Phase 1 – I am ready, right?
Let’s do this! Are you sure? I am ready! Wait, maybe next month..
Starting or expanding your family is a big choice and it can feel like a very vulnerable time. There are so many things to consider but ensuring your body is healthy and nutrient sufficient is of prime importance. Phase 1 of our program educates and supports you through our Ideal Egg system.
Step 1: Assessing hormones and birth control status
Do you experience pain with periods, irregular periods or overly heavy or light periods? These are all things we will want to investigate to better understand your hormone levels. Even symptoms such as PMS or lack of libido can be signs that we need to investigate further. If you are on birth control we will also be addressing why you went on. The reality is that if you went on birth control to address symptoms such as heavy painful periods, acne or any other concern then those things can come back with avengence. Birth control is great at preventing pregnancy, but it does not treat symptoms of hormonal balance, it just suppresses them until a later time.
In order to assess and treat hormone levels we will use a variety of laboratory and functional tests, in addition to a very thorough intake. Herbs, vitamins, dietary modification and even bioidentical hormones are all treatment options that can be explored.
Step 2: Nutrient levels and egg quality
Babies are the cutest little parasites that you will ever encounter! Are we joking? Only kind of.. Babies truly can drain your resources if your nutrient levels are not sufficient. You will hear of the need for folate, or folic acid, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. We will help you to optimize your nutrient stores so that you can feel good throughout pregnancy and postpartum. No depleted mamas here!
In the 4 months before conception we will also be working on optimizing egg quality. Antioxidants, mitochondrial support, proper insulin support and many other nutrients go into this process. So too does a healthy, uninflamed environment.
Step 3: Getting down to business
There are a lot of subleties to sex for baby making! When should you have sex, how often? What lubricants can you use? Does the position matter? These are not silly questions and can have an impact on your conception rates. We will cover all of this and more in step 3.
For More information on this phase, and our couples approach to preconception see “I am Fertile!”
Phase 2- Keeping pregnancy positive!
You are pregnant! Congratulations! It is just so amazing how we have the ability to grow life within us. The miracle of this is something that we never take for granted. Now that you are pregnant though you probably have a lot of questions, and maybe even a few anxieties, about what you can and can’t do. What to eat, how to get symptom relief, what body care products to use and even how much tea and coffee you can drink can all come into question. We ensure this is not overwhelming for you and give you the facts!
We are also passionate about keeping pregnancy positive and reconnecting you to the fact that your body knows what it is doing and knows how to be healthy! Pregnancy is not a disease, it is a completely natural state of health! This is something that seems to be forgotten in many centres where women are constantly screened, poked, prodded and alarmed by nonissues. Now don’t get me wrong, we work closely with and value the conventional medical system, but sometimes all of the tests, procedures and warnings that come along with a healthy pregnancy can cause a lot of anxiety. We take our time to ensure that you understand what each piece of information means and how to put it into context.
In addition to these things Phase 2 also includes the following:
- Acupuncture to support implantation and early pregnancy symptoms
- Dietary plans, nutrients and herbs to safely support morning sickness, headaches, fatigue and other early pregnancy symptoms
- Access to our resource library
- Meal planning and nutrition advice to ensure you are getting what you and the baby need
- Resources and courses to prepare for labour and delivery
- Support for aches, pains, fatigue and sleep concerns
- Discussions regarding group B strep, gestational diabetes
- Meal planning and nutrition advice to ensure you are getting what you and the baby need.
- Acupuncture for physical support and preparation
In Phase 2 we are also all about labour and delivery support. Preparing the body for labour and delivery starts early in our pregnancy program. It is important to understand the evidence for your birth preferences and for us to support you as much as possible before the big day so that you can be as relaxed and confident as possible. Whether you want physical support before or during labour, acupuncture for labour preparation or even just mental emotional support, we are here. Our team of care providers also include doulas, who are there with you throughout your pregnancy, during delivery and in the postpartum period. We literally have you covered every step of the way!
Phase 3- Postpartum and Babies first year
The baby is here! The fourth trimester, although an incredibly exciting time, can also be a time of hormonal rollercoasters, anxiety, baby blues, conflicting advice and unnerving physical changes. It is also a time where the not so easy ‘natural act’ of breastfeeding is being established and where you are coming to try to understand your new babies cues. Although it is easier when you have a large support team, this period is still challenging. Our team at AWH is here to take your concerns about health off of your hands so that you can focus on yourself and your small human.
Your baby will also go through an enormous amount of changes in the first year! Growing, developing neurological and sleep patterns, teething, crawling, and eating solids are just a few of the developments that you will face. Health challenges such as colic, reflux, cradle cap, colds and flus, food sensitivities and much more can also come up. A healthy baby also means a happy mama and happy mama’s are what we do!