skip to content


0 items currently in your basket.

Start Shopping
Sign In

Register  |  Forgot Password

Join 5,168 other members by registering today.

Getting Pregnant

Wed, 5 August 2015

image 91Pregnancy occurs as the result of the female gamete or oocyte (egg) being penetrated by the male gamete spermatozoon in a process referred to as fertilization, or more commonly known as conception. The fusion of male and female gametes usually occurs through the act of sexual intercourse. However, the advent of artificial insemination has also made achieving pregnancy possible in such cases where sexual intercourse is not potentially fertile (through choice or male/female infertility).

We are very fortunate to start a series of articles from Iva Keene.  Who?

Iva Keene is a naturopathic physician, natural fertility specialist and passionate complementary medicine advocate.

Iva is devoted to teaching couples about safe, effective, affordable ways to overcome infertility naturally and without IVF.

Iva has applied the techniques she teaches in her private practice while conducting extensive research and study into natural fertility. She has a bachelor of health science in naturopathy from the Australian College of Natural Medicine in Melbourne. And a bachelor of business administration from the European University in Switzerland. She is an accredited Naturopath in Australia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Iva has provided advice on natural fertility, general health and natural sleep management to hundreds of private individuals and a number of corporations. She is keynote speaker in natural medicine seminars, author of several e-books, numerous health articles and is featured in magazines in Australia and Europe including Good Health & Medicine and Top Fit.

Her site is

Our first article in the series:

image 335Meet the Most Important Mineral for Your Fertility

Zinc is the most important mineral and antioxidant in pregnancy and preconception. It is required for foetal growth and zincdevelopment of muscles and bones. It reduces the risk of stretch marks, perineal tears, cracked nipples and it is necessary for immune function and brain formation.

82% of pregnant women world wide are deficient in zinc

A study found that 82% of pregnant women world wide are deficient in zinc. Low zinc levels in pregnancy have been linked to labour complications, low birth weight and premature delivery.

Fertility in men
Zinc is very important nutrient for male fertility and deficiency has been linked to low testosterone and low sperm count and motility. Sperm contains up to 5 mg of zinc per ejaculation, so it’s very important for men to keep up their zinc levels. Studies have shown that zinc has been implicated in testicular development, sperm maturation, and testosterone synthesis.

Fertility in women
In women zinc plays a role in sexual development, ovulation, and menstrual cycle. Concentrations of zinc and folate may have substantial effects on reproduction.  Zinc is also required for production of healthy eggs in women. Deficiency during pregnancy can lead to miscarriages and retarded development due to abnormalities in the chromosomes (DNA).

Longevity and Beauty
It is an anti ageing mineral and is required for proper tissue repair and hormonal balance. When you are deficient in zinc, your body will go get some from your own reserves. It will start with tissues which can’t hold onto it very well. They are the skin and hair. The result is flaky skin, stretch marks and hair loss. It’s not surprising that many women develop stretch marks and report hair loss in pregnancy. Hair loss can be influenced by hormonal changes in the body but it is also a definite sign of zinc deficiency.

Multitasking Mineral
Zinc’s other roles include;

-    Cofactor of hundreds of enzymes, including enzymes involved in food digestion and absorption.
-    Proper DNA replication and function.
-    Regulates the pH of the cells (if cells are too acidic they are more prone to disease)
-    Essential for vitamin A and folic acid metabolism and transportation
-    Required for activation of T-lymphocytes (white blood cells required for cell mediated immunity)  and making the ‘natural killer cells’ more lethal then they already are.
-    Controls release of insulin (hormone required for absorption of glucose, imbalance can lead to diabetes, insulin resistance, PCOS and infertility).
-    Makes up one of the most potent antioxidants produced by the human body – Superoxide dismutase (SOD).
-    Plays an important role in the health and flexibility of the connective tissue, skin and blood vessels.


Zinc absorption can be impaired if you are taking antacids and proton pump inhibitors. It requires acidic environment for optimal absorption and is therefore best taken away from food on an empty stomach.

