For women who are pregnant or trying to conceive, the Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine offers a number of strategies for optimizing a woman’s health before, during, and after her pregnancy. We recommend the following strategies to women who want to experience a successful pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby.
At the Kaplan Center, we recommend that women who are undergoing in-vitro fertilization consider whole system, traditional Chinese medicine (WS-TCM) as an adjunct treatment to increase their chances of pregnancy.
WS-TCM is a multi-disciplinary intervention that can include acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, nutritional supplementation, and dietary/lifestyle recommendations based on the individual’s specific presentations. Medical research has shown that WS-TCM when combined with IVF, was associated with greater odds of live birth in donor and non-donor cycles.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
We sometimes find that patients who are having difficulty getting pregnant have been living with hormonal imbalances that have never been properly diagnosed, such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is an ovulatory disorder that makes it more difficult to lose weight and become pregnant (Semin Reprod Med. 2008 Jan). The Kaplan Center offers a number of alternative and conventional treatments for hormone replacement, including prescription medications, bio-identical hormones, herbal remedies, acupuncture, and lifestyle changes such as dietary improvements, regular exercise and relaxation. Kaplan Center physicians are skilled in identifying hormonal problems. If you are having trouble getting pregnant, your Kaplan Center doctor may explore the need for hormone replacement therapy with you.
Most pregnant mothers make a point of eating well because they understand that what mom eats, baby eats. But proper nutrition prior to getting pregnant is also critical to getting pregnant and delivering a healthy baby.
Clinical research has demonstrated that the quality of the hopeful mother’s diet can have a large impact on her chances of becoming pregnant. The woman’s weight also affects her ability to conceive. Whereas underweight prospective mothers may not have enough nutrient stores to ovulate or become pregnant, overweight women may experience hormonal changes that lower fertility.
Osteopathic Manual Therapy (OMT)
OMT throughout pregnancy can help a woman’s body more easily accommodate the growing life within. Furthermore, by alleviating many of the typical muscular and myofascial stresses of pregnancy, OMT can facilitate an easier delivery. Finally, continued treatment after delivery, while the ligaments involved in the pregnancy are still loose, encourages more rapid healing of the muscle and connective tissue, and can even lead to the correction of prior structural imbalances that may have existed in the mother’s body.
For women having difficulty conceiving, sometimes the biggest roadblock to getting pregnant is their emotional state and stress level. The Kaplan Center’s psychotherapist, Jodi Brayton, can equip individuals with meditation and stress reduction techniques in order to more effectively manage stressful life situations, allowing their minds and bodies to prepare for pregnancy.
The Bottom Line: If you’re trying to get pregnant, work with a medical team that understands the important role nutrition and stress management play in increasing your chances of conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy.
We’re here for you, and we want to help. Our goal is to return you to optimal health as soon as possible.