If you’re trying to get pregnant, fertility can seem like a mysterious combination of luck and genetics.
Don’t forget about you’re age, weight and health, elements that have a big effect on your fertility.
Another aspect of difficulty in trying to conceive is the stress of doing so.
It’s seems that when you trying your best to get pregnant and nothing happens, you friends popping baby’s like there’s no tomorrow. Stress minimises your chances.
Going through my Yoga teachers course I was wondering if there are any asanas that can help women and men with infertility.
Doing my research I found a few asanas for women and men to help with fertility.
Men and women can greatly benefit from yoga practice to increase their fertility, because yoga lowers stress levels and helps balance hormone production like testosterone and oestrogen.
Asanas for Women
Reclining Poses- these poses are to help because they open elongate the abdominal area.
Bound Supta Baddha Konasana
Inversions – to calm the nervous system and heart rate.
Asanas for Men
Regular Yoga practice helps release stress and most importantly yoga can help regain sexual stamina.
Yoga for men also increases circulation to the testes and penis.
Downwards Facing Dog
Warrior Pose I,II
Extended Triangle Pose
All this asanas increase circulation to the reproductive organs, reduce stress and balance hormones.
I wish you all happy baby making.
If you’re trying to get pregnant, fertility can seem like a mysterious combination of luck and genetics.
Prenatal Yoga is beneficial to the expectant mother in many ways both physical and mental. However, the mental benefits can be even more powerful not only for a healthy pregnancy and easier birth, but as we face challenges as a parent.
Although we are all familiar with the act of breathing in our daily lives, yoga offers techniques to enhance breath in a way that will prepare the body for the process of labor and calm the mind in everyday obstacles. Breathing is an extremely important part of labor that helps relax the body and distract the mind from pain and strain. Release of the hormone oxytocin is required in order for labor to progress. However, strain in reaction to pain can inhibit its release, which can prolong the process of labor. Therefore, relaxation through breath can be one of the most crucial techniques to easing delivery.
One can fully experience the mental benefits by incorporating Pranayama into yoga practice. Pranayama is the extension of life force energy and one of the main tools to extend this life force energy is through breath. By applying the correct breathing technique, one can open a gateway to unlimited energy. If a yogi is new to pranayama, Ujjayi is an excellent starting point to unify breath and movement in Asana practice. Ujjayi pranayama is referred to as ‘victorious breath’ as it allows us to practice full deep breaths during the challenges of a physical practice. As ujjayi helps give us strength and focus in Asana practice, its benefits can be applied to any challenge faced in our lives.
The following steps can help to master Ujjayi breathing:
- Inhale through your nose, then exhale slowly through a wide-open mouth. Direct the out-going breath slowly across the back of your throat with a drawn-out HA sound.
- Repeat several times, then close your mouth.
- Now, as you both inhale and exhale through your nose, direct the breath again slowly across the back of your throat. Ideally, this will create, and you should hear, a soft hissing sound.
-Somer Lynn (Pre/Post Natal Course)
When a woman has advanced in her pregnancy the things she can do to entertain herself are limited. Watching a good movie can be one of the most pleasant (and healthy) pass-times in the last stage of pregnancy, were it not for this thing in our bodies called hormones. And because of that your pregnancy again puts limitation on your movie choice. I believe that there are certain types of movies that you should better not watch while pregnant. And that is not because the movies are bad, but rather because they are sad.
A really good movie can touch your emotions, can bring thoughts that might last longer than you would like.
” Changeling” a Clint Eastwood film with Angelina Joley is a film like that. It is an excellent film, and was released during my pregnancy. I like Clint Estwood movies, but luckily my husband saw it first. He told me I should not watch it now. Later on my friends told me the same.
That same year another very good film was on – ” Revolutionary Road” directed by Sam Mendes, staring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. It was my husbad again who helped me and kindly advised me to see it after I give birth.
I saw the movies later and I have to admit they affected me a lot.
Revolutionary road hunted me for a week.
Emotions of all sorts make the hormones in the body swing. The emotions and feeling that come form seeing a movie also act like that, even if we do not want it. When we think a stressful thought brain secretes corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH). This stress hormone triggers the release of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline and the brain and body shift into crisis mode. The breathing and pulse quicken, making more oxygen available to the muscles. Blood sugar levels rise. Physiological processes that are non-essential in the short term—like digestion, growth, and repair—are temporarily out of order.
