Disclaimer: Always talk to your health care provider before taking any supplement or trying any interventions listed in my answers – while all of these things are safe for pregnancy you need to make sure they are safe for you!
1. Remedies for heartburn, headaches, and swelling
Heartburn: Treatment is variable depending on the stage of pregnancy. If it’s the end of the third trimester when the stomach is being displaced and pushed up by growing babe it’s hard to stop heartburn at the root but you can treat the symptoms. If the heartburn is occurring early in pregnancy, we can aim the treatment more at the root of the problem.
Some of my common tricks are acupuncture, ginger tea, raw organic almonds and slippery elm lozenges or capsules.
Headaches: There are so many reasons one can get a headache during pregnancy – but I see acupuncture, drinking lots of water and magnesium nip most of them in the butt – plus the magnesium if taken before bed can help you sleep better and settle pregnancy related muscle pains and spasms. Look for Magnesium Bisglycinate – this is the best most bioavailable form.
Swelling: Acupuncture again (because it’s really safe in pregnancy) – then looking at the reason for the swelling – is it water? Is it incompetent vasculature (blood vessels)? After evaluating the symptoms I might use something like Pascoe LYMPHDIARAL SENSTIVE CREAM, nettle/dandelion tea, horsechestnut, or bilberry capsules.
2.What to do about pregnancy related carpel tunnel
The exact same things we do for swelling – with the acupuncture being more localized to the wrist and hand J - and checking out the B12 status J
3. Cough remedies
I like Pascoe Drosera Simiaplex http://www.pascoe.ca/product-list/drosera-similiaplex - I actually have personal experience with this one – I had a VIOLENT night cough for nearly 1 month when I was 7m pregnant – it was terrible – I took 2 doses of this and never coughed again. Now I don’t always see it work that fast but it almost always provides some relief. Obviously, you also need to see your Health Care Provider to check out the cough and make sure nothing more serious is underlying it.
4.Fertility how to get pregnant
Fertility is a huge part of my practice from working with individuals and couples who are thinking about wanting to conceive in the future – focusing on detoxing and optimizing their current health to those dealing with infertility and undergoing conventional fertility treatments including IVF/donor eggs etc.
This is a case by case plan but I always start off by looking at the individual’s health history and family history so if there is something that we can improve or do before the pregnancy to help reduce risk of complications to mom or baby beforehand. I do a lot of dietary counselling to optimize nutrition so mom is prepared to grow a baby but also to improve hormonal balance and make it easier to conceive. Sometimes I use supplements we know help to create healthy eggs and an optimal environment for baby’s development. Also the research to support use of Vitamin D and probiotics during pregnancy to help child’s long term health is quite strong. Some of my favourite things for all trying to conceive moms are Nettle/Alfalfa/Raspberry Leave teas, uterine/liver castor oil packs and the seed protocol. I also teach my patients how to do BBT (Basel body temperature) charting and how to look at physical signs to optimally conceive. We can also use the charts if there is infertility to help determine what might be going on. I also use tons of acupuncture to help regulate cycles and improve egg quality and uterine lining as well as the success of IVF cycles (great research to support this) when extra help is needed. One of my favourite parts of my jobs is helping a mom/surrogate/donor create life.
5.Hair loss after pregnancy
To some degree we just have to suck this up. When you are pregnant you do not have the normal hair loss your normally do. Typically, your hair goes through three phase cycle – GROWTH, REST, FALLING OUT. During pregnancy hairs in the RESTING stage are more likely to stay there then to enter the FALLING OUT STAGE – so your hair often seems thicker and fuller. However, once you are no longer pregnant all those hairs that were in the RESTING stage will start to enter the FALLINGOUT stage so there is a more drastic hair loss at once – but don’t worry this will all get reregulated. Also making sure you are taking good quality vitamins will ensure that the hair growing is of optimal quality. I have also used some adrenal herbs to support the stress axis which helps ALL new moms stay energized and less effected by stress (which can also make hair fall out even more!)
6.Is CoQ10 safe to take while pregnant the goal was to reduce chances of getting cholestatsis but she is unsure if it is safe as she is finding
I use CoQ10 all the time in mom’s trying to conceive – once they do it is usually not indicated anymore and I also have used CoQ10 in the second/ third trimester for blood pressure concerns. I have not yet had a case where someone required it in the first trimester and I have not seen any evidence about this – where are you in your pregnancy right now? There is research (Teran E, Hernandez I, Nieto B, et al. Coenzyme Q10 supplementation during pregnancy reduces the risk of pre-eclampsia. Int J Gynaecol Obstet 2009;105:43-5) suggesting it is safe and beneficial to take 100mg 2x/day starting at week 20 (under your health care providers supervision). I would probably use liver/gallbladder herbal support such as Milk Thistle (MEDIHERB SILYMARIN) if it was appropriate for my patient (once again you need to work with your Health Care Provider to make sure something is indicated for you). During pregnancy you are more likely to get gallstones – so in patients with a history of gallstones I often will give them liver/gallbladder support as part of their preconception plan to help reduce the incidence.
A huge thank you so Dr. Stacey Fritsch-Horn. B.Sc(ENG),ND for answering some of our questions. You can contact Dr. Fritsch-Horn directly at 905-885-5111, www.porthopehealthcentre.com, www.staceyfritschnd.com.
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