I wanted to say thank you again for all your support over the past year. You don’t know what a help you’ve been. The treatment aside I really felt like I had your confidence and support emotionally and physically helping get through the IVF and the pregnancy. I remember you saying to me this time last year “You’ll be pregnant by the end of the year” and I kept that thought in my head and before I knew it I now have this beautiful little girl.
At the age of 38 and After having 4 failed attempts at IVF I decided I needed to take a different route to try and get pregnant and that’s when I found Naava.
After our first consultation my partner was not so sure but I was excited as I had a good feeling about the treatment.
Naava overhauled my diet and made me crank up my exercise which was great as it gave me something else to focus on instead of focusing on getting pregnant. Yes the herbs are a desired taste, but you do get used to them.
All through my treatment Naava was fantastic, I really looked forward to my day out to London to see her, coming from Staffordshire it was a long journey but I was always in good spirits once I’d had my acupuncture and a good chat with Naava, she was always so positive and made me feel that one way or another I’d have my longed for baby. And I can honestly say I never once doubted her, why should I she had a better success rate than any IVF clinic.
And that positive pregnancy test came at the end of the 8th month. Well I could hardly believe it. I didn’t have the most enjoyable pregnancy but at every step of the way I’d got Naava to put me at ease, even in labour I’d emailed her. If I’d of lived nearer I would of loved to have her as my Doula.
Willow was born 8 weeks early in april 2010, but in perfectly good health.
I owe so much to Naava as she made all this possible, all I can do to repay her is to let people like myself who was desperate for a family, is to let them know that there is a way, and that way is a lady called Naava.
Positive, professional, truly amazing! Naava really does know what she is on about! And our daughter Willow is proof of that.
Just thought I’d let you know our little baby boy arrived last Thursday weighing 8lb 13 oz, fit and well. So you were right about the sex. Thank you for all your help and maybe see you again if we try for a brother or sister!
A huge heartfelt thank you from C & I for playing such a big part in bringing our son safely to us.
Appointment for Monday not necessary. Our beautiful boy was born today at 6.04pm weighing 8lb 8oz 🙂 we are all completely in love. Thank you for all you did for me. You will always carry a special place in our hearts. Looking forward to introducing you xxxx
Cannot thank you enough for getting us here; she arrived last night in a pool – all 3.8kg of her. X
Thanks for supporting me during what looking back was a very hard period for me last year. Your sessions were a lot of help and gave me hope and courage during the IVF process. And thank you for recommending me get a maternity nurse. I found someone incredible. She specialised in twins, a twin herself and a mother of twins she was a brilliant the time we had her. The support meant that I was able to take the time to breastfeed the twins.
Just a few pictures of our little boy….. he is now 5 weeks old and thriving – already 12lb!
R and her husband C tried to conceive for a year before they decided to find out if there was a reason for their lack of success. They consulted with a private practitioner and were both tested. C’s sperm motility was below average but everything else appeared to be normal.
Although, conceiving naturally was not considered to be impossible, R and her husband decided to try a round of IVF and visited a specialist in Harley Street. Unfortunately, R did not respond to the IVF drugs and the specialist recommended Naava who was working with the practice at that time. “The specialist agreed that there wasn’t actually anything significantly wrong with either of us,” explains C. “However, he felt that alternative methods, such as the treatment offered by Naava, might help to improve my sperm motility and therefore increase our chances of conceiving.
“When we met Naava, she seemed very friendly and professional. I felt comfortable discussing our circumstances with her and her diagnosis made sense so I was happy to be the focus of the treatment and changed my diet according to her recommendations,” he continues. “I started to feel better as a result of the acupuncture treatments and we were both happier trying Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) rather than looking into other options such as egg donation.”
C had previously practised Kung Fu and learnt acupressure as part of his training. He therefore found it easier to understand and accept Naava’s TCM approach, although he was slightly unsure how effective it would be for fertility issues. “I was also skeptical to begin with,” comments his wife, R. “But in hindsight, it was clear that I was upset that we needed help to get pregnant when we were both so young and fit. But as the focus was on C at this stage, I really didn’t interact with Naava beyond the initial consultation.”
Naava’s TCM diagnosis was Liver Qi Stagnation; something that is simple to treat with Chinese Medicine: “C was in good shape physically – he ate well and exercised regularly – and it was quickly apparent that a simple case of Liver Qi Stagnation was causing his slow motility,” she explains. “His Qi was getting stuck partly because there was an existing physical tendency and partly due to the emotional strain he was under at the time. Getting his Qi moving allowed his sperm to flow as quickly and freely as it needed to in order to facilitate conception.”
“Although we didn’t have many other options, Naava’s diagnosis and treatment plan was helpful to us,” comments C. “She took extra care to translate the technicalities and impact the treatment would have in both TCM and Westerns terms and was very clear that changes wouldn’t take place overnight. Planning milestones to assess sperm characteristics and to measure improvements made a big difference.”
R and her husband conceived their baby girl three months after first consulting Naava and she was born in 2008.
The couple’s first experience with Naava was so successful that when, after six months of trying, they were unable to conceive again, they returned to Naava for assistance.
“I was surprised to discover that it was me that needed treatment this time, rather than C,” says R. “C’s sperm test results were no different but this time, because of my seriously low AMH levels, it was my turn in the hot seat. Once we’d talked things through I felt less skeptical and, in fact, we wondered whether this could have been a contributing problem first time around as well.
“Naava was always honest with us and I think she was very careful to ensure that I understood that there were no guarantees – none of her clients had ever conceived naturally with an AMH (of .013) as low as mine,” continues R. “She always said that if I didn’t conceive naturally, it was still helpful to get the ‘environment’ as receptive as possible should we have to consider egg donation.
