Natural Labor Induction Methods That Work

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If you’re approaching or have surpassed your expected due date, you may be eager to finally meet your baby. As if your hormones aren’t working hard enough, your feelings of uneasiness continue to grow. The thought of hospital inducement is also a scary topic that many women hope to avoid. However, there are natural labor induction methods that work. Whatever you may be experiencing, inducing your labor naturally at home is very possible and isn’t as scary as you think. There are various natural induction methods that can assist to initiate labor in a natural and safe way. You may have heard everything from exercising, having sex, or ingesting castor oil will help labor start naturally. However, what is genuinely fact, vs what is fiction? Here are several natural induction methods we’ve advised our patients here at Midwife 360 for your pregnancy.

Let’s Talk About Sex

Many women have had success with natural labor induction with sex. This is due to the presence of prostaglandins in sperm. These are the same estrogen molecules present in cervical ripening drugs such as Cervidil. Partaking in sex frequently increases the effectiveness of inducing labor. “Third times the charm” is the natural labor induction strategy motto. For example, the amount of sperm from three ejaculations has the same quantity of prostaglandins as Cervidil. Now routine sex at 40+ weeks can come as a shock to some, it sure beats the alternatives of Cervidil and Pitocin. These medical alternatives can cause more painful contractions and even ruptured membranes or fetal distress.

Self Care

Pampering yourself is a wonderful way to unwind and refocus before the arrival of the baby. While prenatal massages aren’t bad, you might want to concentrate on the feet. Foot massages contain trigger points that have the power to induce labor. Try an assortment of natural treatments like a foot massage, reflexology, and even a pedicure.

Natural Herbs

Midwives and elder medical practitioners have traditionally utilized herbs for induction. Clinical induction approaches incorporate some of the same lines of therapy as traditional herbs. Although these herbs are natural and used for medicinal purposes, they should only be provided by a medical professional or midwife. The safety and effectiveness have not yet been proven for use on their own. However, may utilize a mix of the following herbs/remedies: Evening primrose oil, Caulophyllum, and Cohosh

Keep Things Spicy

Experimenting with spices is a great way to induce labor. Keep in mind these methods are not scientifically proven but have worked for many as a natural approach. Spicy dishes encourage the gastrointestinal system to generate prostaglandins, which cause uterine contractions. Although spicing things up can induce labor, keep in mind that spicy intake can generate unwanted side effects such as heartburn. It is always best practice to discuss with your health care provider if you are unsure of any activity or method you wish to partake in.

Meet the Midwives at Midwife360

Midwife360 was founded in 2014 and has since been a mainstay in women’s health care in South Florida. Midwife360 provides both holistic gynecology and midwifery services such as regular women’s care, family planning, and prenatal care and childbirth. This group of lovely and clever ladies all has a love for combining traditional and modern medical care practices. Importantly, they bring together a practice focused on a strong bond between physician and patient, personalized requirements, and genuine healing.

5 Natural Remedies for Morning Sickness

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Nausea and morning sickness during pregnancy are some of the most common symptoms that women experience. You’re not alone if morning sickness has you feeling a little under the weather. In fact, about 70% of pregnant women get morning sickness.

This article discusses five natural remedies for morning sickness during pregnancy that have been shown to be safe and effective.

Ginger

Firstly, ginger has been used in a medicinal capacity for many many years. It is used to ease morning sickness, motion sickness, as well as cancer-related nausea. Research suggests that ginger may help settle an upset stomach in pregnant women experiencing morning sickness.

Ginger comes in many forms such as:

  • Ginger tea
  • Ginger chews
  • Ginger lollipops
  • Ginger ale
  • Natural form
  • Supplements

Moms to be can take ginger supplements three to four times daily after consulting with their health care provider.

Eat Smaller and More Frequent Meals

Eating smaller, more frequent meals can help reduce morning sickness. It’s important to make sure that you’re not eating too little during the day and making up for it by overeating in one sitting later on. This will only further upset your stomach allowing your blood sugar to drop.

Eat slowly and mindfully, adding nutrients into the body. Although you may feel the temptation to skip meals because of the nausea, remember you are eating for two. Try eating foods without additives and that are easy on the stomach

Some ideas are:

  • Fruit
  • cooked sweet potatoes
  • smoothies
  • rice
  • non-processed carbohydrates

Peppermint Aromatherapy

Another natural remedy for morning sickness is peppermint aromatherapy. Studies show that it can help reduce not only nausea during pregnancy but in women who have just given birth via C-section as well. Moreover, peppermint oil is thought to help ease morning sickness by stimulating the digestive system and calming the nervous system.

