Do you want a natural birth?
Labour is divided into three stages.
The first stage is the dilation of the cervix, the second stage is the birth of the baby, and the third stage is the delivery of the placenta.
For first-time mothers, labour takes around 12 to 14 hours.
Women who have undergone childbirth before can expect about seven hours of labour.
Recognising the start of labour
Braxton-Hicks contractions are sometimes mistaken for labour. These ‘false’ contractions usually start halfway through the pregnancy and continue all the way through. You may find these contractions visibly harden and lift your pregnant belly.
It is not known what triggers the onset of labour, but it is thought to be influenced by the hormone oxytocin, which is responsible for causing uterine contractions.
Giving birth will be different for every woman, but the main signs that you are starting labour will most likely be strong, regular contractions, and a ‘show’. During your pregnancy, a plug of mucus sits in your cervix. A show is when that plug of mucus comes away, indicating that the cervix is starting to open.
Other signs that you are going into labour can include:
- Your waters breaking (rupture of the membranes)
- A backache,
- An upset stomach
- cramping or tightening, similar to period pain
- A feeling of pressure, as the baby’s head, moves into the pelvis
- An urge to go to the toilet caused by your baby’s head pressing in your bowel.
It is so important and special to have a professional support network of qualified midwives, doulas and qualified health professionals to make this special time of welcoming your baby in an environment that you feel at home and comfortable with. It is the most awesome experience an amazing time of your life!
On a personal note, I have given birth to five beautiful babies all born at home with qualified homebirth midwives and support doctors. One, however, was born by myself New Year's Eve because this little babe decided she wanted me for herself and I was in a small country town with no support network or hospital – 1 hour in the shower New Year's Eve. Too fast for anyone to get to me! It wasn't planned like this but nature has its way and women have been giving birth naturally from day dot! The most spiritual experience of my life! This lead me to also breastfeed for a total of 14 years. Your body is amazing! Listen to it and enjoy every minute of being a woman.
We use various naturopathic principles to treat the cause and look for the disharmony in your body and mind to bring your body back to balance. Please see below a brief treatment (Rx) protocol and reference guide, with choices to help improve your health and wellbeing. Click on the headings and links within for more treatment information.
PARTUS PREPARATOR – BIRTH PREPARATION TONIC
Herbal, homoeopathic and nutritional birth preparation tonic/remedies may be prescribed the last few weeks of pregnancy (2 – 4 weeks before due date) to help achieve the following:
- A labour that starts on time.
- Improved uterine and cervical ‘tone'.
- Short labour.
- Effective, rhythmic, regular contractions.
- Effective smooth natural delivery of the placenta.
- A uterus that returns quickly to pre-pregnancy size.
- A plentiful supply of nutritious breast milk.
- Quick recovery and no exhaustion after the natural birth.
- Emotional wellbeing for mother and baby.
Natural remedies have been used by various cultures for centuries and are held in high esteem by Natural Fertility Management practitioners, Herbalists and Homeopaths who are trained and specialised in this area. Do not self-prescribe!!!
Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus) may taken as a herbal tea after the second trimester of your pregnancy, is a reproductive tonic specific to pregnancy and childbirth. Raspberry leaf is high in calcium and magnesium, which help to strengthen and calm the uterine muscles.
If you are experiencing these conditions, I can guide you into wellness – BOOK NOW for a Naturopathic Consultation.
Tissue Salt Rx
Taking tissue salts during preconception and the first trimester helps prevent miscarriage, see Pregnancy Health. Taken during the last trimester tissue salts helps promote easy birth and normal puerperium. Increase contractile and coordinated power of uterine muscles. Improves general health of baby and mother.
Increase the contractile power of connective tissue, muscles, ligaments, tendons of the pelvis.
Corrects anaemia of mother and fetus.
Removes anxiety and nervousness of mother. Repeat often if becoming exhausted.
Prevents eclampsia and pre-eclampsia in the mother and hypoxia and low Apgar score in the fetus.
Below is a quick reference guide for low potency (1x – 30C) homoeopathic remedies safe for home prescribing. Make an appointment for a professional consultation and prescription for more information.
PARTUS PREPARATOR – BIRTH PREPARATION
Homeopathy offers a safe and effective approach partus prep (2 – 4 weeks before due date). Late or overdue labour homoeopathy will assist rather than complicate matters. Safe for mother and baby.