“As long as I can rationalise something I’m happy to go with it. Anything I didn’t understand or wanted reiterated I just had to ask. And I asked a lot! Naava was always willing and able to answer and once I had the answers I was able to weigh up the odds. So even though the chance of conception was extremely low, I just focused on the fact there was a chance.”
Naava treated R with acupuncture and powdered Chinese herbal medicine to ensure that her body would be receptive. She also worked on changing her ovulation date slightly so that an egg was released at the optimum time rather than slightly too early, which meant that the eggs could be immature.
“I was willing to work with R to help her conceive as although she had failed to respond at all to an IVF cycle before her husband came to see me, she nevertheless conceived their daughter quite quickly. These two things appeared to me to be at odds with each other, so I wondered whether it was not so much egg quality that was the issue, but the environment the egg was matured in and the timing of its release,” Naava explains.
“R was ovulating extremely early, so I felt that the egg was being released prematurely and therefore in its immaturity had less chance of being fertilised and developing normally. I worked with her on her diet, which was quite poor when we started – my mantra was ‘eat green vegetables!’ – and steadily increased her ovulation until it reached a point in her cycle that I was happy with. And this was the month she conceived her baby.”
R and C conceived their second child, a boy, after three months of treatment. He was born in 2011. “Our advice to anyone in our situation is that if you’re not having any luck with conception, get the basic tests done and consider TCM as a treatment that you can have alongside the more conventional methods, to support or boost your chances of conception. Don’t wait until you have run out of other options!”
M suffered from ME when she was 15 years old. At 28, she was still feeling tired all the time and was always very cold, but tests that her GP had carried out did not reveal anything to explain it. She was also suffering from very painful periods and was waiting for exploratory surgery to find out if it was Endometriosis.
When her friend recommended Naava Carman, she and her husband had been trying for a baby for a year, with no success. A miscarriage, seven months previously, had been emotionally difficult and added to the stress that they were experiencing. “We were both really concerned and just wondered what was wrong,” she explains. “I was feeling really unwell and we were having no success conceiving, despite tracking my cycles and doing everything we were supposed to do. We felt it was worth speaking to someone new.”
M saw Naava in Spring 2010. Naava examined temperature charts that she had kept for the previous six weeks and immediately identified a trend in her daily temperature readings which is classified in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) terms as a classic Endometriosis pattern: “It was very jagged,” explains Naava. “There was no particular discernible ovulation, the overall temperature was low and the temperature at the beginning of the cycle didn’t fall as it is supposed to – so in TCM terms she wasn’t switching from one part of her cycle to another due to a blockage of Qi (energy) in her body which we call ‘Blood Stasis’.”
M had also been suffering from an upset stomach for about a year. Naava decided that it was important to work on the stomach problems and tiredness first: “It was vital that M was healthy before conceiving again,” she explains. “There was no point in over-loading her with herbs to move the Qi until she actually had enough Qi to move! We also wanted to make as sure as we could that her body was strong enough to carry a baby to term this time too.”
“After a treatment, I would feel great for a few days and it was a real eye-opener,” says M. “I realised just how tired I had been all these years. It was like a grey cloud had been lifted. It had been so long, I actually didn’t know what it felt like to not feel exhausted and it was such an amazing feeling.”
Unfortunately, the feeling would wear off after a few days and whilst the first few treatments worked well, she wasn’t improving past a certain point and each time Naava tried to clear the Stasis, it set M back again with her tiredness. “I think any good therapist has to know the limits of their competence, so although I planned to treat her to clear the signs of Stasis in order to help her to conceive; there were other issues that needed to be addressed first,” explains Naava. “I referred her to a specialist I work with to check for underlying nutritional and possibly immunological deficiencies in the form of food allergies. I also wanted him to check her thyroid as I believed it could be under-active. At the same time, I switched my treatment back to a purely strengthening one, and gave her some strong tonics to help maintain her energy levels.”
By this time, the acupuncture treatments and herbs that Naava had prescribed had begun to help and shortly afterward the specialist diagnosed an under-active thyroid. However, it was not under-active enough for Thyroxin (which is why M’s GP had not picked it up) and so he prescribed iodine and a range of natural remedies, vitamins and mineral supplements to help alleviate the symptoms. He also referred M for allergy testing, which showed her to be allergic to eggs, beans and bananas. As soon as these foods were cut out of M’s diet her stomach problems stopped. In addition, M who had been a vegetarian for years, was advised by the specialist to reintroduce meat and fish back into her diet.
Naava says: “Finally, M was well enough for us to treat the Stasis properly so I switched her herbs, and asked her to take a pregnancy test before she came in for her session on day 28 of her cycle. I felt that using these Stasis-clearing herbs was the final piece of the puzzle, and I was confident therefore that that month she would conceive.” Sure enough, M fell pregnant after just one month of Naava’s clearing treatment and had a healthy baby girl in February 2011. “My pregnancy was good,” says M. “I felt better than I had done for years and although I had morning sickness and tiredness, it was a different kind of tiredness. I also didn’t feel cold anymore.” Naava continued treatment during the first trimester to ensure the health of the pregnancy.
“I would definitely go back and see Naava if we had problems again,” continues M. “What happened to us is amazing. It’s not only the fact that we have been able to have a baby; but it’s also that through her help and advice my entire life has been transformed. I was so tired all of the time that our quality of life wasn’t what it could have been. After the miscarriage I was in a particularly bad way as it had sucked even more energy from me.
“Since seeing Naava and the specialist, everything has changed and I often wonder now if I would have been able to cope with a newborn baby if I hadn’t had treatment to resolve my other health issues prior to falling pregnant. So it all worked out for the best in the end.”
