More and more women are having trouble conceiving. Maybe it is because we are settling down later, the lifestyle we are leading or simply the stress of modern day life, whatever the reason, trying to get pregnant can be a very frustrating journey. (Trust me, I know!)
If you have been trying to get pregnant for a long time with no success, it can be incredibly disheartening. Especially when everyone else around you seems to be having babies left right and center. If you are not ready to take the step towards IVF yet, here are some alternate ways to help you get pregnant.
(Try to keep an open mind, some of these methods just might surprise you and help you start the amazing journey to motherhood.)
My father is a Western medical doctor, so needless to say I didn’t grow up taking Chinese Medicine. In fact, I was never a fan - It smells, it doesn't taste great and it doesn’t exactly look appetizing. My impression of Chinese Medicine was a mixture of old wives tale and some smelly herbs, but oh was I wrong.
The power of Chinese Medicine has completely changed my view, even though it still smells and it still doesn't taste great, but I am completely converted into a believer. As I know what kind of benefit it has and it is all worth it.
What it did for me
My period was not regular; my cycle varied from 28 days to 34 days depending on stress or diet. I never thought much about it but it is actually a sign of an imbalance in your body. I sometimes will miss my fertility window, as I cannot time it accurately compare to those who have regular periods.
After taking Chinese Medicine, it helped me regulate my period and they weren't as painful. With Chinese Medicine though, you have to be patient and it normally takes at least 3 - 6 months for it to take effect. Chinese medicines are all natural herbs and roots, so it is not like a Paracetamol that takes an effect after half an hours. It is a long and painful process at times, but it is effective and it will benefit you in the long run.
There are two types of Chinese Medicine on the market. The old school type where they will give you the herbs to boil it yourself or they can boil it for you into a soup form, or the newer method which are just packs of powders that you mix with hot water. Both are effective, some might argue that the traditional way is better, but some thinks the powder form is as effective but more convenient. I personally have tried both.
I found the powder form easier to travel with, so no matter if you are out late with your friends or travelling to a different country, you simply have to put that in your bag and go. However, after 3 months, I did change to the traditional method, because I prefer the doctor I am seeing now. The most important thing is finding a doctor that you are comfortable with. The first one I saw is actually quite famous and well respected within his field, however, our personality clashed and I didn’t feel comfortable with him. His style is blunt and straight to the point, which as a result lacks empathy. I was feeling vulnerable and upset enough as it was with this whole process, so the last thing I wanted to hear was harsh comments on how weak my body was and how hard it will be for me to conceive.
The second Chinese doctor I saw is a woman, and she is great. She is very motherly, warm and soft-spoken, and simply just what I needed at my vulnerable state. Even though she is very popular with a huge waiting list to see her each day, she will never make you feel rushed. She will take the time to explain everything to you, which I really liked. She is also very encouraging, so even when you are on the verge of giving up, she is like your personal cheerleader to cheer you on with the process, which I found extremely helpful.
If you don’t live in Hong Kong and want to see a Chinese Doctor in your country, I will recommend going to more reputable brands and try them out, such as Beijing Tong Ren Tang Chinese Medicine. Or if you have friends who can recommend you to someone they have tried before, even better.
CUT OUT COLD DRINKS
This might seem like an odd one for those who did not grow up in an Asian household, but it is actually very common amongst the Chinese. This belief of not drinking cold drinks stems from Chinese medicine.
According to ancient Chinese medicine, drinking a glass of warm water in the morning helps kick-start the digestive system. Hot and warm water is believed to aids blood flow, resulting in better blood circulation. Which helps detoxify your body and reduce painful contractions of muscles. If you have menstrual cramps next time, try drinking some hot water instead of cold water, you will notice that it will ease the pain.
The philosophy behind Chinese medicine has a lot to do with balance. If your body is too 'hot' or too 'cold', it creates an imbalance causing your body to react. So if your body is too 'hot', you are more prone to have spots or have a sore throat. On the other hand, is your body is too 'cold', you are prone to have bad digestive systems, and poor blood circulation. Hence why it is believed that drinking a lot of cold drinks is not great for the female reproductive system.
Both the Chinese doctors I have seen told me that my womb has to be 'warm' in order to have a successful pregnancy, especially during the first trimester. That is why Chinese doctors will also recommend you cut out 'cold' food to help your womb be a more welcoming environment for the fetus to grow.
What it did for me
I never use to believe drinking cold water is bad for the female reproductive system, but I do now. When I was first trying to get pregnant, I didn't change my diet but just had more unprotected sex thinking it will do the trick. Unfortunately, it did not, so I started exploring different avenues. My aunt was actually the first person to tell me to cut out cold drinks if you want to get pregnant, so eventually, I listened.
During the last year I was trying, I did cut drinking cold drink to a minimum. Even though it was hard at first, especially during the summer, you do get used to it after awhile. If you find it hard, try drinking room temperature water first, then after you are used it, switch to drinking warm and hot water. In addition, I found drinking more hot or warm water really helped with my digestive system, I had fewer stomach cramps and my bowel movements were better - so it is something easy to do and worth trying.
