Kundalini yoga and mediation for fertility

January 31, 2015 23:23 by PrideAngelAdmin
Kundalini Yoga can have a 50% success rate of pregnancy after being diagnosed with unexplained infertility

The value of yoga to a woman on the infertility journey may seem evident. Yoga provides deep relaxation, improves well-being, and offers the much-needed opportunity to release the anxiety of the mind and connect with the wisdom of the body.

What you may not know is that in addition to these essential benefits, the ancient practice of Kundalini yoga and meditation can work directly with the hormonal and reproductive systems to optimize their function and increase the probability of conception. Kundalini yoga is so transformative, in fact, that after six years of helping women heal their reproductive health, I’m convinced it is the shortest path to restoring fertility.

Mind-body research has shown that tension, anxiety, and other emotional disturbances interfere with vital secretions of the pituitary gland, the master endocrine gland that affects all the body’s hormonal functions. When a woman is under stress—and you probably don’t need to be told how crippling the emotional, mental, and financial stress of infertility can be—ovulation can be delayed or suppressed altogether. Stress also changes the immunologic functioning of the cells in the reproductive tract. Studies have demonstrated that as a woman learns to modulate stress, her fertility can change.

Kundalini yoga and meditation is a powerful means of reducing stress and restoring calm to a woman struggling to conceive, and this alone can be revolutionary. But it also goes further. Kundalini yoga employs prescribed sets of postures (called kriyas) to move energy up from the root chakra of the body through all seven chakras, or energy centres. Because the first three chakras house the reproductive organs of the female body, this flow of energy is crucial to a woman’s fertility. Specific kriyas, along with a meditation practice, also work with the parts of the brain responsible for reproductive health, such as the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the pineal gland.

In the Moon Goddess fertility yoga practice I have developed for my clients, I teach a kriya to optimize the functioning of the pituitary gland. The pituitary is responsible for regulating female reproductive hormones such as LH (luteinizing hormone, which causes ovulation), FSH (follicle stimulating hormone, which matures the eggs in the ovaries), progesterone (which causes the endometrium to mature so that it can support implantation of the fertilized egg), and estrogen. In yoga, the pituitary gland is also understood to regulate a woman’s mental and emotional health, an essential element of her ability to conceive.

Alongside these fertility-enhancing yoga postures, and equally vital to healing reproductive challenges, is meditation. The Kundalini meditation practices I share with clients are prescriptive in nature, so they are designed to solve a particular problem. For my fertility clients I use a breath meditation to restore regular menstrual cycles and harmonize hormonal health. Meditation directly affects the pituitary gland, as well as the hypothalamus and the pineal gland. The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that signals the pituitary gland to release hormones. The pineal is the gland that produces serotonin, which is important for libido and well-being, and melatonin, which is connected with feelings of relaxation and is also thought to be involved in reproductive function.

Kundalini yoga and meditation work in tandem to reduce stress, improve the flow of energy to the reproductive organs, and stimulate the glands crucial for conceiving and supporting a healthy pregnancy. When combined with the personal guidance of a skilled teacher, I have found Kundalini yoga to be deeply healing. In six years I have seen a success rate of 50 percent among clients who were previously diagnosed with unexplained infertility. Within this practice lie ancient techniques that can and do help women release the pain of infertility and move beyond it into wholeness as the healthy, vital, fertile women they are.

Article: 31st January 2015 www.yogagoddess.ca

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Vouchers given to women in pregnancy help them quit smoking

January 28, 2015 21:10 by PrideAngelAdmin
Offering shopping vouchers worth a total of £400 to pregnant smokers makes them more likely to quit the habit, say researchers. They have published the results of a trial involving 600 women from Glasgow in the British Medical Journal.

More than 20% of the women offered vouchers stopped smoking, compared with 9% given normal NHS support alone. The Royal College of Midwives said incentivising healthy behaviours using money was "not ideal" - and expensive.

Women taking part in the trial had breath tests - as well as providing saliva and urine samples - to check whether they were smoking. Blood samples were monitored too.

In the randomised controlled trial, the researchers assigned the women into two groups of around 300. All were from the area covered by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, which has large pockets of deprivation. This evidence shows that the money is the hand they need to pull them out of their addiction ”

The control group were offered a face-to-face appointment with a smoking cessation adviser, as well as four follow-up phone calls and free nicotine replacement therapy for 10 weeks. The financial incentive group received that standard support - as well as £50 in their first appointment, £50 if a breath test later suggested they had stopped smoking, and then a further £100 after another 12 weeks.

