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  • Mother’s Day Yoga for Fertility

    by Mollie Ewing, RYT

    “A mother is not defined by the number of children that you see, but the love that she holds in her heart.” -Franchesca Cox

    Women struggling to have a child know that Mother’s Day can be a particularly painful day. Although we feel thankful for the moms in our lives on this holiday, it is impossible to ignore the missing piece of our family. Remembering how I felt last year on Mother’s Day, I wanted to make this Mother’s Day a more positive experience. A few weeks ago my Yoga for Fertility class was discussing the upcoming holiday with anxious anticipation, when I had an idea- we should do yoga on Mother’s Day! So we did.

    The morning of Mother’s Day the yoga room was full of strong, smiling women practicing heart opening, inspiriting yoga poses to uplifting, upbeat music. Weary of the idea of support groups, being part of a community in the infertility world is something that I have avoided until recently. During my time as part of the community at Pulling Down the Moon, I have learned there is comfort in knowing that those around you understand your struggle. Watching these women practice with their chins held high, no matter how they felt physically or mentally that day, was so inspirational to me. Being together just felt better, more hopeful. Pulling Down the Moon has been a sanctuary and a safe place for me as a fertility patient. As a lover of yoga and a caregiver at heart, I want to extend this feeling of support to my peers. This Mother’s Day event and the willing participants made that possible.

    After class we hung out discussing modesty-dissolving experiences with doctors, exasperating games of tag with the nurses via email and phone, awkward medications, and honest fears and hopes that only women going through this process could possibly understand. These candid conversations are a real reminder for me that, without realizing it, we are all growing tremendously in our quest to start a family. I left with a feeling of strength, courage, and kinship. It certainly changed my view of Mother’s Day.

  • Self-Care Fertility Massage Techniques

    In this video Pulling Down the Moon’s Massage Director, Meredith Nathan, demonstrates 3 self-care exercises for building blood in preparation for conception. Meredith is the creator of the Fertility Enhancing Massage Protocol, a series of massages available at Pulling Down the Moon designed specifically to support fertility. Read more here about the FEM protocol.

  • Seasonal and Local Snapshot: Rhubarb Rules for Fertility and Beyond

    It’s May in the Midwest and that means rhubarb! This leafy vegetable (surprise – rhubarb is not a fruit!) explodes from early spring soil every year, making it one of the few perennial vegetables on the planet. It’s ability to return, time after time, testifies to the vitality of the plant.

    Rhubarb (called da huang in Chinese herbalism) has been used medicinally centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine to help drain excess heat from the body, relieve constipation and alleviate different menstrual disorders, including endometriosis. It is not recommended to take rhubarb in a concentrated form (such as part of an herbal formula) when pregnant or nursing. And, when trying to conceive, it’s important to work with a trained herbalist to ensure rhubarb is right for your diagnosis. It is safe, however, to enjoy rhubarb in the food form while trying to conceive, expecting and nursing. In fact, most experts agree that rhubarb’s high fiber/low calorie, antioxidant and immune-boosting qualities make it a good addition to a fertility-enhancing and pre/postnatal diet.

    The leaves of a rhubarb plant should never be eaten because they are toxic. It’s also recommended to cook rhubarb since the stalks contain oxalates, which may interfere with mineral absorption. The reddish-pink stalks of the plant can be sliced and roasted with honey or agave, used as a topping for yogurt or ice cream, or made in to a pie or a crumble.