NauseaThis is also known as morning sickness, but can strike at anytime of the day. These symptoms of nausea and vomiting generally go away by the end of the first three months. Things that irritate the condition: low blood sugar, low blood pressure, hormonal changes, emotional ambivalence, deficiency of vitamin B6 and iron, or excessive amounts of grease or certain spices. Remember, vomiting that is excessive needs medical attention.
Relaxation and deep breathing exercises do help. A protein snack before bed will help lower blood sugar in the morning. In the morning, get off the bed slowly. Take a walk everyday. Sea bands on both wrists for acupressure points also do help. Anise, dried peach tree leaves, fennel seed, red raspberry or ginger teas are home remedies for nausea. Infusion of ginger root and smelling ground ginger help reduce symptoms. Increase iron rich foods in your diet. For those who want to try homeopathy, Ipecac 6X three times daily for 5 days, Nux vomica 6X, Slippery Elm tablets, two before each meal do work. Aromatherapy: lavender, rose, or chamomile for a massage oil.
HeartburnDuring pregnancy hormones are released that allow the softening of the sphincter between the esophagus and stomach. This lets the stomach acids back up into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation. This may also occur in the latter months of pregnancy as your baby pushes all of your organs upward.
Eat smaller, more frequent meals. Remain upright for an hour after eating, lying down can irritate the problem. Eating yogurt or drinking milk can help. Avoid spicy or greasy foods. Try a tablespoon of honey in a glass of warm milk. Mercurius Solubilis 6C, three times daily.
Fainting and DizzinessBecause the blood pools in the lower parts of the body in some women, the brain may become temporarily deprived of oxygen, causing fainting or dizziness.
Avoid standing for long periods of time. While standing practice contracting and relaxing your leg and buttocks muscles to help blood return to your head. When resting lay on your side as opposed to your back. When sitting return to standing position slowly. Don’t get out of a hot bath too quickly. Keep cool in hot weather. If you feel faint, sit to avoid injury and place your head lower than your body by kneeling. Make sure you blood sugar isn’t low, eat small protein rich snacks throughout the day.
Leg CrampsCramps in your muscles are common during pregnancy. They may be caused by the weight you are carrying, circulation changes, or calcium deficiency.
Regular exercise. Adequate calcium intake. When the cramp begins, bring your toes towards you, and massage the muscle. Dissolve four tablets of Magnesia Phosphorica 6X in a small glass of warm water.
Constipation and HemorrhoidsAgain it’s the hormones that cause changes that affect the digestive system. However, in some women, iron tablets can also lead to constipation as well as a lack of fiber in your diet. Hemorrhoids are varicose veins of the rectum which are associated with pregnancy. Preventing constipation is a good start to preventing hemorrhoids.
Suggestions for Constipation
Regular exercise, especially squatting. Plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Drink plenty of fluids. Nux Vomica 6X three times daily. When you have to go. GO! Do not delay the urge to defecate. Avoid straining your bowels (This will also help prevent hemorrhoids.)
Suggestions for Hemorrhoids:
- Avoid straining.
- Apply baking soda wet or dry to take away the itch, even add some to your bath water.
- Witch hazel or lemon juice to reduce swelling or bleeding.
- Herbal sitz baths.
BackachesBackaches can be particularly annoying. They can be caused by several reasons: poor posture, inappropriate lifting techniques, lack of exercise, or the weight of the baby and the stretching ligaments.
Utilize good posture. Use proper lifting techniques. Sleep with pillows supporting your legs and back. Wear flat heeled shoes that offer good support. Heat (bath, shower, pad, sock). Swimming, but don’t move in a jerky fashion. Stretch daily. Herbal Liniments may help.
Coughs and ColdsAmong other things, pregnancy can cause your mucous membranes to swell. This can make it more difficult to get rid of coughs, colds, etc. Prevention is key here. Eat well, and get plenty of rest and exercise. Also avoid people who are contagious if possible.
Well balanced diet. Increase Vitamin C foods. Eating garlic or onions can help with infections. Zinc and Vitamin C supplements will help increase your resistance B vitamins help if you are under stress. Use Aconite 6X every two hours for 24 hours at the first sign of a cold. Allium Cepa 6C three times daily for a streaming head cold. Eucalyptus, lavender, lemon and tea tree: 2 drops of each oil into a bowl of water, inhale steam for 10 minutes. Do not use in conjunction with homeopathic remedies.
Herbal Decoction for colds:
- 4 Cloves.
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds.
- A few slices of fresh ginger.
- 1 pints of water.
- A slice of lemon.
VaricosityPregnancy causes changes to the blood volume and hormone levels. The increased flow of blood and the relaxation of the muscular walls of the blood vessels leads to a more difficult return of blood from the lower body. They can appear in the legs, vulva, or rectum (see hemorrhoids). The varicose veins that area a result of these changes can be painful, itching, and unsightly. However, heredity does play a part in this process. Here are some ideas to help.
Massage may help prevent, but avoid if varicosities develop. Avoid standing for long periods. Exercise regularly (Swimming, yoga and walking are great) Eat well, including plenty of fiber, Vitamins A, C, E and B complex. Eat raw garlic, onions and parsley to increase the elasticity of your veins. Never cross your legs. Avoid tight clothing. Support stockings may help if you raise your legs up before putting them on. Raise the foot of your bed 3–4 inches. Put your legs up whenever you can. Hammamelis 6X three time daily for up to a week for painful varicose veins (stop when you get symptom relief). Calcarea fluorica 6X is good for building up elasticity.
Skin ChangesSkin changes are bound during pregnancy. Some are pleasant, others are not. Most of these changes will go away shortly after the birth of your baby. Here are some ideas for the not so pleasant changes that pregnancy can bring.
