Condition Spotlight

The decisions a woman and her partner make during preconception, pregnancy, and childbirth will shape the life of their child. As alternative medicine increases in popularity, future parents and caregivers are looking toward natural therapies such as nutritional supplementation, homeopathy, herbal medicine, massage, and aromatherapy in order to give birth to a healthier child.

It is important to the health of both mother and fetus that the mother eats a well-balanced and varied diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, beans, and fish are essential. Limit refined sugars, processed foods, and saturated fats. Organically grown produce, meats, and poultry are preferable.

Intimacy During Pregnancy

A woman’s physical and emotional comfort with her pregnancy determine her sexual attitudes and enjoyment at this time. Her feelings are often influenced by her partner’s attitude to her appearance. This issue is complex and Read More

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There are many available choices surrounding pregnancy and childbirth—a hospital birth is no longer seen as the only safe option for delivery. Many couples are opting to have their babies at home or in birth centers that offer the kind of care that is tailored to each couple’s needs. Currently, holistic practitioners in the field of childbirth are addressing the need for dietary changes, abstinence from harmful substances, childbirth classes, and emotional support during the birth. Other options range from the modern technology of a hospital birth to water birth in the home; obstetric care to midwifery and doula care; and medical drug intervention to labor-inducing herbs.

Although each individual responds to pregnancy differently, and there is no such thing as a perfect pregnancy, there are many ways to contribute to a healthy one. Probably most important is that the woman realizes the physiological impact carrying a child has on her health and that she listens to her body’s needs. Adequate rest, including naps, ‘mental’ breaks, and sufficient sleep, is essential. Maintaining a positive outlook and keeping stress to a minimum are beneficial to both mother and baby. Comfortably paced, regular, non-jarring exercise, such as low-impact aerobics, walking, yoga, and swimming, can increase stamina for labor, strengthen muscles used during delivery, and may enhance the ability to cope better with labor.