Zita West is one of the world’s leading fertility and pregnancy specialists, renowned for her ‘whole-body’ approach and her promotion of the powerful role of the mind-body connection.
Zita West is one of the world’s leading fertility and pregnancy specialists, renowned for her ‘whole-body’ approach and her promotion of the powerful role of the mind-body connection. A midwife of 40 years, mother of two, grandmother of two, Zita’s life is surrounded by women and babies. In the past 20 years, Zita has trained as an acupuncturist, established a world-renowned fertility clinic in London, developed a range of supplements to support fertility and pregnancy, written nine books and recently launched a new range of baby and child vitamins in partnership with Leo Bamford. Now, Zita is introducing her new baby – HUG.
During lockdown the world stopped, so did fertility treatments and even the advice was to stop trying for a baby naturally. Women became very fearful about getting fertility treatments and what they should be doing generally when it came to thinking about having a baby. I have long felt that women are disconnected when it comes to fertility, they are always looking outside for the answers through apps and gadget so I want to encourage them to look within, hence hug!
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on fertility and IVF related anxiety and stress. Women can no longer access fertility treatments, tests and investigations or rely on routines blood tests or scans; they just have to be. The mind can have a very powerful influence on the whole process of conception. Negative thoughts, emotions and behaviours can lead to increased anxiety and depression and sabotage goals to conceive. This is what has led Zita West to launch HUG, a new fertility service born out of lockdown to help women combat the heightened stresses and strains that fertility and IVF can bring whilst we live in this pandemic – and once we come out the other side of it as well.
What is HUG?
HUG stands for heart, uterus and gut. HUG is a transformational set of coaching tools, techniques and guided visualisations, delivered through an easy to access online course. Through breathwork and guided visualisations HUG shows women how to tap into the powerful biology within their heart, uterus and gut and embrace the natural intelligence of their body to help them overcome fears, challenges and reduce stress, for optimal health and fertility.
How does HUG work?
The HUG course and visualisations provide women with daily tools and techniques to get back in touch with their mind and body. The course helps women to make transformational changes by showing them how to use their thoughts and emotions to manifest what needs to happen in their life. Through controlled breathing techniques and guided visualisations, HUG teaches women how to connect with all of their brains, the head, heart and gut, and also what Zita calls the uterus/pelvic ‘brain’ for optimal health and fertility. These HUG techniques teach women how to switch their body from sympathetic (fight and flight mode – stress stimulation) to parasympathetic mode which releases emotional stress, promotes healing and improves recovery. HUG is showing women how to reconnect with their bodies to overcome challenges, reduce stress, anxiety and restore inner peace and calm to enhance fertility, IVF and overall wellbeing.
What are the questions you most regularly hear?
Does stress affect my ability to get pregnant naturally or with IVF and how can I improve the quality of my eggs.
Any myths you want to bust?
That your egg reserves fall off a cliff at 35! Some women are more fortunate than others when it comes to egg reserves, so you could have a 40 year old and a 30 year old with the same reserves. However age is the biggest factor contributing to egg quality so it is important to focus on this if you are older. People also seem to forget about the sperm! Focussing on egg quality is important but you are born with all the eggs you will ever posses. You absolutely can make a difference to the environment they grow in , but men produce sperm 24/7 so you really can change this with the right diet, lifestyle and supplements.
Any particular stories with a client that has stayed with you?
The stories where women have had 10+ failed IVF cycles and then have been successful after taking a more holistic approach. So many women I have seen over the years have had a disconnection between mind and body, and it’s amazing the affect this has on fertility.
Top 5 Tips
- Learn to look within
- Limit use of “Dr Google”
- Focus on the sperm not the egg
- Don’t put your life on hold – make sure you still have treats but everything in moderation!
- You can’t have too much sex to get pregnant, but you can have to little
Favourite Way to Pause end of the day?
I have a glass of wine sit silently and reflect
Favourite Way to Play?
The opposite of the above! Dance, loud music and wine!