The final £200 voucher was given if another breath test at 34-38 weeks in pregnancy confirmed there was no carbon monoxide exhaled. After a year, 15% of women who received the vouchers had managed to stay off cigarettes, compared with 4% in the control group. The women used the vouchers at High Street stores such as Iceland, Argos and Mothercare.

'Bribery'

The researchers from Glasgow and Stirling universities say providing the vouchers is cost-effective for the NHS, because smoking in pregnancy raises the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth.

But schemes using financial incentives to promote healthy behaviour have been criticised as "bribery" - and this remains a controversial area of research. The authors say in the BMJ: "This study provides substantial evidence of a promising and potentially cost-effective new intervention to add to health service support.

"Smoking during pregnancy remains a major health problem, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 5,000 foetuses and babies each year in the UK." "It is responsible for tens of millions of pounds in extra healthcare spending." "Receipt of financial incentives can contribute to needed household income in advance of the arrival of a baby in low-income households."

Read more ...

Article: 28th January 2015 www.bbc.co.uk

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Choosing a Fertility App to help you get pregnant quicker

January 25, 2015 22:47 by PrideAngelAdmin
There are several Fertility apps available to help you chart your basal body temperature (BBT), track cervical mucus, monitor hormonal fluctuations, help identify your fertile window and pinpoint the day of ovulation.

Some of the Best Fertility Charting Apps Available:

In no particular order, here are the 6 Fertility Charting apps that top many lists…

Women Calendar – cost $9.99 – is an iPhone app described as a “powerful Fertility Awareness tool” in its description on iTunes. Women Calendar offers a variety of different ways to view the information you input – a Calendar View, Cycles View, BBT Chart View, Forecast View, Charts View, Lists View, and Preferences View. With Women Calendar, you can use any web browser to backup/restore data on your computer too.

Kindara – cost FREE – Bloomberg TV calls this app “The Future of Reproductive Health.” Kindara offers morning temperature alarms and custom reminders, allows you to chart your BBT in Fahrenheit and Celsius, offers a community you can join for support from other Kindara users, has a custom data feature to track OPK and Pregnancy test results, or whatever data you would like remembered, and allows you to invite your healthcare practitioner to view your charts online.

Fertility Friend – cost FREE – is said to be “an advanced and comprehensive monitor of your menstrual cycle for trying to conceive or health purposes.” The Fertility Friend app offers educational resources because its primary goal is to help women feel educated and empowered (videos, tutorials, quizzes and an eBook) and is fully integrated with FertilityFriend.com (no sync or upload required). There is also an optional alarm, ability to view cycle statistics and advanced data analysis tools. This app integrates with Pregnancy tracker so that once pregnant, you can follow your pregnancy.

MyFertilityMD – cost $9.99 (for a limited time) – is described as “ the new and most innovative women’s health app” created after 10 years of medical research and touted “as effective as chemical contraception” on appcrawler.com. MyFertilityMD is unique in that it allows for charting of saliva ferning, urinary estrogen and luteinizing hormone. There are video tutorials, a knowledge center and an Ask The Doctor feature with this app, and it will be available in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.

LilyPro – cost $5.99 – is referred to as beautiful and easy. LilyPro’s additional features are the ability to track 12 upcoming cycles, keep a diary, note medications being taken, create a custom menu and track shifts in emotions or moods. It offers a light and dark screen because the makers understand how hard it can be to look at a bright white screen first thing in the morning. LilyPro also shows you detailed important values and averages of all your cycles and claims to offer prompt support.

Ovia Fertility – cost Free – Developed by Harvard researchers and fertility experts, Ovia Fertility claims to be fun, easy and the #1 most accurate fertility app. This app offers expert advice. It offers the ability to ask fertility health questions and receive personalized coaching and feedback on your tracking. It also allows for tracking of exercise, weight, nutrition, sleep, medications and blood pressure, and syncs with a few fitness tracking devices.

Article: 25th January 2015 www.prideangel.com

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Olive oil diet could increase fertility success by 40%

January 21, 2015 11:02 by PrideAngelAdmin
Olive oil is the key to a new 'fertility diet' being tested in a study involving more than 100 couples undergoing IVF.

The test diet is based on using olive oil for cooking, an olive oil-based spread and a daily supplement drink enriched with Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids for six weeks as an addition to their normal diet.

The effects on fertility will be compared to couples on a control diet of sunflower seed oil for cooking, a sunflower oil-based spread and a sham supplement drink.

The team carrying out the trial at the University of Southampton say the diet could increase pregnancy rates by up to 40 per cent, based on previous research that found increased intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fats contained in olive oil led to faster embryo development after IVF.