The first thing you might ask is, what is Reiki? Reiki is basically energy healing. It can be a hard concept to grasp as it is not something you can see but something you feel. If you believe in spirituality and past lives, this option might interest you.
Reiki was founded in Japan by Master Usui in 1920s, since then there have been lots of different strands of Reiki practitioners, as Reiki was traditionally passed down from teachers to students without writing it down. This has changed drastically now with books on the market and courses you can take to become a Reiki practitioner yourself.
Like many things in life, it is about finding the right Reiki master for you. I am lucky enough to have a good friend who is a Reiki master, who introduced me to the world of Reiki. So I didn't have to go around searching for the right Reiki master to help me with my healing process. There are Reiki masters around in Hong Kong, but the only way to know if they are right for you is to book a session with them and see how you feel during and after the session.
If you want to book a session with my friend Jan, please feel free to contact me. She isn't based in Hong Kong, but if there are enough inquiries I can organise for her to fly over to do sessions for you.
What it did for me
I strongly believe that this pregnancy was due to the help of Reiki. Even though I am new to this world, it is an experience that changed my life for the better.
My Reiki sessions helped me release my blockages within my body. Blockages are caused by my past experiences and suppressed emotions, surprisingly most of my blockages are around my womb area, which explained why I was having such a difficult time conceiving. I am quite receptive towards Reiki, and with only 3 Reiki sessions, I finally got pregnant.
To read my full Reiki experience please read my blog posts, My first Reiki Experience, and Reiki Baby.
Meditation is a great way to clear your mind and destress, especially after a busy day at work. A lot of people find meditation very hard, as they find it hard to switch off their mind. (This is very normal.) My mother has been telling me to meditate since I was a teenager and only recently have I been practicing it on a regular basis.
There are lots of different type of meditations, the trick is finding the right one for you. Some people prefer guided meditation, where there is step by step instructions to help you focus. Some are more drawn towards sound meditation, such as crystal bowl therapy or gong meditations because the vibration of the sound help them get into the right state of mind. Here are just a couple of examples of different type of meditation methods, but there are many more out there.
Don't be afraid of trying different ways of meditating, sometimes it is worth mixing it up and trying different method depending on your mood and state of mind. You will notice quite quickly which ones work better for you and which ones don't. Also, be patient, meditation isn't a race, some people can do it for longer, some can't. If you find it hard to get into that, don't stress out. Even if you can only do it for 30 seconds each time, that is already a great start.
What it did for me
I have always thought meditation was the most boring thing on earth, but that was because I didn't find the right way to meditated until recently. My mind drifts off quite easily so I really like guided meditations, as they help me focus. Instead of just sitting in silence, I can concentrate on listening to the instruction of what to do next.
Some people are a strong believer of sitting whilst meditating, but I actually prefer lying down. When I am sitting down, I sometimes get distracted and start thinking about my posture, or get pins and needles in my legs as they have been crossed for a while. So lying down actually take these distractions away so I can concentrate on my breathing and clearing my mind.
During the last month before I got pregnant, I was listening to a lot of guided prenatal meditation on Spotify or Youtube. I did go through quite a few of them, as I found some worked better for me than others. These guided meditations were all targeting to get your wombs ready for pregnancy. I found them very soothing and I always felt more positive and calm afterward.
A crystal is a mineral in its most stable form. Crystals have a recognisable internal structure made up of repeating arrangements of atoms, known as crystal lattice. Healers use crystals to balance the body using the healing properties of gemstones and crystals. For thousands of years, ancient civilizations have utilized the power of crystals to release mental, physical and spiritual blockages, thus facilitating the free flow throughout the body. On a cellular level, our bodies and quartz crystal are both made up of mineral silicon-dioxide. Because of this, we are naturally receptive to the vibrations of crystals as they transmit, reflect, store light and receive energy. When crystals are placed directly on your body, they have a powerful vibratory effect that surges from the crystal to you.
What it did for me
If you asked me a year ago if I believed in the energy of crystals, I will say hell no. However, I am now a complete convert. I have a mini collection at home where I pick and choose the crystal depending on my needs.
I haven't been to a crystal healing session yet. However, I love using them when I meditate. Some people like huge crystals in the house, but I actually prefer the small ones where I can hold or wear. During the time I was trying to get pregnant, my friend Jan gave me my starter crystal set, one in particular, was very special to me. It's a double terminated clear quartz with a little quartz stuck to it. (Just like a mummy and child) She believed it will help me get pregnant, and I used it every night to meditate before I was pregnant and throughout my first trimester. It is impossible to prove this did or did not help, but if you have ever felt the energy of crystals, you will believe that it will.
The first time I can really feel the energy of the crystal at work was after my reiki session with Mohana. When I needed grounding, she gave me a tiger eye and smokey quartz to hold to help me and I really felt their energy calming me down. To read more about my full experience with Mohana, please read my blog post - Reiki Baby.
The above 5 methods are things I did to help me get pregnant, and they worked wonders for me. I hope they will be able to help you too. I am sure other mothers have tried other ways if so I would love to hear more about it. If you are still trying, hang in there. Your journey might not be as smooth and fast as others, but all our journey are different. Keep an open mind and just keep trying, you will get there in the end. Good luck!
Sending you love and positive thoughts,