The Yin and Yang of Fertility and Pregnancy – Part I

Yin and Yang are the male/female positive/negative polarities of nature whose interactions influence the destinies of all living things.  Yin and yang—egg and sperm– oppose each other and at the same time have an interdependent relationship.  Conception arises from the marriage of Yin and Yang.

Yang energizes, warms, transforms, generates, circulates, defends and protects.  It is a creative and active force.  It initiates.  It corresponds with “doing”.

Yin cools, moistens, nourishes, replenishes, and contains.  Stillness, rest, inwardness, receptivity and fertility pertain to Yin.  Yin provides the medium and material basis for life to take hold.  It corresponds with “being”.

The Yin cycle is one in which energy is being accumulated, assimilated and stored.  To prepare oneself for pregnancy, and to maintain a healthy pregnancy, one must get into the Yin cycle.

How to get into the Yin cycle:

  1. Emphasize gentle flowing exercise such as walking, swimming and yoga.  Intense aerobics, high impact jogging and heavy weight lifting take energy away from the meridians that flow through the reproductive system.
  2. Get into bed by 10 pm every night.  If you’re not ready to sleep, relax with a good book.  Aim for at least 8 hours of sleep per night.
  3. Eat a nourishing diet rich in healthy fats such as flax and fish oil, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds.  50% of your diet should consist of vegetables: greens, root vegetables, seaweeds and cruciferous varieties.  Emphasize whole grains (but avoid wheat), beans, eggs, tempeh, and small amounts of humanely raised meats.  Gently cooked foods are better than raw.
  4. Now is not the time to overextend yourself with ambitious new work projects and social commitments.  Try to scale things back to the essentials, and maintain a consistent routine.
  5. Focus on inward development such as meditation, keeping a journal, or expressing your creativity through drawing, gardening, etc.
  6. Avoid becoming rigid with these recommendations.  Obsessive control defeats the purpose of opening up and letting go (and makes you more tense and Yang).  If you’re feeling deprived, fixated, worried or self-critical, you may be substituting militant rules as another form of self-imposed stress.  A scoop of ice cream or stressful work week does not make you a bad mother-to-be.  Try to follow these guidelines 80% of the time.  Remain mindful and positive.  Most important: find ways to de-stress and let go.