Pregnancy is an exciting time filled with joy and promise. It is the addition of a new member to the family. It is also one of the most physically and mentally demanding things that one can ever go through. There are several physical problems and symptoms associated with it. Some of the complaints that are commonly associated with pregnancy include morning sickness, breast tenderness, fatigue, and constipation. After childbirth many woman experience various hormonal shifts that may lead them to a wide range of emotions, including depression. Woman should be aware of the many safe, natural safe ways to alleviate the different symptoms of pregnancy.
Common Pregnancy Symptoms and Management
Morning sickness occurs due to the decrease of the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. This is due to the various hormonal shifts during the first trimester. What happens due to this is the poor functioning of the muscles that food moves through in the digestive tract. What this leads to is is vomiting and nausea in early pregnancy sickness.
The best way to quell the symptoms is getting plenty of rest and eating several small meals since many of the symptoms occur on an empty stomach. Another great suggestion is by eating cucumber. Another great treatment to relieve symptoms is by mixing a teaspoon of lemon juice or apple cider mixed with a teaspoon of honey in warm water.
This is another problem due to hormonal shifts. It can be solved by staying hydrated with at least eight to twelve glasses of water every day. It is also important to get fiber from whole grains, bran, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Castor oil, irritating laxatives, and anything that may cause peristalsis since it may cause peristalsis.
Diarrhea can be helped with a diet that incorporates the acronym BRAT: Bananas, Rice, Apples, and Toast. Four capsules of charcoal can be taken, one to three hours apart, which will bind toxin in the bowels. There are homeopathic remedies that are effective for diarrhea such as: podyphyllym peltatum, sulfur, thuja occidentalis, veratrum album, and cinchona officinalis.
This is another problem that occurs since the GI tract is not moving as well as it should be and the baby’s head may be pressing on this area. A good idea would be to avoid carbonated beverages during this time.
This usually occurs during the first trimester as the hormones and the body are preparing for breast feeding. It will only last a few weeks. A good idea would be to have hot compresses, hot showers, and well fitting bras with underwires to help with the sensitivity.
Fatigue is common during the first trimester, especially with the hormonal changes due to the demands of the fetus. Anemia is a factor and can be prevented by a diet heavy on green, leafy vegetables. Herbal remedies such as nettles, dandelions, and yellow docks can also be very helpful.
Small, frequent meals are much more preferable to three big ones. Lying down should be avoided after eating since this will cause stomach acids to wash back up into the throat. A good herbal treatment for heartburn is slippery elm. Papaya enzymes are also very good to have.
80% of U.S. women undergo this procedure to enlarge the vagina to ease the delivery. There are often complications when the procedure is done incorrectly which would lead to future problems when the cervix pushes through the vagina and appear as the uterus is being forced out. Doctors often misdiagnose this as a prolapsed uterus. Statistics for this have it from 100,000 to 200,000 for a misdiagnose this a year.
Certain conditions during pregnancy, such as anemia, hypoglycemia, and diabetes, require close supervision by a physician. It would benefit to have a diet that has a whole variety of whole organic foods such as legumes, grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. It is important to eat only when hungry. Make high quality proteins part of the diet, thus it is important for vegetarians to have soy products, beans, fish and nuts. It important to stay hydrated. It is especially important to drink during meals to dilute stomach enzymes. Calcium depleting foods such as chocolate, coffee, and sodium should be avoided during pregnancy.
Folic Acid is extremely important during pregnant since it helps prevent neural tube defects. It is important to take this in supplement form since food preparation destroys this nutrient. A multivitamin that contains Vitamin C, B12, zinc, vitamin E, and acidophilus is also beneficial. ro
To help cure postpartum depression, research has shown that vitamin B6 can help establish hormonal balance by increasing serotonin levels. In a research study, patients were given B6 for 28 days after delivery and did not have a recurrence of postpartum depression.
Pregnant women would benefit from 60 minutes of aerobic exercise. Non weight bearing activities such as cycling and swimming are ideal since they would decrease the risk of injury. It is also recommended to do some stretches that open up the pelvic area.
