Dian Shepperson-Mills & Zakia Mance: Having the foresight to plan for fertility up to the first year of life: Healthy Parents to Healthy Children

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Course Leaders:

Dian Shepperson-Mills, Cert Ed BSc BA Dip ION MA Health Education, Nutrition & Health professional, Fertility and Endometriosis Expert

Zakia Mance, naturopath and Hypnobirthing teacher, Mother

Course Duration: 15 weeks, 90 mins per session

Start date: Thursday 7th March 2024
6 pm - 7.30 pm GMT / 7 pm - 8.30 pm CET / 1 pm - 2.30pm EST

Cost: £150 GBP / $190 USD

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Course Outline

Creating, bearing and birthing a child is emotionally and physically demanding, no part of the journey should be overlooked. From conception to nurture, good physiological and mental health of the couple should be considered and cared for. This course makes the wellbeing of the body systems a priority, from healthy eating-to-exercise, mindfulness, and understanding how our bodies work empowers confidence.

Beginning with achieving successful conception, we follow chronologically from preconceptional-care, the gestation period, preparation for birth through hypno-birthing techniques, successful births, and raising newborns to six-months old, through to toddlers. Studying knowledge and research drawn from conventional and nutritional medicine and naturopathy. This program offers a considered, holistic approach, taking away fear and apprehension, replacing it with informed, practical, inspirational knowledge.

Globally millions of babies are affected by birth defects annually, many are miscarried or stillborn. One-in-six couples struggle to conceive as fertility rates are falling. We will investigate nutrient deficiencies, environmental pollutants and lifestyle factors which we may tweak to support fertility. All children are unique, made from genes humankind have passed on for millennium. Research has looked into enhancing fertility to improve foetal development through eating nutrient-dense fresh-foods. The genes from healthy ova and sperm carry the blueprint that develop into these little people we love.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Creating, bearing and birthing a child is an emotionally and physically demanding journey, and no part of the path should be overlooked. From conception to nurture, the good physiological and mental health of the mother is paramount and should be considered and cared for. This course makes the wellbeing of the body and its systems a priority, from diet through to exercise, mindful techniques and understanding of our bodies to empower and create confidence in the processes.
  2. Beginning with ways to achieve the best chance for conception, the course will follow chronologically preconception, the gestation period, preparation for birth through hypnobirthing techniques, the birth itself, and the first six months of raising the newborn. Using up-to-date knowledge and research drawing from both conventional and nutritional medicine and naturopathy this is a program that will offer a considered, holistic approach, taking away much of the fear and apprehension and replacing it with informed, practical and inspirational knowledge.
  3. Globally millions of babies are affected by birth defects each year. The Chinese Ministry of Health asks "Are these due to nutrient deficiencies, environmental pollutants and poor lifestyle? " Eight million have birth defects, 3.3 million die before 5 years of age, another 3.2 million may be mentally or physically disabled. We will look at how poor maternal and paternal nutrition may lead to the risk of a low birthweight baby, and other health problems.
  4. The effect of a Mediterranean style diet on prevention of heart disease and birth defects has been seen in research. We will learn how multiple vitamin and mineral deficiencies may affect the foetal organ development over the short and long term.
  5. This course will investigate the role of nutritional medicine as an ethical approach to enhance fertility and the baby’s health, exploring how a baby develops from sperm and egg. What factors are crucial for a healthy baby to be born? We will investigate the role of nutrition in fertility, conception, implantation, placental development, foetal development as described in evidence-based, peer-reviewed papers. Throughout this course we all want every newborn baby to maintain good health and to live a long and fulfilling life.
  6. We will examine the Barker Hypothesis which argues that disease may develop from poor intrauterine and early postnatal health. This looks at the foetal programming from the surrounding environment and the mother's nutrition, and absorption via the gut. This exposure to infections, nutrients, endocrine disrupting environmental chemicals within the uterus is felt to affect changes to the developing organs: ‘the developmental origins of health and disease’.
  7. Research has looked at optimising nutritional therapy for enhancing male and female infertility as at present one in six couples (WHO) struggle to conceive. China, Spain and Japan are seeing fertility rates fall. Conditions such as endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, premenstrual syndrome, hyperthyroidism and correcting the microbiome balance in the gut, uterus, vagina etc., respond to anti- inflammatory diets. Good digestion and absorption are crucial to obtaining nourishment from the foods we choose to eat.
  8. We will look at supporting the new mother after the stress of birth, which foods may provide energy, ease hormone rebalance, how to improve sleep and calm frayed nerves, plus supporting lactation. Creating a healthy baby through the weaning process will be investigated. All children are unique made from genes humankind have passed on for millennium. The genes from the ova and sperm carry the blueprint which develops into the little people we love. Your child has specific genetic nutritional requirements, these may lead to allergic responses to some foods depending upon their inheritance.

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About Dian Shepperson Mills

Dian trained in home economics and nutrition, specialising in food science at the University of Manchester, then took an Open University degree in education and psychology. After being diagnosed with endometriosis in 1988 various treatments failed to alleviate the pain and recurring ovarian cysts. A clinical ecologist helped her to regain her health. In order to study the effect of nutrition on human health, a three-year course at UK-based Institute of Optimum Nutrition was undertaken, followed by a Masters degree in Health Education at the University of Brighton, UK, with all the modules covering aspects of fertility and nutrition. Dian’s research interests are in endometriosis, sub- fertility, and the role of the microbiome in hormone balance and immunity.

The Director of The Endometriosis and Fertility Clinic, Dian holds consultations at The Sussex Clinic, East Sussex, UK following functional integrated nutritional therapy. Dian has published papers, book-chapters, and has lectured at scientific meetings in the UK, EU, North & South America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, & Japan. She is a member of American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) from 1997 and founding Chair of their Nutrition Special Interest Group organising Post Graduate courses, round table lunches, interactive sessions, oral and poster presentations.

Dian has also given hundreds of talks to women with endometriosis and sub-fertility world-wide, from Oslo, Seattle to Invercargill, treating 20,000 plus patients. More information.

About Zakia Mance

Zakia Mance is a naturopath and a hypnobirthing teacher. She fell in love with naturopathy at a very early age and was so impressed by the holistic approach and the fantastic results that she decided 10 years ago to train to become one. Her training in Paris at CENATHO included a plethora of natural techniques that help her tailor the right protocol to guide her clients back to good health. She particularly specialises in supporting women during and after their pregnancy. Zakia is passionate about instilling the fundamental principles of naturopathy and helping babies on the way and finds it extremely rewarding. She is also passionate about studying anything to do with the mind and practices mindfulness and meditation. Zakia strongly believes that “mental hygiene” and good mental health should become integral parts of our lives now and in the future. More information.

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If you have any questions please email the ANH Health Creation Faculty team on: [email protected]

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