M’s husband has also seen the difference it has made to her and is thrilled to have a new baby in the house. “He has really noticed the transformation in me, it has changed everything really,” she continues. “Previously, I was too tired when I got home from work to go upstairs and get myself ready for bed. He used to come home to find me shivering on the sofa.”
M was particularly impressed with Naava’s holistic approach: “It was really refreshing being talked to as a whole person. NHS doctors only look at specific issues, they rarely look at the whole person. Naava wanted to know all of my symptoms and a complete history over many years so that she could decide how to treat me.”
“When I treat a patient with TCM, I have a responsibility to ensure that I don’t miss any obvious signs of illness from a conventional medicine perspective,” explains Naava. “In caring for women who are struggling to conceive, it is important not to focus solely on the absence of pregnancy as the core issue; often there are underlying conditions which led to the situation arising in the first place. I believe that with a healthy mother comes an easy pregnancy and a healthy child, and it’s something that has been proven over the years considering how rarely I have to help my patients to conceive a second time.”
“Seeing Naava was an entirely positive experience and we are both very appreciative of what she did. We would have no hesitation in recommending her,” comments M. “Having a baby has been really wonderful and being a mother is nicer than anything I could have imagined!”
Baby boy arrived on January 20th. A nice normal delivery and weighing 6lbs 10oz. Thanks for all your help.
40-year old L had her first baby, a boy, at 35. Although she had no problems conceiving, she did what many first-time mothers do and put the health of her newborn baby before her own.
“I was overdoing it and was generally exhausted. I wasn’t drinking enough water, I wasn’t going to the toilet when I needed to and I was rocking him to sleep,” she explains. “As a result, he picked up bad sleeping habits and I had daily headaches, stomach acidity at night and a kidney stone when he was nine months old. My GP prescribed mild anti-depressants to help me sleep and I became quite reliant on them.”
L and her husband decided to try for another baby but after eight months without success, their GP referred them to a Fertility expert. “The Consultant informed me that because we already had a child, any investigations or treatment that I needed would not be covered under the NHS,” she says. “So I saw him as a private patient at his Harley Street fertility clinic and all the investigations he carried out came back normal.”
“Because the fertility clinic investigations didn’t reveal anything was wrong, I was getting quite stressed, I was having trouble sleeping and was suffering from mild depression,” she continues. “We had now been trying for almost two years without success. I had heard that acupuncture could be helpful and as luck would have it, the sonographer at the fertility clinic knew about Naava and recommended her to me.
Although the Consultant had told her that she did not need any treatment, he had recommended that she take Clomid as her periods had become irregular. She had been taking it for two months when she first saw Naava. It was making her feel ill and had had no effect on conception and since it was easier for Naava to treat her if she wasn’t taking it, she stopped.
“I realised very quickly that in Western medical terms, L’s follicular (pre-ovulatory) phase was too short and I felt that this was a contributing factor to her failure to conceive,” explains Naava. “Each month, the egg was potentially too immature to be fertilised, or indeed fertilised properly. From a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) point of view, her symptoms were very clear cut. I diagnosed her with underlying Kidney and Blood Deficiency. She was low on all the vital elements, or in TCM terms – the Three Treasures – and these were not only key to her own health and well being, but they also needed to be strong in order for her to have enough spare Qi to be able to make a baby.”
“Naava had a ‘can do’ attitude. She was very thorough and positive and she seemed to genuinely care and want to get to the root of the problem,” explains L. “I have always been open to complimentary medicine, so when Naava asked me how much I wanted her to explain to me, I told her that I was happy for her to keep her explanations to a minimum – I trusted her to just treat me! Having said that, I did learn a lot about my own body and my cycle as I had to monitor my daily temperature and keep a chart for her.”
Naava believed that in order to help change the timing of ovulation, she needed to make L feel better in her day to day life: “As I treated L, and she began to see improvements in her sleeping, her acid reflux and her headaches, her follicular phase lengthened to normal, and I realised that her luteal or post-ovulatory phase was too short. This was initially masked by the short follicular phase, and any Doctor hearing that she had a 28-day cycle would quite naturally have assumed that she was ovulating normally. I therefore recommended that she do a progesterone test to make sure that not only was she ovulating, but that the resulting progesterone levels were actually high enough to sustain a pregnancy. When we received the results, we discovered that the levels were far below clinically normal and so I referred her to a doctor I work with who uses natural progesterone cream.”
L followed all of Naava’s advice, keeping a diet diary, having hypnotherapy alongside her acupuncture and seeing a practitioner who prescribed progesterone cream to treat the hormonal imbalance Naava had discovered. “Naava seemed to know more about conventional medicine than even my GP did,” says L. “I think it’s essential to have a knowledge of both to get to the bottom of things and I gained confidence as I followed Naava’s instructions and started seeing the results. I began to sleep better, feel less stressed and saw the changes as my body temperature lowered and my follicular and luteal phases began to lengthen.”
L fell pregnant within the first month of using the progesterone cream. “By the time she used the cream, all the work we had been doing to improve her health had laid the foundation well – she was a very healthy woman both physically, and mentally,” explains Naava. “So, the use of the cream was the final element she needed to allow her body to do what it had been trying to do after all, conceive.”
L continued to see Naava for treatment during the first three months of pregnancy: “I’m pretty convinced the herbs at the start of the pregnancy made me a more healthy and relaxed person,” she says. “My baby girl was born on time (unlike my son who was three weeks early) and she is extremely healthy and a much more placid baby.
“Now that she is four months old, I’ve started seeing Naava again for treatment. I’ve done very well so far, managing with the interrupted nights, feeding my baby and taking care of a five year old. But some of my old symptoms have emerged again – headaches and stomach aches, although no depression – so I wanted to nip them in the bud!”