Article: 19th January 2015 www.dailymail.co.uk

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Acupuncture increases fertility treatment success rates

January 17, 2015 23:13 by PrideAngelAdmin
acupuncture fertility If you are receiving fertility treatments or concerned about your ability to get pregnant, consider including a natural, complementary practice thousands of years old: acupuncture.

From an Eastern perspective, acupuncture helps your body get back to a balanced state to prepare for conception. From a Western perspective, we don’t know why it works, but we see that it does.

In a study of 225 women by researchers at the University of Witten/Herdecke in Dortmund, Germany, acupuncture was combined with conventional fertility treatments. This addition of acupuncture led to a pregnancy rate of 28.4 percent – compared to a pregnancy rate of 13.8 percent among the women who used conventional treatments alone.

How acupuncture works

Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into certain locations on the body. In traditional Chinese medicine, the energy force of “chi” or “qi” is believed to flow through certain pathways in the body, called “meridians.” Acupuncture is thought to help balance the chi. There are a few scientific theories explaining chi energy and meridians , but none have been scientifically proven. Nonetheless, acupuncture has been established as a beneficial practice for many people.

Researchers have determined some of the underlying mechanism of how acupuncture works. It stimulates the release of endorphins, which reduce pain and produce a sense of well-being. Acupuncture also increases blood flow to the area, which can promote healing and improve organ function. Acupuncture also helps to reduce inflammation.

How it fits in with different fertility treatments

Women trying different fertility methods may include acupuncture. I treat some women whose approach is to try to get pregnant without taking hormones or undergoing invasive medical procedures. Other women come for acupuncture as they are undergoing a lengthy process of in vitro fertilization (IVF).

While most fertility specialists won’t treat patients unless they’ve tried unsuccessfully to conceive for six months to a year, a woman can start seeing an acupuncturist long before she hopes to get pregnant — especially if she has any fertility concerns.

Seeing an acupuncturist sooner rather than later allows for your health to be assessed over a couple of menstrual cycles. Women can start acupuncture treatment a few months before IUI (intrauterine insemination) or IVF. In general, I encourage patients to come in at least a few months before they hope to conceive.

Article: 16th January 2015 www.health.clevelandclinic.org

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Cryos have donor sperm for both treatment at a clinic and for home insemination

January 12, 2015 23:02 by PrideAngelAdmin
Cryos International Despite of the growing demand for donor sperm from every corner of the world, the world’s largest sperm bank maintain the leading position and continue to grow the donor database with qualified sperm donors. This means, that Cryos offers a large range of donor sperm that meets your type of treatment whether it is for home insemination or treatment at a clinic, and we supply donor sperm to both single women, lesbian and heterosexual couples.

We operate with a wide range of standards including UK, so if you are getting your fertility treatment at a clinic you must choose a donor with a UK standard being non-anonymous donors.

If you are not getting treatment at a clinic but want to undertake home insemination, you do not have to take the standard into consideration, but you can choose among all of our donors. If you decide to order to do home insemination, you will receive detailed instructions including information on how to handle the straw.

Cryos is customer focused, so to help you through the decision making process and getting answers to your questions, Cryos has created a Resource Centre accessible from our website. You will find films about e.g. choosing the donor, all delivery information and a comprehensive Questions & Answers-section. Additionally, a professional customer service team is ready to answer your questions via e-mail or phone. Also, Cryos does not charge any fee for pregnancy slots, so don’t worry about that cost.

Visit www.dk.cryosinternational.com/donor-sperm for more info.


Advertorial: 12th January 2015 www.dk.cryosinternational.com

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Women who are pregnant or trying to conceive should avoid all alcohol

January 9, 2015 16:01 by PrideAngelAdmin
A Labour MP is seeking better labelling of alcoholic beverages to warn pregnant women against drinking alcohol. Bill Esterson, Sefton Central MP, said one in 100 babies born every year in the UK were harmed by alcohol drunk during pregnancy.

He said current guidance was contradictory, which was causing confusion among many pregnant women. The MP said expectant mothers should not drink "at all" to avoid any potential harm to their unborn child.

He said the effect on a child could range from reduced intellectual ability and behavioural problems, to heart problems and premature death. The chief medical officer for England is currently reviewing alcohol guidelines, but Mr Esterson said this "appears to be taking a very long time".

He said current labelling on alcoholic drinks was "inadequate as well as not being universal" and proposed a mandatory system of "clear and persistent" labels to warn expectant mothers to avoid alcohol.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has said "current scientific opinion points to there being no hard evidence that very small amounts of alcohol consumption during pregnancy are harmful".

