Why preconception health care? I believe this is a critical time to impact your child’s life, both in preventing childhood disorders and diseases of adulthood. The 4-12 months prior to conception is an exciting time to literally transform the DNA of sperm and egg and to optimize genetic potential. In addition, it allows you to prepare the womb and breast milk to be the best environment and food for your future baby.
Preconception health care involves natural treatments for both partners prior to active attempts to conceive. Preconception health care is a valuable ingredient in ensuring optimal reproductive health. It is a way for both parents to improve their fertility and the health of their eggs and sperm, by creating:
- The presence of the nutritional ‘building blocks’ which are necessary for the formation of a healthy embryo.
- The absence of toxins that could be detrimental to this process.
- Optimum general and reproductive health in both parents.
Recent research has shown that every aspect of our reproduction is adversely affected in some way by our twenty first-century lifestyle and living conditions. Environmental pollution, poor nutrient levels in soils and foods, polluted water, toxic farming methods, chemical radiation and heavy metal exposure, sedentary lifestyles, weight problems, overuse of sugar, caffeine, alcohol and the stress of modern living all contribute to reduced general health, and consequent poor reproductive health.
Many conditions such as infertility, miscarriage and poor fetal health are preventable and treatable with preconception health care, combined with continued health maintenance throughout your pregnancy. In addition, this program decreases risk of miscarriage, autism, allergies, asthma, recurrent infections and has been linked to reduction of adult diseases such as heart disease, stroke and Alzheimers.
The OC Whole Family Wellness preconception health care program is modeled after the Natural Fertility Management (NFM) program first pioneered in Australia in 1975 by Francesca Naish, a naturopath who has dedicated her career to developing a comprehensive and holistic approach to fertility. I spent many years in Sydney, Australia working directly with Francesca Naish to bring her program to the US. Our approach has come about as a response to the rising rate of health problems in fertility, pregnancy, birth and children’s health.
Rates of infertility have skyrocketed over the last few decades, and more and more couples seek expensive, intensive, and invasive procedures to achieve pregnancy. I welcome couples who are looking for an alternative to these treatments as well as those who would like to increase the chances of success with assisted reproductive technologies like IUI and IVF. I not only aim to achieve conception, but also to improve the chances for a natural and healthy pregnancy, birth and baby. This is achieved through the use of natural medicines, acupuncture, herbal medicine, dietary and lifestyle changes, and cycle charting and timing techniques. I also teaches couples how to understand and manage their own fertility.
- Comprehensive work-up to find out why you are not getting pregnant. This may include conventional tests such as semen analysis and hormone studies in addition to a deeper look at other underlying causes, such as inflammatory conditions, immune reactions, or environmental exposures that may be hindering your fertility.
- Treatment plans may include comprehensive lifestyle suggestions (including our Fertility Diet, exercise, and stress management) as well as supplementation with nutrients and herbal medicines to optimize your cycle.