Archive for the ‘Natural Pregnancy’ Category
Posted in Birth Centers, Breastfeeding Support, Chiropractors, Coffee and Tea, Doulas & Childbirth Classes, Energy Medicine, Food and Nutrition, Fun Stuff for Kids, Health and Safety, Homebirth Midwives, Homeopaths/Herbalists, Local "Green" Events, Natural Baby Care, Natural Childbirth, Natural Pregnancy, Natural Products, Pediatricians on March 19, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in Birth Centers, Doulas & Childbirth Classes, Homebirth Midwives, Natural Baby Care, Natural Pregnancy, tagged childbirth classes, childbirth education, childbirth hypnosis, Hypnobabies, HypnoBirthing, natural childbirth on July 26, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
Words such as HYPNOSIS… CHILDBIRTH HYPNOSIS… HYPNOBIRTHING… HYPNOBABIES…
Often conjure images of old movies, silly sitcom plots, grown men dancing like ballerinas, little babies staring at swinging pocket watch, or poor birthing women clucking like chickens. Yet, as leery as people often are about the ‘H’-word, anyone who has ever wondered how the heck they are already at their exit while driving down I-4 has simply entered into a state of everyday hypnosis. Ditto for someone who is caught daydreaming or is completely engrossed in a movie, book, or video game. And who hasn’t drifted off during a really boring conversation? Again, everyday hypnosis. Hypnosis is simply a state of deep relaxation and focused concentration. It is a natural state anyone can access if they want to.
So, what is the one word besides “BREATHE” that can cause a laboring woman to issue threats of rendering her partner sterile if he says it to her one more time?– “RELAX!”. Yet how many of us know how to even begin to relax or what true relaxation actually feels like? Add to this the fact that we live in a country which bombards us with TV commercials for the newest wonder drug promising an instant, effortless fix for tired, overworked, stressed-out people. No need to change your lifestyle or learn relaxation &/or stress reduction techniques—just use the drugs. Hmmm… seems familiar. That is also the prevailing attitude around birth. Unfortunately, many people are shocked and, even worse, often scornful to hear a woman is choosing to give birth without an epidural or some sort of pain medication. So often pregnant women hear someone almost gleefully exclaim, “You just wait, you will be screaming for that epidural the minute you hit the hospital sidewalk!”? Few understand that mainstream birthing practices coupled with a woman’s own attitudes, fears, beliefs, and expectations play such a huge role in birthing. Feeling safe, supported, honored, and confident makes all the difference in being able to give birth ‘naturally’. Pair these factors with deep relaxation skills and slow deep breathing practices that come easily as habit, and a woman has the edge she needs to give birth without medication and often quite comfortably.
The gift of hypnosis is the profound relaxation and fear release techniques it provides. (The same medical hypnosis techniques used to create anesthesia in such cases as pain relief for burn victims, dentistry, and minor surgery aren’t too shabby either.) And truth be known, those Lamaze instructors are right, the way to a more comfortable birth is not to get pregnant in the first place. Oops, just kidding—relaxation and breathing techniques. While most childbirth education programs teach many wonderful relaxation ideas and tools, they lack the proper compounding and practice necessary to build a relaxation HABIT within the body. Nor do they provide access to the most powerful of all tools: your imagination- your subconscious mind. The subconscious is the part of your mind that influences how you think, how you feel, the choices you make, and the habits you hold. Hypnosis allows access to your most important ally. With access granted you can release limiting beliefs, fears, and negative programming, thus creating positive change and expectation. Hypnosis also enhances the mind-body connection. It can do such things as reduce stress, speed healing, increase a nursing woman’s milk supply, or even alter the perception of pain. Another benefit of hypnosis is that when someone is in this relaxed state, breathing automatically deepens and slows. This contrasts markedly with the fast paced, upper-chest breathing taught in traditional Lamaze classes. Over time shallow breathing results in emotional distress and physical exhaustion. A woman loses oxygen, energy, and perspective. Just attempting to remember the contrived patterns is enough to produce panic in most laboring women, and it has also been know to contribute to the broken fingers of well meaning birth coaches.
