Suggestion and intention are powerful. I believe the universe will only support us if we do the work, focus our energy in the direction we would like it to flow.
Practical and Spiritual
This idea of conscious conception can go two ways – the more practical side of things is that as a woman, when we are aware of our fertile patterns, we can decide if and when we try to become pregnant. Knowing this, we can be more mentally, emotionally and physically healthy and prepared to become a parent before we become pregnant. In Ayurveda, there is even understanding of which day of the cycle to try to conceive for particular sex of the baby. Astrology can also be used. On a more spiritual level, the path to conscious conception can involve visualizing the person, their qualities and characteristics of soul we are calling in. This can be done through ritual between partners, prayer, and even here, Jyotish (astrology) to learn the best times to conceive for ideal outcomes.
There is a traditional protocol for preparing for pregnancy from Ayurveda. Ayurveda is a complete medical system that comes from Ancient India. There is a complete, yet perhaps different, understanding of anatomy and physiology, etiology and pathology. There is much to learn about preventative medicine, as well as specific practices for healing reproductive imbalances. I teach very thorough course on this subject, if you’re looking to learn more. I am giving a general outline below of the main principles of preparation, though as with any holistic medical treatment, things can vary widely depending on the individual and their needs. I recommend working with a practitioner if you’re looking to go through the process. There is so much that comes up (physically and emotionally) that is often unexpected, and it’s important ot have an experienced person holding space for you. A practitioner may be able to guide you a to which practices are appropriate for you in regards to womb healing/preparation alongside the traditional preparatory protocol.
The three stages or preparing for a healthy and conscious pregnancy are:
This process can be done by both partners 3 to 6 months before you plan to try to conceive. The timeline is important for two reasons. One reason is that ideally you are able to complete a proper rejuvenation protocol before you become pregnant. This ensures you have the best quality egg or sperm, and your Ojas is balanced and refilled, and so you feel like you have good energy to go into pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. You do not want to go into pregnancy already feeling exhausted, if you are even able to become pregnant in this state. Because the process is going to take a lot of your ojas and leave you scrambling for change (energy change, let’s say) in your pockets when you need it most!
The second, very practical reason, is that, according to Ayurvedic anatomy and physiology, the tissues of the body take 45 days to receive nourishment at their deepest levels after a cleanse and rejuvenation program. Within this is the understanding that it takes 7 days for each tissue layer of the body to be nourished. To nourish your cells all the way down to egg or sperm level, the 7th tissue layer, it’s going to take 49 days for prime nourishment to reach that level.
And before we nourish – we cleanse! The word cleanse can be a trigger. An Ayurvedic cleanse is NOT complete without appropriate rejuvenation protocol afterward. An Ayurvedic cleanse is a food based cleanse – and the ultimate goal is to remove anything hindering good digestion. In Ayurveda, balanced digestion is the source of all good health – while digestive imbalance is the root cause of all disease.
Again, I recommend working 1 on 1 with an Ayurvedic practitioner to get the best results from a cleanse. This will ensure that you are doing it appropriately for your constitution and current state of balance and needs.
Cleansing sometimes creates space for emotional release along with the physical releasing of toxins. It is important to create a relaxing, pure environment to hold space for yourself. Everyone releases differently. If you are a sensitive person, or have had much trauma in your life, it would probably be best to be guided personally through this process. We want to properly digest everything that is coming up, including emotions.
A typical Ayurvedic cleanse, which can be done at home, includes ‘fasting’ on a very simple diet. The basis of what we use here is a simple mung and rice dish called kitchari, or rice soup, kanjee. Sometimes a change in diet is all a person needs – but typically, there is also an internal and external (self massage) oleation with ghee or another oil, then at the appropriate time, a purgation with castor oil, and even potentially a self-administered enema. These are very safe and traditional practices, but they MUST be done with proper guidance as they can be too depleting or disturbing for the wrong person. If done correctly, the healing effects can be profound.
These practice remove toxins from the GI tract, and even deeper tissues, before we rebuild them. Other self care routines are also adopted, which can be continued in daily life for long-term benefit.
In Ayurveda, we call this step of the process ‘rasayana.’ After a cleanse, the aim is to balance our digestive strength, and use deeply nourishing herbs and foods to nourish all our tissues. As mentioned, in Ayurveda, we talk about 7 tissue layers of the body, and the reproductive tissues (egg and sperm) are the 7th tissue. This means that it may be the final tissue to be fully nourished – and even beyond, and after the reproductive tissue, is our deepest layer of resilience, immunity, and strength, that we named ‘Ojas.’ Ojas is truly the substance responsible for fertility, and creation of new life. Certain herbs and foods are specifically used to build Ojas, as well as specifically used to nourish the reproductive tissue. This may differ for you dependent on your digestive capacity, constitution, and specific imbalances you are working with.
Commonly used Ayurvedic herbs include shatavari, ashwagandha, chyavanaprash, triphala, brahmi, guduchi, anantamula, maca, and other nutrient dense herbs that are more local to our area include chlorella, nettles, milky oats, and red clover. Foods include milk, dates, almonds and freshly made almond milk, bone broth (meat soups are spoken of often in the Ayurvedic classics), and the importance of eating LOCAL, and IN-SEASON fruits and vegetables is greatly emphasized.
Nourishment is not only what what we eat – a daily rhythm, self care, and most important, perhaps, sleep schedule, working within our capacity, meditation, or even just not overthinking or over-worrying about things beyond our control are enormous for our mental and physical health. This may seem nearly impossible, but if you don’t know where to start, diving deeper into Ayurveda and/or yoga can give you real practical tools.
A ritual is any act done with intention and focus. After a cleaning and then appropriate rebuilding protocol, it’s time to think about conception. Learning how to chart fertility signs, like cervical mucus, or taking your basal body temperature, can help you learn about your personal cycle. One, you will know if and when you are ovulating, but these things can also hint at other underlying imbalances, that may otherwise be hard to detect – think thyroid issues, or anovulation, or PCOS, etc. I love the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler for learning how to chart. Another benefit of knowing your cycle more intimately might be choosing the sex of your baby – per the Shettles method, or in Ayurveda, they say babies conceived on the odd days of your cycle are female, and even days, male.
Even with all of this intention, it may still become tiresome or challenging to become pregnant. Make changes whenever something doesn’t feel good or right anymore. Reach out for support – this community is here for you, too. Every parent and mother has their own path, and the only one who knows what is right is that person themselves. This protocol is not a guarantee, though it is a traditional, authentic, safe and effective way to better health and wellbeing, and understanding of oneself.
Adena Rose Bright practices Ayurveda and The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy®. Her 5 week Online Class Essential Ayurveda for Women: Womb Healing, begins April 14. Find more info at adenaroseayurveda.com/wombhealingcourse Follow her inspiring photos on instagram @adenaroseayurveda and email her with any questions about this article at firstname.lastname@example.org.