"Much scientific evidence suggests that there is no safe limit when it comes to drinking in pregnancy but sadly not everyone is aware of the dangers," he told MPs, and warned that small amounts of alcohol could cause "mild brain damage" in an unborn child.

England's Chief Medical Officer advises that women who are pregnant or trying to conceive "should avoid drinking alcohol altogether" but, if they choose to drink, should consume "no more than one or two units once or twice a week", nor get drunk.

But Mr Esterson raised concerns about the "apparent contradiction and advice given by the chief medical officer".

He said: "Now not everyone whose mother drinks during pregnancy suffers damage that affects their life chances and this is certainly not an attack on women.

"But the damage done by alcohol to too many children shows the need for action and shows that too many of us do not understand the potential risks of drinking alcohol at any point during pregnancy."

Education

His bill, he explained, would avoid "confusing or conflicting advice, whether from government or elsewhere" and introducing mandatory "clear" labelling "that cannot be easily missed and that gives the best advice".

"That advice must be not to drink at all while pregnant or trying to conceive. Such a system of labelling should be designed to help cut the number of children damaged at great cost to themselves and to society," he added.

However, the Labour MP also counselled that better labelling was "only part of the answer", and stressed the benefits of education.

Citing Canada as an example, he told MPs children as young as four are taught about the harmful impact alcohol can have on unborn babies, and that posters about Foetal Alcohol Syndrome are displayed in shops, train and airports and surgeries.

Mr Esterson called on the drinks industry to make changes to their labels without legislation, and urged the government to update its guidance.

His bill received an unopposed first reading - allowing it to proceed to the next stage - and is scheduled to be debated by MPs on 6 March 2014. However, it is unlikely to become law due to lack of parliamentary time.

Article: 7th January 2015 www.bbc.co.uk

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Pride Angel Journey - A Little Baby

January 6, 2015 22:52 by PrideAngelAdmin
lesbian parenting One of the advantages of being lesbian parents is that you can both have a go at giving birth. And having tried both, I prefer being the birthing mother than being the birthing partner. While pregnancy sickness was, quite frankly, horrific, giving birth was okay really. It went on a bit, and there was certainly a fair amount of discomfort, but I felt like I had it reasonably well under control.

Sal gave birth at home, in the birthing pool under the supervision of Susan, our midwife who had provided most of her antenatal care. No hospital, no doctors, no intervention. We had hypnobirthing and relaxing music on the I-pod, candles and lamps, a birthing ball, the pool – padded underneath with a duvet, aromatherapy oils and homeopathic remedies and reflexology techniques and yoga positions and mantras and refreshing, energising smoothies in bottles with straws.

But somehow, the contractions were just a bit much: frequent and intense and six or seven hours in – by late morning – Sal had lost the control she’d been so determined to keep. And, like a dog after a rabbit, labour sprinted on, dragging poor Sal along behind though a muddy haze of pain. Meanwhile I fussed and fretted over muddled mounds and lists of remedies and techniques, and wondered how little Luna (still only thirteen months old herself) was getting along downstairs with my brother and his partner. Susan, unperturbed by what must have presented to her as a straightforward labour, hovered calmly in the background.

Then sometime late in the afternoon – around twelve hours in – I noticed a change. The grunts and groans had a new edge. An edge of effort. Pushing. Suddenly there was more to this than supporting my wife through grim pain – we were going to have a baby, a new baby!

Little Willow (his womb name) was born at 7.25pm. He was healthy and strong and Sal was able finally (but not before a lengthy wait for the placenta) to relax on the sofa with the baby at her breast. Luna came back in and met her brother and I suddenly realised how big she’d grown over the last year. We turned the lights on and all sat around – Susan as well – eating lasagne, and despite the pool and the piles of towels and canister of Entonox, it was our living room again. And all was back to normal, except that we had another baby. A little baby.

By 11pm everyone else had gone home while the now four of us were tucked up together in our family bed. Two mummies and two babies. Two sleeping babies. And I wondered how long the peace would last.

Article: by Lindsey, West Yorkshire 6th January 2014

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Top 10 New Year tips for getting pregnant in 2015

January 3, 2015 14:11 by PrideAngelAdmin
Is your New Year Resolution to get pregnant in 2015? Have you been trying for months or even longer without success? Ever thought about giving your body a healthy boost?

Studies have shown that couples with a history of infertility, can achieve a phenomenal 80 per cent success rate if they alter their lifestyle, diet and take nutritional supplements.