The beauty of childbirth hypnosis is the greater comfort and control it affords a woman during her birth process. Comfort, focus and control not typically realized by other birthing women. The benefits also extend to her baby. The practices of profound relaxation, deep slow breathing, and positive expectations during pregnancy and birth reduce the amount of stress hormones that can negatively impact the mother and her child. A HypnoBirthing mommy is better able to enjoy her pregnancy and dare I say, joyously anticipate giving birth. But perhaps the greatest benefit is the life enhancing skills she now forever more possesses. And who wouldn’t want to cluck like a chicken while giving birth? ; ) ; )
Posted in Natural Pregnancy, tagged endometriosis, fertility, infertility, Maya Abdominal Massage, menopause, ovarian cysts, painful menstration, painful periods, PMS, uterine fibroids on January 12, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
After suffering off and on for over 30 years with painful, even excruciating periods, imagine my complete delight to experience a truly comfortable period. I have found ways through complementary healing modalities to ease the discomfort, but have never really found complete relief. I have since learned from Deanna Leftwich, LMT #23008, a Professional Maya Abdominal Therapist that so many things that we ladies are told are a part of being a woman… painful periods, bloating, cramping, PMS, irregular periods, vaginitis, varicose veins, difficult pregnancy or delivery, severe menopausal symptoms… are in fact not normal. Discomforts such as these and more are quite often due to the position of the uterus in the abdomen. I am one of the women who have casually been told by caregivers that I had a tilted uterus. These caregivers did not seem to have an understanding of the complications that a misplaced uterus can cause and, most importantly, that it is possible to correct it.
There are many ways the uterus can sit improperly in the pelvis:
1. A side-lying uterus often affects uterine function, sometimes leading to ovarian cysts, irregular ovulation or no ovulation (anovulation), hormonal imbalance, and difficulty in conceiving.
2. A low-lying or prolapsed uterus can lead to painful intercourse, varicose veins, and bladder &/or bowel incontinence.
3. A tipped back or retroverted uterus can block movement in the colon. This can result in chronic constipation, especially around the time of menses. It can also put pressure on the sacral nerves to create low back pain, which is often intensified during menstruation.
4. A forward-lying or anteverted uterus can result in frequent urination, chronic bladder infections, and other urinary-tract disorders.
5. Uterine folding or uterine flexions can also occur in any direction, resulting in very painful cramping.
Through trauma and stress, the uterine ligaments can begin to tear or lose elasticity. Just like the elastic in your waistband, these ligaments can sag and bring the uterus with them causing a shift in or misalignment to its placement. When these reproductive organs shift out of proper position and remain that way, the musculature and connective tissue can tighten around them, increasing pelvic congestion and stagnation inside the womb. The restricted flow to the uterus of blood, nerve impulses, lymphatic fluid, and energy can lead to painful cramps, deterioration of the uterine lining, hormonal imbalances, and problems with fertility. A severely displaced uterus, if not corrected prior to pregnancy, often results in painful pregnancies and difficult labor. The longer the stagnation lasts, the greater the possibility for more complicated symptoms to arise, including ovarian cysts, endometriosis, fibroids, and possibly uterine and ovarian cancers.
Fortunately, these uterine ligaments are able to regain strength and elasticity when given proper circulation. Through a massage technique known as Maya Abdominal Therapy, homeostasis (the body’s own self-correction and returning to balance) can occur by gently shifting the uterus back into the proper place in the pelvis. The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy releases muscle spasms, prevents/corrects a fallen or tilted uterus. It improves the flow of blood, lymph and energy throughout the body. Painful periods often diminish within two or three cycles. Mayan Abdominal Therapists are finding that about 30% of female infertility is due to a misplaced uterus which can be corrected.
This uterine massage technique is not only beneficial prior to (and to assist with) conception, during pregnancy it is used to create a smoother birth and prevent the need for a cesarean. By strengthening and toning the uterus, ligaments and other pelvic organs, the massage helps to place and maintain the uterus in the proper position for birth.
Old adhesions from invasive treatments to the pelvic and abdominal area, including hysterectomies and cesarean sections, are diminished gradually and safely when addressed by uterine massage. In fact, women that have had a hysterectomies report that after receiving this type of massage that old aches and pains in the hips, legs and groin diminish, constipation is relieved, blood and lymph flow increased are increased and improved. For women that have had a cesarean birth, the massage provides better arterial supply to the pelvic organs, better venous drainage from the legs up, less backache, less sciatica, less fluid congestion, and a better possibility for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean).
The beauty of the Maya Abdominal Therapy is the technique is used in conjunction with self care home techniques taught by a Professional Maya Abdominal Therapist. This work is truly about empowering every woman in every cycle.
To find out more about The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy™, please contact Deanna Leftwich, LMT #23008 407-462-8717 or visit her website.