“It’s not uncommon for me to support new mothers for a few months after they give birth,” says Naava. “There are a lot of demands on them, and in L’s case breastfeeding had been a crucial factor in bringing her back to me. Her default position is to be Blood Deficient – in TCM breast milk is made from Blood – so when she depleted her reserves by breastfeeding her body slid back slightly to where she had been. But, unlike previously, it was an easy and straightforward issue to treat.”
“Like many, I have also come to the realisation that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is very beneficial for the treatment of fertility issues and I would advise anyone having problems conceiving to start with TCM before considering IVF,” comments L. “My problem ended up being a very straightforward and common one and yet the fertility clinic did not diagnose it. I could have ended up paying for very costly IVF treatments and suffering a lot of physical and emotional turmoil!”
C suffered from Amenorrhea (absence of periods) and after trying to conceive for six months, she and her husband were told by her doctor that she had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). A second opinion then diagnosed her as having ovaries which were still active enough to produce follicles and she was given a 40% chance of conceiving with medical help.
When C first went to see Naava she had been treated for infertility and had been trying to conceive for 16 months. She had been taking Clomid and was having scans twice a week. The whole process had exhausted her and initially she and her husband saw acupuncture as a chance to take a break from treatment and focus on regaining her strength for the next round.
“When I first met Naava she was very straight with me and very confident in her ability to help me,” explains C. “Based on the blood tests she saw and the scans I had had, she didn’t think that it was the PCOS per se which was stopping me conceiving. It was the fact that I was not ovulating and was not having any periods that concerned her most. I took all my test results with me and her diagnosis was that my body was ‘dormant’.”
Naava treated C weekly for the first six weeks and asked her to change her diet and take her basal temperature daily. C’s diet was healthy but her temperature was very low and her monthly chart was flat – not demonstrating the fluctuations expected in a normal cycle – so Naava prescribed specific Chinese herbal formulas to be taken on specific days of the month.
“In Traditional Chinese Medical terms, C’s body was simply not producing enough blood to make periods, so it needed a bit of outside help. It had also forgotten how to make the right hormones work in the right way and so, more importantly, she wasn’t ovulating,” explains Naava. “You can get pregnant without having periods, but you do need to be ovulating to be in with a chance! Bringing back C’s periods would get hormone production off to a good start, so I started by treating her weekly and used the time to begin to give her body the correct messages at the correct points in her cycle – thereby reminding it of what it needed to do.
“After C’s first period, I was able to review her temperature chart and see where things were going awry. I was then able to arrange to treat her on specific days and provide her body with that extra bit of encouragement to help to induce ovulation,” continues Naava.
“The condition upon which I treat most cases, including C’s, was that I have a minimum of three months in which to do what I need to do. During this time, I asked her not to try to conceive, as I felt that she needed a break to recover her emotional equilibrium and I needed to be free to work on boosting her Qi (energy) up enough to enable her to conceive a baby successfully.
“It was not only important to make sure that she had enough energy to cope with the process of being pregnant, but it was also vital to ensure that she did not loose a baby to miscarriage,” she concludes.
C threw herself into the treatment whole-heartedly and had a period in the first month. But after two periods, she had acute appendicitis and was rushed to hospital to have her appendix removed. Had her appendix burst, she was told that it would have reduced her fertility yet further. As soon as she was able to return to Naava, C carried on with her treatment.
“The next month, I thought I’d ovulated for the third time in a row and that I could now try for a baby” says C. “Naava had told me that I needed to look for three elevated points on my temperature chart and I thought I had them but I had got it the wrong way round. I was so disappointed, I was beside myself. But a week later I ovulated without actually realising it and fell pregnant.”
C’s system had been thrown out of kilter by the appendectomy causing her to ovulate a week later than expected and she gave birth to her daughter 9 months later. “I never thought in a million years that I would get pregnant so quickly. Naava had told me it might well take six to 12 months, but I first saw her in January and was pregnant by April!”
C continued to see Naava through her pregnancy. She looked after herself, ate well, took vitamin supplements and did yoga. “Naava gave me Chinese herbs to quell the nausea and I went to her if I had a cold or felt ill,” explains C. “I had a fantastic pregnancy; I slept every night, felt well and always knew that Naava was there if I didn’t. I even got permission from the hospital for Naava to give me acupuncture for pain relief during labour – I knew that if she was there, I could get through it.”
C had to have an emergency caesarian when she arrived at the hospital, as upon examination the baby was discovered to be breech. At the time, she was six centimeters dilated, with no pain relief and ready for the birthing pool. Naava was present to support her and her husband throughout the labour as her Doula.
“I was so desperate for the treatment to work but when it worked so quickly, I was really shocked and absolutely over the moon,” she says. “I absolutely adore Naava and really don’t believe I would have had my daugher if it wasn’t for her.”
I had two fairly early miscarriages and had been trying to get pregnant again for about a year when a friend, who is herself an acupuncturist, recommended that I see Naava. I was sceptical as I had not previously had any experience of alternative therapies and I did not see how it could help me. However, I was keen to give it a go as I wanted to avoid medical intervention if at all possible. By the time that I first saw Naava I was getting very worried as although I had twice been pregnant, I seemed not to be able to conceive again and I was anxious that even if I did, I might have another miscarriage.
