The alternative way to a baby
The options of enhancing a couple’s chances of having a baby are diverse.
Whether it’s as simple as improving diet or eliminating toxins, or perhaps a little more complicated with medical intervention, the road to baby is as varied as it is personal.
Now there is also a growing trend in Australia for couples to seek traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) options to boost their chances of conceiving a child naturally.
Once the preserve of the hippy fringe, the move towards seeking out holistic treatments such as those advocated by TCM practitioners has resulted in more men and women embracing their methods, not only in order to get pregnant, but alongside western medical techniques such as IVF.
TCM focuses on the pre-conception period usually between three and six months before pregnancy, according to registered TCM practitioner Michelle Russell.
“TCM works on restoring balance and to strengthen a woman’s body to be in the best possible position to fall pregnant, stay pregnant and to nourish a baby for an entire pregnancy, ” Mrs Russell explains.
She says this normally involves acupuncture and or herbal medicine, along with advice about diet, lifestyle and exercise modification.
TCM looks at the individual’s overall health including the female’s menstrual cycle (and any irregularities), recognising the signs of ovulation as well as advising on which foods to avoid, steps to decrease stress and reducing the consumption of stimulants such as caffeine.
Rebecca Li Wang, who trained as a TCM practitioner at the Nanjing University in China, says that the principles of TCM focus on an individual’s five elements of earth, metal, water, fire and wood.
She says, in essence, the premise of Chinese Medicine is very simple and logical and is about balancing all those elements in the body.
She sees many women who have tried IVF many times unsuccessfully, who have had repeated miscarriages, or who have been told by their obstetricians that there was no medical reason why they couldn’t get pregnant.
“Once I have assessed a patient using these methods then we will work on balancing those elements within the body using a combination of herbal remedies and supplements, and taking into account diet and lifestyle, ” she says.
Ms Wang says that when treating a woman with fertility issues she would always ask to see her partner, and other family members if necessary, to build a complete picture and to try and find out what was stopping a couple from achieving pregnancy.
She said she recommended her patients see her for a three-month period, or over three menstrual cycles, to give themselves the best possible outcome.
© The West Australian
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