“Mayan Womb Massage: How an ancient technique can prepare your body for conception and ease menstrual cramps,” Catherine S. Gregory, Mothering, March/April 2010
“Toughing The Core: The Heart and Intelligence of Mayan Abdominal Massage,” Diane MacDonald, Massage & Bodywork
“Introduction to Maya Abdominal and Uterine Massage,” Rosita Arvigo, Medicines from the Earth, 2001
“Preparing Your Womb with Maya Massage for Baby #2”, Nicole Kruck, LMT
Are you familiar with the Florida Friends of Midwives? This non-profit, grass-roots organization was formed by consumers, professionals, families, and birth advocates to preserve the tradition of midwifery and the rights currently afforded to Florida midwives and families.
We are very excited to be bringing FFOM a little closer to home with the Central Florida chapter. Intended to support midwives, the midwifery model of care, and build community, FFOM (Central Florida) is kicking off with a chapter meeting at Seven Sisters Coffee House on October 20th, 2009 from 6:30-9:30pm.
We would love for you to join us, or pass along our information to other women and families who may be interested.
Join our yahoo group at: email@example.com
To be added to our mailing list: firstname.lastname@example.org
For additional information about FFOM:
Posted in Action Alerts & Activism, Acupuncturists, Alternative Education, Chiropractors, Family Doctors, Food and Nutrition, Health and Safety, Health Food Stores, Homeopaths/Herbalists, Natural Baby Care, Natural Pregnancy, Natural Products, OB/GYNs, Pediatricians, Spirituality, Uncategorized, tagged alternative medicine, anti-oxidants, black cohosh, bleeding time, blood pressure, breast cancer, complementary and alternative medicine, complementary medicine, dietary supplements, hemorrhage, herbal supplements, herbs, licorice, menopause, minerals, natural medicine, natural supplements, ovarian cancer, radiation treatment, vitamins on September 15, 2009 | 2 Comments »
Do you use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)? Do you tell your doctor what you are using? If not, you could be at risk for dangerous interactions!
What exactly is complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)?
Complementary is defined as a treatment used in addition to conventional medicine.
Alternative is defined as a treatment used instead of conventional medicine.
What are some examples of CAM?
- herbs and vitamin supplements
- spiritual healing and prayer
- special diets
Multiple studies have shown that the most common types of CAM used in the United States involve taking a vitamin, dietary supplement, or an herb (Cheung, Wyman, Halcon, 2007, p. 1003).
Who uses CAM?!
Lots of people! Some studies have indicated that as many as 75% of people have used some form of CAM over the last year.
What’s the big deal? If this is all natural stuff, how could this hurt me?
Great question! Natural supplements and medicines definitely have their place in keeping us healthy and treating our ailments. BUT many patients don’t realize that their CAM use is significant to their conventional treatment they receive from their doctor, and unfortunately many doctors don’t think to ask what non-prescription items their patients are taking (Cheung, Wyman, & Halcon, 2007, p. 115).
Here are just a few examples of how taking natural products in conjunction with prescription treatment can hurt you:
- Some herbs can increase bleeding time, so taking a prescription anti-coagulant at the same time could case a life-threatening hemorrhage (Lindquist, Tracy, Savik, & Shigeaki, 2005, p. 63).
- Licorice is sometimes used to settle an upset stomach, but if you have high blood pressure, beware! Licorice can also raise your blood pressure (Jonas, 2001, p. 211).
- Many women use black cohosh to treat symptoms of menopause, but it also may “adversely affect hormone-sensitive cancers such as breast and ovarian cancers (Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2005).
- Anti-oxidants are fantastic, but they don’t mix with some cancer treatments! Radiation therapy is used to intentionally damage DNA in cancer cells, but if you use anti-oxidants at the same time, the necessary damage can’t happen (Vapiwala, Mick, Hampshire, Metz, & DeNittis, 2006, p. 472).
How can I find out if the medicines I take can be taken with my natural supplements, vitamins, herbs, and treatments?
Talk to your doctor! Every time you go to your doctor, you should update him/her on the substances that you are taking into your body (including what you rub onto your skin!). Unfortunately not all conventional doctors are aware of possible interactions, so you should also tell your pharmacist when you go to fill a prescription.
You can also do some homework yourself. Check out these great (and reputable!) sources of information about natural medicine alternatives and potential interactions with conventional drugs:
- PDRHealth: search this database for information about drug interactions with herbs and supplements.
- National Cancer Institute: search this database for information about the compatibility of CAM and cancer treatments.
- Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database: search this database for comprehensive information about natural medicine alternatives and potential interactions with conventional drugs.
Stay safe! Talk to your doctor and pharmacist and do your homework!
Cheung, C., Wyman, J., & Halcon, L. (2007, November). Use of complementary and alternative therapies in community-dwelling older adults. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 13(9), 997-1006. Retrieved May 18, 2009, doi:10.1089/acm.2007.0527
Jonas, W. (2001, September). Advising patients on the use of complementary and alternative medicine. Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback, 26(3), 205-214. Retrieved June 1, 2009, from Academic Search Premier database.
Lindquist, R., Tracy, M., Savik, K., & Watanuki, S. (2005, April). Regional use of complementary and alternative therapies by critical care nurses. Critical Care Nurse, 25(2), 63-75. Retrieved May 18, 2009, from Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition database.
Vapiwala, N., Mick, R., Hampshire, M., Metz, J., & Denittis, A. (2006, November). Patient initation of complementary and alternative medical therapies (CAM) following cancer diagnosis. Cancer Journal, 12 (6), 467-474. Retrieved May 14, 2009, from Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition database.
Many of the moms I see every day have some of the same complaints. These complaints are tagged as “normal” pregnancy symptoms and doctors will tell you to just deal with it, or have a drug handy to help you. While sometimes there isn’t anything you can do about some pregnancy complaints, there are many that can be alleviated naturally!
Here are a few of the most common complaints and their natural alternatives to alleviate them. In most cases these natural remedies are safe and can be used everyday. However, you should always consult your midwife or doctor about any supplements you are taking. That said, lets dive in!
Morning sickness – ahhhh the joy of finding out your pregnant comes with nausea and vomiting! That doesn’t sound romantic and happy at all! While some of this is normal and even an encouraging sign … you can help offset it a bit. The hormones of pregnancy are partially responsible and we can’t change those, but you can help yourself feel a bit better. The number one thing to do, is exactly what you don’t want to do. EAT. Specifically protein. You should be eating something protein every 2-3 hours during the day and having a high protein snack before you go to bed at night (no sugar, just protein). When you don’t eat because you feel sick, your blood sugar gets low, causing more nausea. This is a vicious cycle! Eat even before getting out of bed in the morning – something protein, then keep eating a light protein snack every 2 hour all day. Another trick is ginger lollipops, or Pregnancy Pops. Ginger does help settle your stomach, ginger ale works also. Rest and exercise go along way to helping morning sickness too. Go to bed a little earlier, or take a nap, and go for a walk everyday, even when you feel sick. Try not to worry since this too shall pass .. once out of the first trimester it will fade and go away for the majority of moms.
HeartBurn – Another very common complaint. I suffered this with each of my 4 pregnancies, sleeping sitting up the last half on my first pregnancy! If I would have only known! Here is the key – well 2 keys, but the biggest one? STOP DRINKING WITH YOUR MEALS. It seems to make sense. You drink more and more fluid to help the heartburn. Its seems to work for a few minutes, but an hour later you’re suffering, especially at night before bed. Most heartburn I see in my clients in actually reflux. The fluid has no space in your flatten, now horizontal tummy and goes up instead of down. Your food will sit there quietly, digesting, usually, but when you add a lot of fluid to it, it just floats on up. I have had a lot of success with having moms reduce or eliminate drinking with their meals (a hard habit to break). Stop drinking about 30 minutes before a meal, and have nothing to drink for at least 1 hour after. If you must have a drink with your meal, small, tiny sips. You should have no more than 1/3 of a glass with your meal. Focus on getting your 100 ounces of fluid a day in between meals. You will be a lot more comfortable! The second key? Papaya Enzymes. Papaya tablets taken instead of tums, works wonders when you do have heartburn!
Leg cramps – OUCH! usually at night too huh?? You’re sleeping and BAM! Leg cramp! – Your muscles are trying to tell you something! They need minerals and more fluid. They are tired and grumpy from carrying extra weight and competing for resources. So make sure your getting your fluids in (in between meals of course!) and then add in Orange Juice!
This little gem has all the potassium (even more than bananas), magnesium and calcium you need stave off those nasty leg cramps. One glass every night after dinner, and you will notice a difference! Stretch before you go to bed as well, this helps. Also, take care of your legs! They are working hard. Rest them up when you can and avoid sitting for long periods in a chair, use birth ball instead!
These few things can help you have a better pregnancy. Next time we will tackle swelling and a few other common complaints!
Robyn Mattox, LM, CPM