I was not at all sure what to expect so I think it is fair to say that I had no real preconceptions of what was going to happen. I found out that Naava takes a full history of your medical, psychological and fertility history, as well as asking detailed questions about your sleeping, eating etc. She would update herself at every session and I became mindful of my health because I knew that Naava would ask me each week what I had eaten, how I was sleeping, what my period was like etc. At the outset of my treatment she told me that she would get me as healthy as she could, in order to have a well enough body and mind to successfully conceive. In fact, after about three months I did conceive and she carried on treating me for the first trimester. I also went back to her in the last few weeks of pregnancy and I had a very easy and natural birth. My daughter is now 18 months old. When I was recently trying to get pregnant again I returned to Naava and she ‘tweaked’ me and I am now pregnant again with a baby due in February.
I am reluctant to credit Naava with my successful pregnancy (hopefully now twice!) as I cannot say whether it was simply a happy coincidence that it happened whilst I was seeing her. However I am absolutely certain that seeing Naava was a major contributing factor. I came to really appreciate the importance psychologically of seeing someone who I could confide in and where I had an hour a week where I could relax and talk through my experience and my mental state. For me the benefit was firstly in reassurance from Naava that I was a fairly straightforward case, and secondly almost a therapy type experience where I felt relaxed, supported and really listened to. This differed markedly from my experience of the medical professionals whom I had seen about my miscarriages. When I am having treatment with her I feel completely reassured and confident that I am giving myself the best possible platform on which to conceive. She is totally trustworthy, experienced and professional. She works in a holistic way and is happy to give advice on almost every aspect of pregnancy and birth. In short I do not hesitate to recommend her and in fact have introduced some friends to her who have also been really happy with her treatment.
I met Naava after having just suffered my second miscarriage, and was convinced that they were due to a hectic work life. This job meant a lot of overseas travel and day to day stresses which had put a lot of pressure on my body. I was looking for help to get me back into shape and to be able to carry a healthy baby full-term.
Naava encouraged me to see a miscarriage specialist whilst also recommending I give her three month programme a try. The thought of not trying to conceive after actively trying for a year was a bit daunting, but both my partner and I were committed as we didn’t want to go through another miscarriage if possible. Very quickly after charting my cycle, she was able to pinpoint times to work on me through acupuncture as well as prescribing herbs (although they don’t taste the best initially surprisingly I got used to it and actually liked them!).
Throughout the programme Naava was a fantastic support and really gave me the confidence to believe that it wouldn’t be long till I had a healthy baby. Very quickly into the 3 month programme, in fact in the first month, I found I was sleeping better, starting to get renewed energy, my cycle was regulating and I felt more in tune with my body than I ever had.
I conceived right at the end of the three month programme and Naava treated me regularly throughout my first three months of pregnancy (just after conceiving I found out I had thrombophilia which Naava also helped to treat during pregnancy) and again at key times during pregnancy. The support that Naava gave to me before, during and after my pregnancy was amazing. An unexpected complication came up right at the end of my pregnancy and I turned to Naava for advice when I felt the doctors were pushing me down a route I didn’t want to go for delivery. She put my fears to bed so that I could progress confidently in the birth of our baby girl. Our little angel was born on Christmas Day and thanks to Naava’s support before, during and after my pregnancy we’re proud parents.
That acupuncture treatment obviously did the trick – my contractions started at 0600 the next morning! The birth went great – nine hours from start to finish, first three or four hours at home.
Thank You !!!!! Finally a precious baby girl. I truly believe you were a big part in making this happen so smoothly and quickly (once we started trying for her). I feel so fortunate that I met you when I did and that I got to benefit from your expertise and knowledge.
I started my treatment with Naava in June 2007 and was fortunate to fall pregnant in the December and have recently given birth to a bouncing baby boy.
I had been trying to fall pregnant for almost 3 years when in April 2007 my husband read an article promoting the benefits of acupuncture treatment for women with fertility problems. I had an irregular cycle and so it was very difficult for me to identify my most fertile time of the month. After many tests and visits to my GP and local hospital, I was reassured that I had no identifiable fertility problem and I was advised to consider IVF as I was 35 years old.
After much deliberation, I decided to give the acupuncture a go. I have never used any alternative medicine and although I desperately wanted the treatment to work, upon reflection I embarked on the programme with trepidation and a little scepticism.
During my treatment I went through many emotions, but by the time I started the treatment I was desperate and I wanted quick results. I was disappointed to learn that the treatment would take at least 4 months, and during the initial 3 we were advised not to try to conceive.
Fortunately after the first treatment with Naava I saw a result – my cycle length immediately reduced. This gave me hope and I focused completely on the treatment. I was meticulous about taking my temperature, drinking my herbs and did everything I could to lead a healthy lifestyle. I was 100% committed to the programme and I needed it to work. I felt as though this was my last chance. The strain of trying to start a family was also taking its toll on my relationship with my husband, and we were both feeling very low.
The treatment gave us hope and in the next month there was another reduction in my cycle which gave us another well needed boost. However after 3 months there was a set back and my longer cycle length returned. I was devastated, and questioned the benefits of the treatment, however after re assurance and encouragement from Naava and my husband I continued with the treatment and the next month my cycle length shortened.
In October I was elated when Naava advised me that the time had come for me to stop the acupuncture and to resume trying to conceive naturally. That first month my period was late and I thought I was pregnant, but it was a false alarm. This was a major setback and I felt very low after this. Christmas was also looming and I was still not pregnant. I decided to see a consultant to discuss IVF treatment and was about to embark upon a course before Christmas when Naava persuaded me to postpone this to the new year. Luckily, I did.
Looking back I cannot believe how impatient I was. This is a success story as I fell pregnant within 7 months of treatment, but I now realise it could have taken a lot longer and I needed to relax and have faith in the treatment. Its a long road trying to conceive if you have any fertility problems, but with the right treatment and support you can achieve the results you want.
