CRiL reviews: Emma Cannon new book ‘Fertile: Nourish & Balance Your Body Ready for Baby Making’

In a world obsessed with youth & good looks, it’s difficult not to get sucked into the whirlwind & keep focus on the things that truly matter, like our emotional & physical health & wellbeing. When we are in our 20s, the issue fertility remains far from our minds, in fact many of us dread getting pregnant & would rather enjoy freedom, fun & building up professional experiences & career. By the time we reach 30s & 40s, when many women long to become mothers, the subject takes centre stage, but we have to face the fact that our past lifestyle choices might have had a negative impact on our fertile state. A recently published book ‘Fertile’ by the fertility expert & writer Emma Cannon is a knowledgable guide to the state of your body & mind, irrespective of your age & motherhood ambitions. In a nutshell, it will help you be in tune with your feminine force.

Emma is serene & charming. No matter what is going on outside her treatment room, she radiates inner calm that is often missing from modern lifestyle. I have seen her during my pregnancies & every time left her treatment room with a calmer head & body, with the treatment effect lasting for days. Her three previous books have helped several of the women that I know to get pregnant, at times when doctors were shaking their heads. Yet, no matter the rate of success, Emma’s feet remain firmly on the ground, with no airs & graces when it comes to her multiple talents. She is driven by innate desire to help as many couples as she can, as well as women in general, who need to fine-tune the optimal functioning of their bodies.  In addition to her work in the clinic & writing books, Emma publishes a blog, full of practical & relatable advice that is relevant to women of different ages, irrespective of their lifestyle choices. No less importantly, Emma takes responsibility for advice that she gives, so suffice to say that the publication of this book intrigued me.

Fertility – engage in it, yet keep a lightness to your touch

This beautifully photographed hardback, with a cheerful yellow inner cover, offers practical advice & fact- checked information alongside delicious recipes by nutritionist Victoria Wells, who works alongside Emma in the clinic in Chelsea.

Emma’s now classic ‘Baby-Making bible’ came out when times were perfectly aligned for Emma, after she beat cancer & her heart was brimming with joy. In a way it was her love letter to life, to the future, to the women & her own daughters. ‘Fertile: Nourish and Balance Your Body ready for Baby Making’, Emma’s fourth book, is a bit different, as it has ‘hidden depth & deeper meaning’, according to Emma. Her latest book combines many years of experience in the clinic, as well as Emma’s personal journey as a woman, alongside deliciously nurturing recipes created by Victoria & tested by both women, as the importance of food should never be underestimated when it comes to physical & mental well-being.

The book is divided into two part, ‘A Fertile Life’ & ‘Recipies’. In the first part Emma focusses on such topics as fertile living & fundamentals, like a menstrual cycle, examining body-mind-gut connection, egg quality, miscarriage, IVF support & male fertility. I tend to read lots of books, blogs & magazines as part of my own writing research & often coverage of several of the above subjects seems to be lacking, particularly when you read on the subject of female fertility. Somehow, even in our day & age, fertility issues are more often ‘blamed’ on women, as opposed to looking at the subject with a 360 view. Emma is one of those fiercely passionate women who values knowledge & experience above social media followers number and I would rather my own daughter takes advice from Emma in the future, than from some ‘influencer’ or foodie blogger, whose professional scope is limited to say the least.

When you tend to the garden you don’t seek to control it; take the same approach with[...] read more

On Nutrition & Fertility: Q & A with Emma Cannon & Victoria Wells

Being a woman is not easy, whatever your age. Advice on how best to navigate our path to health, beauty and happiness can be tricky and that is one of the reasons why London’s top fertility specialist Emma Cannon and I decided to choose regular topics to talk about, related to female well-being and fertility and this is the first of such Q & As, dedicated to nutrition and fertility. I compiled a list of questions, alongside my website readers, while Emma answered the questions together with her clinic’s nutritionist Victoria Wells. I hope you will learn something new and find the advice useful and relevant to your body’s current needs.

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How important is the diet for female fertility?

We have known for years that the food we eat affects our ability to conceive, so eating healthily can improve our chances of getting pregnant and support healthy pregnancies. You need to be aware that certain foods and drinks are known to lower fertility and that both under-eating and over-eating can contribute to infertility. More specifically, certain nutrients can support each phase of the cycle, for example B vitamins are required to support the release of the egg and support implantation. Relatively simple changes can increase your chances of getting pregnant.

 Is our emotional state affected by how we nourish our bodies with food?

Our relationship with food is often a reflection of how we care for ( managing stress & getting enough sleep ) and nourish ourselves. We must not overlook the need to feed our fertility on an emotional level, as good emotional health is important prior to conception and throughout pregnancy. Remember that food influences our mood and energy levels, so by eating natural, rather than processed foods, you will help to improve your emotional stability.

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In-conversation with Emma Cannon: ‘Total Fertility’ book & how your mother shaped you

Emma Cannon is one of those rare practitioners who is extremely knowledgable, yet she never imposes her views on her patients. She listens, she treats and she makes suggestions but ultimately it is up to you to decide how you want to proceed forward.

