While we hope for a calm, happy time, often women experience high levels of stress, sadness, fears, joy, and excitement all at once. This, together with the ongoing pressures of work, home, family, and other commitments can take strain on you and your growing baby. Stop, take a few minutes to reflect on the miracle which has happened and start to put plans into place to ensure a healthy, comfortable, and happy pregnancy. The decisions made will have a bearing on the birth and all which that entails as well.
Pregnancy gives you an opportunity to experience life in a way which will change your outlook forever. The miracle of creation cannot but move you. Aim to enjoy the nine months with your child as a union. It is a unique opportunity, never to be repeated with this child, ever! Be willing to change, because you will!
Some tips for the expectant parents:
- It’s time to be practical. Decide who will be your caregiver over the 9-month gestation period. Find out about your local midwives, gynaecologists and GPs who specialise in births and let your homeopath know. Would you like a home birth, or would you be more comfortable delivering in hospital? Once decided, make the necessary appointments, book your hospital stay, notify your medical aid, and pay any necessary deposits. With this ‘nitty-gritty’ out the way, you will have a clear idea of who will feature where in the months to come.
- Have your general health assessed. While this should ideally have been done before you fell pregnant, knowing your state of health and fitness will give you a baseline to work from to maintain or to improve in the months ahead. The demands of pregnancy on the body are great.
- Your doctor will send you for blood tests, particularly if you are vegan or vegetarian. Nutrients such as iron and vitamin B12 are important for growing a healthy baby and are often lacking in a meatless diet. They should also test your folic acid, vitamin D and haemoglobin, and prescribe supplements if need be. It is highly recommended that all pregnant women are on a folic acid supplement throughout their pregnancy. Folic acid helps form the neural tube of the baby. This will avoid some major birth defects of the brain (anencephaly) and spine (spina bifida). Read the first 1000 days of life article to know more about the importance of especially iron for your unborn child.
- Be aware that the first three months of your pregnancy is most probably the most crucial as the baby’s brain and central nervous system forms during this time. Smoking and alcohol consumption during pregnancy and while breastfeeding should be avoided at all costs. Don’t forget that certain medicines, even some simple over the counter ones can harm your baby. Discuss all of these with your doctor and only use those which are approved and absolutely necessary. Consider homeopathic remedies rather for any day-to-day complaints during pregnancy, and for more serious conditions ask a homeopath what they can offer as safe alternatives. Although ‘natural’ medicines, some herbal products aren’t safe to use in pregnancy either so double check with your homeopath or pharmacist before using these as well. Avoid crowds to prevent possible viral infections, especially if you don’t have natural immunity against German Measles. Your doctor will most likely check to see if you have these antibodies. Wash your hands regularly, do not touch your face when in public and wear a mask while Covid 19 is still prevalent. A viral infection, or any other infection for that matter at this time is best avoided.
- Good nutrition should be adhered to from day one! This should be part of the preparation for pregnancy if you want to ensure optimum health for both yourself and your baby. This applies to the father as well, as his nutritional status can be reflected in his sperm quality at the time of impregnation. Read the Back To Good Health Diet, this will help you maintain a moderate weight gain through the pregnancy too.
- Exercise plays a vital part in an easy and healthy pregnancy. Get into the habit of brisk walking for 20 – 30 minutes each day to promote a healthy heart, circulation and to control blood pressure. Walking daily should be a pleasure and not a bind. Find safe routes away from dense traffic to minimise the inhalation of toxic exhaust fumes. Being healthy, fit and strong benefits both mom and baby.
- Above all, use the first 3 months to adjust to the idea of pregnancy. Get used to the changes in your breasts; accept the subtle changes in your mood; learn to laugh at your sudden likes and dislikes in foods and drinks and other people’s perfume!
What to look out for in the first 3 months:
- Any unusual bleeding – “spotting” is normal over the implantation period which happens in week 3. If you are experiencing any other bleeding, go straight to your doctor.
- High fever – see your doctor immediately.
- • Excessive nausea and/or excessive vomiting – if there is more than just a fleeting early morning nausea such as excessive vomiting leading to dehydration or excessive nausea preventing eating regular meals, you need to see a homeopath who could prescribe a remedy which does not carry the risk of side effects. In rare cases you might be hospitalised to be given a drip to overcome the dehydration and lack of nourishment.
