower back with warm castor oil three to four times weekly. Warm the castor oil by placing in a small jar in a bowl of hot water. Massage strokes should move from your sides inward and from your upper back downward. This also helps to break up any material stuck in your uterus that may be preventing implantation.
Mayan Abdominal Massage (Optional)
The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® are a non-invasive, external, massage technique. When applied, they guide internal abdominal organs, including the uterus, into their proper position. The techniques relieve congestion and blockages to improve the flow of chi/prana and fluids of the circulatory, lymphatic and nervous systems. Often, these blockages or a malpositioned uterus can result in fertility challenges, so this technique is a great adjunct therapy for increasing your chances of conception.
MONTH 3 and On – Increasing Fertility
After your next period (the first period you get after a full two months of cleansing), your body will have been cleansed of toxins and blockages and is prepared to conceive. Now is the time to begin building your juiciness and resume your intention to conceive. During this time you will continue to eat nutritiously, staying away from caffeine and gluten, and living a life of reduced stress, however you will discontinue yoni steaming and castor oil massage, as these are cleansing techniques. In addition, I recommend that you do the following:
Focus on Fertility-Enhancing Foods
Now is when you will begin to incorporate more building foods. Fertility is nourished by sweet and salty tastes along with sticky, stable, heavy, warm and oily qualities. Sweet and salty foods such as honey, ghee, almonds, sesame seeds, warm milk, meat and seafood build reproductive tissue. Meals should consist of well-cooked and mildly spiced vegetables, rice and a protein. Ratio should be about 55% vegetables, 20% grain and 25% protein. All food and beverages that you consume should be warm.
In addition to eating a nourishing diet, you should also eat regularly. Eating irregular meals or skipping meals all together is very imbalancing and is likely to contribute to fertility challenges. Focus on eating three meals per day at regular times, with your largest meal occurring between 10 am and 2 pm. This is a major factor and should not be overlooked.
Learn About Your Cycle
An important part of the fertility journey is familiarizing yourself with your cycle in order to determine the times you’re most likely to conceive. To do so, I recommend reading or listening to the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health by Toni Weschler. You may also consider the Ap Kindara which can help you track your cycle by providing a place to input data such as your body temperature and the thickness of your cervical fluid. I recommend these methods of tracking your cycle, as store-bought ovulation tests are not known to be reliable.
Understand Positions for Conception
The best positions for conception are “missionary” and a lunar/receptive pose in which you are face down with a pillow under your waist. After intercourse, you should lay on your back with your legs up the wall or on your knees with your buttocks in the air, head resting on a bolster, and arms straight out front in front of you on the ground. Stay in this position for 20 minutes.
Take Nourishing Remedies (Optional)
Chyvanprash: The renowned Ayurvedic herbal formula chyvanprash is rich in iron and other vitamins and minerals. It supports fertility, healthy libido, and builds overall sexual strength in both men and women. Twice daily, take 2 tsp of this medicinal jam in warm milk to help to carry its tonifying and rejuvenating qualities deep into the tissues. If you can’t take with milk, simply take from a spoon – it’s tasty! (This may be a better option for travel). You can purchase chyvanprash from the Alandi pharmacy if you’re interested.
Fertility milk: Blend 1 cup warm milk + 3 pitted dates + 1tsp castor oil + 2 pinches saffron. Drink this shake up to two times daily, or as convenient.
Using these recommendations, as well as trusting your intuition and staying confident, are likely to bring you success! Remember to keep it light, fun and romantic. :)
Keep an eye out for our Art of Fertility course launching later this year!
Self care is a radical act — when you are vibrant and awake, you have the clarity and energy to show up for what you believe in. Cultivate Balance provides Ayurvedic consultations, Goodness Guides, and online wellness courses that support you to nurture yourself so you can nurture the world. Dive in with our FREE mini-course, The Basic Balance Challenge!