EPISODE 75 | MINI MINDFUL MOMENT | An Implantation Meditation for an IVF Cycle

We're back with another meditation to help you get your mind and your heart on the same page during that crucial stage of implantation. This meditation was a listener request and is geared towards someone undergoing an IVF cycle, but really anyone in the implantation window of their cycle will benefit from listening. Let's turn on our relaxation response and turn up our ability to hold life.

music credit: Christopher Lloyd Clarke 

photo credit Sayan Nath @sayannath

For more meditations just like this one at your fingertips visit us here

EPISODE 74 | CONCEIVING WITH LOVE | How to Keep the Spark Alive with Denise Wiesner

Description: Has TTC made your mojo go MIA? There's a book to help you find it! This conversation with Denise Wiesner, a fellow ABORM certified acupuncturist, is packed with tips from the taoist traditions of chinese Medicine to help you forget about conceiving and get back to loving, literally. Trust me when I say you should listen to this episode together and read the book in bed together :)

Announcer: (0:00) Welcome to Fertile Minds Radio. Here, you'll find wisdom for your fertility journey and beyond. Chosen specifically to help you trust your body and elevate your spirit so you can enjoy the process. Join us and see what a fertile mind feels like. Now your host, Hillary Talbott Roland. 

Hillary Talbott Roland: Hey there, Hillary here, your go-to gal for a plan to reclaim your fertility and create a healthy family for generations to come. We have an amazing guest today, Denise Wiesner. She's a fellow acupuncturist and a fellow of the American Board of Oriental Medicine. She's the founder of Natural Healing & Acupuncture clinic in West Los Angeles and she's an internationally recognized traditional Chinese medicine practitioner, specializing in whole systems Chinese medicine and approach to women's health, sexuality, and fertility. She has been at this work since 1994 so she really is a wealth of information when it comes to balancing the body naturally in order to enhance the fertility of a couple all while helping them to keep their spark and loving connection.

Her approach uses a combination of acupuncture, diet and lifestyle counseling, nutritional supplements, Chinese herbs and Daoist breathing and fertility exercises. She has just published a book, Conceiving With Love: A Whole-Body Approach to Creating Intimacy, Reigniting Passion and Increasing Fertility. And she has graciously taken the time out of her busy schedule to come on the show and let you know some tips and tricks to help keep love alive while you are trying to conceive.

Denise, welcome to the show. 

Denise Wiesner: I'm so happy to be here. Thank you so much. 

Hillary: Yeah, I have to say your book is awesome. One of my patients was in Colorado for some IVF procedures and she just hopped on upon the publishing house for Shambala and she texted me and said, "Do you know this book?" And I said, "I don't even think it was out yet."

Denise: Wow. 

(2:00) Hillary: She's like, "It's amazing. You have to read it." So that's why you're here today.(2:00) With all serendipitous act upon one of my patients. 

Denise: That's lovely.

Hillary: I feel like acupuncture isn't one of those careers that every little girl dreams of doing, nor as being a sex therapist I'm really curious, how did you come to this world? 

Denise: Really, in terms of the conceiving, I was having my own issues, conceiving my second child and I went to see a lot of different acupuncturists and I went to a naturopath, a western medical doctor and at the time I was having difficulty breathing, I was having some asthma. They just wanted to work on my asthma and I kept thinking, "Gosh, I just want to make a baby, like don't you want to understand?" So -- 

Hillary: Right.

Denise: And nobody really caught on that I was having some types of -- I was having a thyroid issue. And at that point, I did get pregnant and had to I --  it was a very faint line and it was a chemical pregnancy and I was freezing and I went to my doctor and I was like, "Test my thyroid." And he did and I found out I had low thyroid. That was sort of the impetus for being, for doing fertility.

And then the sexual piece, I might have to clarify, I'm not a sex therapist, but I am a certified sex coach, but I found that I was talking to all my patients who are trying to conceive and it seemed like nobody was having sex and if they were, it was really kind of strained and I would deal with couples and I had mentioned about sexuality and they were like, "Oh yeah, baby-making sex." And then the husband would turn to the wife and the wife would look at me and I just realized there was a whole world of intimacy that wasn't really being addressed in the world of fertility so I tried to marry the two. 

Hillary: I think that's great. I see the same thing in many of my patients, especially if the challenge has gone on for any amount of time in terms of the intimacy. 

Denise: Yeah. 

Hillary: And so often, they're not talking about it. It's like an elephant in the room. 

(4:00) Denise: I think there's just so much shame around the topic of sexuality. Right? I mean, it's a very, very --  fertility is private, which it is for a lot of people, then sexuality is even more private. Nobody has anyone to talk to. I think, people don't know where to go to speak about this. 'Cause you don't want to tell like your best friend that your husband's having problems getting erections so you have to do an IVF, right?

Hillary: Right.

Denise: As we go -- and then you don't -- The fertility doctors, I mean, I interviewed many of them and they're so gracious and wonderful, but they're not really talking about it either. Some are, but their solution is, "Well, we can do an IVF or insemination," and that's sometimes a great solution, but nobody is addressing the underlying problem.

Hillary: Right. And I find that with a lot of the reproductive endocrinologists as the amazing gift that they have to help couples conceive. It's not really holistic in nature. Like they're not looking for the underlying problem. So the quality of life issues, cause if you are having trouble being intimate in having sex before the baby, guess what's going to happen after the baby.

Denise: Right. Right. The baby, it gets even worse. 

Hillary: Right. I think it's brilliant to address that now and we're going to go into some of that in great detail, but your book just does such an excellent job of describing the 5-element theory of Chinese medicine and specifically how it pertains to fertility. I was hoping that you could briefly go through that and why it's important. And this kind of hearkens back to what you were talking about, the acupuncturist wanting to treat your lungs and your asthma or the metal element and you're thinking, "What? Just giving me a baby." Right? 

(6:00) Denise: Yeah, alright. Well, I took a lot of liberties with the five elements because I really decided that there was really nothing on intimacy. So I bridged it with how do we take care of ourselves holistically and how do we equate that into what kind of lover we are, so to speak. Really, just how do we open the dialogue about sexuality, was my biggest point. I started with the center. I did a Daoist model of the five elements where earth is at the center(6:00)and earth is this idea of being present in the body and communication and our digestion and how we assimilate. Right? And so people that are earth types or have an imbalance in this element oftentimes seek the approval of others. And really, they overworry and they overthink. Right? 

No, this is so common with fertility patients. Over worrying, worrying, ''What if it doesn't work? What if I don't have a baby? What if I don't get pregnant with this IVF?'' There's a lot of worrying. There's also this idea of how we show up in our bodies, how we feel in our bodies.  What our diets like, how our microbiome is, the beneficial bacteria of our gut or how the microbiome is in our vagina. 'Cause we have a separate microbiome there. How's the flora and fauna? Do we get frequent yeast infections? Are we eating a lot of sugar? This idea of the earth element really is about being present in the body and communicating and feeling good in our body. Feeling like if we don't feel good in our body, we really probably don't want our partner to see us. We don't want to be naked, right? 

Hillary: Right.

Denise: How do we nourish this element? Then it goes even further in what kind of lover we are. Do we just try to please our partner and we don't really ask for what we need? Because we're a giver. We're an earth Mama. We want to take care of everything, but we don't get our needs met. That could be more than just lovemaking, but how do we feel in our body? That's pretty much just the brief synopsis of the Earth element. 

(8:00) Hilary: You had this quote in there about that I have pertained. I took relevance to the fire element and you said, "Connecting to your heart allows you to trust your spiritual journey of procreation, even when it is fraught with uncertainty, even when you have no idea whether you will ever have a child." I just love that. I was wondering if you can talk about the connection of the fire and water elements, water being reproduction and fire really being our heart center in community and how we connect in community and how we connect and why that's so important. 

Denise: Yeah, in Chinese Medicine as you know, there's this extraordinary vessel called the Chong Meridian. It is this extraordinary vessel that connects our heart energies with our kidney energies or the water element, our reproductive energies. The kidney energies are our reproduction and our sexuality. It's that fire in our loins that says, "Yes, let's make a baby." The element is not working in all its abundance. Because wanting to conceive is that energy. It's like that, "Oof, yes, we love each other. Let's make a baby." But it's also connected to the fire element, which is the spiritual heart, which is love, which is in my book, the heart element. And you know, Chinese medicine also goes to the mind, but it's that beautiful like looking into your partner's eyes and kissing with the tongue, which the tongue opens to the heart. It's deep passion, deep intimacy. This energy connects with the kidney energy, the water element. It's water and fire. They have to be working together. It's love that makes the baby, it's that love energy that drops into the lower burner, the lower energies, the kidney energy that makes us conceive. 

Hillary: But you're right, just wanting to go on and in ourselves, continuing to reproduce themselves. 

Denise: Yeah.

(10:00) Hillary: You mentioned Daoist practices or Daoist traditions, which I think a lot of our listeners are familiar with traditional Chinese medicine if they've listened to the show because we bring it in here and there. But a lot of people aren't really familiar with what Daoism is or what it means and how it relates to Chinese medicine. Could you speak to(10:00) that a little bit just to clarify? 

Denise: Yeah, sure. That's a great question. Daoism is what Chinese medicine came from. The Daoist, way back in the day before Confucianism came into to the planet really connected with nature. They lived their lives according to the rhythms of nature. We have the night time, which is in Chinese medicine, we say the Yin time, the dark time, the feminine time going inside. Then we have the Yang time, the fire element, the sunshine, going outside the male energy. They have this idea like the Tai-chi symbol, the Yin Yang symbol, that black and white circle thing everyone talks about. This idea of having them always in balance of Feminine and Masculine Balance. In the ancient times, they have practices to help create balance, to help live in flow with nature that also created lovemaking. 

They had this idea of feminine. Males are supposed to boil like they're ready to go and females are really slow. This idea of, that's Yin and Yang again, and that idea of creating balance is letting the feminine lead. In Daoism, a lot, the Feminine Energy would lead and there would be, the males would wait for the feminine to be, [let's say] aroused. I'm using sexuality as an example, but it's way more than sexuality. But this idea of cultivating, it was this idea of cultivating our energies. How do we cultivate and balance our energy so that everything is in balance like nature? That forms Chinese medicine, as we know it. 

Hillary: Awesome. Thank you for explaining that for all those that didn't know. I think that's such an important part and that's when people say, "Well, how does Chinese medicine work?" And I say, "It'll get you back in line with nature and your surroundings and that you can go with the flow."

