Tips for early pregnancy

With the lovely news from Harry and Meghan, we thought we’d share with you some tips for getting through the first few months. Early pregnancy, especially the first time around, is a very exciting time but it is also easy for anxiety to creep in and many women can feel overwhelmed. The first few weeks of pregnancy can be exhausting on so many levels; emotionally, physically and mentally. No matter who you are you, Duchess or not, your emotions at this time will be the same and this is something I see on a daily basis. If you have never been pregnant before it’s a steep learning curve, and as a midwife there are many common questions I am asked in early pregnancy:

How do I know I’m still pregnant?
This can be a really emotional time, not just because of the hormones but all of the worries about whether it will be ok with the pregnancy, especially if you are older. Before you start showing in these early days it can be so hard to actually ‘feel’ pregnant. One day you experience nausea, the next day you don’t, and new hormones are kicking in that you have never experienced before making you emotionally fragile. The exhaustion you’ll feel in your first 12 weeks, especially having to work and adapt to the pregnancy without telling anybody can really take its toll. Even if Meghan doesn’t suffer as much as her sister-in-law, nausea affects 70% of women which can sap energy further.

I’m not eating as well as I should…
Eating a good diet can be hard in the beginning as you are getting used to what your body needs with when and what to eat. Sometimes it is not always the healthiest of choices with many women craving carbs where they have tried to avoid these foods before. Plus with nausea kicking in it can mean eating what you are able to to get through the first few weeks which is fine. This is why it’s so important to build up a good store of nutrients before you get pregnant.

I feel worried all of the time, can stress affect my baby?
While Meghan is no different biologically to any other pregnant woman, she does have the added pressure of getting through engagements and having the world watching her. Constant stress on a daily basis may affect your baby, so learning to manage stress in early pregnancy is key.

Tips for getting through first trimester

  • Look at what’s going on in your life and what you can cut back on. If you work long hours, try to cut down here, and limit yourself to lots of commitments that can exhaust you.
  • Make sure you have early nights where possible to build your reserves and get you through the next day.
  • Accept that this this will only be for a couple of months and you’ll soon be feeling much better, give in to it where you can.
  • Don’t have any alcohol or coffee in the first trimester.
  • Eat little and often to keep your blood sugar balanced. In early pregnancy you need to tune in to what your body requires. Nausea and tiredness can be a vicious cycle: you feel sick so you don’t want to eat, but if you don’t eat then your blood sugar drops and nausea sets in. When it gets to this point it is hard to quell, so have snacks at hand throughout the day and I also encourage women to have something to eat just before bed to balance the blood sugar through the night. It’s a long time from dinner until breakfast which is why many women wake in the morning with nausea.
  • You need carbohydrates for energy and the developing baby, but for so many women I see they have been used to cutting carbs out and are nervous about how they crave them in pregnancy.
  • Deal with your stress early on. Chronic stress can be detrimental so make sure you manage this. The best way is to practice visualisation or meditation for 20 per day, but if your issues are greater then make sure you seek help through counselling.
  • Take a multivitamin and mineral continuing folate, as well as omega 3. Many women worry in early pregnancy that they are not eating as well as they should, so top your nutrients up with supplements.
  • Nurture yourself. In my experience this is the one time that women really feel they can pamper and nurture themselves. Rest whenever you feel you need to, get as much sleep as you can, and look after yourself from within.
  • Don’t listen to any labour horror stories – concentrate on the positive and if anyone starts to tell you their story, ask if it’s positive, and if not, then continue that conversation post birth!

Join Zita West in Nottingham on May 23rd

If you live in Nottingham or the surrounding areas, then I have some exciting news for you.

I’m coming to CARE Fertility Nottingham on 23rd May to give a talk on the ‘Secrets of Successful IVF’ which will cover cover nutrition, lifestyle, mindset, stress, emotional health and wellbeing, and the team from CARE will join me to give an overview of the different techniques we can use to enhance IVF outcome for a range of fertility issues, to give the best chance of success.

The event starts at 6pm and is free, so reserve your place by calling the CARE Nottingham team on 0115 852 8100.

During the talk, you’ll be able to get your questions answered in person and topics we’ll cover include…

  • What to expect from your IVF cycle
  • How a holistic approach to IVF can lead to success
  • What lifestyle and psychological factors impact chances of conceiving
  • How to manage your mindset during IVF
  • Why IVF fails
  • And much more!

If you’re looking to start IVF or would like more information, then this evening is perfect for you.

Simply call the CARE Nottingham team on 0115 852 8100.

How To Have Acupuncture With The Zita West Clinic If You Don’t Live In London

One of the things that we’re really known for at the Zita West Clinic is acupuncture. We use acupuncture and treat thousands of women every year who are trying naturally and also going through IVF.

I’m often asked by my patients who don’t live in London, ‘How can I access Acupuncture at the Zita West clinic around the UK and Ireland.’

So this week in the Fertility Show, I want to tell you how…

I’ve been an acupuncturist for 25 years now, and so I’ve always been a huge believer in its benefits for fertility and IVF, because I see how it helps so many women that are going through a very stressful time.

We have a lot of women that say they would like acupuncture, but they can’t do it in London. And this is where our affiliated network of accredited acupuncturists comes into play. We have affiliates up and down the UK and in Ireland who we have trained, and we do annual trainings every year to keep them abreast with best practise.