- Over the counter remedies for morning sickness are:
a) Natura Magen Drops
b) Pegasus Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea
- Increased desire to urinate – if this is associated with fever and pain you need to see your doctor or homeopath immediately as this could indicate a bladder infection which is quite common in pregnancy. If the desire is present with no fever, pain, or blood in the urine it could be because of the pressure of the enlarging uterus on the bladder or in the early stages of pregnancy it may be because of increased blood flow in the pelvic region, causing the kidneys to work a bit harder. Try not to stand for long periods of time. Empty the bladder completely in a squatting position. Drink more water to dilute the urine if it’s too concentrated.
- Feeling sleepy – to begin with, the body might require more rest, causing you to feel sleepy. This is normal. In some instances, you might feel more energetic, enjoy your heightened energy levels! You might have no libido, or you might have an increased desire for sex – whichever way your body chooses to respond, respect it and do not go into a position of judgement or expectation. Remember, pregnancy is a perfectly normal state for your body to find itself in. You are not sick. Your body is firmly in control, with nature taking its course.
3 – 6 months:
Somewhere around the 4-month mark, you should feel the first flutter of movement of your baby. This is a big day! For the first time mom it is easily missed. The baby’s movements soon become much stronger, and you cannot mistake it for anything else. There are few sensations in life which are as memorable and satisfying as to feel one’s child being full of life! The deep bond between mother and child will be firmly in place by now. Your growing tummy should be on the rise and the waistline slowly disappearing.
- Morning sickness should by now be much less or completely gone. If you are still having issues, speak to your homeopath. A deficiency in protein and B vitamins could be the root of the problem.
- If you haven’t started taking Bio-Strath and A.Vogel Urticalcin by now, it’s an important time to start. These are the most outstanding supplements for pregnant and lactating mothers. Both are safe to use with all conditions which could be present during pregnancy. Regular use of Bio-Strath and A.Vogel Urticalcin together with following a good diet can prevent anaemia during pregnancy.
- At 3 months, it is a good idea to start taking minerals in the form of tissue salts daily. The pregnancy and lactation tissue salts are:
- Calc Phos
- Ferrum Phos
- Calcium Fluor
- Kali Phos
- These tissue salts together with the Bio-Strath and A.Vogel Urticalcin will go a long way to prevent deficiencies which could result in ailments. These supplements are totally safe and can be used by all pregnant women. They do not replace a healthy diet. Food always comes first, and then the products further support and supplement the body.
- By now you should be seeing your midwife and doctor monthly to check your blood pressure, listen to the baby’s heartbeat and to check your urine for protein which could indicate the start of toxemia (pre-eclampsia). Your weight should be noted to ensure a reasonable gain. You doctor might also recommend a scan to determine if the baby is growing as it should – this should be optional and not compulsory. By examining the abdomen of the expectant mother, enough information is gleaned to make a good decision on the wellbeing of mother and child. Try to interfere as little as possible in the silent, private world of your child. If abnormalities are suspected, exploration is then certainly called for. Why subject a mother to all sorts of possibilities simply because technology allows it? This is where a good relationship between yourself and your caregiver will pay off. Allow only that which you wish to tolerate. You need to have the necessary trust in your own body and order of nature.
- Keeping fit should be a priority. Remember to walk regularly.
- Do not allow yourself to become constipated. Pregnancy often leads to the developing of hemorrhoids which can be very painful and distressing. The strain on the circulatory system happens due to the extra blood flow in the pelvic area together with the pressure of the growing baby leading to constipation, hemorrhoids, and varicose veins. Avoid these by walking regularly, avoid standing for long periods and don’t have very hot baths.
- Many pregnant women suffer from indigestion from the 4th month. This is due to the position of the baby in relation to the stomach or cravings of unhealthy foods such as coffee, sugar, carbonated or sugary juices, cakes, pastries, biscuits, and other refined products. These should particularly be avoided if you have a problem with stomach hyperacidity. A.Vogel Indigestion Formula will prove to be very helpful with this irritating condition.
- Now is the time to organize the nursery. The expectant father’s help can be very valuable to redecorate a room or to freshly paint a cot. Ensure you use baby safe paint on all your baby’s furniture as they will chew on anything as they grow up.