Denise: That a lot better, a better explanation. 

(12:00) Hillary: No, well, I think it's important for what we're talking about that the Yin and the Yang, it's those have become terms that are thrown around, but unless you've studied deeply, like you don't quite understand some of the intricacies and that dig in does lead. And that it is up to the woman to really drive that cart, so to speak. You hear that women? It's up to you to set the stage. It's not a bad thing. 

 Denise: Right. Absolutely. And we do that with just a lot of times showing and communicating and Yin is the receiver. I think that's also really important too, is that we receive. In fertility world that I work in, you probably could relate. Most of the women are doing so much. They're doing everything to have a baby and they just want to do more. Like what else can I do? And sometimes, it's not so much about the doing as it is about the receiving. 

Babie are never achieved. They are received. Sometimes you need to go to the Yin Valley of darkness and be in a place of utter reception.
— Randine Lewis IFS 2017

Denise: Yes, yes. That's very true. So yeah, from that place of receiving is where we drop in.

Hillary: Right. And it's difficult, I think, when you've been- Women that are of childbearing age right now, we're kind of raised in a society of 'try to live in a man's world'. They've kind of indoctrinated themselves into 'go, go, go'. And how very Yang lifestyle. And so, it almost seems foreign when you tell them like, "Hey, you need to slow down." And you are actually guiding this but you need to be a little softer about it. That might help you.

(14:00) Denise: And it's so interesting because of how this affects the relationship because we're talking about intimacy in a relationship as men whereas their Yang nature of like coming and fixing things and being that energy. This could be, we're talking about male-female relationships, but it's often in same-sex too. There's a dominant Yang person or a Yin person or however. It's not just in the heterosexual relationships, but in that Masculine Feminine Energy Dance, which we all do, that males oftentimes in my practice, specifically feel sort of impotent literally on what to do. Because the females are doing so much and they would like to do, but they don't know what to do. And their big job, their big moment is that to like do the ejaculations and so that they get right. And for them, they want to connect too and they want to have intimacy and so they can't fix it and then maybe they have this big pressure on this one moment and then they have, it's difficult for the men as well as the females. 

Hillary: Do you see a lot of men in your practice? 

Denise: I happen to see a lot of men in my practice.

Hillary: That's awesome. 

Denise:  Yeah, it is. And they are amazing and they really tell me so much. They really inform me, they really are open. And I'm pretty impressed with my male patients. 

Hillary: Well, you know, it takes two to Tango, but I think that that kind of 'I'm going to do everything I can and then I don't want to bother my husband', until I absolutely have to model that. I see it happening sometimes as the males, they don't come for treatment as often as they should. I'm sure there's a lot of listeners out there wondering like how do they have that conversation in a tactful way to get their husband on board to come to something like acupuncture if it's foreign to them? 

Denise: Yeah. I think, if they know they're going to have more intimacy with their wives.

Hillary: Yes. Okay. 

Denise: If we're going to get more pleasure out of the whole experience, I bet a lot of men will be down. I mean, like, if that's gonna make their connection better and make their wife happier. I mean, men probably -- Well, yeah, that's what they're about, like taking care of the feminine. Male and male energy is taking care of the feminine energy. I think that, yeah, more intimacy, more connection. I think that's a way to win a man as opposed to(16:00)you might have to take these or that you have to do this. I think men want to have a baby. Most men, a lot of men want to conceive as well and they want their wives to be happy and they want to be connected.

Hillary: Yeah. For sure, but they just don't talk about it ad nauseam like we do.

Denise: That's for sure.

Hillary: Your book has all these amazing Daoist Taoist exercises, I should say, in there for lovemaking. What's a simple one you could share with our audience if they were, say going to practice and be like, "Hey, you'll get more of this perhaps if you go to the acupuncturist."

Denise: I'm going to talk about some really basic things right now. Because it's hard to explain like Microcosmic Orbit Breathing, really [line breaking] instruction reading the book for that. I think what happens with couples is just the simple things go by the way said. Like full body hugs. This idea of, in Taoism or actually, I use some tantra stuff too, where there's the Yab Yum practice where a female will sit in a male's lap and maybe they connect their energy centers with them. But boiling it down, I would ask the questions of, 'when's the last time you had a full body naked hug for a long time? And when's the last time you did eye gazing?' Just really looking at your partner in the eye is so intimate. It's just this idea of connecting energies and then in addition, 'when's the last time you made out?' Connecting the heart energies, the tongue energies. These things, it's just when people are trying to have a baby, it's like, "Okay, come on, let's get down to it." It's that intimacy of connection of deep hugs, deep kissing. And yes, there are lots of Daoist practices, but just breathing together, where we breathe, we just match each other's breath and we just sit there across from each other. Look in the eyes, you could even put a hand on the heart energies and just look at your(18:00) beloved and really look into their eyes. Sometimes, that's just very hard to do because we don't have a lot of time and it's hard to be really that intimate.

Hillary: Well, yeah, because fertility becomes that job on top of your other jobs and you're always giving to-do lists of what to do or at least this is what I observed in some of my patients and they're not slowing down. And that's why the show has a big emphasis on mindfulness. One of the huge reasons I wanted to have you on after I read your book was just what a great job you did of driving home that that's so important to be present. It's so often things, we get away from that. We get into these ruts and I think just looking at one another in the eye, it can bring up so much, but it's stuff that needs to rise to the surface.

I made my husband try the  3-minute hug, clothes on, not to be too TMI, but I said, "Hey, before you leave, we should start just hugging for three minutes." And it's funny because I don't think we make it more than 90 seconds without giggling or one of us saying something and it is like foreplay like you say in your book that is well before the action actually happens later. It's just kind of planting that seed, if you will, for later. And that's been really helpful. I think he really likes this stuff and reading this book.

Denise: I've gotten that from a lot of patients that are even trying to have a baby, that it's really reignited the passion in their relationship. Because there's a lot of great, even if you're not trying to conceive, there's so many great-- Just to bring back the passion for couples cause it's hard to keep it up. Ha, ha. All the time. 

Hillary: Yeah, you're right. 

(20:00) Denise: Yeah, it is. And there's a whole section in my book, Foreplay. Like this idea that it kind of begins in the morning because you do set the stage for what's going to happen. Women, we want connection, we want to be able to feel, it's not just like at that moment. Now we have to perform. It's really like, do we say really nice things to our partner? Do we text them something nice during the day? I mean, what's the communication all day? We're all so busy, sometimes it's hard to do that. 

Hillary: Right. We take that for granted. I think that that's such an important part of the relationship to foster, to be good parents, to have that alive and well before the child gets here. Because man, you need that connection. 

Denise: Absolutely.

Hillary: You need to be unified.

Denise: At its best.

Hillary: Once the baby comes, right? I'm wondering, 'cause you treat a lot of men because this is something that I've been thinking about for quite some time. They had the World Conference on Reproductive Endocrinology where they finally all in a consensus said like, "Oh yeah, this isn't just like a natural pattern that's happening, but men's sperm counts and their motility is falling and at an alarming rate." It was the first that it was this like, grim outlook for humans in terms of reproducing without something like IVF. What do you think about that? Because I know that there was-- I've actually had some male patients bring me the GQ article that was written about it where they were like, "Oh, now I'm listening cause it was in GQ." What's your opinion about why sperm rates are dropping so drastically across the planet?

Denise: I think that's such a good point. And on that note, I had a Reproductive Endocrinologist that was talking and he goes and he said, "Oh, yeah, one day it's going to be like you have sex for recreation. And then you go to the fertility doctor and have your baby." And I thought, "Wow, that's really, that's a sad commentary on our naturalness," so to speak. But I think that what's happening is that we're very out of sync. We have this huge technological broom[?] where everybody's on their cellphones and there's a cell phone in the pocket and we have a lot of environmental problems. I think that we're not even probably aware of the amount of pesticides and like what they have DDD in people's fat tissue and that has to play a role in sperm and eggs. Just the amount of environmental toxins that-- Even if it's not in this generation, we're in generations(22:00) before that it's hard for our bodies to get rid of. I think there's that plus this, you know, sort of in -- There must be some kind of stress level that's happening. But it's not just from the men from now. It's like what happened when they were conceived. Because I'm having all sorts of men right now with very low sperm counts.

Hillary: Right.

Denise: And that doctors don't know why.

Hillary: Right. This unexplained male infertility, I think, is becoming even bigger than unexplained female fertility.

Denise: Really unexplained low sperm, like really low sperm counts and taking all the tests, it's not genetic or we don't know enough about genetics right now to know because there may be are some genetic problems going on. But yeah, I think it's gotta be some type of environmental toxins, as what I'm thinking.

Hillary: Yeah. Have you ever listened to Doctor Zach Bush talks about pesticides and GMOs and how that's affecting fertility?

Denise: No, but I'm sure I would agree because it is and we're only getting worse, we're not getting any better. I wonder sometimes with women and maybe with men as well of hormone disruptors and how they play a role in male fertility as well. I mean, birth controls, how many years older? It's not that old, but women are peeing. We pee out all of our hormones and that goes into our environment somewhere. That urine goes somewhere. 

Hillary: Right.

Denise: It's not-- I think it's in the water. I mean, I know--

Hillary: Right, we can't get it out of the water.

Denise: -- our water isn't tested for that. We don't, we'll test our product. We do, and in my city, they test for all sorts of things, pesticides --

Hillary: Right.

Denise: -- heavy metals, all these good things. But they don't test for hormones. And I wonder if I'm drinking tap water by mistake, I wonder, "Are there hormones in here? I don't know"

Hillary: Right. Or SSRIs or other things that affect fertility.

Denise: Correct. Yes, SSRIs, so many of these medications, I wonder what's in the water I'm drinking.

Hillary: Berkey Filters, if you don't have one,(24:00) grab one. That's what the Peace Corps uses.

Denise: Yeah, we have filters. We have filters, but I'll have to look. I'll have to keep that one in mind. I have a filter in my office and in one of my house, but still, you know?

 Hillary: Do you think the stress aspect is what is keeping the libido low? Because I mean, I asked that in my questionnaires, and I asked if the male doesn't come. There's a part about like, tell me about your partner. That's almost always tracked when there's some fertility issues. I have to wonder if it was the chicken or the egg. When there's fertility problems, which came first?

