Pregnancy and labour are part of the female of the species natural functions, should she so choose. But sometimes what we want and what our bodies do are at odds with each other and can need a helping hand.
Common symptoms encountered in pregnancy, labour and post-natally such as problems in the urinary tract, itchy skin, constipation, sinuses, coughs, breech babies, overdue, failure to progress in labour and post natal healing all have associated Homeopathic remedies. Breastfeeding mothers will also find associated Homeopathic remedies for conditions such as mastitis. Have a look at my Resources page to find natural remedies for before, during and after labour. For other resources such as books offering helpful and practical advice during this period see here. Self prescribing at this time is not recommended. Remedies are safe to use in pregnancy for mother and baby.
Babies can have all sorts of symptoms such as conjuntivities, snots and phlegm, itchy skin, cradle cap, colic and thrush all of which have associated Homeopathic remedies which are non toxic. I see a lot of babies and mothers in my practice.
Commonly, lots of woman find the first trimester very tiring – I remember wanting to go for a nap every afternoon (not an easy thing to do if you are working!) and my fellow classmates falling asleep during the relaxation part of our ante-natal class. Try and go to bed earlier and build more sleep in to your routine. Your body is doing a lot and you and your baby need you to be able to keep up.
In the middle trimester usually you will feel a big change as energy increases again. This is the time when you are able to get things done. The last two months of your pregnancy are tiring again, you are much bigger, sleep becomes disturbed as it can be hard to find a comfortable position and you may need to get up for the bathroom more as the pressure on your bladder increases.
Again you need to grab cat-naps as you can so that you are as rested as possible before baby arrives. In a way it is nature preparing us for the nights ahead while baby is small and needs feeding.
Some tips to keep in mind. Coffee is a stimulant and a diuretic. More than 1 cup a day is not recommended in pregnancy. Caffeine passes freely across the placenta.
If you have been diagnosed with anaemia in pregnancy and advised to go on iron, there is a great natural iron product recommended to me by my midwife which is non constipating. Spatone is 100% natural from naturally iron rich mineral water, is widely available and comes in sachets. Another great iron supplement product is Floradex liquid iron which is also non constipating.
The due date is worked out by adding 40 weeks to the date of the first day of your last period (if it is known). This is based on a women who has a 28 day menstrual cycle. However if you have a 26 day cycle then your due date is before 40 weeks, and if you have 30 day cycle then your due date is after 40 weeks. This can add or subtract a few days to the due date. You are full term officially at 38 weeks – 42 weeks. First babies can often take longer than 40 weeks. Very few woman actually go on their due date so don’t get disheartened if you are overdue which is 42 weeks +1 day according to our National Maternity Hospital in Holles Street. Hospitals vary on this, who knew! Is there any other physical reason such as your partner being called away or your family support being unavailable in the following week? Sometimes things like that can affect us and causes baby to make a no show!
To Breastfeed Or Not
Did you know breastfeeding is the best form of nutrition for your baby. Your breast milk is like nature’s own immunisation protecting baby against a wide variety of illness and conditions. It’s designed perfectly to meet your baby’s every need. Even its only done for two weeks, it makes a big difference to baby’s long term health.
One of the benefits to mothers who breastfeed is a lower risk of breast cancer. You won’t need to buy formula and spend time making up bottles every day. If its something you are open to doing, why not try it? From my own experience and from helping mothers, I know what needs help in the early days and can help provide solutions during your time breastfeeding should problems arise. However, its not for everybody and a happy mother is the best thing a baby can have.
Parent And Baby Mornings
One of the most important things you can do prior to labour is to find out where your local Cuidiu (Irish National Trust) branch is. It’s a great support organisation where expectant mothers and new parents and babies meet up once a week over a cuppa. New mothers can feel a bit isolated when friends are at work or not at the same stage as you.
They offer different activities. “Mother/Parent link” coffee mornings are weekly, hosted in someone’s home, welcoming everyone, breast or bottle feeding.
There also do separate specific breastfeeding coffee mornings where a trained breastfeeding counsellor is always in attendance. If you are planning on breastfeeding it’s a great idea to go along to one of these mornings to talk to a lactation expert (for free!) before your birth.
Humpty Dumpty mornings are for parents and toddlers in a local hall. There is a nominal donation to cover the cost of the cuppa and bikkies each week. Cuidiu also have trained antenatal teachers who run antenatal classes and branches may also run stretch and relaxation yoga classes. Some branches have some great books that can be borrowed by members. It’s a super parent to parent professional organisation and I’m still meeting up with my friends from my baby days. Check out your local branch.
I have given talks for Mothercare and Cuidiu (Irish Childbirth Trust) about using Homeopathic Medicines in pregnancy, labour, post natally, problems with breastfeeding, common illnesses encountered in the family and injuries.