As it competes for absorption with other nutrients don’t have it at the same time as your multivitamin. Zinc absorption is adversely affected by so many chemicals commonly found in natural food and it fights for absorption with so many other nutrients, not much of it ends up getting absorbed! Therefore zinc should be taken on an empty stomach last thing at night.

Deficiencies and Excesses
Vegans and vegetarians can be deficient in zinc as vegetables, fruits and grains are not optimal source of zinc. Phytic acid found in legumes will also block zinc and other mineral absorption. In addition smoking, drinking coffee, tea and alcohol increases your need for zinc.

Signs of zinc deficiency are loss of appetite, hair loss, white bands and spots on the nails, frequent colds and infections, slow healing wounds, stretch marks, dermatitis, diminished sense of smell and taste and premenstrual pimples and many more.

Excessive zinc consumption of 40mg/day may compete with copper and impair immune function.

How much to have?
Recommended daily intake of zinc is 8 mg/day for women, 11mg/day for men, 11 mg/day during pregnancy, 12 mg/day during lactation.

In men with sperm abnormalities 25-50 mg of zinc have been shown to increase sperm count and boost testosterone levels.

Where to get if from?

Lean meat, oysters, whole grains, nuts, pumpkin seeds, egg yolks, supplemental form – look for zinc acetate, the best tolerated and bioavailable form of zinc in a supplement. Stay clear from zinc oxide as it’s the least absorbent form of zinc!

Ebisch IM, et al. The importance of folate, zinc and antioxidants in the pathogenesis and prevention of subfertility. Hum Reprod Update. 2007 Mar-Apr;13(2):163-74.

Groper S, Smith J, Groff J. 4th Ed. 2005. “Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism” Thomson, USA

Keene, I. “Natural Fertility Prescription”, Australian Natural Therapeutics, Switzerland.

© 2009 Iva Keene and Natural Fertility Prescription
Prominent Fertility Naturopath Iva Keene publishes the ‘Ultimate Fertility’ ezine  with tips to get you pregnant ASAP.
Get you FREE Fertility Tips now at

Please see the following:

10 Signs That You Might Be Pregnant

Fri, 12 June 2015

image 88












1. A missed period
Consider trying a pregnancy test if your usually regular period is late.  This is the surest sign of pregnancy in a woman of childbearing age who usually has regular periods

2. Morning sickness
As early as a couple of days after conception you may begin feeling queasy.  However, mostly morning sickness (nausea and even vomiting in some cases) only hits you a few weeks after conception

3. Tender, swollen breasts

When you are pregnant, your breasts will become increasingly tender to the touch, similar to the way you feel before your period, but only more so.  Once your body grows accustomed to the hormone surge, the pain will subside a bit

4. Fatigue
Fatigue and exhaustion is common in pregnancy.  High levels of the hormone progesterone can make a day at the office feel as if you have run a marathon

5. Frequent urination
Once the embryo implants it begins to produce the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin, which stimulates the bladder

6. Food cravings
In food cravings are accompanied by any other symptoms on this list, start counting the days from your last period

7. Darkening of your areolas
Conception might be indicated by the skin around your nipples getting darker in colour.  It may, however, also indicate a hormonal imbalance unrelated to pregnancy

8. Implantation bleeding or cramping
About 8 days after ovulation, you may experience a slight staining of a pinkish or brownish colour, also called implantation spotting, as well as some cramping

9. Altered sense of taste and smell
You might notice your sense of taste and smell change.  Suddenly you may no be able to stand the smell of cooking meat and you can’t bring yourself to eat food that you usually loved

10. Home pregnancy test
A blue or pink line in the test window…however faint, may confirm what you’ve expected when the test is performed at least on the first day of a missed period.  Congratulations!  Make an appointment with your doctor or gynecologist and read more on our site on what pregnancy entails

Please see the following:

Tue, 7 April 2015

Adoption is the legal process of adding a person to an existing family. Adoption, unlike foster care, is meant to be permanent. The goal of adoption is to provide lifelong security to the child and the adoptive family.

