At HealthWise, we work a lot with women and their partners going through assisted fertility treatments, including IVF*. A lot of our patients come for acupuncture, particularly in the lead-up to and during a stimulation cycle, as well as at pickup and transfer (you can read more about how we treat here).
Acupuncture has become increasingly well known and accepted for its valuable role in fertility treatment. At the clinic, we also use herbal medicine in preconception and fertility support, and always counsel our patients about the vital importance of diet and lifestyle for a successful and healthy pregnancy.
Eating well should form an important part of any healthy lifestyle pattern, and it is absolutely crucial when planning to conceive or while currently pregnant.
There are some excellent resources for fertility-supporting recipe ideas, including the HealthWise Recipes page.
There is also a great site called Cooking for Fertility (where I’ve pinched that yummy looking food pic from) that is exploding with nutritious, balanced and nurturing recipes.
A Dutch study recently published in Human Reproduction spent three years monitoring over one thousand couples going through assisted fertility treatment (in this case IVF/ICSI). The study found that couples given preconception health counselling – which included the promotion of a healthy diet, ceasing smoking, cutting down alcohol and increasing regular exercise – prior to fertility treatment had a better pregnancy rate than those that didn’t. There was a whopping 65% increased rate of successful pregnancy in couples following these recommendations.
That information is exciting! It’s exciting because the number looks impressive, but it’s also exciting because diet and lifestyle are factors directly under your control.
Someone like me can, and happily will, provide support, advice and education to help set you on the right track. However, armed with this knowledge, you can take this away and put simple but abundantly healthy practices gradually into your daily routine. Not only is this beneficial for pregnancy outcomes, but will provide a foundation for the healthy example you set for your children.