The APND aims to educate pregnant women and their partners during this time of transition. Perinatal Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) are primary health care providers and are able to work collaboratively with midwives and obstetricians. Your Naturopathic Doctor is able to offer various appropriate and complementary treatments to a pregnant woman such as herbs, homeopathy, acupuncture, nutrition and counseling. Symptoms of discomfort during pregnancy vary from woman-to-woman. The following are some common concerns:
Pregnant women may experience nausea and sometimes vomiting in the first trimester – also called morning sickness because symptoms are most severe in the morning. Some women may have nausea and vomiting throughout the pregnancy. The cause of morning sickness may be triggered by the changes in hormone levels during pregnancy. Morning sickness can be treated safely and effectively with diet modification, acupuncture, ginger and certain B-vitamins. If vomiting is severe, causing a woman to lose fluids and weight, it may indicate a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum. Hyperemesis can lead to dehydration and may require hospitalization for intravenous fluids and nutrition. Call your physician if you are having constant or severe nausea and vomiting.
As the body works overtime to provide a nourishing environment for the fetus, it is no wonder a pregnant woman often feels tired. In the first trimester, her blood volume and other fluids increase as her body adjusts to the pregnancy. Pica is a rare craving to eat substances other than food, such as dirt, clay, or coal. The craving may indicate an iron deficiency. A blood test can be used to assess for low iron. Certain foods are also high in iron and can be implemented into the diet. Iron supplements often cause constipation, so it’s important that you take a highly absorbable form that will have the least impact on your digestive tract.
Heartburn and indigestion can be caused by pressure on the intestines and stomach (which, in turn, pushes stomach contents back up into the esophagus). Diet modification, massage, herbs and acupuncture can aid in dealing with this concern.
Due to hormonal changes this can often occur in the first trimester. Increased intake of water, certain types of soluble and insoluble fiber, herbs and or other supplementation and massage can be very effective at normalizing bowel function.
A woman may feel a variety of emotions at any given time such as elation, wonder, fear and nervousness. These feelings are common and should be communicated with the family and health care providers, especially if they are feeling overwhelming. The more knowledge the woman has about changes in her body, the more she can feel empowered and excited about the pregnancy.
Due to hormone changes and increased vaginal discharge, a pregnant woman is more susceptible to yeast infections. Symptoms of yeast infection is redness, swelling, itching and thick whitish discharge. There are many solutions for decreasing the chances of experiencing a yeast infection if someone has had them in the past, and effective acute treatments.
Back pain is common especially during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters as ligaments are stretching and moving more and there is increased weight. There are many different supplements and hands-on treatments that can alleviate that pain.
Other information that your Perinatal Naturopathic Doctor can provide to you on the following topics:
- Booklist for New Parents
- Classes to Take During Pregnancy – FAQ
- Common Discomforts of Pregnancy
- Fetal Development
- Group B Streptococcus Screening and Prevention
- Pregnancy & Reproduction – Patients’ Frequently Asked Questions
- Healthy Pregnancy Checklist
- Premature Labour
- Prenatal Exercise
- Prenatal Nutrition
- Prenatal Tests
- Birth plan
- Labour support options: do you want your ND to attend your birth?
- Perineal massage
- Naturopathic Birth Kit
- Breech and posterior positioned babies
- Naturopathic Induction
- Prebirth treatment to prepare the body for an efficient labour
- Acupressure for pain relief during labour
- Pain relief and problems during labour
- Postpartum recovery