We can’t thank you enough for everything you did to help bring him into the world. It was such a long journey, but you gave us hope and confidence and were always calm, gentle and reassuring. Now we have the results here with us and the pleasure he’s brought in just his first days is hard to describe. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Naava is fantastic. She completely understood where I was coming from. She was always very honest with me and only ever worked in my best interests the whole way through. Had we not been in a situation where we had to have IVF, I feel confident that she would have succeeded in helping me to conceive naturally.
She got me in the best possible state for conception and it was the combination of her treatment and my healthier lifestyle that resulted in it working so successfully. Although my husband was slightly sceptical (when we first started treatment) the proof was in the pudding – he saw my cycles become more regular, watched my temperature chart change and couldn’t fail to be amazed. Everyone said how healthy I looked. Ultimately, Naava got me in working order so that the IVF would be successful. Everyone really wanted it to work so much and all the way through treatment, we knew Naava was just as determined to make it work. She really couldn’t have done more.
Well MYH arrived safely on 20 june at 11.03 – weighing 7lb 6oz (3.34kg). It was a bit of a surprise to me as I’d been expecting a girl!!
We are both fine & came home Friday evening – life is hectic but fun and we are all so enamoured that we can’t help cuddliing him, getting into bad habits already.
Thanks & see you soon,
Well she has arrived ! Not quite the hypno birthing experience we had hoped for as we had last minute complications, her heart rate had really accelerated and then she passed meconium inside the womb, but labour was only 3 hours and I was in delivery for 23 mins!! My husband was fantastic and he said that the hypno birthing had really helped him keep it together when it all went frantic and as the doctors wanted to do certain test etc he knew exactly what to ask and felt that helped him stay in control.
…I just wanted to say a big thank you for all your help, treatment and encouragement all through our journey you have really helped us both deal with our situation and no doubt helped in the outcome.
Heres to the next time!”
HG had not been ovulating properly for about 8 months and at the time a friend of hers was being treated by Naava whilst she underwent IVF. HG’s friend recommended HG see Naava:
“I had never had acupuncture before but decided to give it a try. Naava told me that she may need up to three months to get me ovulating but I was pregnant within four weeks of commencing treatment!”
HG returned to see Naava two days before her due date:
“Naava treated me and said that I wouldn’t feel anything for a couple of days but that then something might happen. Two days later MG was born on his due date and the delivery couldn’t have been any more different from that of my first baby.”
HG had not expected the baby to arrive and had arranged to go out for lunch and then to friends in the evening. At about midday she had a slight ‘twinge’ but unaware that she was in labour, HG went about her day as usual:
“At about 6.30pm I was sitting in my friend’s garden reading and watching the kids playing. When I had to stand up for a contraction at about seven o’clock and showed signs of slight discomfort I was persuaded to go and get checked out at the hospital so that I could be back for dinner. I was convinced that I wasn’t really in labour.”
MG was born at 9.50pm after a very relaxed labour requiring only gas and air for pain relief. HG was amazed when the midwife told her to push:
“When the nurse came in with the cot for the baby we thought she was being a bit over-organised, but then five minutes later MG was born. I didn’t tear at all – it was miraculous. I experienced no pain at all after the labour, I just felt normal.”
“When I first went to see Naava she explained that it was common for mothers who had my low energy and Kidney Yin Deficiency to give birth to children who dribble excessively, are extremely hot and can’t sleep or won’t settle themselves. My first child had displayed all of these characteristics and even now can be up three times a night. I asked Naava if taking the herbs during the first 12 weeks would help the baby and she said it would. MG has slept through the night every night since he was 10 weeks old. Sometimes I even have to wake him up in the morning.”
“I have suffered from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) since I was about 18 years old,” explains 29-year old K. “My periods had been regular since they started when I was 13 years old but when I was 18 they became very irregular and I started to develop spots which were extremely distressing.”
“I went to the doctor about my irregular periods, but wasn’t told that I had PCOS. I was put on the contraceptive pill, Dianette, and stayed on it for years. When I came to live in London five years ago, I decided to get a proper diagnosis. I had an ultrasound done of my ovaries which revealed ‘pearl necklaces’ – a symptom of PCOS – but when the doctor carried out blood tests to confirm his diagnosis and the tests came back as normal, the doctor decided that the tests had been inconclusive and so nothing further was done.”
When K and her husband got married, they decided to try for a family immediately. “I thought that it would either be very easy or very difficult to conceive. I hoped that having been on the pill for such a long time would trigger a few normal cycles but five months after stopping the pill my cycle had become totally erratic again,” she explains.
“It wasn’t that I expected to fall pregnant straight away – I realise that it can take up to a year to become pregnant even when a couple has no fertility issues; but I was frustrated by the fact that I was only ovulating every six to eight weeks – I just wanted one chance a month like everyone else.”
K’s first step was to go to her GP whose response was that since PCOS had not been diagnosed, she had to wait for her period and then have an x-ray to confirm it before she could be refer to a gynaecologist. “I knew that it could be another three months before I had a period so I decided to see a private doctor. He referred me straight to a gynaecologist who did an ultrasound and blood test and confirmed the PCOS. The inconclusive test five years previously had been due to the contraceptive pill masking the results.”
K was prescribed a three-month course of Clomid by the gynaecologist to treat the PCOS and to trigger ovulation to help her become pregnant. She was told to wait for her period and then take it from the first day. She was to go back for a higher dose of the drug if it hadn’t worked after three months and she was advised to keep trying for a baby.
“In the end, I never took the Clomid,” she says. “Soon after the Doctor gave me the prescription I was reading the members’ newsletter at my health club and there was an article in it about Naava. Since I was still waiting for my period, I decided to ring her. I explained the situation and she told me that she specialised in PCOS and encouraged me to go and see her for a consultation.