6 – 9 months:
By now your body has fully swung into pregnant mode! Your hormones have changed significantly to increase your progesterone levels which may leave you feeling sleepy and lethargic. Elevated progesterone levels assist the body to become softer and laxer, allowing room to stretch and accommodate the growing uterus and baby. You could experience lower back pain due to muscles relaxing. The pressure of the uterus can cause for you to urinate more frequently. The size of the labia and vulva will start to enlarge, and your breasts become softer and bigger in preparation for future milk production. Water retention can become a problem causing swollen ankles, hands, and face – this is normal. Your blood pressure may become elevated. Ensure that you visit your doctor regularly to check your blood pressure. Sleeping becomes more difficult due to the extra weight and size of the baby. Lie on your side and prop a pillow behind your back and between your legs to allow for a far more comfortable sleep. Sometimes babies are so active that the mother struggles to get enough rest. While this may all seem overwhelming, there are remedies at hand to help with this final stage of pregnancy.
Some safe remedies you could consider if necessary include:
- Backache: The homeopathic remedy Bellis perenis 30CH could help, ask your homeopath for it.
- Water retention: This could be an indication of insufficient functioning of the kidneys which should not be ignored. Ask your homeopath or doctor to diagnose what is causing the water retention. It may be your kidneys or poor circulation and lymph drainage. For poor circulation, use A.Vogel Circulation Formula and for fluid retention consider Pegasus Fluid Imbalance or the tissue salts Nat Mur and/or Nat Sulph. There are so many other good homeopathic remedies for water retention, ask your homeopath about these.
- Elevated blood pressure: this is best treated by your homeopath or medical doctor. Support treatment by reducing your salt intake and other foods high in sodium such as spinach, mushrooms, and rhubarb. Regular exercise will help tremendously too. Anxiety and stress can be the main cause. It is quite normal to be apprehensive about the final stages of pregnancy and the birth. Reassure yourself by talking to your doctor, your mother or any woman who has experienced this. Remember, nature knows how to grow your baby, it knows how to give birth to it too. Trust it!
- Bach Rescue Remedy has saved many a hectic day in pregnancy! It will calm you and your baby, helping you to get a good night’s rest. Remember to use pillows between your knees to make you lie more comfortably at night. A small pillow under your tummy will help to reduce the tension on the small of the back when you are lying on your side. A.Vogel Nervousness Insomnia Formula is also a safe, excellent option for nervousness, exhaustion, tension, restlessness, and sleeplessness.
Here it is necessary that you are as informed as possible about the processes taking place in your body. Ignorance is not bliss! The first stage of the delivery can take up to 6 hours while the contractions steadily increase. Nature is not to be hurried. While you are strong, and the baby’s heartbeat is strong, a check being done every hour or so, all is going well. To give birth is a very physical thing to do. You will fare better if you are fit. It will be painful, in fact, it is very painful. Do not expect it to be a walk in the park. At the time, pain relief can be very alluring. Rather resist the temptation and flow with the process. Gentle massage of the lower back helps to relieve the intensity of the pain, as well as gentle and steady walking. Surround yourself with people who will care for you and support you at this time. The final stage of the birth has a rhythm all of its own. Nature is in the driving seat with your body following orders like a well-trained soldier! The process can take as long as an hour, or a few minutes, depending on your own individual situation. The giving of life to another entity to live and love on earth is momentous. Do not miss a moment of this experience, if possible, by resorting to drugs or invasive procedures. A medical emergency calls for all the human skills we have developed to sustain life, but this is a truly rare situation. Too many births have become medical procedures for the sake of convenience for either the parents or the practitioner. You need to be brave to have a baby!
- The homeopathic remedy Caulophyllum 30 CH is a wonderful aid to bring the birth to a happy ending. Ask your homoeopath about this remedy.
- After the birth the usefulness of Homeopathic Bellis Perenis 30 CH is shown again to restore the internal organs to their previous positions. Ask your homoeopath for this remedy. Remember, you have gone through an exhausting physical, mental and emotional experience. Give yourself a few days to rest and to get to know your baby.
When baby is home
- Remember to eat well. Now is not the time to miss meals because the baby is keeping you too busy! Even a simple meal of fruits, some nuts and honey is better than having a cup of coffee to keep you going. Take your Bio-Strath, your 4 tissue salts mentioned above and your A.Vogel Urticalcin. You can maintain this for as long as you are breastfeeding, which ideally should not be less than 4-6 months.
- Most women become weepy after it is all over. Now the responsibility of taking care of a baby, while trying to run a home, and in many instances while holding down a job, takes its toll. Homeopathic Sepia 30CH taken twice per day for a few days will help to calm the nerves and steel you for all your responsibilities. Do the best you can. You will most probably have days you would not like to remember. That is quite normal. You are not perfect, you are human – and just look at the miracle you helped to make happen!
