From the Blog
Pregnancy – Relieving Discomforts Naturally
From the outside, pregnancy is considered such a special time in a woman's life. She is met with statements such as "I miss being pregnant" and "Enjoy it - it will be over before you know it". But for some women, it is a very different story from the inside. I hope this blog helps women to feel more comfortable when battling minor pregnancy ailments such as morning sickness (although it doesn't feel minor), muscle cramps, anxiousness and worry. I know I struggled with terrible morning sickness, varicose veins and exhaustion throughout my pregnancies, and relied on homeopathics and flower essences to get me through, physically and emotionally.
Homeopathy is a reliable and effective option in pregnancy. It is non-toxic, has no side effects and can be taken alongside other medications. However, the following information is not to replace medical care, rather assist with minor complaints which can cause distress and discomfort. Always discuss any health concerns with your professional health care provider.
To relieve morning sickness, Owen Homoeopathic's Nausea Complex can be very effective. It contains remedies to relieve copious vomiting with persistent nausea, heartburn, belching, heavy bloated feeling, thirstless or excessive mucous, and if you cannot bear the sight or smell of food. This complex was also featured in the Gastro and Other Stomach Upsets blog to be used for traveller's diarrhoea and stomach aches, demonstrating it can be used for other purposes. Being small white pills, they dissolve very quickly in your mouth and do not involve drinking a liquid to wash them down, or have a strong taste that can often provoke morning sickness.
If you are experiencing itchiness and dry skin during pregnancy, Sulphur may provide relief, Arnica for broken veins, and Sepia (only take for a short period of time) for pigmentation changes in your skin.
Sometimes sleeplessness can affect pregnant women and some believe it is preparing you for when the baby arrives. You can try the following remedies, however, to improve the quality of your sleep during pregnancy:
* Aconite - If anxious, restless and worried
* Coffea - if sleeplessness is as a result from joy (sometimes a handy remedy post-birth when needing rest)
* Nux Vomica - if irritable, and sleeplessness is from mental strain or over-indulgence in food, coffee, etc.
Unfortunately, not all pregnancies end with a healthy bouncing baby, and the devastation is overwhelming. Ignatia is known as the great grief remedy and may be helpful during difficult times of loss.
For more specific homeopathic remedies relating to pregnancy and pregnancy issues, click here.
Tissue Salts or "cell salts" are minerals found in rocks and soils. They are also, interestingly, found in the human body too. An imbalance or deficiency, therefore, can cause illness or provide an environment for disease to develop. Homeopath, John Damonte, devised a program to support the pregnant woman and her growing baby during pregnancy, using tissue salts6.
Some homeopathically-prepared tissue salts are available, however others can be ordered in upon request. Please contact us if interested.
Australian Bush Flower Essences:
Because I relied so heavily upon flower essences during my pregnancies, births and beyond, I was motivated to formulate specific combinations that support a woman through these life-changing events. It was with great passion that I aspire to relieve fear, anxiety and past trauma; and promote courage, intimacy and a sense of grounding. From this place, I created the New Mum Kit containing Pregnancy Support, Birthing Support and Breastfeeding Support.
Pregnancy Support promotes the bonding between a mother and her unborn child, trust in her intuition, reduces niggling fears and past trauma, which providing a sense of protection from negative influences. This can be used throughout the entire pregnancy, especially if the news of a baby is unplanned or the timing is not quite right. Alternatively, commencing the blend in the last trimester will assist with creating a sense of peace and positivity about the new baby.
Birthing Support provides emotional support during all stages of labour. Yellow Cowslip Orchid essence supports the function of the pituitary gland which is responsible for releasing oxytocin - the hormone of love which helps labour to progress, while the other essences promote a fearless, focussed, purposeful attitude with intention of surrendering and releasing any inhibitions. Commence this essence in the two weeks prior to birth and continue throughout labour until the placenta has been birthed.
Lastly, Breastfeeding Support focusses on those babymoon moments in the days and weeks after the birth. Ensuring that Mum and Bub are bonding nicely and any negative family patterns are dissolved, as well as creating an aura of protection for Mum and Baby from outside, negative influences. Some mothers find breastfeeding confronting, or dislike the sensation, or find it triggers past trauma. Breastfeeding Support contains special flower essences to dissolve negative experiences and move towards feeling comfortable with breastfeeding.
Other flower essences that can support you and your family through the birth of a child, is Rocket Fuel - formulated to promote energy and stamina when required. Calm Your Farm may assist when surrounding by chaotic, stressful people or situations that prevent you from focussing on the task at hand - remaining calm and growing a healthy baby. Belly Bandaid may reduce nausea and morning sickness throughout pregnancy. And if the relationship with the child's father is strained, For Ever & Ever can encourage couples to reconnect, get on the same page and reinvigorate passion.