Denise: Yeah, I'd say like 95% of my women check low libido. It's such an interesting thing for women because I have to inquire much more about what that means. Do they have low libido or is it really not enough time to be aroused because it takes like 20 to 45 minutes for a woman to become fully aroused where all her tissues engorge with blood and she's ready to have intercourse. I don't know that we have that kind of time because of stress, because stress, there's so much stress in life. It's like you come home, if a woman's working, it's like, I know when I come home and my mind is still thinking about things I have to do. It's not really in my body. I'm not feeling my sexy self. I'm not feeling like-- I have to unwind all that and get in the mood. 

And it is. I think we have such a stressful communication and there's a thousand emails I have to look at. And we are going at such a fast pace, it's hard to slow down to get into our body. I do think stress plays a huge role. Then on that note, with males and with females too, like some of the SSRIs actually prevent men from ejaculating. It sometimes prevents women from having an orgasm. We have that level where we're taking stuff for our stress and then it's causing more problems. There's other solutions for that. But I mean, I don't take my patients off their SSRIs, but they're given so easy these days and I think now everyone is given one. (26:00)

I do think stress is a huge, huge problem in libido. Absolutely. It takes time. It takes nurturing. It takes quite. It takes feeling the body just getting touched. It's all those things were sensuousness, it's not just sex, it's just like being sensual with one another, feeling of the senses, cooking, smelling, touching, tasting. That's part of the dance of sexuality. People are so stressed out, they're forgetting about that.

Hillary: Well, don't you think it really comes down to presence though? I mean that's when you involve all of those, your five senses, you're in the moment, right? You're there. You're not answering your email in your head.

Denise: Right. Absolutely. And that's where you were talking about mindfulness. I think that's so important. It's learning how to be here now. As one of my mentor, like not mentors, but spiritual teacher, Ram Dass. His book, Be Here Now. There was a watch, it says, "Now, reminder."

Hillary: Right.

Denise: Oh, yeah. Like, cause my mind does it too. It goes right into the future and I'm worried and I'm like, "Oh no."

Hillary: Yeah, that future thinking. I think, I'm permanently recovering from that. I do. I do love Ram Dass though. I mean, I think, Polishing the Mirror was his greatest book yet.

Denise: I look at him, he's in a wheelchair and he is paralyzed and half of his body and he smiles. He looks you in the eye. I'm sure he has his thing, but I'm always inspired by people who in the face of obstacles and difficulty are able to really fully be present and really fully be there. Even with fertility or whatever is going on, reminder, for myself as well. Be in the moment, be in the moment, drop into the moment.

(28:00) Hillary: Yeah. He talks about that. About how humbling it was when he got sick and he said the people taking care of him and he felt he wasn't the man anymore. He was like, here, I thought I was enlightened. And now I'm down low. I just thought that was such a great part that anybody can relate to, especially with fertility because somewhere in our wiring, I think we get it. That this is the one thing we're supposed to do. When we can't do that, I think it colors everything else.

Denise: Yeah. It's like this feeling of being broken. 'Is there something wrong with me?' Or 'I can't do this thing I'm supposed to do.' I mean, I have women that are really having hard times with it. I'm so much compassionate for that. How do we find a way to enjoy our lives in the midst of struggle. In the midst when things don't go the way we'd like them to. In the midst when we're arguing with our partner, how do we drop into love? How do we remember what's really important? I have this great exercise. I have to share this because Kia Miller, who's a yoga teacher shared it with me and I think it was like Yogi Bhajan, the founder of Kundalini gave it to another Kundalini practitioner. 

And she said, "When you're mad at your partner, you spread your legs, you go upside down and you'd hold hands upside down and you've seen what you're upset about." We get upset about so many things, myself included. What's really, really important is to return to love. It's so important to return to that energy of love, love of self, love of your partner. Love, the love energy that really dictates why we're here. I think what and why we want to have kids.

Hillary: Right. Yeah, I agree. I might try that one with my teenager. He'll be like, "What are you doing?"  But you know, people don't like the emotion of anger. We're scared to sense and feel anger coming at us. If you can lighten it up a bit and still allow your anger, I think that's brilliant. 

 (30:00) Denise: Right. And Chinese medicine talks about that and like the wood element. That we're supposed to feel our emotions and obviously not be abusive with them but to feel them and it's okay to feel anger sometimes if that's the emotion. It's okay to feel all the emotions as long as we don't stay with them forever in a day. 

Hillary: Right. The wood element is also important for feeling orgasm, right? 

Denise: Yeah. Passion, absolutely. 

Hillary: Yeah. So lots of babies are made via IVF now, but I love that you pointed out how one couple had to use donor sperm and then they kind of literally brought it into their own, took it in their own hands into that home because they wanted to have orgasms when they were trying to make this baby out of love.

Denise: There was an amazing same-sex couple that I interviewed. They were incredible. They just told me this story. I was trying to figure out about sexuality in same-sex couples and how it works there. They were like, "Oh, yeah, we had the most sex ever because this man would give us the sperm. He'd leave it for us. And then we put it in and then we knew that an orgasm afterwards is really, really important." We would go to each other one and that -- and they ended up doing IVF. But just the story, the journey of how this baby was made was so great. Yeah, that having an orgasm after a cervical insemination, was really potent for them. Yeah, it's just great. And then having an orgasm, it's a theory. Sometimes if we can, it's really wonderful, but it's not essential. One doesn't have to have one.

Hillary: Right. But it could help, right? 'Cause this is pretty powerful to get that sperm where it needs to go and you're happy at the end of it, even if it doesn't work.

(32:00) Denise: I think, I teach a lot of young women. I have a lot of young women in my practice. And a lot of women don't know even to talk about what kind of orgasm, like having an orgasm. Like one woman was having an orgasm just with a vibrator, but her partner with vaginal sex didn't give her an orgasm. And she was like so afraid. She thought there's something wrong with her. I was like, "Oh, no. A lot of women don't orgasm with vaginal intercourse. Sometimes they need a little extra clitoral stimulation and it's okay to ask your partner for that." Just the mention of all these words, people are looking at me. Just to have that dialogue where we're talking about the clitoris and the penis. I think it's like, "Yes, let's talk about these things because these are important. These are our body parts."

Hillary: Right. I think if you're going to be having sex, you should be able to talk about these things. Okay. Well, I know that we are coming to our place in time. But if you had one piece of advice for a couple that was out there trying to conceive, what would it be?

Denise: I always tell my patients like that and we don't know why this baby wants to come in or when this baby wants to come in. Sometimes your baby could be the future president, it could change the whole course of our country but it wants to be born at a certain time and it's this idea of the love coming together and trusting in the time. I think, timing becomes really scary for people. It's like you don't know when this child wants to come in and we have to do deep trust, we have to do deep love. That would be my advice. Deep trust, deep love.

Hillary: That's awesome. I think that's great. That reminder of we're not in control of time. Well, where can our listeners find you if they want to connect further?

Denise: You can go to my website, which is my name, https://www.denisewiesner.com/ And that's a good place to find me and find about the book. Yeah, that's a good place.

Hillary: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for taking the time to come on the show and to educate our listeners about how to reclaim their intimacy. And for being so vulnerable in telling your story in the book. I think that that really helps the reader to get comfortable with what might be a highly uncomfortable subject for some.

Denise: Yeah. Thank you. Yeah, I appreciate that. I tried to put a little of me in there cause it's hard sometimes for all of us.

Hillary: Yeah, absolutely. It's a much-needed book. I think it's going to help a ton of couples out there. If you're listening, I highly recommend grabbing a copy of Conceiving With Love and reading a little in bed each night and sharing with your partner. I promise you and your partner will be pleasantly surprised about what comes up, pun intended.

If you want a free chapter, you can get a free chapter before you commit. You can do that if you go to the show notes for this podcast, which is ladypotions.com/fmradio/74 or simply search Conceiving with Love on our homepage at LadyPotions.com, that'll take you right to her home page as well. If you're out and about, you don't have anything to write down with, you know where to find it. You can also win a free copy of Denise's book if you follow me on Instagram @LadyPotions4U. You'll find details to come on, how to win a free book.

A huge thank you to all our listeners for giving us your greatest asset of your time and your attention. We truly hope this interview has peaked your interest on how to rekindle the fire. Thank you so much, Denise.

Denise: Thank you so much. You're doing great work. 

Hillary: You too.



3D Book Cover_Conceiving with Love transparent (1).png

Announcer: Thanks for listening to Fertile Minds Radio posted at www.ladyportions.com where you'll find past episodes of show notes and free meditations. If you've benefited from what you've heard, leave a comment or review so it makes it easier for others to find this valuable wisdom. Let's help elevate each other. Thanks for listening. (35:31)


EPISODE 58 | MINI MINDFUL MOMENT | Moving From "I Deserve" to "I Have."

Hey there, Hilary here. Your go-to gal to help you form a plan to reclaim your fertility and create a healthy family for generations to come, all while staying sane along the way. I've got another mini-mindful moment for you today to help you combat the stress  I know you are bombarded by on your fertility journey.

Today's meditation is an excerpt from my new 30 days of fertility meditations program if you want instant access to more meditations just like this one, along with writing prompts and calming images to take your medication in to your day and to go deeper, just head over to LadyPotions.com and click the meditations tab to find the link to purchase or the tab that says, "Work with me."

I'm sure you've heard time and time again that stress negatively affects fertility and pregnancy, I'm sure that you've been told on more than one occasion to just relax and it will happen, that probably really makes you stress out maybe, even want to punch that person. Now, you can't exactly go around cutting all the stress out of your life. I mean, fertility challenges alone are stressful, your partner or your job could be your main source of stress so what are you supposed to do? Give up? Quit? Not a chance.

You make a game out of making friends with your stress response, you acknowledge it. You know what's going to happen and you get good at catching it before it becomes a freight train careening out of control, then you see how fast you can change your stress response into a relaxation response by trying on one of these little beauties from our mini-mindful moment's installments.

Meditation and mindfulness techniques and the ability to turn on our parasympathetic nervous system or what's known as "the breed and feed part" of our minds. Our evidence-based practices that not only enhance the fertility but they can also help you hold a pregnancy, even if it's high-risk.

Remember, it's not stress that's enemy, it's how fast we can get back into the relaxed state that really matters. I don't know about you, but this is not something that I was taught when I was younger. I had to go looking to find how to do this on my own and that's exactly why I've created this for you.

These mini-relaxation techniques are quick, easy to apply throughout your day and restore your relaxation response in moments. Keeping your mind broadcasting the message to your body that it's a safe time and place to create life. Helping you feel back in control of your stress and ready to conceive.

