Valerie Gommon Midwife’s Blog

Archive for the ‘Homeopathy’ Category

Introduction to Homoeopathy – Ursula Kraus-Harper

Thursday 17th June 8 – 9.30 pm

Talk at NCT event Medbourne Community Sports Pavilion, Pascale Drive, Medbourne

Milton Keynes Antenatal Exhibition

Sunday 20th June,

2-4.30 pm FREE entry,

Christ the Cornerstone Church, CMK opp M&S bit.ly/dBsLmL 300 Saxon Gate West, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 2ES.

FREE entry, refreshment and goody bags. An opportunity for expectant parents to gather information on all aspects of pregnancy, birth and early parenting. Exhibitors include: midwives, breastfeeding, waterbirth, cloth nappies, complementary therapies, ultrasound scan, baby massage, aquanatal and much more!

Please contact me info@3shiresmidwife.co.uk for more details.

Pregnancy sickness is awful and can occur at any time of the day, although early morning is a common time; it may help to remember that feeling sick is actually a good sign that your pregnancy hormone levels are high.

Sickness can start before you miss your first period, but it’s typical to feel much better after three months however a few unlucky women feel sick throughout the whole of their pregnancy.

Nausea & vomiting in pregnancy (NVP) is very common, on average it affects 70% of pregnant women to a greater or lesser extent.  About 45% of pregnant women suffer from nausea with vomiting while an additional 25% suffer with nausea only.

85% of women have two episodes of nausea per day and 55% have three or more episodes per day.  Frequent eating reduces the nausea of NVP in 50% of women.

30% of pregnant women in paid employment need time off work due to NVP and one in 150 pregnant women will need to be admitted to hospital because they have “hyperemesis gravidarum” (severe pregnancy sickness).

However, there are lots of things that you can do to minimise the symptoms:

  • Small, frequent snacks can help alleviate the symptoms. Avoid large meals, especially those high in fat, as they will put a greater strain on your digestive system.
  • Don’t let your stomach remain empty for more than a couple of hours. Have a dry crispbread, cracker or piece of plain toast to keep your system ticking over.
  • Keep dry crackers by your bed and eat one or two before getting up in the morning. If you wake in the night, have a small snack to help prevent sickness in the morning.
  • Get someone else to cook for you – avoid cooking smells.
  • Fruit or savoury foods seem to be better at preventing nausea than sweeter snacks.
  • Go with any cravings you have (within reason).
  • Ginger has been shown to help relieve sickness. It’s safe to use in pregnancy and you can take it in several forms – ginger tea, ginger ale or ginger biscuits.
  • Acupressure bands may help.
  • Try complementary therapies such as acupuncture or homoeopathy
  • www.morningsicknesshelp.com/preggiepop.html
  • www.threelollies.com

Keeping a daily diary of your symptoms will enable you to be prepared to eat at those nausea-free times. The worse the NVP the shorter are these nausea-free intervals so it is important to be ready for them.  If you cannot face a meal keep nibbling your favourite food, especially when nausea threatens. Stop eating as soon as your stomach feels full.

Rest, preferably lying down is a really important way to help the symptoms of NVP.  Pregnancy sickness is like motion sickness in this respect, even small movements of the head, as in brushing your teeth, can make NVP worse.

Certain risk factors may make NVP more common:

  • If you are having a female baby.
  • If this is your first pregnancy.
  • If you or your mother or sister have had nausea and vomiting in previous pregnancies.
  • If you are having twins or another multiple pregnancy.
  • If you have a history of motion sickness.
  • If you have a history of migraines.
  • If you have experienced nausea when taking the combined oral contraceptive pill.
  • If you are stressed or anxious about something.
  • If you are obese.
  • If you are a younger woman.

Remember pregnancy sickness won’t threaten your baby’s well-being as long as you’re able to keep some food down, and drink plenty of fluids but do let your midwife know that you are experiencing NVP.

If you are taking a folic acid supplement try to take it at the time of day when you’re most likely to keep it down.

Note: Generally, you should not use over-the-counter remedies for sickness and vomiting whilst you are pregnant. This is because their safety and effectiveness for sickness and vomiting in pregnancy is uncertain.