Some homoeopathic physicians and midwives use pre-labour regimens four weeks prior to the expected due date. See above.
It is important to consult your health practitioner (NFM consultant, Naturopath, Homoeopath, Herbalist) to gain the personalised prescription that best suits you at this beautiful exciting time. Work with your practitioner and midwife to design a birth plan that you feel comfortable with. Your support team doula, midwife, practitioner, specialist or whoever you choose to be at your birth will want to help you, be informed, answer all your questions and abide by your wishes. Being prepared and designing a positive birth environment, gives you choices and you are in control. Very special and so exciting.
Nutritional Medicine Rx
Use Food as Medicine! Nourish your body and mind with fresh seasonal, whole foods. Clean unprocessed & unadulterated foods like nature intended. Support a back to the basic natural approach to eating. Visit your local farmer markets and buy organic produce where possible. Go vegetable crazy! Love your greens.
Food Sensitivity Testing is an easy way to take the guess work out of what may be contributing to you feeling unwell, suffering digestive problems, inflammation, bloating, skin conditions, asthma etc. A whole food natural diet is excellent to follow but what some people don’t realise is one man's food can be another man’s poison. Give your digestive tract a break and feed your body with food that heals. A stressed and inflamed digestive tract (gut) suffering dysbiosis needs help to build up a good microbiome balance. It is not only important for your ability to absorb and utilise nutrients but your gut health and immune system are inextricably linked. Seventy to eighty percent of your immune tissue is located within your digestive system and ninety percent of serotonin is made in the digestive tract. Serotonin is a key player in mood, anxiety, fear, and the general sense of happiness and wellbeing.
The intestinal microbiota (gut flora) helps in proper development of the host immune system, which in turn regulates the homeostasis of the microbiota. Good nutrition promoting good gut health microbiome promotes a healthy immune system.
The gastrointestinal tract is also sensitive to emotion. A troubled intestine can send signals to the brain, just as a troubled brain can send signals to the gut. Therefore, a person's stomach or intestinal distress can be the cause or the product of anxiety, stress, or depression.
Don’t diet! Listen to your body. Eat mindfully in a relaxed environment and choose quality, not quantity. Enjoy fuelling your body and treating it well.
Lifestyle Medicine Rx
Exercise and Fitness Management:Select an exercise activity or sport you enjoy. Choose something that works for you and aim for the 80/20 % approach and always listen to your body.
- Walking is a wonderful activity for all ages, shapes and sizes.
- Build up slowly but aim for 10,000 steps a day.
- I recommend investing in a motivational health monitor like ‘Fitbit’ and or an app like ‘MyFitnessPal’ to motivate you to have a go and strive to improve your fitness and maintain a healthy weight.
Hydration:Aim for 2 – 4 litres of clean, filtered water a day. One of the easiest ways to improve your health is to stay hydrated as your body is made up of 60% water and it needed by every cell of the body. Sugar, Salt and Coffee is dehydrating for the body. Often if you feel thirsty this is an early sign of dehydration. Make it a habit and drink throughout the day. Benefits include:
- Natural Detox – a naturally hydrated body purges the cells, eliminating stored toxins and bodily wastes.
- Digestion and Elimination – eliminates constipation, boating and helps improve general digestive disorders.
- Speeds Metabolism and helps with weight loss.
- Combats Fatigue – water is an important source of energy for your body.
- Reduces High Blood Pressure and Lowers Cholesterol.
- Speeds up Joint and Cartilage repair.
- Skin Health – improves Acne, Dermatitis, Eczema, Psoriasis and Premature Skin Ageing.
- Slows the Ageing Process.
- Aim for 7 – 8 hours quality sleep.
- Turn off all electronic devices and avoid technology and hour before bed as this allows your brain to switch off and make it easier to fall asleep.
- Keep your bedroom just for sleeping & loving. Fresh Air – open a window. Light can make or break a good sleep cycle. Darken your room as much as possible.
- Don’t eat late in the night. Avoid caffeine and stimulants.
- Set your alarm to get to bed and wake at the same time every day.
- Night Cap: – Drink a warm lemon drink, herbal green tea or Golden Milk (Almond & Coconut Milk with beneficial spices) – “Turmeric Latte”, before bed.
- Create a nice environment with indoor plants, aromatherapy diffuser, soft relaxing music and anything that helps you promote a routine to wind yourself down to get much-needed sleep.