Children who are orphaned are obvious candidates for adoption. Children can be adopted ...

A Guide to Raising Happy, Healthy and Caring Children

Thu, 5 March 2015

A Guide to Raising Happy, Healthy and Caring Children

Despite what researchers used to believe, studies are now finding that children can show signs of empathy and concern from a very early age. As moms, many of us are well aware of this fact, particularly when we see our babies act ...

Children and technology

Mon, 9 February 2015

When it comes to children, if used correctly, technology can be a huge asset. If not, it can be a huge problem. However, there is no way that one can avoid it. Our world is changing constantly. The primary toys of today’s children are computers, iPods, tablets and mobile phones ...

Mom2B Pregnancy Shakes

Tue, 24 February 2015

Mom2B Pregnancy Shakes now come in delicious chocolate delight flavor and assist in the provision of nutritional, vitamin and mineral requirements of moms and their babies before and during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

Click here to enter our competition and stand a chance to win a hamper

The shakes provide an affordable ...

Lunchbox Ideas

Fri, 23 January 2015

Moms all over the country are wondering what to pack in those lunchboxes! Herewith a few simple ideas:

Medium pita bread with mince, tomato, lettuce and cottage cheese
Banana Muffin
Chocolate flavored milk

Whole-wheat roll with sliced beef, cucumber & lettuce
Fruit yoghurt
Flavored water

Honey & Mustard Chicken with couscous and mushrooms, peppers & onion
Digestive / ...

Umbilical Cord

Sat, 29 November 2014

The umbilical cord (also called the birth cord or funiculus umbilicalis) is the connecting cord between the developing embryo or fetus to the placenta. Developed from the same zygote as the fetus, the umbilical cord normally contains two arteries (the umbilical arteries) and one vein (the umbilical vein), buried within ...

Itchy and pregnant? It could be serious

Mon, 4 November 2013

It is normal to itch during pregnancy due to changes in hormones and skin stretching. However, in a few cases this itching could be the main symptom of a high-risk pregnancy condition called intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP).

What is intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP)?

Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) is the ...

Stem cell storage

Thu, 21 August 2014

Becoming a new parent can be overwhelming with all the planning for the new arrival as well as getting to know all the baby basics. Pregnancy is the happiest time of your life and expecting parents often do not think about immune disorders or blood diseases when expecting their little ...

Extraordinary Mom

Fri, 8 August 2014

5 Qualities Of An Extraordinary MomWith South Africa celebrating National Womens day on 9 August, we decided to share our extraordinary Mom article with you:

At first I debated about even writing this piece. I will tell you why, I think that as moms, we are to hard on ourselves. It ...

Ideal age between kids

Mon, 4 August 2014

Ultimately the “best” age gap between kids is a personal decision that is often influenced by circumstances such as infertility, miscarriage or an unplanned pregnancy.

Women who have had caesareans are often advice by doctors to wait at least six months to a year before trying for another baby. This ...


Mon, 4 August 2014

A miscarriage (spontaneous abortion) is the loss of a fetus due to natural causes before 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Miscarriage is a common end to a high-risk pregnancy. A miscarriage occurs in about 15% of recognized pregnancies. Many more miscarriages may be unrecognized because they occur before women know they are ...


Mon, 21 July 2014

The Philips AVENT ‘Grown up cup’

The Philips AVENT ‘Grown up cup’ or ‘Toddler cup’ is a revolutionary cup that helps children transition from bottles to cups without all the mess.

The unique spill proof valve is an innovation, specially designed by experts at Philips AVENT. The valve is lip activated ...

What to do if your child is being bullied?

Tue, 1 July 2014

Bullying in South Africa is a serious problem in schools. There have been several recent cases of children committing suicide after being victimised by fellow students. Bullying can be defined as the intentional, conscious desire to hurt, threaten or frighten another individual. It can take the form of physical abuse ...

Bookmark and Share