More information can be found at: www.pregnancysicknesssupport.co.uk

In recent years most breech babies have been born by caesarean section in the UK.  Doctors usually suggest that a caesarean is the preferred option, however some midwives and doctors do not necessarily agree and certainly some mothers prefer to attempt a vaginal birth.

There is an excellent resource written by Jane Evans called “Breech Birth – What are my options?” available from www.aims.org.uk which talks about all the options.

If you should find your baby in the breech position there are several things you can try in an attempt to turn the baby cephalic (or head down).

First of all you could ask your doctor about External Cephalic Version (ECV) when a doctor attempts to manually turn the baby (from the outside).  This is done under very carefully controlled conditions; usually on labour ward just in case the baby becomes distressed and a caesarean is needed.  ECV can be quite uncomfortable and even painful but does have a reasonable success rate.

I always think it is worth considering alternatives, be that acupuncture, homoeopathy or chiropractic.  After all you have nothing to lose and they may well be successful.

Another suggestion is to lie at an angle, either on pillows or ironing board, with your head down and feet up and help the baby to turn over this way.  The theory is that this angle helps the baby tuck their head, thus making it easier for them to flip over, like doing a somersault.  It is recommended doing this fifteen to twenty minutes two to three times a day as early as 32 weeks and until the baby turns head down.   At the same time try to relax and visualise the baby moving into a head down position – even try to communicate with the baby and “tell” him/her to go head down if they can.

Another version of this would be to try few somersaults in the swimming pool (if you can manage it!).

Massage, either used alone or in combination with other ideas mentioned here, such as the “breech tilt” may be helpful.  Simply rub both hands wide and flat around the belly in the direction you want the baby to turn.  Both hands should stay opposite each other and move circularly, around the baby.

A slightly more drastic option is to place an ice pack (do not place directly on your skin) or even a frozen bag of peas against the top of your uterus may cause your baby to attempt to turn it’s head away from the cold temperature, or some people talk about shining a torch on their abdomen to direct the baby to the bottom of the uterus – weird and wacky, but worth a try … you’ve not got anything to lose!

If you want to speak to a midwife about any of these ideas you can always contact me info@3shiresmidwife.co.uk

Fertility issues or preconceptual guidance is part of the midwife’s role and is something I am often asked about.  Apart from the usual information for someone planning a baby, actually getting pregnant can sometimes be an issue.  The medical profession often do not consider it a potential problem unless you have been trying for a baby for around 18 months, and indeed it can often take longer – this must seem like forever when you aren’t getting pregnant.  I do know that stress (including trying for a baby) and sub-optimal health can lead to difficulty in conceiving, so bear this in mind.

To get yourself into optimal health obviously you need to eat well, be rested.  There are some very good websites, particularly the Foresight website and I suggest you work through this list. 

www.haveababy.com

www.womantomother.co.uk

http://www.foresight-preconception.org.uk

http://www.marilynglenville.com

http://www.zitawest.com

http://www.eatwell.gov.uk/agesandstages/pregnancy/whenyrpregnant/

Also, complementary therapists may help and I have listed some that I am aware of in the Milton Keynes area:

Acupuncture –

Sandra Ah-Peng – Acupuncturist
Milton Keynes 01908 505883

www.mkacupuncture.co.uk

Gabi Stutz – Acupuncturist
Milton Keynes 01908 225051

Homoeopathy –

Gwynne Grayson – Homeopath
Milton Keynes 01908 520546

Jacky Swanepoel – Homeopath
Milton Keynes 01908 585385

Reflexology –

Kelly Holman – Reflexology
Milton Keynes 01908 54266

www.thesunflowerhouse.co.uk

Kinesiology –

Lesley Stephenson – Kinesiologist
Northampton 01604 871225

www.sanctumclinic.co.uk

Hypnotherapy –

Denise Marleyn
Leighton Buzzard 01525 850334

www.persephone-therapy.co.uk

Emotional Freedom Techniques

https://midwifevalerie.wordpress.com/2009/10/15/emotional-freedom-technique-eft-and-fertility/

Sejual Shah

http://www.healthyinmind.com/

Nutrition:

Kim Crundall

http://www.balancenutrition.co.uk/index.htm

How aware you are of your fertile period?  It is usually 14 days before a period, so if you have a 28 day cycle it is day 14, but on a longer cycle it may well be later, and just to confuse things women do not always ovulate on day 14!  There are various things you can use, like predictor and charting your temperature etc, but also by looking at your normal vaginal discharge (!) at your fertile period the discharge will change from a thicker creamier discharge moving towards a clear, stretch discharge like egg white.  To help with conception it is best if you have sex on alternate days around this period.   

