You can eat this but not that. You can do this but don’t do that. Pregnant women ate bombarded with do’s and don’ts. It’s really hard to keep it all straight.
- Visit your gynaecologist routinely. Prenatal care will help keep you as well as your baby healthy. Your doctor may also be able to detect problems if anything occurs.
- Taking folic acid throughout your pregnancy is very important. You should continue taking it. Women who are capable of conceiving need to get 400-800 micrograms of folic acid each and every day. Taking enough of folic acid actually lowers the risk of birth defects. Moreover, if you take a vitamin with folic acid, you can be sure that you’re getting enough.
- Eat a lot of healthy and nutritious foods. Include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, calcium-rich foods and various cooked seafood in your diet. Also take iron everyday. Getting enough iron will prevent anaemia. Tell your doctor to prescribe you a prenatal vitamin or iron supplement, which you should take daily. Drink a lot of fluids, especially water.
- Keep moving. Don’t sit and idle and sleep most of the time because you’re pregnant. Unless your gynaecologist advices you otherwise, physical activity is undoubtedly good for you as well as your baby.
- Visit a professional acupuncturist during your first trimester and ask for an acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture can really help with nausea, morning sickness, threatened miscarriage, tiredness and lack of energy. Make sure to continue it throughout your pregnancy period. It has proved to be the best treatment of pregnancy care in Northern Beaches.
- Gaining weight during pregnancy is good but if it is more than the recommended amount, chances of pregnancy complications may increase.Ask your doctor how much weight you must gain during pregnancy.
- Sleep for at least 7 to 9 hours every night. Rest on your left side as that will help blood flow to you as well as your baby & prevent swelling. Use pillows between your legs & under your belly to get comfortable.
- Health problems should be treated and kept very much under control. If you have diabetes, control it. If you have high blood pressure, closely monitor it.
- Make sure to wear a seatbelt. The lap strap needs to go under your belly and across your hip. The shoulder strap must go between your breasts & to your belly’s side. Ensure it fits you snugly.
- Ask your doctor before you stop to take any medicine that you have or take any new medicine. No matter whether it’s over-the-counter, prescription or herbal medicine – all can harm your baby. So, your doctor’s advice in this case is a must.
Our next blog will have a list of pregnancy don’ts. So, stay tuned to our blog space to know about the don’ts during pregnancy!
In the context of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), thyroid is believed to perform functions similar to that of the kidney instead of being recognised as a specific organ. Hypothyroidism is a condition that commonly affects women aged between 40 and 50 years. Nowadays, however, it is increasingly being found in young women as well. And the condition is having a significant impact on their ability to become pregnant.
Practitioners of TCM claim that the primary cause of hypothyroidism is stress. This is because emotional stress creates a blockage in the path of Qi and prevents it from moving freely. Due to the disturbance, all organs fail to perform their functions as effectively as they should be. Besides that, the Stomach, Spleen, Heart and Lung Qi do not descend properly, rather stagnate at or near the throat and ultimately affect the thyroid.
Hypothyroidism is generally characterised by a wide variety of symptoms and discomforts. Some of them are quite conspicuous, while others can easily be mistaken as mild problems:
- Cold intolerance
- Weight gain
- Brittle and dry hair
- Puffy eyes
- Muscle weakness
- Reduced mental capabilities
- Dry and coarse skin
- Poor libido
Now coming to the effects of hypothyroidism on the ability of a woman to conceive, the condition prevents the Kidney Yang from providing the warmth that a body needs for growing a fetus. Kidney Yang is the metabolic warmth or energetic fire human beings need for each and every activity inside the body. Deficiency of this energetic fire triggered by hypothyroidism slow down the development of foetus in women, often leading to miscarriage during the 1st trimester. The same problem can also be responsible for recurring miscarriages. It is being cited as a major problem of womens health in Northern Beaches.
Fortunately, Traditional Chinese Medicine can effectively treat hypothyroidism. It has been found that acupuncture,herbs and moxibustion have helped in treating hypothyroidism. These three modalities of TCM can in fact help in warming the kidneys, thereby increasing the internal warmth and fire. This in turn calms the inflammation of thyroid and eliminates all symptoms, reducing stress and enhancing the chances of getting pregnant.