Flower Essences can also be personalised. I recommend this for women or families who are finding the pregnancy or the birth a distressing experience, or if grief is involved, or when the woman feels out of control and not her usual self. If you'd like to find out more on how I can help with a personalised blend, you can contact me here.
Broth of Life:
At a glance, bone broth may seem completely unrelated to pregnancy, but it can improve your health during pregnancy in a number of ways. Poor digestive health can impact on nutrients being absorbed by the mother, which will then affect the nutrients available to the growing fetus. According to Ian White, founder of Australian Bush Flower Essences, if food is not eliminated from your body in less than 36 hours, it can sit in the large intestines or bowel and ferment. This causes the waste to be absorbed through the bowel wall and into the bloodstream - a symptom of leaky gut. It then goes to the liver to be detoxified, but if your liver is not working efficiently, your blood becomes less pure and is not able to absorb as much oxygen when it passes through the lungs. Less oxygen in your blood (and available to your organs) has health implications on both mother and baby. Therefore it pays to sort out your digestion as soon as possible - before conception, if possible. Bone broth can help heal the mucous membranes and lining of the gut to improve the absorption of nutrients from food, allowing your blood to be more oxygenated and improve vitality.
Other Wellness Tips:
* Diet - folic acid, vitamins B and C, calcium, zinc and magnesium requirements can increase by 30-100% during pregnancy. Consult your naturopath or nutritionist to assess the quality of your dietary intake.
* Consider placenta encapsulation. There is an abundance of anecdotal evidence of the benefits of consuming one's placenta in the months after giving birth, including a reduced incidence of post-natal blues, less mood swings and an increase in energy. Using a reputable encapsulator near you is advisable. If you are in the Toowoomba area, I highly recommend Enriched Encapsulations, and if you are local to Townsville, drop me a line and I should be able to point you in the right direction.
* Investigate if you have a MTHFR gene mutation as variants of this particular gene can affect how your body absorbs – or fails to absorb – certain nutrients.
* Maintain an active but gentle lifestyle. Yoga, particularly pregnancy yoga, can be helpful in providing exercise, flexibility and strength leading up to birth.
* Pelvic floor muscle exercises help strengthen the pelvic floor which facilitates the birth process and recovery, so look after these special muscles!!
* Boost the health of your gut by increasing your fermented food intake, taking probiotics, drinking kefir and/or consuming bone broth. A healthy gut will reduce your risk of contracting gastro, minimising the impact of such a virus, and speed your recovery.
* Consider regular chiropractic treatments throughout pregnancy, especially towards the latter weeks. Ensuring your body has the correct alignment can promote a better position for your baby, impacting positively on the length of labour.
* Consider acupuncture throughout pregnancy as it can ease aches and pains, and also address emotional fluctuations. If you are approaching or past your 'due date' and feeling pressured to be induced, have a chat to a local acupuncturist to see if they can assist. Acupuncture has been reported to have induce imminent labour.
* Watch the documentary Microbirth for some fantastic information on preserving your baby's healthy microbiome, which can have life-long impacts on the child's health.
Relevant Health Articles:
The following articles, predominantly published by Changing Habits, may provide useful information during your pregnancy and birth:
1. Five Tips for Preparing your Body for Pregnancy: https://bit.ly/2JKJznc
2. Pregnancy and Dietary Recommendations: https://bit.ly/2EO3my
3. Many Pregnant Women take Drugs Harmful to Baby: https://bit.ly/2EO7Jtq
1. Owen, J. (2010). Homoeopathy for the home prescriber. Western Australia, AUSTRALIA: QDirect.
2. White, I. (2009). Happy Healthy Kids. From conception to age 7 with Australian Bush Flower Essences. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.
3. Raybern, D. (2010). Gentle Babies. Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infants and Young Children (3rd ed.). United States of America: Growing Healthy Homes LLC.
4. White, I. (1999). Australian Bush Flower Healing, Terrey Hills, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA: Bush Biotherapies Pty Ltd.
5. Owen Homoeopathics. (n.d.). Mother and Baby & Homoeopathy. Homeopathic Info Sheet 2.
6. The Dr Oz Show. (n.d.). Retrieved August, 23, 2014, from http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/could-leaky-gut-be-troubling-you.
This blog is not intended to replace the service of a qualified practitioner. Any application of the recommendations set forth in this blog is at the reader’s discretion and sole risk.