bellyA Brief Naturopathic Pregnancy Guide for Pre through Post-Natal Care
by Rebecca Word ND

The following is Part 2 of the guide, based on a talk given this year at the Annual Open House for CREWC. Part 1 is available here. The last of the BB&B series, Part 3 is here.

Foods to avoid during pregnancy:

  • Deli meats: includes also sausage, hot dogs, bacon (anything with nitrites)
  • Raw seafood
  • Sprouts
  • Undercooked meats
  • Refined or processed foods
  • Caffeine, alcohol, stimulants
  • Soft cheeses

How to deal with morning sickness:

  • Pre-conception liver cleansing (although it may be a bit late at this point to relieve symptoms)
  • Frequent, small meals
  • Vitamin B6 (50 mg per day with food)
  • Natrum phosphoricum 6X (this is a tissue salt): 4 tablets/day for 4-6 days, then decrease
  • Homeopathics: lots (this requires the skill of a practitioner)
  • PC6: an acupuncture point approx. 1.5 to 2 inches up the arm from the inner wrist crease, massage gently)
  • Ginger tea

The problem of stretchmarks:

  • They aren’t necessarily inevitable
  • Good nutrition can make the difference in skin elasticity: adequate vitamin C is especially important
  • Cocoa butter & coconut oil for skin care
  • Hydration! Drink lots of water even though you already need to pee all the time

The position of your baby in the womb:

Your baby’s position can make the difference between an “easy” labour and a C-section. Here are some suggestions to achieve correct positioning.

  • Make a “baby hammock”: the baby will lie his/her back in the curve of YOU — if you lounge all the time the baby will assume a back to back position with you (this is bad); better is to sit up straight, get on hands and knees allow the belly to round forward so that baby’s back settles in the curve of your belly.  In other words you want to promote baby’s back to be opposite your back.
  • Prenatal yoga
  • Chiropractic: Webster’s technique works on the sacro-iliac joints and the round ligament of the uterus (very helpful), must find a qualified practitioner
  • Homeopathy: Pulsatilla has great powers to turn breech babies
  • Acupuncture

The role of exercise:

A good exercise routine should really be established pre-conception, but it’s never too late to start gentle exercise.

  • Helps tone muscles for a smoother labour and easier recovery
  • Stress reliever pre and post conception
  • Helps with circulation: less “cankles”
  • Ideal: daily walking and prenatal yoga

The problem of high blood pressure:

A major complication of pregnancy is pre-eclampsia, a condition that is poorly understood.  Pre-eclampsia is a state in which mom’s blood pressure spikes high and is unstable.  Must be addressed because full blown eclampsia can be fatal to mom and babe.

  • Being overweight prior to conception increases the risk
  • Supplements are shown to be preventive in some cases:
  • Vitamin C: 1000 mg/day (taken at week 20 onwards), during early pregnancy, 100 mg/d
  • Vitamin E: 400 iu/day
  • Calcium/magnesium: 600/300 mg (Mg also good for leg cramps)
  • Omega 3 fatty acids: 1 gram/day
  • Eliminate food sensitivities/ liver cleansing pre-conception
  • Drink nettles tea (part of prenatal tea formula)

How to decrease chance of heartburn:

  • Avoid excess weight gain
  • Avoid chocolate, caffeine, orange juice, spicy foods, high fat
  • Enzymes can be helpful (papaya and pineapple)
  • Drink water between meals, not with meals
  • Herbs: slippery elm lozenges, peppermint tea, nettles tea
  • Homeopathy: pulsatilla, lobelia, carbo veg
  • Phosphatidylcholine (portion of lecithin): helps to promote closure of the sphincter between stomach and esophagus so less reflux

How to decrease leg cramps:

  • Sometimes caused by electrolyte imbalance or deficiency
  • Prenatal tea (also good for swelling)
  • Stretching (careful the toe point at night)
  • Hydrate!
  • Homeopathy

The problem of insomnia:

Blood sugar irregularity, baby movements, midnight pee breaks, hormones, anxiety — how’s a gal to get her beauty rest?

  • Epsom salt baths
  • Teas: Lemon balm, nettles, skullcap
  • Communication of stresses to your partner or a trusted friend

Focus on your uterus:

You want to strengthen and prepare for mid-term gestation and your baby’s upcoming birth.

  • Yoga
  • Herbs: Beginning in the 2nd trimester use prenatal tea — 2 parts red raspberry leaf, 1 part alfalfa, 1-part nettles (2 cups/day)
  • Talk to your baby, touch your baby, and visualize your baby

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Part three next month: labour and post partum

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