Common ailments during pregnancy
Homoeopathic remedies are generally safe to use during pregnancy. If you need to have specialised help do not hesitate to consult with your homoeopath.
- Natura Magen
- A.Vogel Gastronol
- Pegasus Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhoea
- Natura Diarrho
- A.Vogel Gastronol
- Pegasus Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhoea
- Natura Magen
- A.Vogel Indigestion Formula
- A.Vogel Influaforce
- A.Vogel Echinaforce
- Natura Gripless 1 and 2
- Pegasus Antivirabac
- Pegasus Cold & Flu
- A.Vogel Cold Formula
- A.Vogel Nervousness Insomnia Formula
- Natura Nerva 3
- Pegasus Sleep
- Natura Diureta
- Pegasus Fluid Imbalance
- A.Vogel Haemorrhoid Formula
- Natura Hemorrho 1
- Calc. Fluor tissue salts
- Natura Hemorrho Plus ointment
- Natura Alfalfa Tonic
- Ferrum Phos tissue salts
- Floradix Liquid Iron and Vitamin Formula
Hair and nails weak
- Heel Traumeel
- A.Vogel Nervousness Insomnia Formula
- A.Vogel Neuroforce
- Kali Phos tissue salts
- Pegasus Calming
- Bach or Natura Rescue Remedy
- Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Oil into bath
- Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Cream to apply
- A.Vogel Molkosan to drink
- Natura Nervuton 1
- Pegasus Headache
- Natura Herpin 1 and 2
- A.Vogel 7 Herb Cream to apply externally
Bites and stings
- Natura Organo 1
- Homeopathic Ledum 30CH
- Thursday Plantation 100% Tea Tree Oil externally
- Pegasus Bites or Pegasus Sting
- A.Vogel Bladder Irritation Formula
- Natura Urina
- Pegasus Cystitis
*Written by the late Irma Schutte, founder of Living Naturally. Edited 2021.
This article originally appeared on Living Naturally and can be found here.
References and additional reading:
- Declerck, K., et al., Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench treatment of monocytes promotes tonic interferon signaling, increased innate immunity gene expression and DNA repeat hypermethylated silencing of endogenous retroviral sequences. BMC Complement Med Ther, 2021. 21(1): p. 141. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-021-03310-5
- Kolev, E., et al., Echinacea Purpurea For the Long-Term Prevention of Viral Respiratory Tract Infections During Covid-19 Pandemic: A Randomized, Open, Controlled, Exploratory Clinical Study. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 2022. 13. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2022.856410
- Nicolussi, S., et al., Echinacea as a Potential Force against Coronavirus Infections? A Mini-Review of Randomized Controlled Trials in Adults and Children. Microorganisms, 2022. 10(2): p. 211. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10020211
- Ogal, M., et al., Echinacea reduces antibiotic usage in children through respiratory tract infection prevention: a randomized, blinded, controlled clinical trial. Eur J Med Res, 2021. 26(1): p. 33. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40001-021-00499-6
- Pleschka, S., et al., Anti-viral properties and mode of action of standardized Echinacea purpurea extract against highly pathogenic avian Influenza virus (H5N1, H7N7) and swine-origin H1N1 (S-OIV). 2009. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1743-422X-6-197
- Schapowal, A., The Triple Action of the Herbal Medicine Echinaforce® in the Treatment of Colds and Flu-Like Infections. Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Ganzheitsmedizin / Swiss Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2011. 23(1): p. 40-44. https://doi.org/10.1159/000323357
- Schapowal, A., Use of Echinaforce to Prevent Coronavirus Infections EC Microbiology Special Issue. 2020. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/340917336_Use_of_Echinaforce_to_Prevent_Coronavirus_Infections_EC_Microbiology_Special_Issue_-2020
- Signer, J., et al., In vitro virucidal activity of Echinaforce®, an Echinacea purpurea preparation, against coronaviruses, including common cold coronavirus 229E and SARS-CoV-2. Virology Journal, 2020. 17(1): p. 136. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12985-020-01401-2
- Vimalanathan, S., et al., Prevention of influenza virus induced bacterial superinfection by standardized Echinacea purpurea, via regulation of surface receptor expression in human bronchial epithelial cells. Virus Research, 2017. 233(Supplement C): p. 51-59. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.virusres.2017.03.006