Belief in your body’s innate power plus a little help from alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, can greatly assist you when trying to conceive.
Research has found that acupuncture does have an effect on outcomes when trying to conceive through in vitro fertilization. Dreaming of Baby discusses alternative therapies with Aimee Raupp, a women’s health, and fertility expert.
Daniela: Good morning and welcome to Dreaming of Baby! Today we have with us Aimee Raupp, women’s health and fertility expert and author of ‘Yes, You Can Get Pregnant’. It’s a pleasure to have you with us today Aimee; we’re looking forward to what you have to share on the subject of IVF. Before we start with our discussion, it would be great if you could introduce yourself and your work in this field to our readers.
Aimee Raupp: Thank you so much for having me. As mentioned, I am in the field of helping women reawaken their health and fertility. I have been in clinical practice as a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine for almost 15 years and I have helped thousands of women on their path to motherhood. I wrote ‘Yes, You Can Get Pregnant’ because I saw the need to inspire hope and empower women to take back the power over their health & fertility.
Being in control of your own health and well-being
Daniela: You note that the aim of the book is help woman ‘take back the power’. Based on your experience working with these women, what is it exactly that women today are losing control of?
Aimee Raupp: The ability to believe in their body. They are handing it over to their doctors, the media, and the latest information, rather than tuning in and reconnecting to their health. Your fertility is an extension of your health.
Daniela: This is indeed insightful. Receiving a diagnosis that your fertility outlook is poor can be devastating. For the woman who has just been given this news, what is the first step that she should be ideally pursuing in realizing her dream of parenthood, whilst still being in charge of her own health choices?
Aimee Raupp: Absolutely, it can be devastating. But no woman is just her test results or her AMH or FSh. And in fact, these tests are very vague indicators of fertility. What a woman should be focused on is her overall health – how does she feel every day, how does she sleep, how does she manage her stress, how does she digest her food, how are her periods and her PMS? These are all indicators of overall health and when the body is in optimal health, fertility thrives. This is regardless of age and of test numbers. Added to this, her emotional state is extremely important here. There’s a lot of science and research supporting the fact that what we believe (or don’t believe) about our bodies (i.e. I’m broken, I can’t get pregnant), influences our brain chemistry and influences our physiology. Basically, our beliefs become self-fulfilled prophecies. It’s so powerful and I do a lot of work with my clients and readers on this topic as well. Part of taking back the power is beginning to believe in your ability to get and stay pregnant. It’s such a monumental topic that my forthcoming book, Body Belief, is all about our beliefs and how to shift them to reawaken our health.
Aimee Raupp: “Part of taking back the power is beginning to believe in your ability to get and stay pregnant.”
Daniela: Thank you for this insight, Aimee. Taking back that power you so fittingly speak about can be quite the challenge, how would you assist a woman in regaining her belief in what her body can do?
How to embrace your body’s power
Aimee Raupp: I guide woman on all the ways they can optimize their health now – diet supplements, and mindfulness. From that place, as they begin to see their health shift and their mindset shift, they begin to believe again or for the first time. My goal is to get my clients to focus on all the ways their body does work and to trust that their body has the innate wisdom to also work in the fertility department. They just need to begin to support it properly. When hormones are balanced, health and fertility thrive.
Alternative Therapies and IVF
Daniela: Since our focus today is on IVF, what role do these methods play once a woman decides to embark on the IVF journey? What kind of support should she be seeking?
Aimee Raupp: I think it’s all the same, regardless of how you go about conceiving. For IVF especially, there’s a lot more stress and pressure on the process, so nourishing and supporting one’s body on every level – mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually – is of utmost importance. The focus should be on optimizing egg quality and the quality of the uterine environment, just as it would be in a natural attempt at pregnancy. The preconception period is key. Eating lots of fat and protein and veggies, as well as managing stress and working on shifting beliefs from a place of doubt and fear to a place of peace and hope, is key too. Making sure she is working with a doctor that she feels believes in her is also key. Added to this, that she and her partner (if she’s partnered) are on the same page and still practicing acts of intimacy and love leading up to the IVF is important. As I always say, babies are made out of love.
Aimee Raupp: “For IVF especially, there’s a lot more stress and pressure on the process, so nourishing and supporting one’s body on every level – mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually – is of utmost importance.”
Daniela: That’s very encouraging, thank you for the tips you are sharing with our readers. As a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine, can this – or is this – usually connected to the IVF process in any way? Are there options within Chinese Medicine that can have an effect on outcomes?
Aimee Raupp: Absolutely. As a practitioner of TCM I use not only diet and lifestyle modifications but acupuncture and often Chinese herbs. Acupuncture, in particular, can improve circulation and blood flow throughout the entire body and improve fertility and in regard to IVF, it can definitely improve outcomes. I believe a handful of small research studies show that acupuncture before and after an IVF transfer can improve success rates by about 40%.
Daniela: That’s impressive! What kind of other IVF complementary therapies do you usually suggest to the women or couples who seek your advice? Is there anything specific that can also help males mentally and emotionally cope with the process?
Aimee Raupp: I think meditation and visualization are supremely important for both males and females in this process, as well as diet, supplements and moderate exercise (30 minutes, 3-4 times per week). Eating organic and grass fed and high fat diets are important as well to make good quality eggs and sperm. Sleeping 7-8 hours each night is key, as is managing stress as best you can and reconnecting to the WHY behind making a baby.
Daniela: Thank you, Aimee! What would be that one piece of advice that you’d always share with someone on this journey, with the aim of empowering them further?
Aimee Raupp: I think it would be to always have hope. And know that if there is a calling for you to have a baby, then there is a baby for you. You have the power to improve your health and optimize your fertility.
Daniela: Thank you for your time today, Aimee!