In addition to getting TCM therapy for hypothyroidism, one should also avoid cold drinks and only eat foods that can be digested easily such as broths and soups. This is because with this one would have to use only little bit of energetic fire to digest the consumed food.
According to a study that was published in the year 2002, adding the primary modalities of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to existing protocols of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatment can significantly increase chances of conception success. This study was conducted by German researchers over 160 women. Its main objective was to determine the effectiveness of acupuncture in IVF support treatment.
Extensive pieces of research conducted over the years have revealed that drugs which are used to induce egg production can up pregnancy rates by the same percentage as acupuncture. Even in women who are not undergoing IVF, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can up pregnancy success by 50 percent. This is almost equal to effects of the drug Clomid, which has some associated side effects.
In addition to hiking up the odds involved in IVF, TCM can also work for stimulating the production of eggs in those women who do not want to or cannot resort to fertility medications for getting pregnant. It improves the development of follicles for improving egg quality as well as thickening the uterine lining to ensure a smooth implantation of the embryo when an egg has fertilised.
At present, about 17 percent of couples in nearly every nation of the world resort to various treatments for infertility, such as IVF. Depending on the age of a woman, the live birth rate of IVF generally varies from 22 to 25 percent every treatment cycle. It might take about 5 attempts, with each cycle costing as much as $4000. On the bright side, clinical studies have revealed that administering acupuncture in combination with herbal therapy can boost the success rate by 50 percent. In some cases, it even spiked up the rate to beyond 90 percent.
In careful and systematic reviews, it has been shown that TCM reduces miscarriage rate in addition to increasing pregnancy success better than drugs like clomiphene. Besides that, some experts also claim that it can improve the score of cervical mucus and enhance ovulation. In the light of all these evidence and feasible claims, many women undergoing IVF in Northern Beaches have decided to put their faith in the centuries-old therapeutical modalities of TCM. For most of them, the results have been very fruitful as well as satisfying. Not only have they reported about feeling completely relaxed during their treatment process, but also did not suffer from any side effect, a concern which is often associated with artificial drugs.
If you’re already pregnant, there are a few basic things which you need to keep in mind for taking care of yourself as well as your baby. Do not smoke. Don’t drink. Take enough rest. The list doesn’t stop here. There are many more. Look below:
Exercise regularly. This will help you sleep better, control your weight, improve your blood circulation and boost your mood. What you can do is swim or practice yoga but make sure not to overdo it. You can also practice Kegels. Kegels basically strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the bowels, bladder and uterus. Done rightly, this exercise will make your delivery easier & prevent problems afterwards with incontinence. The best thing about Kegels is that no one will be able to tell you that you’re actually doing them. You can practice it in your car, while you’re at your desk or even when you’re standing in line at a grocery store.
Acupuncture is very helpful during pregnancy. Weekly treatments to expectant mothers in Northern Beaches have proved to be most beneficial during the first trimester. It basically helps with nausea, morning sickness, tiredness, lack of energy and miscarriage. Acupuncture treatment every 6 weeks during pregnancy is also not a bad idea up till 34 weeks when pre birth acupuncture starts. This is usually a weekly treatment, which helps in softening the tendons in the pelvis, clearing fetal toxins, softening and ripening the cervix and reducing actual labour time by half.
Change the nature of your chore
Lifting heavy items, exposure to toxic chemicals or coming in contact with bacteria can harm you as well as your baby. So, make sure you don’t do these following tasks:
- scrub the bathroom
- clean up pet litters
- lifting heavy objects
- climbing on ladders or stepstools
- using harsh chemicals
- standing for a long period of time, particularly near a hot stove
Consider your spa style
Pregnancy is undoubtedly the time for pampering yourself but at the same time be careful – that’s very important. Avoid saunas, which may make you overheated. Check with your massage therapist to ensure they use safe essentials oils during your 1st and 2nd trimester. This is because there are some oils which can cause uterine contractions.
Eat folate-rich foods
When you find you’re pregnant start eating a lot of folate-rich foods such as fortified cereals, lentils, asparagus, oranges, wheat germ and orange juice.
Recharge with fruits
Ceffeine may have harmful effects on you as well as your baby during pregnancy. But cutting back may be tough. So, what you can do is nibble on some fruits like apples and bananas. The natural sugars in these fruits can lift your energy levels.
