A lot of emotional changes accompany a pregnancy in addition to the obvious physical changes in the body of a woman. The risk of miscarriage, the onset of sudden and premature labor pains and the condition known as pre-eclampsia are perhaps the most serious risk factors faced by pregnant women. For example, miscarriage can result from even a mild incidence of vaginal bleeding in the woman, though it is known that only half of such cases will actually result in miscarriage and other problems. Water retention is a very good early symptom of pre-eclampsia in a pregnant woman, this condition can also be indicative of a high blood pressure-another problem that can result in the appearance of severe headaches and the sudden swelling of the woman's hands and feet. Another life threatening complication for an expectant pregnant mother is the sudden cessation of the signs of pregnancy; this may arise due to the probable death of the fetus within the womb-without any symptoms of a miscarriage. Such situations are rare, but they can lead to death for the affected women.
While every expectant mother will not be affected by them, some mild symptoms of morning sickness accompanied by anemia are very common in occurrence during pregnancy-these symptoms are often regarded as a normal complement to pregnancy. Some other physical symptoms commonly seen in expectant mothers are: a frequent need to urinate, along with conditions such as heartburn, persistent constipation, the onset of hemorrhoids and varicose veins, and constant leg cramps. The use of herbal remedies and high doses of vitamins to treat such symptoms must be avoided while a woman is pregnant, and a safer way to relieve these problems is by undertaking dietary and lifestyle changes-this is true particularly with symptoms such as constipation and water retention.
Another common disorder normally seen in pregnant women is a low blood pressure, this condition brings about spells of dizziness and sudden spells of fainting in the majority of expectant mothers. During the last stages of a term of pregnancy, most mothers experience very uncomfortable sleeps patterns and sleep quality is in general very poor at this stage. Pregnant mothers experience a lot of problems internally as there is a greater physiological burden on the vital organs, in particular organs such as the liver, the kidneys and the heart are often stressed, and this gives rise to heart palpitations and related physiological conditions. If the vulnerability or risk factors already exist in the person, than a term of pregnancy can also induce some types of illnesses, such as diabetes, and the symptoms related to thyroid problems in the woman.
Severe birth defects, stillbirth and miscarriages can be caused by the condition known as toxoplasmosis-if it affects a woman during a term of pregnancy. The symptoms of this condition do not affect the intestinal region, in contrast to many types of parasitic infections, at the same time physical symptoms such as swelling in the glands, the development of achy muscles and the sudden appearance of low-grade fevers is caused by the condition. The disorder usually resolves itself and the majority of healthy women will never develop these symptoms even when they are affected by the condition during their term of pregnancy.
The abnormal development of a fetus often results in many miscarriages, and the situation can often be viewed as a natural result of an abnormally development of the fetus within the mother. Miscarriages can also be induced by the presence of other disorders such as cervical incompetence and some uterine problems can also very rarely cause a miscarriage to occur. While its underlying origins remain related to a deficient dietary intake of nutrients, the real causes of the condition known as pre-eclampsia remains much more of a mystery when compared to the other disorders. Hormonal changes and fluctuations of hormones in the body can also be responsible for many of the uncomfortable and milder problems that develop during pregnancy-the pressure and weight of the growing child within the body of the mother can also be partially responsible for some of these milder problems and associated disorders. A poor detoxification of the liver and a low blood sugar level is also linked directly to the development of morning sickness in pregnant mothers. The hormone known as progesterone is released in the body in large amounts during pregnancy; this hormone slows down the bowel contractions and is known to cause constipation in a pregnant woman. The problem can be worsened if the expectant mother consumes a diet which is lacking in fiber and high in supplements of the mineral iron. If the energy levels of the pregnant woman are normal and if the diet consumed is healthy, then there is no necessity in treating a low iron or low hemoglobin level during the term of the pregnancy itself-doing so can complicate things needlessly. Mild water retention can also be caused by the increase in estrogen levels that occurs during pregnancy, this is normal, however, the blood pressure of the woman must be checked on a regular basis to rule out any sings or possibility of pre-eclampsia developing in the woman.