Today's meditation has to do with your ability to move from the mindset of " I deserve", which is actually a victim based mindset, into the mindset of "I have" as if it already happened. We are racing our biological clock or leading a life where we are trying to cram in everything all at once. It is very easy to push the body past as normal limits. We begin to deplete our adrenal glands in the name of achieving, forgetting that adrenaline is a precious substance to be used wisely instead of freely.

Unfortunately, the more we pump our adrenaline by overextending ourselves, chugging coffee and energy drinks, staying up too late, binging on sugar, the more addicted we become to this state. When we start to get depleted we become emotionally leaky and the recording in our head starts to whine saying, " I deserve." Instead of recognizing all that you have, pushing you to keep overextending yourself, keeping you trapped in a cycle of exhaustion and ill satisfaction.

The next time you hear yourself or your partners say, "I deserve" or "I want." Try replacing it with "We have so much." The reason for this is that like attracts like, the shift in thinking in speech will help to magnetize us into a place to receive more abundance into our lives. It will help us to create the lives we desire through a sense of gratitude rather than a sense of entitlement.

It is said that the root chakra governs our adrenaline glands and the connection with our nervous system that decides when and how much of a state of fight-or-flight we will be in, has a response to any thought, conversation or experience we have. Our second chakra covers our reproductive hormones, largely in part to the messages it receives from the root chakra.

If adrenaline is flowing our sex hormones are not. Not only does this deplete our ability to physically create healthy offspring, it also depletes our libido and our desire to connect because when adrenaline is high, it sends the message to every single cell that we are not safe. Most women need to feel safe and a desire to connect before sex even enters our minds.

 When we try to make a baby from this state, it becomes one more thing that we have to cross off our list or achieve rather than a product of desire state of union with our partner. We're in a constant mountain-climbing of achieving, the idea that a baby is never achieved and only received can seem extremely foreign and evasive. 

 We have to take the time to get calm and grounded so that we aren't accidentally hijacking our own sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone if we want to create a baby out of a state of union. Even if you're already doing IVF, you still want to be able to connect with your partner and enjoy it.

Today's meditation will focus on the connection between the first and second chakra, stabilizing our fight-or-flight response in order to help us regulate our reproductive hormones. Helping us to move from, "I deserve" to "I have." So, let's get started.

 Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down. If you're sitting, make sure that the spine is erect without tension. We call your alignment exercise from day one, stacking each chakra over the next from the pelvis up. Imagine that there's a string at the top of your head pulling everything into perfect, yet gentle alignment. 

Begin to observe your breath, just the gentle entering, and exiting using the part of your mind that's listening to my voice. Observe its inhaled and its exhales if you've had a particularly stressful day and you are in a place where you feel comfortable to exhale audibly, just let that go with the breath.

Maybe you can even imagine your worries or your stresses leaving on the wave of each exhale.

Gently begin to move your attention away from the breath and into the center of your head. Move your awareness all the way down to the base of the spine, the root chakra located in the center of your body between the perineum and the last vertebrae.

Maybe you can sense its deep red color.

This area is open and free of energetic debris. We feel stable and calm, provided for and safe.

Allow this chakra to begin to spin in your mind's eye or maybe just a sense of energy that you have in this area. Don't worry about which direction it spins, just imagine it's going like a gear.

As it moves, it burns off any insecurities around not having enough.

About a handbreadth above that chakra is the second chakra or our sexual chakra. Maybe, you can see or imagine its brilliant orange light, again, looking like a gear. This gear begins to spin in an opposite direction though from the root chakra below it, like interlocking watch gears feeding energetically off one another, bridging the gap between adrenaline and our reproductive hormones. When our second chakra is open and free, they are like a magnet.

Polarizing our partner to come next to us, near us, to be with us to create life. We're also a magnet of abundance, drawing in our heart's desires, the ability to form them into completion. Allow yourself to just sit for a moment with this visualization of the red and orange gear interlocking with one another, cleaning out any limiting beliefs as they spin.

 The vibration to strengthen the root chakra is lam, L-A-M, lam.

The vibration to strengthen the second chakra is vam, V-A-M, vam.

For the next five minutes, sit quietly with your awareness and attention in your lower abdomen in these two chakras. Listening to the silent repetition of lam vam, lam vam emanating from this place, strengthening your ability to remain calm in the state of stress.

Remember, the mantra is never forced. It's always gentle and when you find that you've drifted into thoughts or physical sensations, which is completely normal, just come back to listening to the silent repetition lam vam, lam vam. I'll ring a soft bell when it's time to let the mantra go.

Gently release the mantra, allow yourself to sit quietly for a moment and just observe the shift that you've made into a state of calmness, greater well-being, and heightened reproductive capability. You can say this any time, any place yourself that you need a little reminder to just stay calm, lam vam. Bye for now.

Thanks for listening to Fertile Minds Radio, hosted at www.LadyPotions.com, where you'll find past episodes, show notes, and free meditations. If you've benefited from what you've heard, leave a comment or review so it makes it easier for others to find this valuable wisdom. Let's help elevate each other. Thanks for listening.

photo credit Charles Postiaux @charlpost

@ladypotions4u on Instagram

EPISODE 48 | HOW TO MANAGE YOUR FERTILITY THOUGHTS

The Importance of Managing Your Thoughts When Trying to Conceive & How to Act as if You Have Already Conceived Until it Does

 Description:

So much of how we feel and the reality we create relate back to our thoughts. Up to 7% of our thoughts are repetitive ones, and they end up shaping our emotions and eventually much of our physiological state. In today’s episode, Hillary provides a visualization and meditation practice to connect with our future selves and to help us become aware of how our thoughts affect our emotions. This is especially important in fertility, where we often must believe in something that hasn’t happened yet, such as becoming a parent.

 

Takeaways:

[1:35] With more than one thought a second and 60,000 of them a day, it is completely normal for us to believe that our thoughts are the true reality.

[2:55] Most of our thoughts that continue to cycle throughout our adult life begin in the ages of 5-15 years old. This is when we are most trying to figure out and navigate the world around us, with our brain trying to create connections and realities to keep us safe.

[3:15] Your thoughts and beliefs create a vibration, a feeling, and emotion. They ultimately inform our nrevous system and tell us if we are in a threatening situation or one where there is safety and security.

[8:25] Hillary defines stress as an experience of an unmet need or expectation.

[9:42] A woman’s brain can make fertility issues just as bad as a chronic health condition. It is common in infertility issues for our brains to get stuck on a loop questioning if it will ever happen or why it hasn’t happened yet. Our brains are always looking for evidence from our past to shape what we believe.

[10:43] By changing your thoughts you will change your outlook, emotions, and nervous system.

[11:01] The brain is always looking for confirmation of our thoughts.

[11:54] The exercise begins. This gives us the opportunity to see how fast you can change your stress response to a relaxation response and turn on our parasympathetic nervous system or what is known as breed and feed. This state not only enhances fertility but can also help hold a pregnancy, even if it is high risk.




References:

Fertile Minds on LibSyn

Fertile Minds on iTunes

@ladypotions4u

Lady Potions Meditations

 

Continue Your Journey:

@ladypotions4u on Twitter

@ladypotions4u on Instagram


Disclaimer *

You must not rely on the information in this podcast as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website or in this podcast.

 

EPISODE 55 | COULD YOUR FERTILITY CHALLENGES BE AN UNEXPECTED AWAKENING? | Sharna Langlais

Could Your Fertility Challenges Be An Unexpected Spiritual Awakening? guest Sharna Langlais 

Description:

Today we talk with a true master of explaining the mystical in an understandable way. Sharna Langlais is a Reiki Master and also trained in Shamanic Healing and many other healing modalities such as Herbalism and Aromatherapy. She and Hillary talk about her new book, Unexpected Spiritual Awakenings, and how it pertains to fertility. They discuss what exactly an unexpected Spiritual Awakening is, how to spot one and what the stages are, and some tips on how to ease the lonely and discomfort when everything feels like it’s crumbling. Then, they cover what our ethereal body is, how we clean it and how we can use it to protect ourselves.

To share your own fertility story, please email me at hillary@ladypotions.com or comment below. I look forward to connecting with you, as you are what this podcast is all about.


Takeaways:

[1:44] Sharna Langlais is a Reiki Master also certified in Shamanic Healing and 5 Element Theory. She is a certified Herbalist, and Aromatherapist and Meditation Facilitator. Sharna has published work on Elephant Journal and MindBodyGreen and has her new book, Unexpected Spiritual Awakenings.

[4:08] Sharna comes from a Marketing and Executive Management background and was an “accidental techie” in her work with a nonprofit. She shares her journey in balancing the “real world” with her spiritual work starting at around her late 20s.

[7:13] All of the modalities that Sharna uses herself help to clear her own energy so that she can be open and compassionate in her work with clients all over the world to bring them a deeper sense of transformation.

[11:07] Sharna gives an analogy that Reiki is the car that she drives, in the sense that there are so many makes and models of energy work. It is a Japanese tradition in its origin and is about channeling life force energy through the bodies to remove blockages — the building block of life. Energy work can be utilized for any ailment or issue, and can deeply clear energy without having to talk through it too much.

[15:08] If Reiki is the car, acupuncture would be the model of car, and Sharna finds that distance work is more concentrated than physical experience.

[18:04] In a larger context, the unexpected spontaneous spiritual awakening is a personal process that creates extreme transformation inside of the cells and shifts. It can look like a crisis, and can very much feel as though everything is “falling apart.” The purposeful awakening is expected, and the context of the structure around it is usually based on a tradition with others to help guide the experience.

[23:34] One of the big messages in our crisis is to stop and listen to what’s really inside of us, and to tune in to our true calling instead of trying to keep up with a path that isn’t right for us.

[26:16] The biggest place we tend to see the spontaneous awakening is crisis and often emerges in transition that looks like health issues, breakups, and career shifts or changes.

[28:51] Going through an awakening can be daunting or scary at first, so it’s common for us to patch holes and return back to our normal life, but it is a real commitment to change and growth.

[35:40] Sharna put together the stages on her own experience and the experience of many clients she sees, but the experience is yin and nonlinear.

[36:34] Stage One: The Crisis Moment. Something breaks, and we must go in and try and fix it.

Stage Two: Find a New Way to Restructure and Change The “honeymoon” period of the awakening, where someone thought they found the answer.

Stage Three: Liminal Phase/The Awakening Process The true dark night of the soul where things fall apart and we already thought we fixed it in stage two.

