Encyclopedia of Natural Remedies for Pregnancy
Praise God pregnancy is only for a season. Though beautiful in many forms, pregnancy is often uncomfortable (to say the least!). The child growing inside of you will be worthwhile! Here are a few natural remedy tips and tricks that I have learned to relieve common discomforts of pregnancy, such as constipation, heartburn, stretch marks and more.
The valuable source of treating constipation is the fiber flaxseed. The fiber in flaxseed binds with water, swelling to form a gel, which, like other forms of fiber, helps soften the stool and move it along in the intestines. Flaxseed is better alternative remedy then psyllium seed, because there will significantly fewer problems with constipation, abdominal pain, and bloating than those taking psyllium.
Dose: 5 g of whole, cracked, or freshly crushed flaxseeds soaked in water and taken with a glassful of liquid 3 times a day. Results in 18-24 hours, so continue flaxseed for a minimum of 2-3 days.
Magnesium supplementation is a valuable therapeutic tool in the treatment of pregnancy-related leg cramps. Some research indicated a connection between leg cramps and a build up of lactic acid, caused by too much starch and sugar, which then impairs blood flow in the legs. Magnesium can work magic for reducing cramping and decreasing the intensity of Braxton Hicks contractions, as well as help with constipation.
Magnesium Dose for pregnant women, BEFORE BED:
- 19-30 years: 350 mg
- 31-50 years: 360 mg
DepressionA deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids may cause or contribute to depression, especially during pregnancy when the baby is needing and using up stores of these fatty acids for it’s own growth and development. Taking a cod liver oil or fish oil supplement may help alleviate symptoms and will certainly also be good for you and your baby. Cod liver oil supplies you with both EPA and DHA, which are needed for proper brain and nervous system development. It contains high levels of a natural form of vitamins A and D, needed for strengthening the immune system, autoimmune system, bone strength, sugar balance and cancer prevention. Cod liver oil contains more vitamin A and more vitamin D per unit weight than any other common food.
Cod Liver Oil Dose: 2 teaspoon or 20 capsules, providing 19,000 IU vitamin A and 3900 IU vitamin D
Another pregnancy topic, heartburn is near and dear to my heart. Papaya enzyme is a digestive enzyme that is inexpensive option that creates good bacteria in the stomach to assist in promoting better digestion. Relieve indigestion discomfort by avoiding trigger foods (caffeine and citrus foods, especially), eating smaller meals without any liquids. Another natural alternative remedy is slippery elm lozenges. Thayer’s Slippery Elm Lozenge is a popular brand.
A natural remedy for hemorrhoids is citrus bioflavonoids, which strengthens the walls of blood vessels. The citrus bioflavonoids (diosmin and hesperidin) have been proven to reduce the frequency and severity of hemorrhoid attacks, relieve symptoms once a flare-up of hemorrhoid pain has begun and prevent new hemorrhoid attack.
Citrus Bioflavonoid Dose: 500 mg twice daily (combination of 90% diosmin and 10% hesperidin)
Support your pregnancy and prevent miscarriage by takingvitamin B12. Without enough B12, the ability of a fetus to create new proteins and produce DNA is stunted, which is linked to miscarriage. Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal foods such as liver, trout, salmon, beef, yogurt milk and cheese.
Vitamin B12 Dose: 2.6 micrograms of B12 daily
Prevention is key. Pregnancy robs your body of its nutrient stores leaving the skin more likely to over stretch and be unable to compensate. That is where butters and oils come in; they are to enforce your skin. They “feed” your skin vitamins and oils that it greatly needs to be highly pliable. Skin becomes more pliant, more plasticized and better able to stretch when it’s well hydrated when moisturizing with cocoa butter or shea butter.
Dose: Moisturizing three or four times a day with products that contain cocoa butter or shea butter as a prime ingredient. Massage the moisturizer deep into breasts, belly, hips, and buttocks.
Consider making your own “Belly Butter!” it is as easy as following a simple recipe. Once the ingredients are gathered, all that’s left to do is melt and pour (and it only takes a few minutes).What you’ll need:
- 1/2 cup cocoa butter
- 2 tablespoons wheat germ oil
- 2 teaspoons sesame seed oil
- 2 teaspoons apricot kernel oil
- 2 teaspoons vitamin E oil
- 4 teaspoons grated beeswax
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional)
What to do:
- Measure all ingredients, except vanilla, into a heavy saucepan. Warm mixture over low heat until cocoa butter and beeswax have melted (two to five minutes). Stir well.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, if using. Another option would be to add a few drops of essential oils.
- Cool briefly then pour into jar(s). Leave lid off and allow to cool completely (about an hour).
To help prevent stretch marks, rub a small amount onto the stomach daily. Upon application, it may appear oily, but will quickly be absorbed.
Dandelion leaves are widely recommended as a food supplement for pregnant women because of the many nutrients they contain. Dandelion leaves have been found to produce a mild diuretic effect, which has led to its proposed use for people who suffer from mild fluid retention, such as may occur in pregnancy. Dandelion root is sometimes a natural remedy recommended for mild constipation. Dandelion tea can be useful if you have high blood pressure to help relieve hypertension or headache discomfort.
- 2 to 8 g, 3 times daily of dried dandelion root
- 250 mg, 3 to 4 times daily of a 5:1 extract
- 5 to 10 ml, 3 times daily of a 1:5 tincture in 45% alcohol.
- The dandelion leaves may be eaten in salad or cooked
Another alternative remedy that may help with varicose veins is horse chestnut. Horse chestnut reduces swelling and inflammation by “sealing” leaking capillaries, improving the elastic strength of veins, preventing the release of enzymes that break down collagen and open holes in capillary walls.
Horse Chestnut Dose: 300 mg twice daily (which should contain total daily dose of 100 mg aescin, the leading component in horse chestnut)
Are any other pregnant mamas out there struggling pregnancy issues? How do you cope with heartburn during pregnancy? Have you found a stretch mark cream that works miracles? Share your strategies with us!