From ginger to coconut oil and methi, natural therapies for pre and postnatal care
Prenatal and Postnatal Care: Childbirth is one of the most exciting and overwhelming parts of a woman’s life. Since a series of hormonal and bodily changes disrupt a woman’s physical and mental health, this is also one of the most difficult times for a woman. According to which pregnancy stage a woman is found, her body will react with different sets of symptoms – from nausea, heartburn, headache to constipation, hemorrhoids and back pain. Likewise, women also face problems related to breastfeeding as well as depression during the postpartum period.
For generations, herbal remedies have played a crucial role in this beautiful journey of motherhood. In addition to soothing the difficult symptoms of pregnancy, a series of natural therapies have been used by women around the world to regain physical flexibility, reduce inflammation, and help increase breast milk production after childbirth. Natural remedies are much more important for pregnant and breastfeeding women because they are safe for the child.
Let’s take a look at some of these natural therapies that have been helping mothers for centuries:
A magical ingredient that gives flavor to our curries, ginger is more than just a condiment. It is a powerful herbal remedy filled with natural digestive enzymes and anti-inflammatory properties, and is an integral part of natural medicine. Morning sickness also known as nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP), is a common symptom felt between the fourth and sixteenth week of pregnancy. For women with morning sickness, ginger has been a trusted herb for centuries. Sprinkling grated ginger over meals, soups, and salads, consuming it with honey, or adding it to your cup of tea are effective ways of consuming raw, fresh ginger to help with nausea.
Ginger contains many phenolic compounds such as gingerol, shogaol, and paradol which exhibit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is therefore very useful in the postpartum phase to help women fight inflammation and oxidative stress.
Another very useful natural remedy during pregnancy is soothing coconut water. Enriched with natural vitamins and minerals, it is not only nourishing for your body, but it also helps control constipation and heartburn, two common ailments in pregnant women. As your growing belly pushes against the stomach, it forces stomach acids into the esophagus, causing constant acidity. Coconut water soothes symptoms of acid reflux and helps replenish electrolytes and fluids lost due to vomiting.
Fenugreek seeds have been consumed for ages by women to help induce contractions and relieve pain associated with Workforce. Naturopathic doctors often advise women facing prolonged labor to consume fenugreek seeds to speed up the labor process. Women with gestational diabetes may benefit by consuming soaked fenugreek seeds which help stabilize blood sugar levels and act as a detoxifying agent. However, it is important to keep in mind that the consumption of fenugreek seeds can induce contractions, it should be consumed under the supervision of a naturopath. Fenugreek seeds are usually not eaten until after the 37th week of pregnancy.
Fenugreek seeds are also a great herbal galactagogue or agent that helps improve milk production in nursing women. Prepare a cup of tea with ground fenugreek seeds which can be taken several times a day. Fenugreek leaves and seeds contain vitamins B, C, and E as well as zinc and biotin, nutrients that have the potential to reduce postpartum hair loss. For women struggling with postpartum hair loss, consuming fenugreek and applying a fenugreek seed / leaf mask to the scalp is also a beneficial way to restore scalp health and condition. hair growth.
Coconut / olive oil for stretch marks
Stretch marks that appear on the stomach is one of the major aesthetic concerns of post-pregnancy women. The marks are the result of stretched skin that contracts after childbirth. In many cultures around the world, women use moisturizing oils to massage the abdomen during pregnancy to prevent or minimize the appearance of stretch marks. Highly emollient in nature, coconut oil keeps the skin hydrated and helps increase its elasticity, thereby reducing its sensitivity to stretch marks. Likewise, olive oil, which is a rich source of vitamin E and antioxidants, has long been used in skin care. Olive oil helps maintain the smoothness and suppleness of the skin and reduces the appearance of stretch marks.
Prenatal yoga and relaxation techniques
The prenatal yoga the approach specifically designed for pregnant women emphasizes breathing and relaxation techniques; exercises that help build endurance, core strength and strengthen the pelvic muscles. This holistic approach helps women prepare well for childbirth while improving physical and mental resilience during and after pregnancy.
A series of restorative poses, breathing techniques, meditation and relaxation also help relieve anxiety and combat postpartum depression after childbirth.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese therapy that involves inserting very fine needles into specific points to help relax the mind and body, increase blood circulation and increase energy levels. Acupuncture helps pregnant women relieve heartburn, nausea, and lower back pain safely and without medication. In fact, a Swedish study of 60 women with normal pregnancies in 2001 found that the acupuncture technique significantly helped reduce morning sickness over an extended period.
Complement modern medicine in a sustainable way
With the advent of antibiotics, blood transfusion, and advanced surgical procedures, modern medicine has significantly reduced maternal and infant mortality rates. However, chemical-based drugs can be harmful to the fetus and therefore their use should be avoided as much as possible. Natural therapy is a drug-free approach to treat a range of pre and post natal symptoms and therefore more durable. It also helps the mother recover faster after childbirth by reducing inflammation and detoxifying the system. A study published in the West Indian Medical Journal concluded that the application of turmeric cream was effective in speeding up wound healing from cesarean operations. We need more studies of this type to gather more scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of the components of natural medicine. Unfortunately, most practitioners of modern medicine (out of ignorance or pure bias) ignore the natural path completely. It is important for us to develop a holistic approach to motherhood that balances the essentials of modern medicine and natural remedies.
(The author is Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute.)