Pregnancy ailments and how holistic medicine can help

Last week a friend and I were comparing notes about our pregnancies and realized to what point pregnancy affects a woman’s body. The list of pregnancy ailments kept getting longer and longer, so I decided to compile a list to see just what women go through when growing a little human. Here it goes.

Nausea. Vomiting. Reflux. Swollen legs. Swollen hands. Swollen feet. Dizziness. Backaches. Food cravings. Loss of appetite. Increased appetite. Weight gain. Weight Loss. Pimples. Rash. Heartburn. Cramps. Frequent urination. Dehydration Headaches. Yeast infections. Sore ribs. Sore breasts. Sore nipples. Sciatica. Gas. Bloating. Burping. Hormone imbalance. Anemia. High blood pressure. Low blood pressure. Itchy Skin. Excessive Salivation. Metallic taste in mouth. Nose bleeds. Water retention. Leaky breasts. Increased secretions. Linea negra. Stretch marks. Spider veins. Varicose veins. Mask of pigmentation. Wacky dreams. Sharp groin pain. Increased libido. Decreased libido. Memory loss. Mood swings. Anxiety. Hemorrhoids. Fatigue. Insomnia. Leg cramps. Incontinence. Constipation.

How in heavens is the earth getting so populated?! And why do we continue to have more babies?!

Speaking to your caregiver

All joking aside, I truly believe it’s all worth it. And of course you may not have any issues whatsoever! Though, in my experience, most women have at least one or two symptoms throughout pregnancy. But you don’t have to suffer in silence. Your caregivers will be able to help for certain issues, others not so much. So I do recommend that you speak to them if something is bothering you rather than waiting until it becomes a bigger problem.

Holistic Medicine

While a lot of women will go the traditional medial route, others are open to trying different options. Many people have heard of alternative or holistic medicine, but really have no idea what these caregivers do. Holistic medicine is a form of healing that involves the whole person, including mind, body, emotions and spirit. For example, you go to see someone for your headaches. Instead of walking out of the clinic with a prescription in hand, the caregiver takes into consideration many other factors that may be causing you this pain, tries to the find the root of the problem and treats you accordingly.

In pregnancy, I often suggest that clients get their aches and pains taken care of before delivery. Not only will you feel better and have a healthier pregnancy, but you increase your chances of having an easier delivery. Who doesn’t want that?

I recommend seeing the following caregivers:

Acupuncturist

Acupuncture stimulates specific points on the body by inserting small needles into your skin along your body. Now I know, many of you are really not fond of needles, however, acupuncture can do wonders for a lot of your pregnancy, and non-pregnancy, related symptoms. Back pain, nausea/heartburn/reflux, sciatica, hormonal imbalance, anxiety, stuffiness, etc. there is a needle for everything!

I especially like acupuncture when we want to get your body ready for labour as acupuncturists can work on energy points related to your cervix. They are also known for helping breech babies turn. And though you may not like the idea of needles, know that you come of out of your sessions feeling very zen, as if you’ve had a relaxing massage.

Osteopath

Osteopathy is a form of alternative medicine that physically manipulates joints, muscles and bones in order to restore balance and harmony to the body. If you have any joint pain, sore muscles, pelvic pain, sciatica, swelling, shortness of breath, etc. an osteopath can do wonders. They are also able to work on any tightness you may have in the pelvic region to ensure your hips and pelvis are well aligned for birth.

I also suggest that you see an osteopath after birth, about 6 weeks postpartum, just to make sure your body is aligned and you’re on the right path to healing. I know I felt as if a truck had driven right over me after birth and a session or two would have done wonders.

Chiropractor

Chiropractors focus on the close relationship between the spine and the nervous system and often treat with an emphasis on manipulating the spine. Now, it’s not all crack, crack, crack as many of you believe! And if you dislike that side of chiropractic medicine, they won’t do it.

As you know if you’ve been pregnant, our bodies can quickly become misaligned, particularly our backs and pelvis due to the additional pounds we gain as baby grows. Having a pelvis that is not in an optimal position can decrease room for your baby, not allowing baby to get into the right position for birth, and then make labour more difficult.

For women with breech babies, I will often suggest they see a chiropractor that practices the Webster technique, a series of adjustments that establish balance in the pregnant woman’s pelvis and reduce undue stress to her uterus and supporting ligaments. It’s definitely worth a try!

Homeopath

Homeopathy is the treatment of disease by minute doses of natural substances, such as plants and minerals, which in a healthy person would produce symptoms of disease. You can take them in small sugar pill format or in liquid vials. They also come in different concentrations. It is a very safe way to heal your symptoms as the remedies use only very small amounts of active ingredients. Last summer I tried homeopathic remedies for my allergies and they really worked well.

Treatments for babies

Yes, your baby can be treated by any of the health care providers listed above for a variety of issues, such as colic, reflux, teething, breastfeeding problems, flat head, constipation, gas, etc. Of course, you will want to ensure that your care provider is trained in treating newborns and infants. Getting referrals is always a good idea.

What ailments do you or did you have when pregnant? Did you seek any help from a holistic practitioner? Would love to hear from you – post your comments below!

Looking for a great local practitioner in Montreal? Here are some of our favourites.

Wishing you a beautiful birth and babymoon,

Sylvia

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