The high levels of the hormone, progesterone, when combined with the pressure exerted by the child is also likely to bring painful attacks of heartburn to the mother-this is in fact, quite commonly seen in expectant mothers. Physical symptoms such as back pain in the lower body along with many hip problems are also common during pregnancy-these conditions are caused by the strained muscles in the abdomen and along the back. They are strained due to inadequate exercise and the overuse of some muscle groups along with poor posture of the woman most of the time. Sudden changes in the mineral balance within the body can cause leg cramps, especially when these are combined with a very poor circulation in the legs of the woman. An attack of cramps can also be suddenly triggered by the presence of a cold-this may result in the sudden contraction of the blood vessels in the body. Disorders related to a low blood pressure are also worsened by sudden changes in the circulation, the fluctuation in the blood volume and the presence of a strain of the heart. Sudden emotional outbursts, psychological symptoms such as irritability and quick mood changes can all be caused by the fluctuating hormonal levels within the body-these symptoms can also be caused by a lack of sleep, it can also result from a poor diet and the stress caused by the pregnancy. Contamination of food or water by cat feces is the cause of toxoplasmosis-the parasite is present in the feces and spreads when the water or food contaminated by cat feces is consumed by a person. All raw vegetables taken from the garden must be washed thoroughly, and particularly so if they are to be consumed by pregnant women. Potential risk of infection by the parasite increases, if the woman is involved in changing the kitty litter or if she works in areas frequented by cats.
In women who have the hereditary form of angiodema, undertaking a caesarean section might precipitate an episode of severe angioedema-the surgery and its impact on the body can act as a trigger for the condition. Such episodes may be prevented from occurring by proper treatment with infusions of plasma, before the patient undergoes surgery for the caesarean section. Instead of general anesthesia the patient might benefit from local anesthesia, this is because, the insertion of a respiratory tube into the lungs may trigger an attack of the disorder-this must be avoided. Attacks of angiodema are seldom triggered by vaginal deliveries.
Supplements and herbs
The health of both the developing fetus as well as the mother depends a great deal on a healthy diet and proper nutrition is a very important factor during pregnancy-a healthy diet ensures all nutrients are available for the proper growth of the fetus. Nutritional deficiencies often result because of the use of certain drugs during a term of pregnancy, and if it is possible the use of all types of medications must be avoided. Unless the use of higher doses is prescribed by a medical specialist, the supplemental vitamin and mineral compounds must be used in low dosages throughout the duration of the pregnancy. The appearance of nutritional deficiencies during the term of the pregnancy can be preventable by a prenatal multivitamin supplement in most cases-these supplements must include sufficient amounts of all the important nutrients. The use of other types of nutritional supplements must be contemplated only when specific problems exist and need to be addressed. A nutritional deficiency in important minerals such as calcium and magnesium, the low levels of certain proteins and the deficiency of B vitamins, compounds like choline and vitamin B6 can all bring about toxemia in the body of the patient. A high blood pressure is lowered by supplements of the minerals calcium and magnesium; these supplements also prevent the occurrence of cramps and increase the healing rate of leg cramps in the patient. High blood pressure during the term of pregnancy can be successfully treated using the herbal evening primrose oil as a regular supplemental measure. Capsules of charcoal can be consumed to relieve indigestion; these capsules will absorb the excess gases and accumulated toxins within the stomach and bring instant relief to the woman.
All of the following herbs and herbal remedies are rich in many of the vital vitamins and minerals which are important for the health of both the expectant mother and the developing baby.
- The herbal remedies made from the stinging nettle and dandelion herbs are rich sources for the mineral iron-this mineral is essential in the treatment of anemia. Anemia is also treated using the iron rich vitamin folic acid - this vitamin is found in abundance in herbs such as the watercress and the chicory. Herbal teas can be made using these herbs, three cups of the herbal tea everyday or a single tbsp. of an herbal juice thrice a day will cure anemia in the patient.
- Kidney problems may bring on a backache; this can be alleviated by consuming some herbal horsetail juice, the herb acts by bringing some normality to the functioning of the bowels and increases the rate of healing in the connective tissue at the same time. This herbal juice can be taken at doses of a tbsp. of the juice thrice every day.
- Normal acid levels can be restored by drinking regular supplements of yarrow herbal juice-this is an excellent treatment for stomach problems which cause heartburn in the patient. This herbal remedy can be prepared by mixing a single tbsp. of some yarrow juice in water and drink this on a daily basis.