All acupuncturist members of the network have received training in our unique holistic approach to achieving optimum reproductive health as well as the diagnostic processes and treatment protocols followed at our London clinic. Members also have access to the Clinic and other members of the network for consultation and general advice.

We get great feedback from women who have visited our affiliates. They get a greater sense of well being, they really feel supported through natural fertility and when they’re undergoing IVF, they have a better feel of well being.

Our national network of Zita West affiliated acupuncturists specialise in all aspects of male and female reproductive health.

To find your nearest Zita West accredited acupuncturist, click here.


Join us for our free ‘6 Ways To Prepare For IVF Success’ online event, Monday 6th November at 7.30pm

If you’re thinking about IVF, or about to embark on IVF, then we’d love to invite you to our free online event about ‘6 ways to prepare for IVF.’

Join Zita online on Monday 6th November, from the comfort of your own home, for an insightful and informative webinar where she’ll be talking about the Zita West Clinic’s unique holistic approach to IVF, and how to prepare for IVF to ensure best result, and how to recover from failed IVF cycles.

We’re well known for helping couples to get pregnant with IVF who have failed at other clinics. We like to think we have a reputation for thinking outside the box (when others won’t) and we are constantly looking for new methods and treatments that may help improve the chances of success.

Our results speak for themselves. Many of our clients come to us having had failed IVF cycles elsewhere. We are specialists in why IVF fails, and consider the role of the immune system, with Dr Ndukwe being a world leader in the field of reproductive immunology, and many of those clients go on to achieve a pregnancy with us. So if you’re new to the IVF process, or have failed in the past and looking for a new approach, this event is for you!

During the webinar we will talk you through what you can do to prepare for IVF success on every level, not just the medical level, and how a plan of action covering every aspect of your health and well-being can help to optimise your chances of conception and pregnancy, including:

  • How lifestyle, nutrition and psychological factors can impact on success
  • How to manage your mind-set for IVF success
  • Why IVF fails and what can be done
  • Simple steps you can take to increase your chances of successful IVF

At the end of the live event, there will be a Q&A so you can get your questions answered there and then.

This will be a LIVE only event hosted by Zita West and there will be no replay. All our live webinars are extremely popular, so click here to reserve your seat now.


Book your one to one appointment with Zita

One of the greatest pleasures I get from doing my consultations is coming up with a plan and a woman or couple leaving feeling lighter proactive and more in control of their situation.

With this in mind, I wanted to remind you guys – our valued subscribers – that you can book one to one appointments with me!

So why see me?

Most couples who come to see me want to get pregnant naturally, and to feel that they are doing everything they can to make that happen.

Appointments with me are ideal no matter what stage of the journey you are at, whether you’ve just started trying to conceive, have had a miscarriage, are thinking about IVF or have had IVF that’s failed or if you are thinking of going it alone.

Our holistic approach looks not only at the medical side of your fertility, but also at other areas of your life that may be having an impact on your ability to conceive naturally.

What I do well is to work with you on creating a personalised fertility plan of action to pull all the strands together. My aim is to give you the best opportunity of becoming pregnant naturally and help you understand what you need to do next in a way that is manageable, affordable and individual to you.

Appointments can be conducted virtually via Skype, or in person at the clinic and are priced £175. To book, click here.

5 Years, 500 Babies: A Milestone For Zita West Assisted Fertility Clinic

This week has been a very special week for everyone at the Zita West clinic.

Because we held a momentous party to mark a very special milestone – 5 years and 500 babies.

Of course, I’ve been working in fertility for over 20 years, but it was 5 years ago that I teamed up with Dr George Nduwke and expanded out from offering just natural fertility and treatments such as acupuncture to the IVF clinic we have today.

Back then, I was referring lots of couples for IVF to other clinics but my vision was for a holistic integrated IVF offer doing things differently and looking outside of the box. Where every single aspect of a couple’s fertility, from lifestyle, mindset and stress was being addressed, and were the entire IVF plan and preparation took place under one roof.

It was here that we pioneered our holistic approach to IVF which brings together complementary therapies such as nutrition, acupuncture, counselling and hypnotherapy.

The philosophy of client care and support at every stage is what all of our staff strive to achieve and is so important to us.

The result is we truly do have a unique holistic approach and as a result, we have some of the highest success rates in the UK.

For all of us at the clinic, the feeling of seeing so many of our couples and babies all together yesterday afternoon was indescribable. Obviously, we know in theory we have created a hundreds of babies, but seeing them all playing together, and seeing those who are now 3, 4 and 5 years old was genuinely moving.

So many couples came up to us and said how our work has changed their lives, and I think we’re all going to be on a high for the rest of the year.

As anyone in business, particularly in the fertility business where you cannot guarantee the success of your work, will tell you, the journey is a rollercoaster, high days and low days. But fundamentally, there is nothing better in this world than making a positive difference, and reaching this milestone has shown us that our work is doing just that.

Here’s to the next 500 babies.

So many couples came up to us and said how our work has changed their lives, and I think we’re all going to be on a high for the rest of the year.

As anyone in business, particularly in the fertility business where you cannot guarantee the success of your work, will tell you, the journey is a rollercoaster, high days and low days.

But fundamentally, there is nothing better in this world than making a positive difference, and reaching this milestone has shown us that our work is doing just that.

Here’s to the next 500 babies!