Along with attending prenatal classes, staying active, learning relaxation techniques, and reading up on birth preparation/what to expect, there are a few other things that can be included in an expecting mamas toolbox in regard to preparing for labor and delivery.
My three personal favorites have been botanical medicine, acupuncture, and prenatal chiropractic care.
Rubus ideaus, commonly known as red raspberry leaf, helps strengthen and tone the uterus, as well as may shorten labor time. Although there are other plants that can serve the same purpose, red raspberry leaf has been shown to have the best safety profile and is therefore why it is the tea that is typically recommended.
Red raspberry leaf tea consumption is typically recommended to begin around the 36th week of pregnancy, although it’s important to consult with your primary health care provider before incorporating any botanical medicines.
Along with its health benefits, it can also be a very relaxing ritual to make a tea, grab a book, or just take some time to yourself.
Acupuncture is incredibly relaxing and beneficial at any stage to help alleviate the plethora of symptoms that accompany pregnancy. From nausea and vomiting, headaches, and digestive issues, to labor and delivery prep.
The acupuncture points/locations used to depend on the stage of pregnancy you are at. There are some points that are completely avoided until mama is at full term. The reason for this is some points help the uterus contract, improve uterine tone, and are very effective at prepping the body for labor.
There are even a few points very powerful points that are done simultaneously and only done if mama is past due date and wanting to avoid medical induction.
Along with having a physiological effect, acupuncture is also a really nice time to lay down, breathe, and connect with the baby.
A pregnant mama’s body goes through such an astonishing amount of change and transformation, it’s not a surprise that new aches, pains, and discomfort often accompany this transformative time. One very effective way to help increase overall ease is through chiropractic care.
Some chiropractors have gone on to complete additional training, known as the Webster Technique, which allows them to be able to safely and effectively work with the prenatal population.
Although chiropractor care is such a wonderful way to alleviate pain throughout the whole pregnancy, it also can shorten labor and assist in an easier birth.
One of the ways in which this occurs is through proper adjustments and correct alignment, specifically of the pelvis and lumbar spine. These adjustments allow for the most optimal positioning for baby and is extremely beneficial to mamas overall comfort. Having correct alignment and optimal positioning can help shorten labor time, increase comfort, reduce the need for interventions, and assist in an all-around easier birthing experience.
Please consult with your healthcare provider before incorporating any botanical medicines or supplements, as interactions and contraindications do exist with natural products.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alexa Torontow is a naturopathic medical student, prenatal/postnatal yoga instructor, nutritionist, and new mama. Her mission is empowering women to enhance their vitality, health and overall wellness through regular movement, proper nourishment, and education on how to take the best care of their unique self. Connect with Alexa on Facebook , Instagram , LinkedIn, or through her Website.
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