Stage Fourth: The True Rebirth and Joy Stage The realization that we are a whole different version of ourselves.

Stage Five: The Awareness That We Are Always Changing and Needing to Pay Attention to Our Whisper We have a perpetual sense of humor and are reminded that everything is an opportunity for us to create and produce shifts.

[48:06] It is deeply healing for someone to connect one-on-one with someone while they are going through the process, as it feels isolating and confusing at times.

[49:11] Usually it is one part of the couple going through the awakening, and the relationship shifts as we change inside.

[52:22] The opportunity springs up during fertility because it tends to pop up in the areas of life that feel the most mysterious. Feminine energy also is the energy of chaos, and chaos energy is what is introduced for a system to change.

[56:44] The most important piece of awakening is surrendering and receiving without attachment.

[61:25] If we have to bring a life inside our body, it helps to be connected to it first.

[65:21] One of the biggest tips is to seek out somebody that can help you, but also to be careful of who you work with and that they are a right fit for you. Having patience with and through this process is also key. Retreats are also helpful to get your bearings with like-minded people by a trustworthy facilitator.

 

Mentioned References & Continuing Your Journey:

Reiki 1 Training with Sharna @ Art of Acupuncture Aug 3-4th 2019

Fertile Minds on LibSyn

Fertile Minds on iTunes

@ladypotions4u

Unexpected Spiritual Awakenings: Navigating a Spiritual Awakening, by Sharna Langlais

Seek Spark Shine

Mindbodygreen

Elephant Journal

Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression — and the Unexpected Solutions
by Johann Hari

@ladypotions4uon Twitter

@ladypotions4uon Instagram

Disclaimer *

You must not rely on the information in this podcast as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website or in this podcast.



EPISODE 41 | WHAT TCM HAS TO SAY ABOUT YOUR CYCLE | PT 2 Your Period & Aging

 

Description:

Our periods are signs of how we are interacting with our environment, both internally and externally, and a way for us to use certain signals for fertility. Today, Hillary talks about what to stop and consider about your own period, how to change the quality and quantity of your uterine lining, decreasing inflammation to help clotting and cramping, certain foods to build up the blood, and how to turn back the clock in aging. 

Takeaway:

[1:45] The symptoms of your period are not something to be flushed and forgotten. They are your body’s way of telling you that something is out of balance.

[2:36] The amount that you bleed is important and should be a steady flow with 1 or 2 days that are heavier, for a total of about 4 to 5 days. In order for the embryo to be nourished and grow, the lining has to be thick and well-vascularized. One important thing that often gets missed is the shedding of the lining every single month, so you don’t have old blood sitting on top of the lining. If you are a scanty bleeder, it is a good indication that your uterine lining is insufficient.

[5:26] Foods that help build up the blood include eggs with the yolk, clean sources of red meat, full-fat dairy and healthy fats such as seeds and avocado. It is also advised to not over-exercise during this time and resort to light stretching, walking, and gentle movement.

[6:53] The clot that you see in your menstrual blood has been forming way before you have your period. So what’s the problem? Implantation depends on establishing a healthy, thriving blood supply. But the whole job of a clot is to stop the flow of blood! A clotted uterine lining is one that is stale and stagnant. It doesn't have the fresh surface it needs to allow implantation to succeed at a high rate. It is important to stay away from inflammatory foods, and employ abdominal massage, and possibly employ a vaginal steam bath.

[9:29] When you feel cramping, it really is your uterine wall spasming. Severe cramping — also called dysmenorrhea — isn’t just a drag, it’s counter-productive for conception.

[11:07] It is common to have one day of heavy bleeding, but the other days should be more even with bright red blood rather than just one day of intense bleeding then right to spotting. Heavy bleeding can indicate an issue with spleen chi deficiency, where your body doesn’t have enough energy to open and shut the uterus and control the blood flow, leading to a feeling of strong fatigue.

[12:02] Red raspberry leaf may be used to tone your uterus, and then Cramp Bark when you are having your period. Some traditional Chinese formulas that include herbs from blood building and breaking categories.

[13:33] Many factors including diet, stress, environment, and even things we were exposed to while in utero can affect our eggs. Even more so for the eggs in our 120-day queue, for what’s called a germ cell to become a ripe and fertile egg.

Does age really matter when it comes to conceiving?

[15:13] You can turn back the clock. The Chinese had the idea of two ages which we can scientifically prove now using telomeres or a structure at the end of a chromosome. If you are interested in seeing what age you are according to this science, you can order a telomere test.

[16:28] The Chinese had a different take on the Western idea of the advanced maternal age of 35. They say men and women mature differently, and every 7 years for a female and 8 years for a male was a huge transition. Age 27 is when we see the first decline in FSH and AMH, two hormones that collectively approximate what a woman’s ovarian reserve is. There is an even more steep decline at 35, especially in egg quality increasing the risk for miscarriage or birth defect There is hope if you have waited! Egg quality can be positively affected by things like acupuncture, herbs, meditation, proper nutrition, and other various stress reduction techniques.

[18:31] Paternal age matters as well. You can reference a previous episode with Dr. Zev Williams from Columbia for more information on how much paternal age matters when it comes to single gene mutations that can cause things like autism, bipolar disorder, and other mental/emotional disruptions.

[19:02] There are categories of herbs that are said to have been taken by royalty because they were said to help them live forever. Zinc has been shown to help sperm fragmentation, and alpha lipoic acid has been touted to help egg quality in a woman of advanced maternal age when taken 3-6 months. DHEA is a precursor for the other steroids in our body, and studies have shown it helps the quality of the eggs. It is recommended to get your levels tested before taking this, and talk to your provider to see if it’s something to consider.

  

References:

Fertile Minds on LibSyn

Fertile Minds on iTunes

Ep #37 — Part 1

Ep #27 with Dr. Zev Williams

Art of Acupuncture  

 

Continue Your Journey:

@ladypotions4u on Instagram

 Disclaimer *

You must not rely on the information in this podcast as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website or in this podcast.

EPISODE 40 | HOW TO USE MALAS AND CRYSTALS AS PART OF YOUR FERTILITY MEDITATIONS

How to Use Malas and Crystals as Part of Your Fertility Meditations

 

Today's mini mindful moment answers the questions...

Why would someone use a crystal?

What is a mala?

How to do japa meditation?

How do you infuse an intention into a stone or piece of jewelry? 

How would this possibly help my fertility?

Visit @ Rejuled on IG and use the code FERTILE18 to claim your 20% discount on one of these mala bracelets. 

EPISODE 39 | CAN BLOOD SUGARS AFFECT YOUR FERTILITY & PREGNANCY w/ Lily Nichols RDN, CDE

This week, we are joined again by the very knowledgeable (and one of our most popular Fertile Minds podcast guests) Lily Nichols. Not only is Lily a devoted mom, but she is a stellar author and a registered dietitian/nutritionist with a flair for interpreting scientific data and applying it to the modern-day woman. She speaks with Hillary today on her work helping women learn how to prevent or manage their Gestational Diabetes. She also discusses how we test for it, what makes someone more susceptible to acquiring it, and what the long-term complications are for both mama and baby once they are diagnosed with it.

Lily presents a unique approach in helping women manage their diet and lifestyle in her bestselling books, Real Food for Gestational Diabetesand Real Food for Pregnancy.

Takeaway:

[2:13] Lily describes what Gestational Diabetes is and is not. It is a type of Diabetes that develops or is diagnosed during pregnancy. Typically, your body is having trouble processing carbohydrates, causing high blood sugar.

[4:06] Lily uses a hybrid approach when screening for Gestational Diabetes, mixing traditional glucose tolerance tests with discussing their diet and lifestyle choices.

[7:08] Diet and lifestyle are two factors we can be proactive about in pregnancy, as well as in pre-conception.

[8:26] We are seeing that even mildly elevated is an issue, so it’s important women find out early. 49 to 52 percent have either diabetes or pre-diabetes, and most of them have yet to be diagnosed.

[8:50] We want to use A1C readings in pre-conception and in the first trimester and after that look at blood sugars. If A1C has not gone down later in pregnancy, that is a warning sign that something is going on. We recommend getting an over-the-counter glucometer and monitoring your blood sugar at home first thing in the morning and one to two hours after meals to get an idea of how your body responds to specific foods.

DOWNLOAD BLOOD GLUCOSE TRACKER

[12:58] Lily discusses the acceptable levels of fasting and non-fasting blood sugars in pregnant women. We naturally see lower blood sugar levels in a typical pregnancy, along with changes in the significant thyroid and the burning of more fat to send fatty acids to the baby.

[17:32] During pregnancy, if your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, there is a direct line from you to your baby to via umbilical cord. There’s also a physiological reason that women may not feel like eating during pregnancy, to try and push towards ketosis. This makes sense as to why breastfeeding is the best diet ever, as it pulls all the fat to give to the baby.

[22:19] When we have been on a sugar binge and try to come off of sugar, that is happening to the baby the first couple days, so you can imagine how jarring that is until they re-regulate.

[23:34] Even with a diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes, the recommendation of allowable daily carbs is still very high. Lily observed her clients blood sugar getting worse when they followed the protocol and found that a lower level of carbohydrates is ideal.

[27:34] The second part of Lily’s research was looking at ketones and the different part of ketosis. The benefit of the ketogenic diet becoming popular is now there is more discussion on what it means to be in ketosis and what types of ketosis are safe to be in.

[33:39] Lily observes that most women gain their weight in the second and early third trimester and tend to level out unless there is fluid retention.

[36:06] The pancreas is not accustomed to pumping out a large amount of insulin consistently.

[39:11] While it may be annoying and tedious, testing your blood sugar levels daily is well worth it for acquiring interesting data.

[40:41] We discuss the risk factors of how blood sugar issues may affect our children’s fertility and generations down the line. What we may be seeing now may be the epigenetic effect from our low-fat diet from the 1980’s.

[45:21] As you tend to get beyond the 35 and 40 BMI, you do see more pregnancy complications and macrosomia with an epigenetic carryover effect through generations and beyond.

[48:59] People feel like they have acquired a disease, but really your body is adapting to the environment in which it is currently in.

[49:18] Plan of action:

●     Start monitoring A1C & post-meal blood sugars pre-conception, if possible.

●     Pull an A1C in the first trimester and if it’s suspect get in touch with someone like Lily to get it under control. Check out Lily’s books AND video course, or join her Facebook group.