Hope that something here will be helpful to you.

A client who has previously suffered with postnatal depression has asked me to research placenta eating (or placentophagy).  Apparently it is traditionally practiced in many cultures, including Mexico, China, and the Pacific Islands, however British consultant obstetrician Maggie Blott dismisses prospect that eating the placenta helps with post-natal depression however there remain a number of women who are convinced that eating their placenta was helpful, indeed it is rich in iron and this alone will be beneficial.  Some women chop it into tablet size pieces, freeze them then swallow them!

Read more: http://www.brighthub.com/health/alternative-medicine/articles/43315.aspx#ixzz0UHDBQjT5

http://havingapoo.blogspot.com/2007/07/placenta-party.html

These are from ‘Mothering Magazine‘ – September 1983:

Work on the basis that each placenta weighs approximately 1/6 of the baby’s weight. To prepare a placenta, cut the meat away from the membranes with a sharp knife. Discard the membranes.


Roast Placenta

1-3lb fresh placenta (must be no more than 3 days old)
1 onion
1 green or red pepper (green will add colour)
1 cup tomato sauce
1 sleeve saltine crackers
1 tspn bay leaves
1 tspn black pepper
1 tspn white pepper
1 clove garlic (roasted and minced)

Method

(Preheat oven to 350 degrees)

1. Chop the onion and the pepper & crush the saltines into crumbs.
2. Combine the placenta, onion, pepper, saltines, bay leaves, white and black pepper, garlic and tomato sauce.
3. Place in a loaf pan, cover then bake for one and a half hours, occasionally pouring off excess liquid.
4. Serve and enjoy!


Placenta Cocktail

Ingredients:

1/4 cup fresh, raw placenta
8oz V-8 juice
2 ice cubes
1/2 cup carrot

Method: blend at high speed for 10 seconds. Serve. A tasty thirst quencher!


Placenta Lasagne

Ingredients:

1 fresh, ground, or minced placenta, prepared as above
2 tblspns olive oil
2 sliced cloves garlic
1/2 tspn oregano
1/2 diced onion
2 tblspns tomato paste, or 1 whole tomato

Method: use a recipe for lasagne and substitute this mixture for one layer of cheese. Quickly saut� all the ingredients in olive oil. Serve. Enjoy!


Placenta Spaghetti Bolognaise

Ingredients:

1 fresh placenta, prepared as above
1 tblspn butter
1 large can tomato puree
2 cans crushed pear tomatoes
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tblspn molasses
1 bay leaf
1 tblspn rosemary
1 tspn each of: salt, honey, oregano, basil, and fennel

Method: cut the placenta meat into bite-sized pieces, then brown quickly in the butter and olive oil. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 1-1.5 hours. Serve. Yummy!


Dehydrating your placenta

Instead of cooking your placenta whole, you can dehydrate it and then add it to meals! The following method is extracted from an article entitled “Thinking About Eating Your Placenta?” by Susan James, which appeared in the winter 1996 issue of “The Compleat Mother”. It was discovered posted on a newsgroup noticeboard, so we cannot absolutely guarantee its authenticity, or that it is an actual verbatim account of the magazine article.

Method:

Cut off the cord and membranes.

Steam the placenta, adding lemon grass, pepper and ginger to the steaming water. The placenta is “done” when no blood comes out when you pierce it with a fork.

Cut the placenta into thin slices (like making jerky) and bake in a low-heat oven (200-250 degrees F), until it is dry and crumbly (several hours).

Crush the placenta into a powder – using a food processor, blender, mortar and pestle, or by putting it in a bag and grinding it with rocks.

Put the powder into empty gel caps (available at drug and health food stores) or just add a spoonful to your cereal, blender drink, etc.

The recommended doses vary, some suggest up to 4 capsules a day, others just one. Perhaps the best advice is to take what makes you feel good.

