In today’s post, holistic physician and author Dr. Lauren Feder shares her tips on how to achieve a natural healthy pregnancy. Dr. Feder’s newest book, “Natural Pregnancy: Practical Medical Advice and Holistic Wisdom for a Healthy Pregnancy and Childbirth,” is an excellent resource for expectant parents, whether you choose to opt for an all-natural birth, or are looking to combine conventional treatments with homeopathy and holistic medicine. “Natural Pregnancy” will be available in stores and online tomorrow.
The pregnancy and childbirth experience is considered one of the most coveted experiences in a woman’s life. Maternal health is no longer just the domain of physicians, but of you, the expectant parents. “Natural Pregnancy” aims to empower parents and give them the confidence to make the best, most-informed decisions regardless of giving birth at home, at a birth center, or in a hospital. Consider the following tips for your pregnancy and birth:
1. Eat healthy, exercise, and enjoy your mate. Healthy nutrition and regular exercise help to avoid complications in pregnancy, shorten labor, and improve baby’s health. Studies suggest exercise enhances a baby’s brain development. Spend quality time with your spouse, as your relationship profoundly influences your life during pregnancy...and beyond.
2. Consider a midwife or mother-friendly practitioner. From home to hospital birth, the mother-friendly approach recognizes, respects and encourages natural healthy birth. The midwife approach is the optimal model of care for most births, because a midwife is trained in normal birth.
3. Hire a doula. Surround yourself with people who respect your birth choices. If having a hospital birth, consider hiring a doula who is familiar with the birth experience and who can be your advocate in the hospital. Research shows that women who labor with a doula request less pain medication, have shorter births, and have substantially lower rates of interventions including cesarean sections.
4. Comfort zone and comfort measures. Ensure the birth space allows for privacy with minimal disturbances. Remove the clock. Avoid small talk and unnecessary questions. Take sips in between contractions, and urinate hourly. Birth classes offer information for comfort measures including birthing techniques, hypnosis, and use of the birth ball. Keep on moving, change position, and if possible, labor in the water.
5. Use homeopathy. Homeopathic medicines offer a safe and gentle holistic medical approach, which aids many pregnancy related conditions (i.e. constipation, heartburn, etc.). Homeopathy can also be used before and during labor for easier childbirth and postpartum healing. Take Arnica montana (30C or 200C) hourly during labor to help prevent or minimize soreness, bruising and swelling. (Please check with your health care professional before use.)
About Dr. Feder: Lauren Feder, MD is a nationally recognized physician who specializes in primary care medicine, pediatrics and homeopathy. Affiliated with the National Center for Homeopathy, Holistic Moms Network, and La Leche League, she is a frequent lecturer for parents and professionals. Dr. Feder is the director of the Center for Natural Family Medicine in Los Angeles, where she lives with her husband and two sons. Visit www.drfeder.com.
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