For a pregnant woman and her fetus, high cortisol levels pose special risks. Elevated cortisol is associated with an increased risk of early miscarriage (Nepomaschy et al 2006). It can also cause preeclampsia, fetal growth delay, premature birth, and postnatal developmental delays.
During the second trimester of pregnancy, circulating levels of CRH increase significantly. Ordinarily, CRH is secreted by the brain. But in pregnancy, the mother’s steep rise in circulating stress hormones is driven by the placenta. Genes from the fetus stimulate the placenta to secrete its own supply of hormones. And these hormones make their way into the mother’s bloodstream, thus keeping the level of stress hormones in the body higher.
Not that a heart-braking movie will bring to you all severe complications mentioned above. But the world nowadays is not calm and serene. Everyday life has its challenges. Why should we willingly put more pressure on our brain and body ( and that of our baby) when we can control at least the choice and the timing of the movie we want to see.
Take for instance ” Yes, Prime- minister ” or ” Faulty Towers ” super old, super fun and super safe!
Around the last part of your second trimester and especially in your third trimester it is very helpful to start using maternity support belt. These belts are made to support the mother’s lower and mid part of the back, and the abdominal muscles, to alleviate the pressure on the pelvis and the hips, to relieve heaviness in the legs, to improve the posture.
These support belts will help any mother, but will be of special benefit to those women who spend longer hours standing or walking. Also if you like to exercise you can feel more supported if a belt is worn. Women carrying multiple babies often get recommendations to purchase a maternity belt because of the added stress on the body. Other women may progress through their pregnancy without ever feeling uncomfortable enough to need one. However even in that cases it might be a good idea if you are going out for longer walks and hours spent on foot to put a belt, to protect the joints. The excessive weight is putting stress on them even if the mother has no pain and does not feel heavy. I gained 9 kg during my pregnancy, had no pain , swelling or bloating in my body, but I liked wrapping the belt on when going out.
To my knowledge in ancient times Japanese pregnant women used to wrap a piece of cloth that will go around the lower part of their bellies and warp behind the lower back. They will either tie the cloth tightly on one side or even stich it.This belt is known as maternity hara obi.
Nowadays these belts are made from elastic fabric and can be adjusted to the size of the woman. There are different varieties of support belts on the market. Some are more attractive in the way they look as they like lingerie.But their support impact is much more limited than the ones, that are not so attractive in design, but have an orthopedic purpose.
I recommend these that have a narrower strap that goes under the belly and a wider strap that tightly wraps behind your lower back and around your waist line. They usually seal on one side of your tummy, where you can adjust the tightness.
After birth there is another type of belts that most of the women would like to use – these that tightly squeeze and compress the abdominal muscles to the spine. In China there is a special way of binding pieces of cloth around your abdominal area and the lower rib cage area in tight knots. The knots are tightened more with time. To get rid of excessive belly fluid a warming massage with ginger is also made before wrapping up. This technique is very much used nowadays as well.
Many lingerie makers offer that slimming post natal products in the form of underwear. They are very elegant in design and it is not a bad idea to buy one piece like that to use in certain occasions, but what will really make the belly to go back to normal and the muscles to strengthen is the orthopedic belts that are usually sold in specialized drug stores. These are the belts that are used by people who suffer from slipped disc and different lower and upper back problem. These belts are sold in sizes. Depending on your body shape you can first opt for the one that is one size under your normal measures. If you are M you go for S in the beginning. Later, in about a month it is good to change to a smaller number, in that case XS. It is good idea to start wearing these belts soon after delivery. About 4 days later might be a good time to start. The belts might not be so efficinet if you postpone using them.
And last but not the least is that belt that you might want to use as accesory. Belt is not at all about keeping your loose pants from falling. It is about emphasizing and flattering!
Listen and observe your body and it will tell you flawlessly how long in a day to wear the belt, when to change the size and when to fold it nicely in the back of your drawer and keep it to remind you of these very special times in your life.
While perhaps an embarrassing subject to address, control of the pelvic floor can help avoid a number of embarrassing situations during and after pregnancy. The pelvic floor is a line of muscles that extend from the pubic bone at the front of the body to the base of the spine in the back of the body. The pelvic floor supports the bladder, bowel and uterus making it of utmost importance during pregnancy.
