I’m renowned as a book nerd by those that know me best. I Read A Lot is a semi-regular feature on the blog in which I share with you what I currently have my nose buried in.
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One of the preparations that Papa M and I have decided to make in order to conceive is to investigate Traditional Chinese Medicine. Being the planner that I am, I have been reading TTC (trying to conceive) forums for nigh on a year, knowing that we were going to try for children shortly after we got married. I am 27 and Papa M is 29, and we would not want to leave it too much later given my medical diagnosis. One of the things that kept coming up time and time again was acupuncture and TCM (traditional chinese medicine) and this particular book was the star – “Making Babies – a proven 3-month program for maximum fertility”. Sounds perfect, right?
One of the links that the women on the forums provided was a link to Dr Sami David’s website, where there was a quiz on your fertility type. I completed the online quiz and it told me I was TIRED, and also WATERLOGGED. Anyone who knows me in real life will be like “No sh*t” – it was pretty accurate in pinpointing my general problem areas. This taste led me to be hungry for more information and soon the book was purchased off Amazon and was on the way to me! I have huge problems with exhaustion and with water retention – what did this mean?
The book arrived and while I was surprised by how thick it was, the information was really easy to digest. There is a huge amount of information in the book covering the basics of what modern fertility medicine (IVF and the assorted fertility drugs available to the market) and it talks through the pros and cons, giving what I would suggest is a largely balanced viewpoint. I think it’s really useful to have that information if that is a road that we have to travel down in future. It also has an entire section dedicated to getting pregnant naturally – the information that is useful to anyone wishing to have a healthy pregnancy, not just those who are struggling with fertility. It covers everything from the basics of how to get pregnant, through to de-stressing and important fertility nutrients.
After reading through this, it was time to check out what the book had to say on my specific fertility types. Some key phrases that leapt out at me in the Tired section were:
- “Tired people are, above all, tired”
- “Tired people are often cold… They feel chilly even when those around them are warm. They complain especially of cold hands and feet”
- “Tired people are extremely sensitive to sugar, so they often use it to give themselves energy. But they get trapped in a negative cycle, craving carbs when they are tired and then, when they indulge, riding a roller coaster as their blood sugar surges and crashes”
- “Many Tired people put on weight easily, particularly when they are fatigued or under stress, and many are chronically overweight. They tend to retain water…”
Sounded familiar! Onto the Waterlogged section:
- “Their body tends to react to irritation by producing extra mucus”
- “Many Waterlogged people complain that they retain water or put on weight easily. [emphasis own] The most significant symptoms pointing towards the Waterlogged type are polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)…”
- “Waterlogged people are prone to various kinds of inflammation, and many complain of painful joints; heavy, aching legs; or headaches that feel like a tight band wrapped around the head”
- “Waterlogged people are also prone to metabolic disorders and being overweight. They may also have poor insulin metabolism”
- “…and they are prone to over-thinking things (my Mum will get a nice laugh at the last one)
Yup. Pretty much describes me too! The book then goes on to say that most women with PCOS will be both Tired and Waterlogged – good to know I’m a pretty typical case. In saying that, there are many more indicators for both Tired and Waterlogged, and you may be one of these. You may also be a different fertility type entirely, being Stuck, Pale or Dry! It’s worth finding out. So knowing this, what’s the next step?
The book then addresses the medical (including hormonal and endocrine) issues that stem from each of these fertility types. I was under the illusion that I was a bit of an expert in my condition (having lived with the diagnosis for eight years) but I learnt much more from this section. They provide some syndrome-specific steps that you can take and provide you with case studies of how these steps improved the fertility of their patients.
The final step in the book is the Making Babies Fertility Type prescription. This includes specific foods to eat and to avoid, the type of exercise and lifestyle that you should be focusing on, supplements, modern medical assistance you should get, chinese medicine and help-yourself fertility strategies. I think that the explanations in this section are really good – they don’t just tell you to do it, they give you reasons why. While we’re not in what the book addresses as the pre-mester (the three months before you try to get pregnant), I am already trying to institute the following (because, quite frankly, who doesn’t want to feel better?)
- Drinking green tea – a natural diuretic, also many other beneficial properties for Waterlogged people. The book also has a delicious spicy green fertili-tea recipe I’d like to make
- Yoghurt, while avoiding other dairy products. After talking with The Collective on Twitter, they informed me that there is very little lactose in their drinking yoghurt and I’ve been able to stomach it (literally) with no problems
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Most waterlogged people, ironically, are chronically dehydrated. The water helps to flush out retained fluids
- Limit stress – yes, I laughed when I first read this one too! But it’s got to the point that my work life is no longer fun or funny and I’ve got meetings later this week to discuss this. There’s something inherently wrong when your mother is terminally ill with cancer and yet that isn’t the most stressful thing in your life
- Keep a regular schedule – especially with bedtimes and bedtime routines
- Keep warm – keep your feet warm with slippers and socks
There is so much more in this book than I could ever explain in a blog post and I think it’s useful reading for any women who is looking for alternatives to the modern medical system – although again, I must reiterate that they doctors involved in writing this book definitely believe that it has a place in the process. I’d definitely consider it one of the vital tools in my arsenal, moving forward into this exciting time!
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