Pregnancy

Pregnancy lasts 40 weeks from the last day of menstruation. Changes in hormonal levels cause symptoms such as nausea in the first trimester, digestion problems and constipation in the second, and, in the third trimester, the growth of the fetus may result in back pain and swelling of the legs. Varicose veins, which can develop in susceptible individuals, may be due to an inherited weakness in the structure of the veins. Blood gathers in pools causing the vein to bulge. Topical application of a cream used in Europe that contains horsechestnut or escin, has shown to be beneficial in affecting venous circulation. A drop in the hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone can cause depression and weepiness after birth.

A nutrient-dense diet and avoiding certain substances before conception and throughout pregnancy can help bring about the birth of a healthy baby. For example, intake of 0.4 mg folic acid has been found to be necessary one month before conception to prevent neural birth defects that occur in the first 28 days of pregnancy. The vitamin should be continued during the first trimester. In the last trimester sufficient amounts of omega-3 fatty acids should be included in the diet. Good sources are fatty fish and fortified eggs. Calcium needs are doubled during pregnancy and the diet should include 1500 mg. Calcium also helps prevent preeclampsia and premature births.

Alcohol, drugs, including some prescription drugs, cigarettes, and excessive caffeine (more than 2 to 3 cups coffee) should be avoided to minimize the risk of conditions such as low birth weight, sudden-death syndrome, retarded growth, hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder, and emotional problems of the child. It is important to get sufficient rest, sleep, nonjarring exercise, and to reduce stress. Exercises that strengthen the abdominal muscles ease pain in the lower back.

Nutrients

Folic acid—400 mcg

Iron—on consultation with a physician; large amounts can cause a zinc deficiency.

Vitamin B6—10 to 25 mg three times daily, for morning sickness.

Vitamin C—25 to 500 mg daily, for morning sickness.

Vitamin K—5 mg, take with vitamin C for morning sickness.

Foods

Whole organic foods

Whole grains

Whole wheat

Amaranth

Fresh fruits

Fresh vegetables

Green leafy vegetables

Low-fat dairy

Fortified eggs

Fatty fish

Salmon

Albacore tuna

Herring

Sardines

Mackerel

Legumes

Soybeans

Lentils

Nuts

Walnuts

Seeds

Pumpkin seeds

Extra virgin olive oil

Cold pressed organic canola oil

Ginger

Herbal therapy

Raspberry—relaxes the uterus, most commonly used pregnancy herb, eases discomforts of pregnancy including morning sickness; good for breastfeeding; helps prevent miscarriage. Partridge berry—use for 3 weeks prior to, and during, delivery, eases discomforts.

Crampbark—soothes uterus, helps prevent miscarriage.

Dandelion, nettles—tone and nourish.

Vitex—15 drops three times daily, promotes lactation.

Sage—dries up milk production when breastfeeding is no longer desired.

Ginger—250 mg four times daily or 1.5 to 3 ml tincture three times daily, for morning sickness.

Homeopathy

For pregnancy and delivery, take remedy according to symptoms:

Arnica montana

Calcarea phosphorica

Carbo vegetabilis

Caulophyllum thalictroides

Cimicifuga

Ferrum metallicum

Ferrum phosphoricum

Nux vomica

Pulsatilla

Sepia

For varicose veins: Arnica montana Calcarea carbonica Carbo vegetabilis Hamamelis virginiana Lycopodium Pulsatilla

Zincum metallicum

For postpartum depression: Arsenicum album Aurum metallicum Calcarea carbonica Cimicifuga Ignatia amara Natrum muriaticum Phosphorus

Pulsatilla Sepia

For morning sickness: Asarum

Colchicum autumnale

Ipecacuanha

Kreosotum

Lacticum acidum

Nux vomica

Pulsatilla

Sepia

Tabacum

Aromatherapy

Lavender, geranium, neroli—massage or by diffuser, have relaxing and calming properties. Clary sage, jasmine—ease depression and anxiety.

Chamomile—massage abdomen and lower back, eases pain.

Mandarin 4 ml, rosehip seed oil 20 ml, and hazelnut oil 200 ml—prevent stretch marks.

Ayurvedic medicine

Clove—tones uterine muscles.

Aloe vera—apply topically for stretch marks.

Chinese medicine

Acupuncture—alleviates morning sickness and pain during labor.

Chiropractic

Consult a qualified practitioner.

Bodywork

Massage

Movement therapies Acupressure

Mindbody therapy

Yoga

Imagery

Hypnotherapy

New Mothers Guide to Breast Feeding

New Mothers Guide to Breast Feeding

For many years, scientists have been playing out the ingredients that make breast milk the perfect food for babies. They've discovered to day over 200 close compounds to fight infection, help the immune system mature, aid in digestion, and support brain growth - nature made properties that science simply cannot copy. The important long term benefits of breast feeding include reduced risk of asthma, allergies, obesity, and some forms of childhood cancer. The more that scientists continue to learn, the better breast milk looks.

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