It is also possible to have your placenta made into a homoepathic preparation contact www.ainsworths.com

Having spoken previously about “pharmacological” methods of pain relief, I thought I would mention the whole host of “natural” methods of pain relief:

Movement – Walking, pacing

Changing position – squatting, kneeling

Using a chair/birth stool/birthing ball

Having a bath or shower

Using a birthing pool

Massage – oils, talc, ball

Music

Chanting, singing, nursery rhyme

Breathing, relaxation, visualisation techniques

Encouragement

Homoeopathy

Acupuncture

Hypnotherapy

TENS – Transcutaneous Nerve Stimulation

Distraction – go for a walk, bake a cake

Having a midwife you know and trust!

Having a homebirth, or at least staying at home for as long as possible!

So you can see there are many more “natural” things to help than pharmacological, so try these first!

Send me your ideas if you have more!

What is the definition of Natural Childbirth?  A hospital might say that a woman whose labour was induced and who had an epidural was a normal birth; others might say that induction, augmentation, analgesia, episiotomies etc do not constitute a normal birth!

A more radical definition of a natural birth might be a labour that starts spontaneously between 37 and 42 weeks gestation, and progresses to a vaginal birth without any intervention or pharmacological drugs.

Natural childbirth has been given a bad press – women choosing natural childbirth have been described as “hippy types” and indeed there has been an item in the press this week about a midwife who suggested that women would do better to avoid epidurals that has caused considerable outrage!

Pregnancy and childbirth are normal life events, not medical condition; a woman’s body is perfectly designed to give birth.

Of course some pregnancies and labours will need medical help – but the vast majority of women will go through their pregnancy and birth without problems and this process works best when interference is kept to a minimum.

For example anything we do to interfere with this natural processes has consequences – if mother and baby are well I am suggesting that we (the medical profession) should not interfere!

One example of this is the huge number of women whose labours are induced – why?  In some areas women are induced at 41 weeks (interestingly in France a normal pregnancy is defined as 41 weeks!).

Induction is not an easy option.  It is usually quite a lengthy process which makes the mother tired.  It is also usually more painful and the mother is therefore more likely to need pain relief, possibly an epidural … the mother is then less mobile … making it harder for the baby to find a way through the pelvis and consequently she is more likely to need the help of a ventouse or forceps, or even a caesarean section.

We all know that although caesareans are very safe in this country, it is still far safer for both mother and baby if the baby is born vaginally.  A caesarean section is major abdominal surgery which will take weeks and months to fully recover from – and the mother will have a demanding baby to care for too!  Babies born by caesarean also have many more problems, and are far more likely to need to receive Special Care.  There are also implications for future pregnancies – so, although fantastic if needed, caesarean sections are far from ideal.  The World Health Organisation recommends a 5 – 10% caesarean section rate, but our rate is approaching 30%, and I believe 90% at The Portland private maternity hospital!

This interference in birth has been called a “cascade of intervention”, because we do a) we have to do b) and because we do c) d) is also necessary this is also described as “iatrogenic” or hospital induced.  Whatever we do has consequences, for example a woman with an epidural will need more careful monitoring, she will need an IV drip and also a catheter – so you can see this spiral effect, because we do this, we have to do that and so on …

I believe there are several factors that lead to this escalation of intervention in childbirth:

Our cultural conditioning, fear, poor health habits and medical intervention in normal birth (perhaps because of fear of litigation) that make birth difficult often requiring more intervention, including surgery.

With good preparation, much intervention can be avoided – women who have a midwife they know and trust are less likely to need analgesia.  With good preparation they should be in optimal health for the birth – complementary therapies they may have experienced acupuncture, homoepathy, osteopathy or any number of helpful treatments during their pregnancy which will help align their body and prepare them for birth.  They may also have practised relaxation or hypnosis techniques all of which can be hugely beneficial.  There is also much a woman can do to help herself: mobilization, relaxation, support, the use of water …

The satisfaction that a woman feels when she has successfully given birth is amazing – it is empowering and is a fantastic start to the parenting journey, and of course breastfeeding is so much easier when you haven’t got a caesarean section wound on your abdomen.

If things didn’t work out this way for you, remember that you did the very best you could at the time.  Some labours do need help and some mothers and babies wouldn’t survive without the help of our medical colleagues.  If this has raised questions or distress for you I am more than happy to speak to you please do feel free to email me info@3shiresmidwife.co.uk

A difficult or traumatic birth experience has long-lasting implications for both the mother and sometimes her child.  We don’t have many babies in our lifetime and it is important to get things as right as we possibly can!


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