It is important to not stand up for a long period of time and avoids high intensity exercises. It is also important to not push the workout to the point of breathlessness and to try not to raise the body temperature.
The Alexander Technique is a great way to learn how to deal with the demands of pregnancy. It will teach effective methods on how to breathe, bend, and rest in order to decrease the pain and tension of pregnancy and will also ease come delivery time.
The pregnant woman will take a role during the session as the teacher will act as a guide. The woman may learn to squat in preparation for delivery or learn the proper way to pick things up without using the back. The instructor will also have a hands-on role which will stimulate the pregnant woman’s nervous system. This will help the client respond in a more positive way. After a successful Alexander Technique session, the woman will feel much lighter and freer in their movements.
Massage helps the expectant mother to stimulate lymphatic drainage to rid the body of toxins. It also helps in alleviating:
- Muscle spasms
- Lower back pain
- Swelling in the legs
- Varicose veins
- Fluid retention
Massage also can promote a hormone balance and a strong immune system. It will also decrease irritability, mood swing, and overheating. The therapist that will use pregnancy to treat pregnancy will have the understanding of where to apply pressure.
Aromatherapy, when used alone or in conjunction with massage, will engage both physical and emotional levels. Five drops of Cyprus oil added to a bath would cure symptoms of hemmoroids. Sinus problems could be cured with a humidifier with eucalyptus added to the cold air. Varicose veins may be improved with a body lotion that has Cyprus and lemon oil added to it. Postpartum depression can be cured by a clary sage and jasmine mixture added to the bath. Many of these are available in health food stores.
Homeopathic care offers a wide range of remedies for post partum depression. Classic homeopathic remedies include sepia, natmur, ignatia, arnica, phosphoric acid, and cocculus.
Raspberry (Rubus idaeus)
Raspberry has been helpful to those women that have a history of miscarriage. Women are advised to drink raspberry tea leaf throughout pregnancy to help carry the baby to term.
Black haw (Vibrurnum prunifolim)
Black haw, also called crampbark, is recognized as an effective treatment to treat painful cramps and other conditions painful discomforts associated with pregnancy.
Blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroids)
Native Americans used this to help induce labor. The active ingredient in blue cohosh is called caulosaponin, which is a powerful stimulator of uterine contractions.
Jute (Corchorus olitorious) and Spinach (Spinacia oleracea)
Jute is a great source of folate, which helps prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
St. John’s wort (Hypericum peforatum)
This has great anti-inflammatory action and helps ease the swelling and burns following delivery.
- Bratman, S. (1998). The Alternative Medicine Ratings Guide: an expert panel rates the best treatments for over 80 conditions. New York: Crown Publishing Group (1998)
- Brown, L. (1999). Alternative Medicine. London : Teach Yourself
- Deepak Chopra, M.D. (2002). Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide. Puyallup, Wash. : Future Medicine Pub.
- Duke, J. (2003). The Green Pharmacy: Herbal remedies for common diseases and conditions from the world's foremost authority on healing herbs. London : Rodale
- Nancy Allison.(1999). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines.New York : Rosen Pub. Group
- Servan-Schreiber, D.(2006). The Encyclopedia of New Medicine: Conventional & Alternative Medicine For All Ages. London : Rodale
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Pregnancy - More Information
A mother's diet during the first days of pregnancy is crucial because the only way the embryo in her womb can receive the nutrients and oxygen it needs for growth is through her bloodstream.
More than 50% of pregnant women complain of experiencing morning sickness at some time during their pregnancy. Typical symptoms include nausea and vomiting, especially in the morning, but which can occur at any time.
Approximately 10% of American women develop high blood pressure, or hypertension during pregnancy, most frequently in the third trimester. In most cases, the elevation is mild and produces no adverse symptoms.
Both ancient and modern cultures have recognized the need to cleanse and ready the body prior to conception to ensure the optimum health of the sperm and egg—and to maximize the chances that an egg will be fertilized.