●     Eat real food throughout your pregnancy and a reasonable amount of carbs that works for you.

●     Continue to eat the same way, maybe even more good fats while you are breastfeeding to enhance your breast milk.

●     Bring up your children on the same diet they were exposed to in utero and educate them about blood sugars and food in general so they can affect the next two generations in a healthy way.

 

References:

Fertile Minds on LibSyn

Fertile Minds on iTunes

Pilatesnutritionist.com

http://pilatesnutritionist.com/why-i-drank-the-glucola/
http://pilatesnutritionist.com/i-failed-the-glucola/

Gestational Diabetes Course

California Diabetes and Pregnancy Program

Real Food for Gestational Diabetes: An Effective Alternative to the Conventional Nutrition Approach,
by Lily Nichols

Does Gestational Diabetes Occur in Pregnant Mares?  

Twitter.com/LilyNicholsRDN

Lily’s Instagram

 

Continue Your Journey:

Link to sign up for free 29-day meditation challenge

@ladypotions4uon Twitter

@ladypotions4uon Instagram

Disclaimer * 

You must not rely on the information in this podcast as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website or in this podcast.

EPISODE 37 | WHAT TCM HAS TO SAY ABOUT YOUR CYCLE | PT 1 Timing, Length & Temperatures

I was listening to other podcasts as I often do, and one happened to be about the basics of TCM diagnosis. It dawned on me that I have yet to demystify this system of medicine that I love so much.  Today’s podcast is my attempt to explain some basic diagnostic terms in TCM, especially how they relate to your menstrual cycle and your fertility.

I believe that symptoms are God’s gift when it comes to figuring out what exactly is going on in your body. This reigns especially true when it comes to trying to figure out what exactly is happening internally when it comes to your fertility. If you’ve noticed subtle changes in your menstrual cycle in regards to timing, length or amount of bleeding and have wondered if this effects your fertility or how to rebalance it, this episode is for you. If you’ve ever had acupuncture and wondered what the heck your practitioner was referring to when they mentioned you had Kidney Yin Deficiency or Liver Qi stagnation, this episode is also for you. If you have considered getting acupuncture, but never really understood how it could help your fertility, this episode is for you. If you just want to know what your BBT or AVA charts mean through a lease of TCM and what to do about it, this episode is definitely for you. 

 

The Eight Principles (辩证) are:

1. Yin: Yin, along with Yang, is the most general classification for pattern diagnosis and it describes the relationship between the other three pairs of the Principles. Generally speaking, Yin is Cold and the fluids of the body.

2. Yang: Yang, along with Yin is used to describe the relationship between the other three pairs of the Principles. For example, Heat is Yang or the energy / Qi of the body. 

3. Interior: Interior describes diseases that manifest themselves in the Zang-fu organs or deep inside the body, such as Qi, blood, and bone marrow. In menstrual terms, this may mean scanty menses,  late menarche, or erratic cycles in general. 

4. Exterior: Exterior describes diseases that manifest themselves on surface of the body, such hair, skin, nails, and meridians. In menstrual terms, this may mean the symptoms of external pathogen that has invaded the body, like an STD that presents with a rash.

5. Heat: Heat describes the absence of an aversion to Cold. In menstrual terms, it can mean BBTs above 98.2, high temps above 97.2 in the follicular phase that provoke early ovulation, or cramps that do not respond to a heating pad. 

6. Cold: Cold describes an aversion to Cold. In menstrual terms, we see it as low BBT temps, dark blood with pain, or menstrual cramping that responds to a heating pad.

7. Deficiency: Deficiency is used to describe a vacuity in Qi, blood (Xue) or body fluids (Jinye).  In menstrual health we see it as cramping that gets worse as the period goes on, low temps on a BBT, short luteal cycles meaning Kidney Yang Deficiency or short follicular cycles meaning Kidney Yin Deficiency.

8. Excess: Excess is generally classified as any disease that can't be identified as a Deficiency pattern. Usually, it means that one of the Six Excesses is present. In menstrual health we may see it is as STD, yeast infections, bacterial infections,  growths (like fibroids), certain types of PCOS that involve the concept of phlegm and dampness, or even in certain presentations of endometriosis. 

It’s important to decipher if an imbalance is truly excess or deficiency because it will often mean completely different herbal preparations to balance the body. 

 

After a basic diagnosis of the diseases is given via the Eight Principles, the diagnostic continues and focuses on more specific conditions. After evaluating the present symptoms, a person’s condition is further evaluated as to how the specific entities (Qi, meridians, Zang-fu, etc.) are affected. This where we start to get into concepts like stagnation. You may hear about blood stasis or Liver Qi stagnation, where flow is disrupted. We still have to use the above pillars to decide if it stagnated due to deficiency or excess, but knowing what organ it is affecting by asking questions helps us to target the herbal formula to a greater degree and ensure the system is balanced. 

Causes of Imbalances

Traditional Chinese Medicine does not strongly differentiate between the cause and effect of a disease. However, there are three major categories that are considered to give rise to disease. The three major categories of disease causes are:

1. External: Disease caused by the Six Excesses. These have to do with the environment in which we live,  too much cold, too hot of environment, too damp of an environment, too dry of environment. For example; I reside in South Florida and it’s currently August at the time of this taping. It isn’t just hot out, it’s downright slimy. For a male that has worked outside all day, he might be exposing himself to super high temperatures all day long and  that could drastically affect his quality and count of sperm. 

2. Internal: Disease caused the by Seven Emotions or Seven Affects: Anger, Fear, Anxiety, Fright, Grief, Pensiveness, and Joy. These are said to affect the Zang-fuorgans. Constant high stress without a constant relaxation response have been shown to negatively impact sperm and egg health as well as ovulation.

3. Other Irregularities: Disease caused by something that is neither external nor internal, such as having unbalanced diet, damage done by parasites or in this day & age- toxins. In modern day you could think of this as the quality of the food we eat, and what toxins we are exposed to including those we slather on our skin in our beauty products. This is often the one cause of imbalance that we have the most control over. 

Timing Matters and How Do You Time a Cycle Anyways?

Ideally a menstrual cycle (from the start of one period to the next) is 28 days, the same as a lunar cycle. It's not uncommon for cycles to shift in accordance to new moons, full moons, changing time zones with travel, or with extreme stress or changes in diet, but when it comes to your fertility, the length can have a huge impact, in some cases it can decrease your chances of conceiving by up to 50%. 

Length Matters

Length of your cycle as well as how long you bleed for equally matter but for different reasons.  

Three main consequences of shorter cycles include lower egg quality, inability to sustain a pregnancy, and early ovulation.

Temperature matters

Most couples are shocked when they have a miscarriage. They are often even more shocked when they find out the chances of having one for any healthy couple is 30%. The good news is, that by simply tracking your basal body temperatures and waiting to conceive the following cycle after a "healthy" one is detected you can drop your chances of miscarriage to less than 5%.

* healthy cycle means having an average of 97.2 BBT in the follicular stage of the cycle and an average of 98.2 BBT in the luteal cycle, with a mid-cycle ovulation and a luteal phase lasting at least 10 days.

Did you know that you could get the same custom herbal formulas I use with my acupuncture
clients, shipped right to your door? When you sign up for a 3 Month
Subscription, your evaluation is free, a $100 value, and you receive email access to ask me
any questions you have pertaining to your fertility.

Links to take you further

Episode about Cervical Mucus

LadyPotions.com/episode27

Artofacu-stpete.com

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16357595

Disclaimer :

You must not rely on the information in this podcast as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website or in this podcast.

EPISODE 29 | MINDFUL MOMENTS | Honoring Our Lineage

Mindful Moments- Honoring Our Lineage

Today’s mindful moment gives you a little taste of our 29-day meditation challenge, of which we are currently getting phenomenal feedback and results. In keeping with the theme of working with our feminine and masculine energy, we will engage in a meditation to help and honor those who came before us and unblock any blockages that we have with our family. This meditation may have you feeling lighter, more open, and a sense of gratitude and respect for those that made us who we are.

To share your own fertility story, please email me at hillary@ladypotions.com. I look forward to connecting with you, as you are what this podcast is all about.

Takeaway:

[:51] The results have been astounding so far for our 29-day meditation challenge. The feedback has been great, that we wanted to share a meditation where you will be connecting with your ancestors and clearing up any familial blockages.

[2:25] This meditation honors those that came before us, and removes any blockages that we have with our family. It does not matter how close you are or aren’t with your family, as you will be connecting with the energy in your familial line.

[3:29] Meditation begins.

Disclaimer *

You must not rely on the information in this podcast as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website or in this podcast.


EPISODE 28 | FERTILITY HOPE IN THE FACE OF CANCER w/ Alice Crisci

MedAnswers with Alice Crisci

Today’s episode is full of hope and maybe even some perspective changers for some of you, especially when it comes to what you can handle at once. Our guest today is Alice Crisci. She is an author, fertility preservation spokeswoman and social entrepreneur, and most importantly, a mother on a mission. Her story is incredible. I talk with Alice about the non-profit she founded, Fertile Action, for fertile women touched by cancer, along with her new app MedAnswers, that seeks to connect patients experiencing fertility challenges, oncology issues, or even genetic questions with industry vetted experts.


Within weeks of her own breast cancer diagnosis, Alice harvested her eggs to protect her opportunity to become a mom after surviving cancer, had a nude photography session, launched Fertile Action and published her first book, Too Young for This. She is a game changer in legislation and technology, and an inspiration for women looking for expert education, support, and courage.

Takeaway:

[3:43] Within a few weeks of her diagnosis, Alice learned about the scariest potential side effect of breast cancer and it’s treatment: infertility. Egg freezing was still considered experimental, and she needed more insurance than just a 2-3% chance. She then realized embryo freezing was a better way to go, and continued down her path to single motherhood and faced with the tough decision of picking a donor, all while dealing with the severity of her current diagnosis.

[9:59] When picking a potential donor, Alice encourages women to be truthful with who they are, and who they see themselves with. Be specific and rule out any health history concerns that matter to you. Alice picked a donor that spoke to her and matched her own internal values, as it was important that her child know the story of both sides having grit and tenacity.

[17:44] Alice is on a private Facebook group with other families that used the same donor that she used for her son, and she calls them his ‘diblings.’ They share anecdotes and stay connected.

[18:20] Due to all the genetic testing that is available, open donorship has become way more prevalent and necessary.