Researchers found out that youngsters whose mothers ate the most fish during pregnancy had higher I.Q.s and better communication skills than those whose mothers didn’t eat fish. Fish is basically high in omega 3s but some kinds of fish have mercury, which is toxic to both the adults and babies. Pregnant women are recommended to eat shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, catfish or pollack and avoid shark, swordfish, king mackerel & tilefish, which have high mercuty content.
IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), also called spastic colon is a condition or rather a combination of various symptoms characterised by improper functioning of the digestive system. The symptoms generally include discomfort, abdominal pain, gas, bloating, cramping, diarrhoea or constipation. The syndrome primarily affects the colon or large intestine and may be triggered by reaction to some stressful life event or infection. Although no cure for IBS has been found so far, it is possible to control and reduce the associated symptoms using various therapies.
Acupuncture is one such therapy that can be effectively used for providing relief to a patient suffering from IBS. Many experts of women’s health in Northern Beaches are suggesting that performing acupuncture on specific points on the body can reduce the symptoms of spastic colon to a substantial extent. Let’s have a look at those points in detail:
This point lies just 2 fingers below the navel, and stimulating it can strengthen as well as activate the large intestine. This, in turn, would aid in relieving abdominal cramps, stomachache and constipation. It can also be treated to reduce signs such as bloating, chronic fatigue and cramps.
The St25 is an empowering acupoint for treatment of IBS. It is situated about 2 thumbs away on either side of the belly button. Administering acupuncture on both these points can alleviate diarrhoea and constipation. They can also aid in regulating abdominal blood circulation.
SP4 or Spleen 4 is a functional acupoint that provides several health benefits. It is located near the midsection of the inner foot. Putting pressure on this point can help to provide relief from gastric pain, diarrhoea, bloody stool and poor appetite.
The CV12 is a potent reflexology point that serves to be very effective in the treatment of digestive disorders. It lies halfway between the navel and lower end of breastbone. Stimulating it can help to treat upset stomach, bloating, acid reflux, stomach fullness and appetite loss.
LI14 or large intestine 14 is a highly potent point that can be used for treating IBS efficiently. It is situated just 4 fingers below the shoulder blade, on radial side of upper arm, near the insertion of deltoid muscle. It can aid in providing relief from a wide range of IB symptoms as well as acid reflux.
Unlike conventional drugs used for the treatment of IBS, acupuncture have no side effects. Besides, they can also provide long-lasting relief.
Depression is a severe condition that’s caused by changes in hormone levels, stress, certain medical conditions, difficult life circumstances or grief. It is more than feeling ‘down’. The WHO characterises this illness as a disabling disorder in the globe, affecting about 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men at some point in their life. Depression doesn’t discriminate. Men & women of all age, social & economic background, and educational level suffer from this. Friendships, careers, marriage, parenting, finances – every aspect of living is compromised by it. It’s impact is also severe especially when it occurs in combination with medical conditions like stroke, diabetes, anxiety, substance abuse or cardiovascular disease.
According to researchers in NSW, in comparison to men women suffer more from depression. Women are in fact 2 or 3 times more at risk to suffer from depression in their adolescence period and as adult than men.
But why are women more at risk?
There are several factors, which contribute to increase the risk. Biology is one of then. It is thus the hormonal changes that cause women to be more at risk than men. Women experience deep hormonal fluctuations in various stages of their life like menopause, puerperium and puberty leading to increased risk. Cultural and social factors also play an important role. Thus retirement, taking on different roles, a lack of social support, a poor relation with partner, being a caregiver etc. are also some of the causes that contribute to the increased risk.
Risky moments in a life of a woman
Menopause, puerperium and puberty involve intense hormonal fluctuations in women and significant changes in roles as well as identities at the same time. All these changes may not an easy thing for all women to adapt to. Some women may even experience stress and difficulties in life because of genetical and personal predisposition when dealing with such changes. A certain kind of depression called premenstrual dysphoric disorder is even a condition that’s often noticed in women before menstruation.
How to deal with a depressive disorder?
Discussed above are the specific moments when women are more prone to develop a depressive disorder. If you see any of near or dear ones showing up depressive signs, get him or her treated immediately. Consult with a psychologist in Bondi and give the support needed. Psychotherapy or/and psychiatric support are very much recommended. Medications and lifestyle changes are also of great help.