Herbs during Pregnancy and Childbirth
Hey, future mommy. Pregnancy can cause a lot of different emotions for you and that is to be expected. For some this is your first pregnancy and for others this isn’t. All pregnancies are different and once we accept the reality of carrying another life form through us, it is only a matter of time before we start researching all kinds of things. From what causes nausea, to charting our progress during pregnancy.
Many expecting mothers ask me about the safety of herbs during pregnancy. I always remind them and myself that the process of conception, gestation and birthing is one of the ultimate natural processes! A great way to care for our bodies during our pregnancies and after giving birth is with nature’s medicine chest. I have broken it down by trimesters based on my personal experiences and assistance from my plant-based master herbalist husband.
Great for relieving nausea and the symptoms of morning sickness – just add ginger to a cup of hot water and sip it as needed. Lavender is one of the most calming and soothing herbs during pregnancy. Wild yam has been used for hundreds of years to treat morning sickness. Also, Anise is a safe & effective anti-nausea herb. I can’t forget about Chamomile which soothes the nerves and is wonderful for the digestive system.
My plant-based herbalist husband formulated an Anti-Nausea blend for our first pregnancy. With my 2nd pregnancy, I preferred tea, so I had him go back to his lab and make me Mommy Time Tea & Anti-Nausea Tea.
I formulated our Prenatal blend because I wanted to prevent things like constipation and trouble sleeping with our 2nd child, because I was 39 years old having a baby and my body was different than with our first child.
Hormones can cause constipation. Pressure on the rectum by the uterus may also cause constipation. A safe natural regulators of your bowels is Psyllium fiber is also safe during pregnancy, which is why I added it to our Prenatal Blend. Also, elderberries have natural properties to prevent constipation. I pretty much stuck to both of those and never experienced constipation while pregnant.
By my third trimester it was important to strengthen my uterine muscles to help my body prepare for childbirth. Drink a raspberry leaf tea daily in the last trimester and for 2 to 3 weeks after giving birth to help the muscles contract and promote breast milk. Do not use this infusion during early pregnancy.
Finding a comfortable sleeping position may become difficult later your pregnancy. Teas like chamomile, lemon balm, oat straw and marjoram may have a relaxing effect and are safe during pregnancy. Essential oils may also aid in relaxation and sleep, such as lavender placed on a pillow.
Labor & Delivery
Just as there are 3 phases of pregnancy there are also 3 stages of labor: the first stage is when the cervix is ripening, the second stage is from full dilation through the pushing and delivery of the baby, and the third stage of labor is the delivery of the placenta.
Black Cohosh is a herb for women who have a planned induction date and is known to strengthen and promote regulating contractions and ripening of the cervix.
After the delivery a soothing and astringent Herbal Blessings sitz bath can help the mother to heal. Another formula, I knew I needed after birthing our daughter and may be taken after the birth to help normalize the hormones, protect against postpartum depression, stabilize the pituitary gland and ease the mind is our Postpartum Blend.
If you plan on breastfeeding or are currently breastfeeding, know that your baby and you are still sharing your minerals and nutrients, so it’s imperative that you continue to eat wholefoods to produce nutrient rich breast milk. I also formulated Lactation aid capsules and Lactation Aid Tea to increase the amount of natural galactagogue in my body to increase my milk production. I nursed our son until he was 3 years old and plan to do the same for his sister. If she wants to, she is already showing signs of early independence!