Here, then, are 10 tips on diet and lifestyle to help you safeguard your fertility:

1)Have your nutritional status assessed
A visit to a nutritional therapist will set you back £50 to £80, but it is money well spent as it is thousands of pounds cheaper than the IVF route, and may do away with the need for IVF altogether. A nutritional therapist will assess your unique vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and advise you on a tailor-made programme of food supplements to bring your nutrient levels back to normal over a four-month period.

2)Load up on supplements
Because food isn't as nutrient rich as it once was, a balanced diet is not enough, and so you will need supplements.
For women unable to get a personalised nutritional programme, the following is recommended by experts: 1,000 mg of linseed or flax oil a day; 1,000 mg vitamin C a day; zinc citrate or amino acid chelate (total of 30mg of zinc a day); and a multivitamin designed for pregnancy.

3)Eat plenty of healthy fats
Not all fats are bad. The body needs essential fats - namely Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils - which are contained in oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herrings and mackerel. If you are a vegetarian, you can get them from eating certain seeds and oils such as Linseed.
Omega oils are critical for both female and male fertility; regulating fluidity of cell membranes and allowing cells to function efficiently.
Conversely, hydrogenated oils and partially-hydrogenated oils (found in crisps, margarines), as well as saturated fats (contained in meat and dairy) are to be avoided, she adds, as they block the absorption of the essential fats.

4)Weight is a fertility issue
When it comes to fertility, too thin is as bad as too fat. Being excessively underweight or overweight significantly reduces your ability to conceive.
Fat is essential to fertility and is necessary in order to ovulate. The advice of fertility experts is to eat healthily and to exercise regularly, and to aim for a body mass index (BMI) - your weight in kilograms divided by the square of your height in metres - of between 20 and 25.
For exercise, a combination of aerobics and resistance work, such as weight training, is recommended. Yoga is a great exercise for both body and mind.

5)Cut out smoking
Smoking causes high levels of cadmium, a toxic metal, in the blood, which depletes the body of zinc. Smoking has been associated with early onset of menopause in women and reduced sperm count in men.

6)Cut down on alcohol and caffeine
Studies have shown that the more you drink, the less likely you are to conceive.
One study showed that women who drank more than five units of alcohol a week (five glasses of wine) were half as likely to fall pregnant within six months as those who drank less.
There is also evidence that caffeine (even one coffee a day) significantly reduces your chances of conceiving.

7)Take a holiday
Many women fall pregnant on holiday. Why? Because this is when they relax. Stress is an enemy of fertility and anything that relieves it is encouraged. Try gentle exercises such as walking, Yoga and meditation.
Or why not even try a holistic or raw food retreat, some retreat breaks are even created specifically for fertility.

8)Try Complementary therapies
Alternative therapies - such as reflexology, homeopathy, acupuncture, massage and yoga - can help achieve the desired emotional and psychological state. They work by balancing the body’s energy pathways (meridians), which allows for effective functioning of organs and allows self- healing to take place.
In addition Complementary therapies such as Acupuncture have been shown to significantly improve the outcome of IVF treatment.

9) Better sex
All this focus on dietary and lifestyle changes can leave you forgetting that however healthily you eat and live, the most important element is sex. But not every night.
Around ovulation, sex is best undertaken once every 48 hours, so as to maintain the high quality of the sperm. But don’t forget sex is about making love, not just making babies, so keep the emphasis on having fun and maintaining a loving relationship.

10) You are what you eat
Our advice is to buy organic food where ever possible - because it's more nutrient rich and because harmful pesticides are eliminated - and to eat a variety of foods, including fish, nuts, seeds, fresh fruit and vegetables.

Zinc is a mineral which is really important for both male and female fertility. Foods rich in zinc include mangoes, pumpkin seed and fish. Oysters, esteemed for their aphrodisiac qualities, are particularly high in zinc.

After making these lifestyle changes its important to be patient - It takes three months for an egg to travel from a group of follicles to be selected as the egg that is released on a cycle. It also takes three months for a man to generate a completely new batch of sperm. Expect to wait four months before lifestyle and dietary changes have an effect. But above all keep positive.

Article: 3rd January 2015 www.prideangel.com

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Happy New Year 2015 from Pride Angel

January 1, 2015 22:47 by PrideAngelAdmin
happy new year Happy New Year 2015! to all our members and those just of you who are just starting out on your journey towards becoming parents, we send you are best wishes, love and a little bit of “Pride Angel Dust”.

We are really excited about 2015 as we are going to be introducing lots of new content and features to our website, so make sure you do come back and check them out. We have a really good feeling about this year, and that it is going to be blessed with hundreds of new Pride Angel Babies.

Article: 1st January 2015 www.prideangel.com

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