Pregnancy can be a wonderful nine months, but health niggles can also rear their ugly head.
Medical herbalist Gabriella Clarke suggests some natural remedies that are safe to take while pregnant.
While some women simply glow in pregnancy, others can have a rotten time and experience all kinds of problems and symptoms. To make matters worse, nearly every medicine or health supplement you pick up seems to say: ‘Don’t take if you are pregnant or breast feeding’. So, what can we do to help relieve some common problems that may occur during pregnancy?
Luckily there are still some remedies out there that are safe to take:
Ginger can really help alleviate nausea and vomiting. Try fresh ginger tea, ginger biscuits or ginger sweets. Nausea tends to be worse if you haven’t eaten and you may not feel like large meals, so little and often is the way to go.
This can cause a lot of discomfort, especially in later pregnancy. Laxatives are not safe in pregnancy, but constipation can be relieved by including flax seeds in your daily diet. They are very gentle and effective, but make sure you also drink plenty of water while taking them.
Try sipping a cup of camomile, ginger, peppermint or dandelion tea. Avoid foods very high in fat or sugar, as these will make the problem worse. Try eating smaller meals and avoid drinking fluids while eating.
VARICOSE VEINS AND HAEMORRHOIDS
Avoiding constipation will help prevent this problem. If they do become an issue, try applying either aloe vera gel or horse chestnut cream directly on to the affected area. However, do NOT use aloe vera internally while pregnant, as it is not safe. Eating garlic is also thought to help as it may help to tone blood vessel walls.
If you are finding getting to sleep a problem try putting a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow or on a diffuser. You could also try sipping a cup of camomile tea before bedtime.
From the moment you learn you are pregnant start massaging your body with wheatgerm oil. It’s very rich in vitamin E, which will help the skin heal quickly and maintain its elasticity. The best time to use it is straight after a soak in the bath.
The NHS recommends taking 400mcg (micro grams) of folic acid a day when trying to conceive and when pregnant. It helps prevent birth defects such as spina bifida.
There are specific multivitamin supplements designed for use in pregnancy, which are formulated with the correct levels of vitamins and minerals required in pregnancy. If you are thinking of taking any other supplements, always check first with your doctor or midwife.