- Inflammation which causes hemorrhoids can be treated by using a topical herbal mixture of two qts. of the oak bark or the witch hazel infusion mixed in a sitz-bath-the topical use of this water will cure the inflammation in the tissues and bring relief from hemorrhoids. The persistent itching can be treated by drinking herbal teas made from herbs such as the yellow dock, the plantain or the mullein herb. Prepare this herbal tea by boiling a tsp. of herbs in cup of water, the herb can be allowed to steep for sometime, the mixture can then be strained and the patient must drink three cups of this herbal tea on a daily basis as treatment against hemorrhoids.
- Morning sickness, or nausea and vomiting:
- Vomiting can be prevented by herbal ginger preparations used regularly. The woman must drink a cup of the herbal ginger tea when she wakes up in the morning, alternately a powdered herbal ginger capsule or two to five drops of a ginger based tincture mixed in some liquid can be used to treat morning sickness. Nausea that comes on during pregnancy can be treated by drinking an herbal tea made from the lemon balm herb. Nauseous sensations can be reduced by drinking some chamomile tea; this solution will also calm the stomach. The remedy can be used on an alternating basis with herbal teas made from the fennel or the peppermint herb.
- Urinary infection:
- Infections in the urinary tract can be treated by regular doses of a horsetail herbal tea or the some horsetail tincture-this herb is rich in the mineral silica, the mineral strengthens the cellular structure and increases the rate of healing in the tissues of the bladder. The dose of this herb can be a single cup of horsetail tea or twenty drops of herbal tincture in some water, taken thrice every day as long as necessary.
- Varicose veins:
- The connective tissues in the veins are strengthened by drinking horsetail tea or tincture on a regular basis-this will help deal with varicose veins. Topical treatments may also be used to treat varicose veins, some cotton stockings can be soaked in an infusion made from oak bark and/or horse chestnut, this can then be applied over the parts of the body with varicose veins-the rubbing will firm and tone the dilated veins bring about a reduction in the inflammation present in the veins. The alleviation of symptoms arising from aching, heavy and tired legs or sprained ankles brought about by the stagnation of blood, can be done by drinking a cup of herbal tea or a tbsp. of the fresh juice made using the St. John's wort herb or the yarrow herb-these can be used thrice every day to provide quick relief from sprains and aches.
Additional things you may do
At all times, you must try to live a healthy lifestyle, with regular sessions of mild physical exercise, and with lots of rest and relaxation-sleep well every day. Constipation is easiest to relive by exercise and some physical rigor might be necessary to relieve the condition. Prepare for the birth of your child and the rigors of labor by practicing deep-breathing exercises daily.
- Avoid straining yourself accidentally by not lifting any heavy objects during the term of pregnancy, do not wear high-heel shoes as these can lead to a fall-both of these are potential causes for miscarriages. To reduce the strain on the muscles, place pillows around the back and on the belly while sleeping.
- Morning sickness, nausea and vomiting:
- Toxins must be removed from the body and periods of rests in bed following daily meals will encourage regular bowel movements resulting in the quick removal of accumulated toxins and other metabolites. This will result in the prevention of morning sickness and vomiting.
- Muscle pains:
- Massaging and pressing on the muscles that lie in the inner thighs and rubbing those that lie in between the hip bones and the pelvic bones can bring relief from aces and pains. The tightness felt will slowly disappear if you continue pressing down firmly on the affected muscles. This topical treatment can be repeated as and when needed. Muscle aches in the area of the crotch can also be treated in this way.
- Vaginal infection:
- Avoid wearing undergarments or wear all-cotton underwear during the day and night-garments made from synthetic materials must be avoided. The use of synthetic garments in the genital region must be avoided and at the same time, make sure that you do not use tight-fitting pants even if they happen to be fashionable.
- Itchy skin on belly:
- Topical treatments using coconut or olive oil will provide the moisture necessary in the dry region of the skin, rub this into the skin. At the same time, use supplements of the vitamin E, which is an essential nutrient for healthy skin. For your information, the herbal oils can permanently stain underwear gray and due precautions must be taken.
- Evening primrose oil, 2x 500 mg capsules thrice a day.
- Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate, 50mg.
- Vitamin B complex, 50mg.
- Magnesium, 500 mg.
- Calcium, 1,000 mg.
- Prenatal multivitamin supplement.
- Charcoal capsules.
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