“Naava was very honest with me and she told me the downsides of taking Clomid. She also told me that it would take her three months to get my periods regular again. I decided that rather than take Clomid and risk the side effects, I would give her three months of my life to see what happened. I had never done anything like this before – it was my first foray into complementary medicine and by far and away the most unusual thing I had ever done!
“It was really refreshing seeing Naava. Her thoroughness and the depth of her consultation really appealed to the organised lawyer in me. She seemed to really know what she was talking about and I was happy to entrust three months of my life to her to see where it got me. In fact, I found it a bit distressing when I had to go back to the un-holistic approach to see my GP to tell him I was pregnant. I enjoyed the 20 minutes of chat and 40 minutes of nice treatment time that I had with Naava!
“I took my husband with me to my second consultation. He tends to be less proactive than me and was a bit sceptical about Chinese medicine as he had never experienced it. He didn’t mind me checking it out as he knew that I was keen to avoid the Clomid and IVF if I could.
“When he met Naava, he thought she was very assertive and thought she explained herself very well. She was so confident and forthright and not nearly as old as he had expected her to be but he did think she presented herself very impressively.
“I began to see Naava frequently and as I reported back, my husband’s faith in Naava increased. When my temperature chart began to change we could see that there might be something happening and he decided that her experience and knowledge, along with the ability to integrate with Western medicine diagnosis and techniques, belied her age.
“As a lawyer, I follow instructions from clients for a living. Naava’s technique is to give you an awful lot of instructions and so I simply followed them as best I could. I didn’t have complete faith that what Naava was telling me to do was going to work – I was just happy to be given instructions that I could follow. I could relate to this because there are occasions in my work when I don’t agree with the instructions being given to me by my clients, but I carry out those instructions nonetheless (provided they are within the realms of professional practice, of course).
“Within three to four weeks of commencing treatment my temperature chart showed evidence of the changes taking place in my body. It went from being all over the place with no discernible pattern whatsoever to being much smoother. I had acupuncture weekly, took Chinese herbs, made dietary changes and took vitamin and mineral supplements. So many instructions to follow at once!
“The first thing I had to do was a 40-day detox diet. It was horrible and no one could understand why I was putting myself through it. But I was following instructions and part of me wanted to follow them to the letter so that if the treatment didn’t work Naava wouldn’t be able to point the finger at me by way of an excuse as to why it had not worked.
“The interesting thing about the detox and then the GI diet that I went on after the 40 days was over was the effect it had on my body. I wasn’t really overweight but I lost two stone quickly and effortlessly – something I had never been able to do before. I had always been a bit confused about why I was the weight that I was, because I didn’t feel that I was someone who overate or ate badly. However, it became clear that I had been eating the wrong things for my body – sugary foods, wheat, dairy and bananas are all ‘damp’ in Chinese medicine terms and they don’t work for me. During the two months leading up to my wedding, I ate sugary wheat cereal with bananas and milk twice a day in an attempt to lose weight quickly. I didn’t really lose weight and as a result of eating foods that were wrong for my body, my face looks bloated in all my wedding photos. Until I saw Naava, I had no idea that there was a dietary formula for my body, but this diet seemed to suit my body so much better.”
Naava asked K not to try for a baby until she had had three proper menstrual cycles and although her husband felt this was counter-productive, he had enough faith in Naava to go along with her request. Naava’s reasoning behind this request was to seek to deal with the emotional issues attached to wanting to become pregnant, and to separate these from the issue of the irregular periods. In addition, secure in the knowledge that there was no way the patient could be pregnant during this time; Naava was free to treat as she needed to throughout the cycle; not just for the first few weeks, until the possibility of being pregnant became real. “By putting this restriction on my patients, I can ensure that they see results much faster,” Naava explains. “Also, it moves the patient away from the rollercoaster of emotions associated with trying to conceive and gives them time to re-affirm their relationship with their partner without worrying about the issue of having children.”
K’s periods became regular within the next three months and further regular periods followed so Naava gave her the green light to begin trying again.
“It’s ironic really, having spent three months hoping my period was going to turn up; I then began to hope that it didn’t! Various things seemed to happen to make it even more frustrating – I was really ill and the fever sent my cycle all over the place. Once a regular cycle had returned, it did seem to be quite fragile and I still wasn’t able to fall pregnant.
“Finally, over Christmas I became pregnant. I tested positive at the end of January the next year. I thought I had had a period because I had been bleeding and only took the test when it didn’t become a proper period. When I took the test I was pretty sure that the result would be positive as on my basal temperature chart, my temperature had been up for a protracted time (body temperature normally drops when you are about to get a period) and because the bleeding had not amounted to a proper period.
“My husband and I both went along to see Naava and to tell her the great news, although we were obviously worried about the fact that I was bleeding. Naava was delighted and prescribed herbs which stopped the bleeding.”
K gave birth to a healthy baby boy. “Naava promised me that she would either help me to get pregnant or that she would get my body into the best possible shape to be able to fall pregnant through Western medicine methods, so it was a win-win situation for me.
“My job in the City is stressful and I can easily clock up a 12-hour day. When I went to see Naava I was ready to jack in my job but I really wanted to be able to take advantage of maternity leave. Naava didn’t encourage me to leave my job, which would probably have made her task easier, but instead helped me to work round the situation. We set boundaries and time limits together. Before handing in my notice I had decided to wait until Christmas to see whether or not I became pregnant and then I extended this deadline until February the next year. If I hadn’t have fallen pregnant by then, I would have changed jobs.
