Thursday, April 15, 2010

An Article I wrote:Getting Pregnant after the age of forty

Getting Pregnant after Forty:

“Impossible”, I hear you say? Well, actually it isn’t. In fact many more women are embarking upon their childbirth journey after the age of forty, just as I did, giving birth to a beautiful healthy boy, at age 41 and a half.

Getting pregnant and staying pregnant after the age of forty doesn’t have to be as difficult as we are led to believe. Many women are able to get pregnant within six months of trying to conceive. For some it takes longer. It took me seven months. But there are many secrets to gaining a healthy pregnancy at any age.

We all know how important a healthy diet is at any time of our lives, but when it comes to conceiving a healthy baby, it is ALL important. As well as cutting out all junk food it is imperative to clean up your diet and exclude any chemicals and additives.

Your diet should consist of whole foods, preferable organic seasonal foods. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables, and limit your intake of processed foods, especially white carbohydrates which essentially amount to empty calories. Foods that are high in beta-carotene and antioxidants are really important for a healthy reproductive system. So look for highly coloured fruits and vegetables, especially super foods like blueberries which are very high in anti-oxidants. Other berries like goji berries are great in smoothies and will give a great anti-oxidant hit to your diet.
Go easy on fats and sugar, and stick to clean, lean meats. Fish is fantastic, but be sure to pick species that won’t be high in heavy metals – something you want to avoid when you are trying to conceive. Small deep ocean fish are your best bet such as wild salmon, trout, sardines, herring, John Dory, monkfish and halibut.
You will need to avoid trans fat, so stay away from fast food, processed snack foods and anything deep fried. It is important to consume healthy oils like olive oil, rice bran oil and coconut oil. Preferably cold pressed, extra virgin and organic wherever possible.
One of the best ways to ensure that you are doing the best for your diet is to avoids anything that comes out of cans, boxes, and plastic packaging. Try to buy your food in as close to its natural packaging as possible. Your local grower’s market is the best place to find season fruits and vegetables.

But what about supplements? Well, supplementing with certain superfoods and vitamins can make all the difference to your eggs and your partner’s sperm. Maca, a super food used for centuries by people of the Andes, is packed full of nutrients and protein and is great for fertility. Many women swear it helped them to conceive.
Sperm and egg production will benefit from antioxidants vitamins A,C and E, and zinc is imperative for renewing cell growth. CoQ10 is a vitamin like compound which plays a key role in producing energy in the mitochondria, essential for cell reproduction.
We all know that we should take Folic acid when trying to conceive, but recent studies show that taking double the dose (800mg per day) helps keep your eggs young. Dehydroepinadrosterone (DHEA) supplementation improves pregnancy chances in women with diminished ovarian reserve (DOR), by possibly reducing defects in chromosomes.You will need to dee your Doctor about using DHEA as it isn’t always available without a prescription.
Amino acids like L-Arginine and L-carnitine are also important for building protein and reducing oxidative stress.
Fish oil, a wonderful source of omega three fatty acids are essential for good health and to keep hormone levels healthy.

You may think that with a clean and healthy diet you don’t need to supplement with vitamins. Think of it as an insurance policy. You want to give yourself every chance of conceiving a healthy baby and those extras might just tip the balance in your favour.

Alternative Therapies:
If you want to stay away from the big guns of IVF and fertility drugs there are many alternative therapies to consider.

I used acupuncture before conceiving my son. The ancient Chinese system of medicine uses tiny needles to help unlock the blockages in your chi (energy flow) and in turn can help with any ailments, minor or major. For many people these blockages can cause ill-health and even work detrimentally against your fertility. I don’t know if the acupuncture allowed me to get pregnant easily, but I do know I looked forward to every session as it made me feel incredibly relaxed and happy.

Naturopathy and herbal medicines also have much to offer the over forties trying to conceive. A qualified naturopath may find that you have allergies or imbalances that need to be tweaked before you become pregnant. The chaste berry herb, also known as “vitex” has been used extensively by women to normalise hormones, and your naturopath will be able to tell you if this herb will help you too.

Reflexology involves massaging the parts of the feet to encourage benefits for different parts of the body. Each part of the feet and toes directly relates to a part of the body. Pressure applied on the feet corresponds with particular organs and glands, and can restore balance and health to those parts. Many women trying to conceive enjoy reflexology regularly, benefiting in their health and finding it extremely relaxing.

Mayan abdominal massage is centered around the ancient Mayan techniques, which reposition organs that have dropped and restricted the flow of blood and energy. This technique is especially helpful to women who may have prolapse or other stuctual defects of the uterus.

And if all else fails, then modern medicine has much to offer the over forties. It is certainly not just a dream. You too can have a much wanted baby, even if your age is over forty. Creating the perfect environment in your body is the perfect place to start.

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