Try dotting your peppermint essential oil onto these parts of the body:

  • Wrist
  • Temples
  • Under the nose
  • Neck
  • Back
  • Upper chest area

Vitamin B6 & Magnesium

Additionally, some healthy vitamins and supplements that are known to help with morning sickness and nausea are vitamin B6 and magnesium. Vitamin B, as well as magnesium, can be found in many prenatal vitamins or supplements.

Eating more protein-rich foods like:

  • Meats
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Avocado
  • Bananas
  • Pistachios
  • Sunflower seeds

Magnesium can be taken in supplements, topically with magnesium spray, as well as mixed in a bath with Epsom salts.

Avoid Strong Smells

Lastly, and maybe a bit obvious, is avoiding strong smells that may trigger nausea. Many pregnant women experience heightened senses like smell, which you can blame on your pregnancy hormones. Due to our estrogen levels being so high, any small scent that passes our nostrils can seem like an all-out assault on our noses.

Try avoiding these items:

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Perfumes
  • Chemicals in cleaners 
  • Strongly scented foods
  • Candles

If You are Experiencing Morning Sickness

If morning sickness and nausea are a problem for you during pregnancy, there are many natural and at-home remedies that can help. Many women experience it and in most cases, it goes away by week 14.  However, if the nausea is severe, you may want to consult with your health care provider.

If you are looking for or have any questions about pregnancy, birth, and family planning contact Midwife 360. We not only provide holistic gynecology but pregnancy services, which include home birth and water birth to women throughout South Florida. We are here to assist you as well as educate you every step of the way.

Natural Remedies for Pregnancy Heartburn

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Pregnancy heartburn is a common ailment that many moms experience. At MidWife360 in South Florida, we hear these complaints all the time. 

Heartburn or acid reflux is uncomfortable, but generally not a danger to mom or baby. Many people don’t experience heartburn until they are pregnant or later on in life. You may be wondering, how do I know if I have heartburn?

What is Pregnancy Heartburn?

Acid reflux is when stomach acid creeps up towards the esophagus. This is common in pregnancy due to hormonal changes, and the pressure of the baby on the stomach. Unfortunately, it tends to worsen as the pregnancy progresses. A burning sensation in the throat is the most common symptom, but there are other symptoms associated with acid reflux. 

Other Symptoms Include:

  • Nausea or upset stomach
  • Burning sensation in the chest and throat
  • Acid taste
  • Gnawing feeling in the stomach
  • Cough
  • Raspy voice

Is Testing Needed?

Labs and testing are not usually needed due to how frequent and apparent it is to diagnose heartburn. That being said, if you are pregnant and experiencing chest pain, that needs to be addressed by a medical professional. Be sure to let your doctor or midwife know right away. 

The most common medications prescribed to pregnant women with heartburn are antacids, proton pump inhibitors and histamine blockers. These medications are usually safe and effective for brief periods of time. However, because heartburn can persist for larger time frames, some women tend to try natural remedies in order to avoid long term use of medications. As well as any side effects. 

5  Natural Remedies for Pregnancy Heartburn

The medical professionals at MidWife360 know that heartburn can often be managed safely with herbs and supplements. 

1. Raw Almonds

Check the packaging and be sure the almonds are raw, not roasted. Try consuming 8 to 10 plain raw almonds on a daily basis. The almonds can help keep the stomach acid where it belongs by toning the gateway between the stomach and the esophagus.  

2. Melatonin

Melatonin is a common natural sleep aid. Fortunately, it can also help to keep heartburn at bay. Similar to almonds, it helps tone the muscular gateway between the stomach and esophagus. Try taking 0.3 milligrams before going to bed each night. 

3. Slippery Elm

Slippery elm is an herb that is safe to consume during pregnancy. It gets its name from becoming slippery when wet. This gentle herb aids heartburn by coating the lining of the esophagus and stomach. This will help protect the delicate tissues. 

Look for slippery elm lozenges at a natural foods store. We recommend taking 2 to 4 lozenges when needed or try taking them before going to bed. 

4. Marshmallow Root

Marshmallow Root is an herb that is safe during pregnancy, and like slippery elm,  also becomes slippery when wet. This herb works in the same way as slippery elm, by creating a coating on the lining of the esophagus and stomach. Thus, protecting those delicate tissues from acid and allowing them to heal. 

Marshmallow root can be consumed in tea, twice daily. Put one tablespoon in one cup of boiling water and steep for half an hour, and then enjoy. Alternatively, you can take two pills of the marshmallow root 2 to 4 times a day. 

