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Archive for the ‘Ailments in pregnancy’ Category

Women with heartburn have babies with lots of hair!

Monday, October 5th, 2009

After a very lively & amusing dicussion last week in class, I was sent this article which - believe it or not- supports the supposed old wives tale that women who suffer heartburn throughout pregnancy will have babies born with lots of hair!! So those of you with heartburn, prepare for a full head of hair……….

Go gently

Monday, April 7th, 2008

A recent review of our dvd on amazon advised women to go to a class before doing yoga by dvd at home. Although she enjoyed the dvd and gave it a good review, she found that her pelvis had begun to hurt a little after the practice. I can not emphasise enough how important it is to be easy on yourself with yoga for pregnancy. During pregnancy a hormone called relaxin is produced by the body that works to soften the ligaments in preparation for birth. Whilst this is ultimately beneficial, as it helps the pelvis to open for birth, it also means that you need to exercise caution when doing any exercise as the potential for over-stretching is there. I always say in my classes, and on the inside of my yoga dvd, it is essential that you work gently and well within your comfort zone. Before starting yoga practice, with a teacher or at home, seek advice from your midwife. For the vast majority of poeple, gentle yoga will be a help not a hinderence during pregnancy, but only so long as you are not already suffering from sdp or dsp, and that you do not get over-excited by your potential newfound flexibility and push yourself accordingly.

The beauty of yoga is that it does not require you to push yourself hard or to be in outlandish positions to be effective. You can do moderated or simplified versions of each pose - with your legs together and knees bent etc- and still the physical benefits of improved posture, circulation, a stronger more aligned pelvis and spine and better breathing. Additionally, the benefits of yoga are not simply physical but also mental. The time to focus on your breath, your baby and yourself is essential- and in our fast paced world somewhat rare. It is also necessary during birth to allow the back part of your mind, that primal instinctive brain that tends to take a back-seat in day to day living, to come to the fore and play its essential role during birth- and the best way to aid that process is with gentle yoga practice before the birth.

So in all ways during pregnancy, be gentle on yourself and allow both your body and your mind to release and relax slowly and with ease. And if you find that even gentle practice causes you any pain at all, then please discontinue doing yoga and speak to your midwife.

Why we shouldn’t eat for two……

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

For those of us who enjoy the excuse for an extra slice, its not good news that there are quite serious reasons why the old ‘eating for two’ adage is a myth. Until recently the pregnant woman tended to rest easy, eating according to her every whim and indulging her notoriously strange cravings. But science has now given us a good ticking off. It has been found that women who are overweight when they fall pregnant are at significantly higher risk of developing gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, or of haemmoraghing during their pregnancy. For those in the know, this in itself is not radical stuff, though that is not to underemphasise its importance. But more controversially, and perhaps also even more compellingly, there is further - as yet early - evidence, that an overweight mother is more likely to create an overweight adult. Scientists believe- and a long term study has been set in motion to test it- that hormones produced by the overweight pregnant mother alter the brain of the developing baby, making it more prone to being overweight later in life. Whilst dieting during pregnancy also comes with its own risks, it suggests that if we think that pregnancy is an excuse for packing on the piles, we should think again.

Morning Sickness

Monday, October 29th, 2007

The dreaded morning sickness….for many women this is the single worst part of being pregnant. For most people it tends to start at about 5 weeks pregnant and abate by 14, but for a very unlucky few it can last all the way through. If you are in the thick of it, assume that you will not be one of those!

Its is believed that morning sickness is actually a protective mechanism, an ancient survival skill that was necessary when food was perilous. The development of a fetus’ major organs ( between 6-14 weeks) coincides with the mother’s immune system letting its guard down so as to not ‘reject’ the baby and instead allow it to establish itself in the uterus. It means that at a very important time in the child’s development, the mother is increased danger of falling ill. So what happens? She developments morning sickness where she is either regularly ill, or where she develops aversions to certain types of food. Many women find themselves repulsed by the thought of meat or averse to fish or eggs- mainly the foods that hold the greatest dangers, or would have done in the past…….and this is your body protecting you. Thankfully, it usually passes when the mother’s immune system is restored and the fetus is less vulnerable.

How to cope? Eat regularly and often- jacobs cream crackers are a god-send to nibble on but anything little and often seems to help the nausea abate. And dont assume that the name ‘morning sickness’ means it will only happen in the morning- many women feel ill at night, so just nibble liberally!! Eat foods rich in complex carbohydrates- in other words healthy stodge- so comfort foods are the order of the day.

Mint and fennel tea both seem to help alleviate nausea. So does ginger tea that you can make by peeling a little knob of ginger, cutting into pieces and then covering in boiling water. Leave it to brew for a couple of minutes then drink the water. You can do this several times with the same bit of ginger. Homeopathy can also really help- just ask at your nearest health store for particular remedies.

And get enough sleep. Morning sickness is made infinitely worse by being tired ( perhaps because your defences are down even more when your body is tired) so getting enough sleep is essential- it might make you boring but better boring than ill.

For the majority of people it is (hideous but) short-lived, so gritted teeth are also necessary.

Does anyone have any other suggestions? Many women happen upon remedies by accident so if you have any advice, please post it up.