[21:43] Alice developed her non-profit Fertile Action as a way to take on insurance coverage and a fee reduction for women who found themselves in fertility preservation cases. She created a network of discounted fees for cancer patients and found it required a large amount of effort and resources.

[24:39] Alice gives recognition to the legislators who also helped take Fertile Action and their partnered organizations as their cause.

[27:03] Alice has now turned a major part of her attention and focus on the app MedAnswers. This helps to connect those struggling to conceive with seven different types of fertility experts. Digital tools are critical, especially when facing a health crisis and MedAnswers is a way for women to connect with experts while maintaining anonymity.

[33:46] Both Alice and I are big proponents of empowering people with data about their own bodies, and not waiting until it is too late to have information.

[35:49] Alice brings up a very interesting point about sex education benefiting from being more about reproductive health than the current topics of just pregnancy prevention.

[36:08] Alice created a webinar just for Californians when it comes to insurance and the appeals process.

 

References and links to take you further:

Fertile Minds on LibSyn

Fertile Minds on iTunes

American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine

Fertile Action

MedAnswers

Dr. Paul Turek 

Alice Crisci on Huff Post 

Too Young for This 

Egg Whisperer

Helix.com

@InfertilityAnswers

 

Continue Your Journey:

Link to sign up for free 29-day meditation challenge

@ladypotions4u on Twitter

@ladypotions4u on Instagram

Disclaimer *

You must not rely on the information in this podcast as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website or in this podcast.

EPISODE 26 | THE THREE KEYS TO CONCEPTION | Lynsi Eastburn HypnoFertility Method

Board-certified hypnotherapist and award-winning author Lynsi Eastburn joins us today to share her experience from over 25 years in the mind-body healing arts. Lynsi is a true pioneer of bringing hypnosis to the treatment of infertility, and we had such a fabulous talk about how belief systems can become a block when trying to fall pregnant, how she was led to her calling, the creation of HypnoFertility®, and how hypnosis can help us switch from fear and doubt into observation and peace.

Takeaway:

[0:32] Our guest today is Lynsi Eastburn. Lynsi is a board-certified hypnotherapist and certified hypnotherapy instructor through the National Guild of Hypnotists, along with running the Eastburn Hypnotherapy Center and Eastburn Institute of Hypnosis with her husband Drake. Lynsi is an award-winning author, with one more book in the works entitled Waiting in the Wings, the Pink Starlights.

[8:03] Lynsi said yes to the whispers that were stirring in her at a young age of having an interest in helping women have babies and bringing sensitivity and compassion to those having fertility issues.

[13:54] Lynsi’s book, It’s Conceivable is the art and science of hypnotherapy — how it deeply affects the nervous system and our mental and emotional blocks.

[16:02] Hypnosis impacts the neural pathway, rewires our conditioning, and helps bring in shifts from the subconscious mind to the present moment to manifest our reality.

Lynsi graciously created a bonus hypnofertility session just for you that wasn't part of our interview. Have a listen or download for later. 


[28:20] We talk about the spiritual side of fertility and a good exercise in how we experience the spiritual realm. 

[30:22] Whether it’s an Indigo, Rainbow, or Crystal child, they all need structure and parental involvement. We are both inspired by the work of Carolyn Myss in the world of spiritual upbringing on a physical plane.

[39:45] Lynsi’s three keys to conception: meditate, listen, and trust.

[50:42] As a parent herself, Lynsi establishes a strong parental role but also isn’t afraid to own her mistakes and apologize when something is her fault. There is an exchange of energy and lessons to be learned but they must have an environment of structure.

[56:42] We explore hysteria, the uterus, and how it was treated in the past, vs. our present-day tendency to “sshhh” women into not expressing their emotions and trauma.

[62:02] She is also generously giving away 10 copies of her book to the first 10 people that visit our show notes! Click the enter button and winners will be announced on my Instagram page: @LadyPotions4u on April 29, the last day of National Infertility Week. #flipthescript #NIAW

References:

Fertile Minds on LibSyn

Fertile Minds on iTunes

American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine

Lynsi Eastburn 

It’s Conceivable: Hypnosis for Fertility, by Lynsi Eastburn, BCH

The 3 Keys to Conception, by Lynsi Eastburn

Carolyn Myss

 

Continue Your Journey:

www.spiritbabywhisperer.com

www.hypnodenver.com

Take the Fertile Minds Meditation challenge and see what a fertile mind feels like. Each day you’ll receive access to a 15 minute guided meditation designed to yield more clarity and calm no matter wher you are on your path to building a family.

If you are feeling frustrated and wish you could experience feeling more patient this challenge is for you.

If you are finding yourself resentful and want to feel empowered instead this challenge is for you.

If you are feeling lost and overwhelmed with all things fertility and long to be more centered during the process of striving for a family this challenge is for you.

If you’ve wanted to add meditation to your self care routine but had no idea where to start this challenge is for you.

You'll learn how to shift your attention from the future to the present moment helping you to feel more fulfilled and patient with the process, your life, your partner and maybe even God.

You won't know though until you commit to the challenge. I'll be there with you every step of the way, one complete menstrual cycle, until it becomes your new favorite habit. Meditate, Listen, Trust, Repeat

@ladypotions4u on Twitter

*Disclaimer-You must not rely on the information in this podcast as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website or in this podcast.

EPISODE 25 | USING CERVICAL MUCUS TO PREDICT HIGH FERTILITY WHEN TTC

Fasten your earbuds, as our topic is rarely talked about but very important from everything to our fertility, overall health, and sexual pleasure. We talk about what the difference is between cervical mucus and vaginal discharge, how to keep our environment alkaline, the four types of mucus, ways around a hostile cervical environment, medications that can impair fertile mucus and herbs and practices that can help restore them, and why Mother Nature is all about timing.

Takeaway:

[3:30] CVM is a type of vaginal discharge that signals that high fertility is approaching. There are four types of vaginal discharge that you can notice and they will coincide with the subjective observation of dryness or wetness around the vulva.

Is it Vaginal Discharge or Cervical Mucus? How to tell

 

[4:32} All mucus is a response to the amount of estrogen being produced by the woman’s body. This is why it hopefully begins to increase about 6 days prior to ovulation as the estrogen is rising and peaking.

[6:03] I cover what different mucus consistency means, and how the pH and quality of the cervical mucus need to be just right in order for the sperm to survive their long journey to the egg.

[9:14] Steroids may help stop sperm antibodies, but they can cause huge side effects like adrenal fatigue, especially when used more than once.

[10:32] The four types and descriptions of mucus as they relate to ovulation and the fertility cycle: G-mucus, L-mucus, S-type mucus and P-mucus.

[14:31] Some medications that can impair fertile mucus: birth control, antibiotics, NSAIDs such as aspirin and ibuprofen, antidepressants (SSRI), and the fertility drug clomiphene/clomid.

[20:02] : Water and staying hydrated, exercise that is not dehydrating, Shatavari Root, Dang Kuei, Ashwagandha, Omega 3 supplements, L-Arginine, probiotics with lactobacillus, licorice root, red clover blossoms and vaginal steams.

[26:20] Your cervix changes shape and position with your cycle. The ligaments that support the uterus respond to the peak of estrogen that happens just before ovulation by tightening. After ovulation, the position of the cervix is once again low in the vagina and can be easily palpated.

 

Links or Mentions to take you further. 

episode 23 basal body temp

episode 18 lab values explained in plain english

episode 13- vaginal steams

episode 7- avoiding burnout

EPISODE 24 | MINDFUL MOMENTS | Guided Visualization for Relaxation

Today’s Mindful Moment session invites you to float away from the everyday stresses and move towards what makes you feel good. Our guided meditation doesn’t use a mantra or breath, just our imagination to teleport you to a place that we associate with comfort and relaxation. This is perfect for yourself and possibly your partner as well, and a great way to start your morning practice or before going to a doctor’s appointment.

To share your own fertility story, please email me at hillary@ladypotions.com. I look forward to connecting with you, as you are what this podcast is all about.

Takeaway:

[0:33] Today’s episode is brought to you by my 29-Day Meditation Challenge, starting April 29, 2018.

[1:17] Managing and lowering stress is extremely important in everyday life, especially in cases of fertility and conception. For example, a study in 1993 by Domar pointed out that distress scores of depression and anxiety were similar to those engaged in cancer treatment and MORE than those recovering from a heart attack.

[2:15] I suggest the images rather than give them to you because what we all find relaxing is subjective and it is up to you to feel in control and calm. The more you practice this guided meditation, the more you access this during stressful or trying times.

[4:14] The guided relaxation begins. Please find a comfortable place to lie down or sit where you are away from distractions.

[16:43] Guided relaxation comes to an end. Know that this is an exercise you can come back to time and time again when you need some relaxation and clarity in your life.

EPISODE 23 | WHAT YOUR BASAL BODY TEMPERATURE (BBT) CAN & CAN'T TELL YOU ABOUT YOUR FERTILITY

Description: Today’s episode is going to uncover what your basal body temperatures can and can’t tell you about your fertility. There is a ton of information regarding this topic, so by the time you are done listening to today’s episode, I want you to feel confident and motivated about tracking your BBT and working with your practitioner on what it means for you. We will talk about why you should take your temperature, how to do it and then track it correctly, how to use the different methods to your advantage, and the benefits that come from tracking it.


Takeaway:

[2:14] When it comes to tracking BBTs or what is known as Basal Body Temperatures, I’ve had two main teachers — Jane Littleton and Kirsten Karchmer from Of Conceivable. Both are a wealth of information when it comes to using and INTERPRETING this technique. Fertility charting is an excellent way to gate what exactly is happening all month long, hormonally, in your body.

[2:57] Many times when a patient comes to my office they have done BBT in the past and are fed up either with the stress it causes or they have no idea how to read it. This leads to them wanting to dismiss doing it all, or maybe they have had an MD of some sort tell them that it’s pointless and they should move on to something like IUI or IVF if they want results. I’m here to tell you that’s not always the case.

[4:12] When a woman walks into my office with 3-6 months of charts either on paper or in an app I know in all likelihood she has just sped up her chances of conceiving with Chinese Medicine. This is also a way I know how and when to fine tune her herbs, recommend lifestyle and diet adjustments and even when there is a greater chance of miscarriage after a positive pregnancy test. This gives many women increased peace of mind that they able to keep an eye on the miracle that is unfolding within them without any invasive treatments. The other positive reason I recommend charting your temps is that it can be greatly empowering to understand what is having an effect on your body, like alcohol, caffeine, or even certain foods.

