Common pregnancy ailments…..and how to treat them naturally!

Dry Skin

  • Ensure you are getting enough good fats in your diet from nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut oil, fish etc
  • Drink regular small amounts of water throughout the day
  • Use gentle products on your skin such as natural moisturisers (coconut oil is fantastic!)
  • Avoid showers which are too hot and will dry out your skin

Varicose Veins & Haemorrhoids 

  • A high-fibre diet can prevent hemorrhoids from becoming worse
  • Ensure you don’t massage these areas firmly-be very gentle as they are delicate
  • Whole fruit and fruit juice, particularly red berries such as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries may help to prevent varicose veins. These fruits contain a pigment which may strengthen the walls of the veins. Eating prunes may help to keep your bowels regular. You can also try a probiotic supplement with or instead of a magnesium supplement to keep your bowels regular.
  • Not having enough vitamin E is linked to varicose veins (sunflower seeds and wheatgerm are great sources). Garlic may tone up blood vessels.
  • Avoid refined and processed foods such as cakes and cookies and teach, coffee and cola which can make varicose veins more painful.
  • Try to drink at least eight glasses of water every day
  • Regular exercise such as walking daily, swimming a couple of times a week or doing yoga
  • Deep breathing will aid your circulation, which is important in the prevention of varicose veins. But it will also help you to relax and focus. Spend about 10 minutes each day in a position in which your feet are raised above your hips. Inhale deeply and slowly to fully inflate your lungs.
  • Don’t wear tight clothing. Tight clothes around your groin area, whether it’s too-skinny jeans or tights, may make your varicose veins worse. Avoid wearing shoes which are too tight. Avoid sitting or squatting for long periods, and try not to sit with your legs crossed.
  • Witch hazel can be used in a compress can ease the throbbing in your legs if combined with plenty of rest.

Heartburn 

  • Eat small regular meals
  • Don’t eat too much later in the day (eat the majority of your food by 4pm) to ensure good digestion
  • Avoid spicy, rich, fatty and fried foods
  • Don’t drink liquid with your food as this dilutes the digestive juices required for food breakdown. Ensure well hydrated between meals.
  • Avoid fizzy drinks
  • Foods such as nuts, seeds, sardines tuna, salmon and wholegrain wheat may increase your chance of heartburn
  • Be aware that iron supplements can make heartburn worse
  • Ginger, chamomile and dandelion root herbal teas (avoid if you a diabetic or have high blood pressure) can relieve heartburn
  • Slippery elm (available at most supermarkets) can also relieve heartburn
  • Pineapple and papaya can help with digestion and therefore reduce the chance of the heartburn

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  •  Aim to reduce how much salt, sugar and fat you have.
  • Drink plenty of water and eat at least seven to eight servings of fruit and vegetables every day

Eating foods high in vitamin B6 will help to promote a healthy nervous system. Good sources are:

  • Meat, fish, poultry, and egg yolk
  • Whole grains, especially wheat germ
  • Beans
  • Peanuts and walnuts
  • Bananas and prunes
  • Vegetables like potatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, and avocados
  • You could also try a Magnesium citrate as it helps with muscle relaxation. You can take a maximum of 350 mg daily (be sure to include the dose from your prenatal vitamin when figuring out how much to take). See your doctor or midwife before taking a supplement other than your prenatal vitamin.
  • If your breast size increases a lot, make sure you are fitted early for a properly supportive maternity bra. This will take the weight off your ribcage and breastbone and help to prevent compression or irritation of the nerve anywhere along its path.
  • Your doctor or midwife can provide a referral for a physiotherapist if needed. While you wait for that appointment you can try these simple exercises.
  • Clasp one wrist with your other hand and massage it with a circular movement. This should ease congestion and encourage the movement of fluid.
  • Gently stretch your hands and arms. Try not to do any movements that are painful. It may also help to hang your hands over the edge of your bed during the night.
  • You could place your hands in ice-cold water or use a bag of frozen peas against the painful area on your wrist. Gently exercise your fingers and wrists to help move the excess fluid, and keep your hands raised whenever possible.

Reflexology

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  • Try this technique:
  • Look at the upper surface of the foot which is the same side as the hand affected by carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Imagine a vertical line coming down from the base of your fourth toe. Feel along this line for about 2cm (0.8in), until you find the most tender spot.
  • Press the centre of this tender spot as firmly as you can bear it with your thumb. If you can’t comfortably reach the point, ask someone to do it for you. Use constant pressure until the tenderness has dispersed.
  • Repeat this process about four or five times until the point you are pressing feels less tender.
  • This may temporarily ease the pain in your wrists and is a useful technique when pain hits in the middle of the night.

 

Sources:
“A-Z of Health Tips”-Alan Hayes
http://www.babycenter.com
http://www.childbirth.org 

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