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On a sunny morning I popped into Emma’s treatment room, a short minute walk from Sloane Square tube station and just looking at Emma’s beautifully serene face made me smile. She is calm and nurturing and so is her treatment room – it is like a peaceful oasis of tranquility in the middle of a busy city. Somehow when the door closes behind you, the stress seem to melt away and you feel relaxed and ready to have ‘me-time’ that is so important, yet so lacking in our day and age.

Over a cup of one of Emma’s delicious teas ( woody, reflective ) served in a pretty porcelain cup Emma and I caught up on our lives. I mentioned a recent article from Elle, by Victoria Coren Mitchell about Apple and Facebook initiative to offer money towards ‘fertility preservation’ aka ‘egg freezing’ to women who work for them. Victoria actually went on to say that ‘my instinct is that the key to true liberation actually lies with egg freezing’. My opinion on the subject isn’t that straight-forward but that’s the beauty of what Emma does in her clinic – she uses her knowledge and looks for the best solution for you.

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When it comes to female fertility the subject still often remains a taboo or is spoken in hushed tones, yet many celebrities think nothing of shoving their private parts in our face from the pages of the magazines. Or take the subject of pregnancy – if a couple fails to conceive the nod often goes in the direction of a woman, forgetting that it takes two people to get pregnant. It’s not just the physical process, to me there is a little bit of magic that is also involved. But forgive me, I veered off course a little.

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Emma has written several books ( a dear friend of mine who struggled to conceive after trying IVF actually succeeded after I sent her Emma’s book – she implemented some nutritional and lifestyle changes and is a mother of a beautiful child that made the family complete ), her latest is called ‘Total Fertility’. In it Emma addresses such important


subjects as male and
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Winds of change-a blog post from Emma Cannon

It’s fair to say that I have been burning the candle at both ends lately, taking too many things on, not having the time to exercise or do yoga properly, eating on the run and going to bed really late and it seems my body is sending me gentle nudges to slow down a little and just make peace with my inner-self.

As serendipity would have it, I received a newsletter from Emma Cannon today and when I read her latest blog post, it made so much sense, that I knew that I had to share it with you:

http://www.ahealthyconception.co.uk/emma/blog/

Another great read, if you are facing changes that are making you nervous or uncomfortable is from the site that a friend recently told me about, called Positively Positive-if you subscribe to their service ( free of charge ), you will receive daily e-mails from them with new posts or quotes that just might make sense or feel relevant to you on certain days:

http://www.positivelypositive.com/2012/05/31/turn-the-page/

After all, if you don’t take care of yourself and your inner voice and core, no one else will do it for you, so find some ‘me’ time, even if it’s just 15 minutes a day, when you can drink a glass of freshly made juice or a full of flavour cappuccino or revitalising tea and just be in the moment, day-dreaming or walking in the park or taking a long bath or just being quietly in the moment…..

Acupuncture awareness week-video from Emma Cannon

Acupuncture is a magical tool of traditional Chinese medicine that can help to sort out a magnitude of problems, aches and concerns, obviously if it’s done by a qualified practitioner. 

I have been lucky to experience the effect of acupuncture and remain a firm believer in its wonderful benefits, so I wanted to share with you a video that was done by one of London’s leading experts, Emma Cannon, who has a wonderful, engaging smile, reassuring manner and a magical touch-she helped one of my dear friends get pregnant and that pregnancy was truly magical, as my friend struggled to conceive for many years and now has a beautiful baby girl. So whatever your age, have a look at the video and I hope it will inspire you to try acupuncture!

http://www.introducingacupuncture.co.uk/ask-the-experts.html

Acupuncture awareness week-video from Emma Cannon

Acupuncture is a magical tool of traditional Chinese medicine that can help to sort out a magnitude of problems, aches and concerns, obviously if it’s done by a qualified practitioner. 

I have been lucky to experience the effect of acupuncture and remain a firm believer in its wonderful benefits, so I wanted to share with you a video that was done by one of London’s leading experts, Emma Cannon, who has a wonderful, engaging smile, reassuring manner and a magical touch-she helped one of my dear friends get pregnant and that pregnancy was truly magical, as my friend struggled to conceive for many years and now has a beautiful baby girl. So whatever your age, have a look at the video and I hope it will inspire you to try acupuncture!

http://www.introducingacupuncture.co.uk/ask-the-experts.html

Acupuncture facial with Laura Jones at Content / Beauty Wellbeing

I am a big fan of acupuncture and have been lucky in the past to have body treatments withLauraJones John Tsagaris and Emma Cannon, both of whom I found quite inspirational but when I was offered to have a facial acupuncture treatment with lovely Laura Jones BSc MBAcC who specialises in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Facial  Acupuncture and Reiki ( and with whom I recently had a wonderful Pai facial ), I was intrigued and jumped at the chance !