[8:17] Calendar rhythm method: Consists of using past menstrual cycles to estimate the time of your ovulation. When used on its own, this is the least reliable method of birth control. It should be avoided if your menstrual cycles are shorter than 26 days or longer than 32 days.

[8:42] Temperature method. You track your BBT for several cycles by using a very sensitive basal thermometer to take your temperature before you get out of bed each morning. Due to hormonal surges, your BBT goes up right after ovulation.

[9:10] Cervical mucus method. You track the color, thickness, and texture of your cervical mucus to monitor your fertility. Your cervical mucus becomes thinner, slippery, and stretchy when you ovulate. Tracking your cervical mucus will require some practice.

[10:14] I cover how to take your BBT:

  1. Take your daily temperature first thing upon awakening, before any other activity (going to the bathroom, talking on the phone, etc). The exception is 16 seconds of focused breathing referenced in episode 22.

  2. If using a digital thermometer, wait about 30 seconds until it beeps. Keep the receipt and return if you think the battery is faulty.If using glass, leave it in 5 minutes.

  3. You can take your temperature orally or vaginally, but always make it from the same place. Pick one and stay with it.

  4. Try to take it at the very same time each day right when you wake up.

  5. Make sure you get a minimum of 3 hours consecutive sleep before you take the temperature.

  6. If you use a glass thermometer, shake it down the day before.

  7. If you wake up at 5 and then plan to get up at 7, take your temperature at 5, when you wake up. Most digital thermometers will keep the temperature on it until the next use.

[14:38] When charting your temperature, you can use paper or an app. Some that I like are Fertility Friend, Conceivable, and Glow. If the temperature falls between two numbers on a glass thermometer, always take the lowest. Make dots on the appropriate temperature and connect the dots with straight lines. Note events such as stress, or illness in the miscellaneous row. Temperatures taken late should be noted in the ‘time taken’ row. 

[16:36] We cover what BBT tracking can and cannot do. It cannot tell you about your partner’s fertility, nor is it great at predicting ovulation.

[17:50] Don’t freak out if you don’t get every single day. As a practitioner. I am looking for the average in the follicular and the average in the luteal phase. It takes about one season (3 months) of working with someone to make a 50% increase in their chances of fertility.

[19:57] We cover the bleeding, follicular, ovulation and luteal phases and what I look at within each one.

[25:18] If temps are at 98.2 in the luteal phase, your miscarriage chances will drop from 30 percent to 5 percent the following cycle.

[29:16] I go over some patterns that we see in BBT and the phases, and how I as a practitioner use this information to work with the patient.

[34:12] One reason someone wouldn’t want to track their BBT is when they are taking progesterone supplements, as it affects the temperatures and if it stresses you out completely my suggestion is to meditate directly after. And if that’s still too much for you or you travel a lot or you aren’t able to wake around the same time most days due to life constraints I encourage you to check out the AVA Woman.

  

MENTIONED LINKS:

Link to sign up for free 29-day meditation challenge

affiliate link for $30 discount on Ava Temp tracker

Avawomen.com/avaworld/ava-data-means/

Jade Ashtanga retreats- join me this summer and receive one complimentary coaching session prior

 manifest your dream life with davidji retreat- $150 discount coupon code dreamlife2018

Treatment of Infertility with Chinese Medicine, by Jane Lyttleton 

Guide to Cervical Mucus  episode 23

@ladypotions4u on Twitter

@ladypotions4u on Instagram

EPISODE 21 | TAKING A TCM APPROACH TO YOUR DIET TO ENHANCE YOUR FERTILITY

Taking a TCM Approach to Your Diet to Enhance Fertility

Description: Today we will be covering one of my personal subjects in life, food! Food therapy has always been part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It can be really easy to initiate your own healing simply by eating for your current TCM disharmony. I will share with you some easy life solutions and three different approaches that you can start with your very next meal. Food has a lot of ties to our belief system, our past, and emotions we have yet to feel. Changing the way you eat can seem very overwhelming, so today I invite you to just pick a few from these three ideas that suit you and your life.

Takeaways

[4:56] Many of us have some body image issues, myself included, that we’ve worked really hard to overcome and I don’t want you to get stressed with the idea of cutting things out or calorie counting. That’s not what today’s episode is about.

[6:01] I would rather encourage you to make positive small changes that feel right to you rather than your feeling like your eating is one more thing you have to try and be perfect at. The implications of your DNA occur one full year before you get pregnant.

[8:25] Even a 2% change a day has a cumulative effect. It’s important to start small and adopt habits and a diet that feels positive and nourishing.

[10:24] The first approach is from Daoshing Ni, from his book The Tao of Fertility. He thinks of the menstrual cycle as a season, and there is a systematic way to eat accordingly along with the phases.

[12:10] The second is a general list of what not to eat, and a meal order solution like Green Chef or Hello Fresh. This is great for the on-the-go person that is working too much or overwhelmed by the idea of shopping and cooking. However, it can get pricey, especially if you cave and order take out when you have organic food sitting in your fridge.

[13:09] Third is the pattern diagnosis of TCM by symptoms that tell you how to eat based on TCM. This will often help you feel the best the quickest and make your overall constitution stronger helping you to achieve optimal fertility. It can be difficult if you both of you have completely different imbalances or constitutions. It’s a win if you love strict rules. It gives a list of don’ts and dos. 

[14:20] In the Tao of Fertility approach, you think of your menses as the season of winter. Shedding, ending and contracting. The week after your period is like spring where plants and flowers are budding and blooming, and the ovulatory phase is summer. The luteal phase is akin to autumn, where the temperature is beginning to drop. During the first two weeks of your “seasons”, you want to incorporate foods that will strengthen your egg quality and energy. This includes grains, high protein foods like eggs, meat and beans. It’s important the food is warm for digestion. If you feel extra fatigued and weak during menstruation, you want to eat a lot of blood-nourishing foods like bone broth. The second phase after ovulation shifts to leafy green vegetables and berries.

[25:44] Always choose full-fat instead of fat-free. Often times when they take the fat out, they replace it with sugar and other unhealthy additives.

[29:22] I go through the patterns of foods and symptoms depending on the body types, symptoms and deficiencies.  You can also download the food quiz here on the website for a further dive into what you should be eating for your specific constitution. I RECOMMEND PRINTING IT OUT, MARKING IT UP WITH YOUR NOTES AND REPEATING EVERY 3 MONTHS SO YOU CAN SEE HOW FOOD HAS CHANGED YOUR RESULTS!

EPISODE 20 | MINDFUL MOMENT | A Meditation to Help with Implantation While #TTC

A meditation to provide more peace and joy along your fertility road trip.

Description: Feelings of loneliness, fear, and doubt are universal to a woman during her fertility road trip. It is common to feel hopeful and confident one moment and then isolated and frazzled the next. Today’s mindful moment episode will be all about restoring more peace and joy into your space, and to remind you that we are all connected and can send healing energy and love to one another, especially during a time such as implantation.

We will dive deep in a meditation that came out organically as I was working with a lovely woman on her our experience. Today’s meditation will help you connect to your heart, let go of attachment, and breathe in faith and gratitude. To share your own fertility story, please email me at hillary@ladypotions.com. I look forward to connecting with you, as you are what this podcast is all about.

Takeaways

[1:53] The difference between a positive and negative stress experience is the beholder’s perception of time.

[2:35] This episode is dedicated to Lindsey, who inspired Hillary as she is brave and inspiring along her fertility road trip. This meditation that came out organically as they were working together and Hillary recommends this as a useful tool for relaxation during the implantation process.

[8:02] Meditation begins.

 

References:

Fertile Minds on LibSyn

Fertile Minds on iTunes

American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine

Continue Your Journey:

@ladypotions4u on Twitter

@ladypotions4u on Instagram

Special Thanks to Christopher Lloyd Clarke for music


EPISODE 18 | Fertility Lab Tests Explained in Plain English

Description: Today we will be diving into lab values, and specifically what it means to have a complete fertility workup. I cover what it means when we say a fertility workup, what they test for and why, what is “normal” to empower yourself in a non-judgmental way so you and your support system can figure out a plan of corrective action. We also discuss a semen analysis and the total, whole picture of the markers you would be looking at there. This episode is a great way to dive in with understanding what tests should be done based on your age and how long you have been trying, along with who in your healthcare network would be able to help you run the tests.

Takeaways

[1:17] When we say a complete fertility workup, we also mean having a male workup — your partner — as well.

[7:14] The first step is a comprehensive wellness panel or CBC with add-ons. Second is the semen analysis and third is the complete fertility workup for a woman.

[11:06] Most often the tests will be blood tests, however, some will be urine, diagnostic, and imaging.

[11:39] I break down what a CBC, lipid and metabolic panels are, what they test for, and how to read the different markers.

[14:41] Hypoglycemia is a somewhat common culprit when looking at disruptions in reproduction. Thyroid health is extremely important as well. The TSH and T4 and T3 Uptake are the most looked-at markers in the panel.

[19:57] Vitamin D has a variety of effects on the body, including GI health, skin health, mood, and immunity.

[25:02] The semen analysis; you want to look at the whole picture of total motile sperm, and calculate it using volume, concentration, and motility.

[33:18] High levels of prolactin may affect the ability to ovulate and the regularity of a woman’s menstrual cycle. 

[44:51] I explain the PCOS diet and why this way of eating may be beneficial.

EPISODE 16 | MINDFUL MOMENT | Chakra Clearing for Manifestation

Mindful Moments  

Using Chakra Clearing Meditation for Manifestation

 

Description: When I thought about creating this episode, I wanted to keep the intro short and sweet. We already spend so much time thinking, processing, and worrying. Sometimes we just need to “do it” and this comes to manifesting our dreams. Today’s episode features a meditation to help clear clutter internally to manifest the life of your dreams. After today’s episode, we encourage you to lighten your load from the inside out and to remember that you have access to your center anytime, at anyplace.

Takeaways

[3:06] As you go through this meditation, observe what areas are easier to open and close. There is no right or wrong way to do this, just listen and observe.

[4:04] To download this meditation, text “chakra clearing” to 44222.

[4:24] Meditation begins. Today’s journey will take us through the chakras within our body, to help cleanse and purify.

[50:01] Meditation ends.

 

References:

Fertile Minds on LibSyn

Fertile Minds on iTunes

 

Continue Your Journey:

To download this meditation, text “chakra clearing” to 44222.

 

Special Thanks to Christopher Lloyd Clarke for music