As the uterus expands and the weight of the baby increases, more and more weight must be supported by the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor can become weak and stretched from as early as 12 weeks into pregnancy. Weakness in the pelvic floor can cause an expectant mother to lose control of her bladder in sneezing, coughing and other unexpected moments not only during pregnancy, but after. One third of women experience postnatal stress incontinence.
The good news is that this particular embarrassing pregnancy ailment can be avoided through exercise. One of the many benefits of pre and postnatal yoga is strengthening the pelvic floor. A strong pelvic floor is relevant during pregnancy, but also at each stage of a woman’s life. Good pelvic floor muscles may help to:
- support the extra weight of pregnancy
- reduce the pressure on the pelvis during pregnancy, preventing varicose veins, hemmorrhoids and back pain
- shorten the second stage of labor as the baby is making its way into the world
- Assist in postnatal healing of the feminine area
- Make intimacy with your partner more pleasurable all throughout life
- Avoid complications during menopause later in life
The best technique to strengthen the pelvic floor during yoga practice is to lock and release with each breath. Make sure to exercise the pelvic floor at least fifteen times with each yoga practice, if not with each breath during practice. It is just as important to be able to release the pelvic floor as it is to tighten as your muscles will need to relax once the baby’s head crowns in labor. With each lock of the pelvic floor, be sure to release fully before the next tightening. The best technique to exercise the pelvic floor during yoga practice is with the following steps:
- Lock pelvic floor
- Deeply inhale
- Release pelvic floor
- Fully exhale
Pelvic floor exercise will be most effective with daily practice. The joy of pelvic floor exercise is that it can be done anytime, anywhere. There is no excuse, ladies!
On a deeper level beyond the practical physical benefits of control in the pelvic floor, ancient yogi philosophers said that when you master the badhas, you master the yoga practice. Mula bandha, which means ‘root lock’ in Sanskrit is the principal, key and primary Bandha of the Yogic traditions. Mūla Bandha is endemic to all safe, grounded workings of body and mind disciplines. This Bandha in and of itself conditions the Muladhara Chakra, simultaneously keening, rooting and engaging the systemic plethora of processes that constitute body and mind union. Awareness in the Mula Bandha is essential to channeling energy in the Muladhara Chakra, which will lead to countless benefits of smooth energy flow along the Chakras.
It is difficult to fully illustrate the many benefits in a short article, but I hope this has scratched the surface of an intriguing topic. The area is so very private yet so very important to all of us!
-Somer Lynn (pre/postnatal course)
In pregnancy healthy and well balanced diet is very important.
Magnesium is one vital element helping for the proper functioning of our bodies, our metabolism and brain function.
It is a fact that Magnesium and its importance to the human health are slightly overlooked and people in general do not know much about it. Calcium, Iron, Iodine are more well known and mentioned more often. I have the impression that regarding Magnesium.people are far less knowledgeable
Magnesium is a mineral. It is often included in multivitamin formulas, but it is not a vitamin itself.
Magnesium is taking part in:
- Proper formation of bones and teeth - Action of heart muscle
- Relaxation of blood vessels - Promotion of proper bowel function
- Regulation of blood sugar levels - Creation of ATP (adenosine triphospate), the energy molecules of your body
Magnesium is important to health because it is used in the production of energy for the cells, in the production of proteins and in the function of body’s enzymes. It is present in more than 300 emzymes in our bodies.50% of the magnesium is contained in the bones, remaining part is distributed in the muscles and the tissues and a minimal part in the blood.In the muscles magnesium works together with calcium – magnesium relaxes the muscles while calcium causes them to contract.
A normal daily intake for women 20 years and older is between 250 – 310gr ( in pregnancy the amount is increased to 360gr)
For men in the same age group it is 400 to 420gr per day.
Deficiency in magnesium would cause:
- Muscle contractions and cramps - Abnormal heart rhythms
- Numbness and tingling - Coronary spasms
- Personality changes - Chronic Fatigue and Weakness
- Loss of appetite - Headache
- Nausea and vomiting feeling
Severe Magnesium deficiency in the body is not so common and easily done to the body, however certain medical conditions and lifestyle habits can decrease its levels. For example intestinal virus that causes vomiting or diarrhea can cause temporary magnesium deficiencies. Some gastrointestinal diseases (such as irritable bowel syndrome or IBS and ulcerative colitis), diabetes, pancreatitis, hyperthyroidism (high thyroid hormone levels), kidney disease, and taking diuretics can lead to deficiencies.