Use a sunblock when in the sun. Never bleach your skin. Eat foods rich in PABA and folic acid
- Changing laundry detergents to a dye free, perfume free brand.
- Wear cotton clothes.
- Bach Rescue Remedy Cream.
- Lime Flower teas before bed can be soothing.
Acne may either get better or worsen during pregnancy, try to keep your face dry, and avoid oils.
Stretch MarksContrary to popular belief, stretch marks cannot be prevented. Your best defense is healthy skin, and good genetics behind you. These marks will fade and turn silvery after the birth.
Eat the proper diet to help your skin be healthy. Drink plenty of fluids (Skin that is well nourished stretches better). If you have itching, use a cream to moisturize the area, some people prefer a Vitamin E oil. Take Calc Fluor 6X, 3 times daily for a week starting in early pregnancy, continue alternate weeks for the rest.
- Stretchmark Oil.
- Dark glass 50 ml bottle.
- 50 ml of wheat germ oil, or mixture of wheat germ and almond oil.
- Essential oils of lavender and neroli.
- Fill the bottle with wheat germ oil, or the mixture of wheat germ and almond oils for a thinner solution. Add 15 drops of the essential oil of lavender and 10 drops of the essential oil of neroli. Massage daily after bathing.
High Blood PressureHigh blood pressure may be physiological or a reaction to stress or anxiety. Your blood pressure will be checked regularly throughout your pregnancy. There are many things you can do to help maintain a healthy blood pressure.
Exercise regularly. Maintain a healthy, balanced diet, containing plenty of raw fruits and vegetables. Protein is very important in preventing high blood pressure and eclampsia, you need at least 80 grams of protein daily. Limiting red meat can help you maintain a lower blood pressure, make sure you are getting protein from other sources. Salt your food to taste, do not eliminate salt from your diet. Cucumbers help reduce blood pressure. Avoid stress where possible. Instead of coffee, tea, or colas, drink: raspberry leaf, nettles, limeflower or dandelion teas. Juice of half a lemon or lime plus two teaspoons of cream of tartar in a half a cup of water once a day for three days, lowers your blood pressure, if needed, repeat after a break of two days 2–4 capsules of continue for several weeks for the most benefit.
If You Develop Pre–eclampsia
- Include potassium rich foods into your diet (bananas, and lightly cooked potato peel).
- A minimum of 2400 calories a day are required.
- Drink Raw beet juice to balance the sodium/potassium ratio in your blood, about 4 ounces daily.
- Take a B complex daily with 100mg B6 or brewer’s yeast.
Pelvic PainAs your pregnancy continues, the weight of the baby and your changing form may cause pain when your pubic joint expands in preparation for birth.
Regular exercise. Rest when you need it. Warm compresses at the site of pain. May worsen after walking or standing a lot. Maybe worse when you are tired.
InsomniaInsomnia can be caused by a lot of factors: restlessness, the need to urinate, worry, over–stimulation, discomfort, etc.
Avoid stimulants. Eat a few hours before bedtime, making sure your meal is easily digestible. Try warm milk or a calcium and magnesium supplement. Make sure that your room is well ventilated and your bed comfortable. Use extra pillows as needed. Massage of the head and neck may relieve tension. One tablet of Passiflora 6X, Coffea Cruda 6X or Nux Vomica 6X before bed or if you awake in the middle of the night. A few drops of Bach Rescue remedy in water will help you if your are restless. Add two or three drops of essential oil of lavender to a base oil and use it with a massage before bed.
Bladder ProblemsCystitis, an infection of the bladder, is not uncommon during pregnancy. This is due to the added stress placed on your bladder because of the increased volume of fluids in your body.
Avoid junk food, refined starches, sugar, coffee, tea and foods high in acidic content. Eat live yogurt daily. Drink plenty on fluids, especially water. Wear cotton underwear. Avoid using soap to wash your genitals or using bubble bath or bath salts. After intercourse emptying your bladder and washing with water may help reduce the risk of infection. Wipe from front to back after using the bathroom. Include garlic and cabbage in your diet. Try taking 500g daily of Vitamin C until symptoms improve.
HeadachesResulting from hormonal changes or stress, headaches can be familiar during pregnancy.
Get plenty of rest. Exercise regularly. Excessive caffeine can cause headaches, as can caffeine withdrawal. If you have been totally avoiding caffeine, a cola or cup of caffeinated tea may help. Try relaxation exercises. Soak a washcloth in cold water containing a few drops of essential oil of lavender. Apply to forehead and rest in darkened room. Massaging the neck and spine may help.
AnemiaAnemia is very common during pregnancy. We try and ward it off by prescribing iron tablets, this can be ineffective and actually cause other problems. However, there are times when we check for anemia’s that aren’t appropriate. We tend to want to check for anemia right after an expanse in blood volume. When this occurs it will take a bit for the red blood cells to “Catch up” to the rise in volume. This can look like anemia, when it’s really not. Here are some other methods of getting the iron you need.
Eat lots of iron rich foods (liver, leafy greens, beets, oysters, heart and tongue). Avoid caffeine, it prevents absorption of iron. Avoid excessive bran, alkalinizers and phosphates, they inhibit absorption. Drink something with vitamins C with your iron supplements (tablets or herbal), Vitamin C aids in the assimilation. Cook with cast iron. Good herbal sources of iron: Parsley, Nettles, Amaranth greens, Dandelion root, and Kelp Yellow Dock root Prevention: 1T of decoction or 25–40 drops of tincture daily Presenting with anemia: Same dosage as above but three times a day.