“Naava was also very good at managing our expectations and being realistic – it’s not an easy process to go through, you have to work with her, but it does get results. My sister has just started training to be a GP and has being doing OBS and Gynae training. When I told her I was pregnant, she was very relieved because she didn’t realise there was any alternative to the Clomid / IVF route used in Western medicine. She sees so many women suffering from the side effects of Clomid and was delighted to learn that there is another way.”
We decided to have Naava there for physical and emotional support, to help both my husband and myself with our degree of comfort during the labour process. Also, for help in managing/communicating with the hospital to ensure our wishes during labour were considered and met. As well, to reduce the likelihood of episiotomy, c-section, tearing and unnecessary interventions. Naava gave us both peace of mind that we would have her experience and expertise with us during the labour.
Naava’s knowledge of acupuncture was extremely useful. We used acupuncture to stimulate contractions, ease nausea and sickness, help to remain calm and reduce ‘shakes and chills’ from the epidural [we had to have due to there being meconium which meant the baby had to be induced]. Naava’s use of Hypnobirthing® techniques was also very effective in keeping me calm, focused and internally engaged even while hospital staff came and went and at times crowded the room.
Naava also explained the choices and options that we had during the labour, so we felt better informed. She helped communicate with hospital staff so that our needs were met, and while several hospital staff seemed to have their own agenda’s, Naava was always solely on our side – and helped to present our wishes/perspective to them. She was also our one continual presence; hospital staff midwives changed shift three times.
She was very positive and supportive about labour and how everything went. She also took photos for us!
I wanted to have personal support by a person I trusted during labour, and wanted the reassurance and advice of a person who knows about births. Naava gave me some useful information, and gave me the opportunity to ask questions about labour and birth. She gave me the reassurance that I wouldn’t be on my own during labour, and that she would help me to cope with any situation. In the days before labour, when I had to stay in hospital due to broken membranes, Naava was available for any questions, advised me about the procedures and arrived each time I thought labour was going to start.
Naava was brilliant during the labour and birth and I am not sure how I would have managed without her! The hospital was overcrowded and understaffed, so that I was left totally on my own. From the moment Naava arrived, she helped me to concentrate on my breathing and made contractions much more bearable. She supported myself and my husband morally, and helped us considerably in negotiations with the hospital staff (without her I might have given birth on the day ward). Furthermore, she eased some symptoms away with acupuncture and massage. Each time I thought I could not continue any more, she encouraged me and made me think that I did very well. She stayed with us after the birth until we were comfortable enough to be on our own, and she gave me some advice on breastfeeding.
Many thanks Naava, you did a brilliant job!”
We found Naava through word of mouth, and decided to choose her as we anticipated having the birth induced (due to gestational diabetes) an so wanted expert help to facilitate our wishes being articulated and followed whenever possible. Telephone discussions with Naava before the birth gave us the confidence to negotiate with the hospital regarding our planned induction date, and in the end we were able to avoid artificial induction totally.
Naava helped me get out of the house and to hospital before the baby arrived, and was of immense practical help fetching stuff, reassuring me, and keeping me informed. She also managed to establish for our benefit what was really necessary by talking to the hospital staff. She gave me lots of reassurance and kept me informed while the baby was being examined.
I would also recommend having a Doula to husbands – very reassuring and helpful for them to have someone ‘on their side.’ Naava also encouraged my husband to keep up reading our Hypnobirthing® scripts which really helped pain management – without her support, he would have been too embarrassed.”
Having Chinese herbs to quell the nausea during my pregnancy was brilliant, and cost effective, as it meant that I didn’t need to come and see you every week, and you even managed to help me when my hair started to fall out after I had my daughter. It was reassuring having you around. We always knew that you were there to support and guide us. It gave us confidence and we felt secure in the knowledge that you were only a phone call away.
The patient had had a difficult first labour and chose to have a Doula with her when she gave birth to her second child. This is her story:
“I had a horrible and traumatic first birth with an extremely detached and unsympathetic midwife who nearly ensured that my first child was my only child! After that experience a Doula was an obvious and very necessary choice second time around.
“Naava’s calm and confident manner rubbed off on both me and my husband as soon as we met her. Knowing that she was there to help and advise us and that she would support me throughout the birth really helped me to let go of fears and anxieties generated by memories of my first birth, allowing me to actually start to look forward to the birth.
“I really don’t think I would have managed a natural birth without Naava. From the moment she arrived she talked me through everything that happened which helped enormously. She was great at knowing exactly what stage I was at in each contraction and was able to tell me how many more deep breaths I needed to take before the contraction ended. She helped me by counting through them and was a huge help in making me feel that I was in control and could actually manage to get through the labour.
“Naava held my hands (which I gripped so hard I’m sure I hurt her), offered constant reassurance and encouragement and was absolutely brilliant. She was also a great help in so many small ways – such as asking the midwives to turn off the sound on the heart monitor and keeping the lights low; all of which made a difference.
“Being there also helped my husband a great deal – he had felt totally overwhelmed and helpless during my first labour. He was greatly reassured by Naava’s calm and knowledgeable presence and found her suggestions – such as to massage my legs – very useful.
“After the birth, Naava was there to encourage me to breast feed immediately (which we did very successfully), kept a watchful eye on the baby while he was being weighed and dressed – including shielding his eyes from the very bright light right above him on the examination table which the midwives didn’t seem to see as a problem. She also distracted me from the unpleasant sensations involved in having stitches and held the baby while my husband came with me to help me take a shower.
“I so wish that I had had a Doula with me for my first birth – I already knew about Doulas, but naively thought that as I would be giving birth at a Birth Centre and would have my husband with me, I wouldn’t really need one. Naava is a mine of knowledge and information and gave us lots of useful recommendations. It was great to have her there with us to share the first few hours of our baby’s life and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her – I will certainly ask her again if I have another baby!”