This time, when I entered the salon, a tiny bit out of breath as I was running late, Laura gave me a detailed health questionnaire to fill in, covering my general health and any issues/health conditions. I have had acupuncture before, but as the needle work is involved and the effect can be quite powerful, both of us preferred being confidently informed. After I filled in the questionnaire, Laura took me downstairs, to the already familiar treatment room. We sat down and Laura went through my answers, also asking me about any health concerns that I possibly had wanted to address. I told her that I had body acupuncture before, but never a full acupuncture facial and was surprised to see how tiny and almost cute the facial needles looked. Laura explained the whole process to me, examined my tongue and took my pulse on both of my hands, according to Chinese principles, which are quite different to the one your GP might take. After that Laura slipped out, allowing me to get undressed and make myself comfortable on the treatment bed.

When I was ready, she returned and almost instantly, with a few movements on some points on my head she put me into relaxed, almost slumber like state. She then inserted a few needles in my lower legs and as the treatment progressed my legs felt heavier somewhat, in a very comforting way.

Laura uses an organic brand of products, called Amala during this facial and on this occasion she chose to useIMG_0388 Amala rejuvenate products, which include Rejuvenating cleansing milk ( with cocoa bean, brazil nut & andiroba seed oil ) and Rejuvenating face cream ( which contains acai and cupuacu butter both of which provide your skin with anti-oxidant and moisturising benefits ) -the range not only feels very nourishing, but smells chocolatey-add to that Laura’s firm, but gentle strokes and I dare you not to be lulled to sleep, like a baby.

After calming my mind and cleansing my face, Laura proceeded to the next stage, which was pleasantly surprising.


Normally, no matter how skilled the facialist is, extraction is uncomfortable
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Thoughts on pregnancy

PregnancyPregnancy is a special time in the life of any woman, but I am not going to say that it’s always easy and straight forward. Some of us get pregnant just by ‘looking’ at our partner, some struggle to do so and some choose not to have kids-every choice is personal and to be respected.

My pregnancies were different in the sense that I felt different emotionally and physically with each of my ‘bumps’ but I was lucky to have had straight forward pregnancies and was guided by a wonderful support network.

I have extensively discussed the subject with many of my girlfriends and have to say, that there are no exact guidelines. For example, a few years ago you were told not to have any alcohol, now it’s being said that an odd glass of red wine might be beneficial for both mother-to-be and the bump.

Does one eat sushi? I did or so did many of my girlfriends, as long as the fish was really fresh and the restaurant ‘tried and tested’.

Do you take supplements? Some buy any off the counter vitamins for pregnant women but many of my girlfriends name Zita West’s ones for each trimester and pre-c0nception as firm favourites.

Do you exercise? Again, depends on the pregnancy. Sometimes you are just too tired and don’t want to do anything other than walk in the fresh air and that is the right thing to do. More often than not pregnancy yoga and pilates achieve great results-be it in the class or doing a DVD workout at home-a word of warning though-don’t start any new activity during pregnancy and often yoga and pilates are not recommended before you are 3 months along. Again, talk to your midwife or Ob. My favourite and tried and tested yoga DVDs are by Shiva Rea ‘Prenatal yoga’ (it has trimester modifications) and ‘Tara Lee’s ‘Pregnancy Health Yoga’ (it has full and restorative practises, breathing exercises, relaxation, visualisation, partner work, preparation for labour and birth and also covers common pregnancy related ailments). It’s better to do little but every day than do a bigger session let’s say twice a week-again, that’s what worked for me.

I saw Dr. Gowri Motha and one of her lovely therapist’s Sarah, when I was pregnant with my son-the only thing I didn’t like is that there were always several women who had treatments side by side, separated by whimsical screens. Her book ‘Gentle Birth Method’ has been on my bedside table each time though, as it gave lots of useful and sensible advice and answered lots of questions, covering each week of the pregnancy and labour. It talks about birth preparations, symptoms, diet, exercises, treatments and so far, I haven’t found a better book, though I have high hopes for Emma Cannon’s next book, due out next year.

I have to be honest and say that I have been very diligent about not taking any medication during pregnancy, unless it was advised by my obstetrician.

I also used homeopathy and my lovely homeopath Kay truly convinced me that homeopathy is potent and very helpful when dealing with various pregnancy related ailments like sciatica, tiredness, back ache etc. You can also benefit from it during labour and it helps you heal faster post delivery and gets milk production going faster (if you choose to breast-feed) and can help to calm you and the baby among other benefits. My son had some homeopathic medicines made by Kay before he had MMR, which I consider to be one of the ‘toughest’ vaccination combinations on the kid’s immunity and he sailed through the vaccination and post vaccination period without fever or aches or swelling of the glands.

I also gave a lot of thought to cosmetics i.e. what I was putting on my skin, be it on the body or face. I have been truly lucky that my friend


Michelle
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Interview with Emma Cannon

BM BibleIf your life is straight-forward, you take things like good health or having kids for granted. But not everyone is so lucky.

I have several girlfriends who struggled or still haven’t succeeded in getting pregnant and I can’t begin to describe how painful it is for a woman. People ask questions, friends mean well, family tries to be supportive but it doesn’t give you what you want-a healthy baby and takes away your identity as a woman (I am talking about women who want to have kids, because some choose not too and you have to respect their choice). There are lots of books and specialists out there but many of them are more patronising than helpful and a woman often ends up feeling worse and on her own with her fears. But when I opened a book that was published earlier this year by Emma Cannon called


‘The
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