5. Plain Crackers

Acidic foods or spicy foods tend to trigger heartburn and should be avoided. If you do experience heartburn following a meal or snack you ate, try eating plain or saltine crackers. The crackers are able to absorb the excess of acid in the stomach. Thus, helping to stop the signs and symptoms of heartburn.

Refrain from Heartburn Triggers

  • Foods that can trigger heartburn: soda, coffee, spicy food, tomatoes
  • Try not to eat right before bed
  • Stay away from consuming mint, peppermint, spearmint. 
  • Don’t lay completely flat in bed, try propping yourself up with pillows. 

If you have any other questions or concerns about heartburn or acid reflux, the midwives at MidWife360 in West Palm Beach, Florida are here to help. 

We provide holistic gynecology and pregnancy services, including home birth and water birth to women throughout South Florida. Our mission is to awaken, nurture, and support freedom, grace, and integrity for family planning, childbirth and women’s care. We hope you will have an enjoyable pregnancy with these tips!

Natural Approaches To Depression During Pregnancy

The media makes pregnancy out to be one of the happiest times in a woman’s life. Pregnant women are always portrayed as being overjoyed and looking forward to their new life with their baby. The reality is that many women develop depression during pregnancy, and it often continues after the birth of their child. There are many different factors that could lead to depression in a pregnant woman, including the fact that many prescription antidepressants aren’t safe for women to take while pregnant. When a woman has to give up her antidepressants in order to carry a healthy child to term, her mental health can suffer greatly.

Fortunately, there are many signs that can identify depression in a pregnant woman. For example, rapid mood swings or noticeable changes in her sleep patterns could be a symptom of depression. A lack of enthusiasm about the pregnancy or baby and thoughts of death and suicide are also markers for depression in a pregnant woman. If a pregnant woman speaks of having feelings of worthlessness, or if there is a noticeable change in her eating habits, these are also indicators of depression during pregnancy. If someone you know is displaying symptoms, you should encourage them to seek help within her community, or from a licensed therapist to ensure that her mental health is addressed early in her pregnancy.

Natural Remedies for Depression

 

Unfortunately, commonly prescribed antidepressants and MAOIs on the market can be harmful or fatal to the fetus. However, there are many natural remedies for depression that will have no negative impact on the mother or the unborn baby. The following list is a sampling of some of the popular natural remedies for depression.

Keep A Diary

You may find that documenting and journaling your thoughts and emotions can help you to get to the cause of the problem. You may be sad after visits from a certain family member, or after seeing particular clients at work. Keeping a diary of your activities and feelings helps to clear your mind and might even reveal what is causing your depression. 

Get Some Exercise

You don’t have to do high-impact aerobics in order to feel better. Yoga is an excellent choice for a pregnancy workout and is also a great postpartum program for weight loss and toning. It also has high impact rates on depression. Another healthy option is brisk walking or light jogging. Always be sure to consult with your doctor before starting a new workout routine while pregnant. 

Get Some Rest

Pregnancy alone causes women to feel exhausted, If you don’t get adequate rest, you’ll quickly feel like you’re suffering from chronic fatigue. Be sure to get plenty of rest, at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night if possible. This will greatly improve the way your pregnant body feels, and also will improve your mood. 

Women’s Peer Support Groups

Pregnancy groups on Facebook are a great example of peer support groups that could help you feel better. Many of those ladies are experiencing a lot of the same emotions that you’re also feeling. It helps to know that you aren’t alone. Wherever you can find groups of supportive women in similar situations, you may find help with your feelings of depression. 

Turn to Your Faith

Regardless of your beliefs or denomination, many people find that prayer and/or church services can help to lift them out of depression. If it is something that you regularly practice, then allow your spirituality to elevate your mood. 

Avoid Inflammatory Foods

Foods such as carbohydrates, refined sugars, and caffeine can actually make your depression worse. Stick with a healthy diet that consists of fresh fruits and vegetables. Include probiotics and prenatal vitamins in your daily regimen for some extra pep in your step. 

Sunlight/Lightbox

Sunlight, or a high-intensity light in a lightbox (to simulate sunshine), could be what you need to feel refreshed and add happiness to your mood. Sunlight allows your skin to produce Vitamin D, which plays an essential role in your mental health. 

 

If you’re feeling hopeless, please know that this is not abnormal for pregnant and post-partum women. Reach out to your spouse or family members to help you get the treatment you need. You want to be healthy and happy for your growing family. 

Professional help is available to you 24/7, call  1-800-273-8255