After having a miscarriage or multiple miscarriages, often the first line of enquiry is of a medical nature which is important in helping us to find a reason as to why we are miscarrying.
However, some women may find holistic options can help them feel nurtured and empowered on their journey to future pregnancy.
Sometimes a medical reason will be found that can be treated and resolve the issue – eg an autoimmune or clotting disorder or a chromosomal translocation. In other cases, many women will be told their miscarriages have unknown causes, making them feel powerless and unsure of what to do next.
It is at this point that some women will look to treatment through holistic options as a way to try to heal their bodies and give future pregnancies a better chance of being healthy and successful. Often women need to feel like they are doing ‘something’ to give them a sense of control at a time where they seemingly have none.
Even if a medical reason has been found for your miscarriages, supplementing any pharmaceutical treatment with natural methods such as acupuncture or even yoga, can be extremely beneficial both physically and emotionally.
In addition to the natural treatments we have outlined below, many women and their partners also make dietary and lifestyle changes to support these treatments as a means of ‘detoxing’ their bodies. This can include avoiding all alcohol and caffeine, eating mostly whole foods and fresh fruit and vegetables. Healthy fats and oils are also encouraged and of course super green smoothies. Vitamin supplements such as Menevit for men are proven and recommended to improve sperm quality, and for women, aside from well-known folic acid, Co-enzyme Q10 can be beneficial to egg quality.
The process of conception is often compared to planting seeds in a garden, whereby the foundation soil – ie the health of both the mother and father – needs to be as healthy and nutrient dense as possible to support a viable pregnancy.
Chinese Medicine (TCM) – herbs
Traditional Chinese Medicine is more commonly known for its use in infertility, however it is also very valuable in pre-conception health for achieving and maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Chinese medicine uses specifically combined plant and mineral products that act as a powerful medicine for the body. It is able to stimulate your body’s natural fertility cycle (eg promote ovulation, thicken uterine lining), and improve sperm health.
Chinese medicine can also be used to assist conditions such as decreased ovarian reserve, elevated FSH, endometriosis, irregular periods, luteal phase defect and PCOS.
Acupuncture improves the blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, stimulates the endocrine system and improves hormone balance, and thickens the uterine lining, helping to prevent miscarriage. As well as this, and quite importantly, acupuncture promotes a positive and relaxed state of mind.
Research also supports that acupuncture treatment is extremely beneficial for women who are undergoing IVF and can significantly improve pregnancy rates.
For more information, visit the acupuncture pregnancy website.
My Pregnancy Journey
After experiencing two miscarriages, I was so completely sick with grief that I was unable to cope. Desperate for answers and being an advocate for natural/alternative therapies, the next week I scheduled an appointment with Jess, an acupuncturist, and the darkness I was experiencing started to get a little brighter.
Naturopathy in a fertility and miscarriage prevention sense focuses mainly on pre-conception care and doing everything we can to promote a successful pregnancy outcome. Its role is to ensure there is an adequate supply of nutritional factors essential for healthy sperm and eggs, and therefore fetal development.
The generation of eggs and sperm takes approximately 3 months, so it is therefore vital that pregnancy preparation is undertaken for that length of time. Naturopathic medicine works on the premise that the body can heal itself and that certain dietary and lifestyle changes, plus specific herbs and nutrients can create the optimum environment for a successful conception and pregnancy outcome.
For more information, please read our article, Seeing a Naturopath for Miscarriage.
What yoga offers above all else is relaxation. Classically, yoga is said to ‘quiet the mind’ by focusing on the breath and the self and bringing us back into the present. It helps to stretch and activate your body, send feel-good hormones to your brain and can help alleviate anxiety. As well as this, yoga improves blood flow around the body, therefore also increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs. It is extremely valuable in aiding your emotional wellbeing after a miscarriage and as you are trying to conceive again.
Reiki is a healing technique based on the principle that a therapist can channel energy into their patient by means of touch to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body and restore physical and emotional well-being. Reiki practitioners often work with chakras, the energy centres of the body that are all linked to different emotional, mental and physical states of wellbeing. Unblocking these chakras can put us on a path to being the happiest and healthiest we can be.
Of course looking into holistic options for miscarriage management cannot guarantee a healthy pregnancy, however anything we can do to improve our physical and emotional wellbeing will be positive both while trying to conceive and as we head into pregnancy and beyond.