Too much coffee, soda, salt, or alcohol, as well as heavy menstrual periods, excessive sweating, and prolonged stress can also lower magnesium levels. *(Source: University of Maryland Medical Center)
In pregnancy the body needs increased amount of Magnesium to build and repair body tissues. A severe deficiency during pregnancy may lead to preeclampsia – a serious condition where the mother will often have high blood pressure and high protein count in the urine. The symptoms include sudden and sever swelling in the face, feet and hands, headache and even in rare cases blurred vision. Other complications of lack of sufficient magnesium amount in pregnancy lead to poor fetal growth, and even infant mortality.
Whole food rich in magnesium are not difficult to find. They need to be incorporated in the dietary habits in order to maintain its level suffcient . However if you doubt that you intake enough amount of Magnesium, supplements ca be taken as well. Choose a magnesium supplement that contains magnesium citrate. This form of magnesium provides a better absorption rate.
The intake amount of the Magnesium supplement however should be monitored carefully. Not exceeding the daily required levels of Magnesium is important when taking supplements. However eating magnesium rich food while taking the supplements will not result in overdose intake of Magnesium.
Rich sources of magnesium include tofu, legumes, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, wheat bran, Brazil nuts, soybean flour, almonds, cashews, blackstrap molasses, pumpkin and squash seeds, pine nuts, and black walnuts.
Other good dietary sources of this mineral include peanuts, whole wheat flour, oat flour, spinach, pistachio nuts, shredded wheat, bran cereals, oatmeal, bananas, and baked potatoes (with skin). A pleasing discovery is that the chocolate, and the cocoa powder are also sourse of magnesium.
Many herbs, spices, and seaweeds supply magnesium, such as agar seaweed, coriander, dill weed, celery seed, sage, dried mustard, basil, cocoa powder, fennel seed, cumin seed, poppy seed.*Source: University of Maryland Medical Center
During pregagncy the female body goes through immense changes. It is not only the body that changes but also the emotions, the sensitivity, even the mindset sometimes might change. However I think that your self confidence and self esteem does not have to change, or they can just change for the better
If you are used to wearing accesories, it might be very nice to wear them even more now, Use the more colorful and playful ones. Enjoy them and experiment with them. If you like to wear scarves or shawls it is elegant to wear them in pregnancy too. Scarves are a colourful decoration, and can also be used as a loose blouse hanging over your small belly in the earlier stage of your pregnancy, when your tummy is already big to zip up completely your regular jeans, but still small for the proper maternity cut trousers or skirts.
Brighter colours, tender colours or these ” make a statement” colours can make you look jolly and energetic. Can make you look happy! Depending on your taste and personality you may choose the colours that suit you best. I believe that wearing too much black, dark grey or other pale and nude colours can make you feel and probably look tired and lethargic eventually.
Later in pregnancy some investment must be made in a few pairs of maternity cut pieces. Maybe two pairs will be enough or if you need, you can buy more. You can always rent from a friend too, but the main thing is to like yourself in these clothes. It is good to choose them to your taste, not to compromise even if you have to pay a bit more. Pregnancy is a process long enough to make you feel it, realize it, understand it and appreciate it. And not as long so that to cause boredom and to discourage you. You may think it is absurd to like yourself in that shape, but you should! Because I believe if you feel happy and comfortable while pregnant, your baby will feel it, too. This feeling of confidence and joy inside you will radiate around you.
It is important to choose the materials that your clothes are made of. Especially important is the fabric of the underwear. Cotton is best. Cotton does not cause irritation to the skin and helps to prevent the development of certain types of infections as well as reduce the unpleasant feeling of heat and tightness. For the top layer of clothes, it is also good to avoid too much sintetic, especially during the summer time, or in the countries with hot climate.
Put on make up, do your hair, feel feminine and feel good! Feel good for your own sake and for the sake of your baby – it is very simple and very true – a happy mother means a happy baby! It is a natural thing, just as it is absolutely natural ( and amazing) how the female body can expand to that size known in pregnancy and then retreat back to its very normal size in no time at all. All you have to do is to feel it and enjoy it!