Herbs for Pregnancy and Birth

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Evening Primrose Flower

These traditional herbs have been safely used by pregnant women for generations. They are an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals needed to nourish the pregnant body. They also help prepare the body for a healthy pregnancy, efficient labor and healthy recovery.

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RED RASPBERRY LEAF

  • Red raspberry leaf containsCarotenoids, citric acid, fragrine, pectin, tannins and vitamins A, B complex, C, D and E. It also contains an easily assimilated form of calcium; manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon and sulfur.
  • It has been used for years for uterine toning and throughout pregnancy It is good to alleviate morning sickness, prevent miscarriage, provide energy, make labor faster and easier, reduce hemorrhage, and increase milk supply.
  • Because red raspberry leaf is rich in B-complex vitamins (which are water-soluble), it may be useful for anxiety.  B-vitamins are known to help reduce stress.  The tannins in the tea are also known to help relax muscles in the body and can soothe stomach aches and other manifestations of stress.                    ~ Modern Alternative Mama

nettle-drawing

NETTLE

Benefits of Nettle during pregnancy include:

  • Aid to the kidneys. Since the kidneys must cleanse 150 percent of the normal blood supply for most of the pregnancy, nettle’s ability to nourish and strengthen them is of major importance. Any accumulation of minerals in the kidneys, such as gravel or stones, is gently loosened, dissolved and eliminated by the consistent use of nettle infusions.
  • Nourishing mother and fetus. Nettle is reputed to have more chlorophyll than any other herb. It is also abundant in Vitamins A, C, D and K, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, iron and sulphur.
  • Eases leg cramps and other spasms.
  • Diminishes pain during and after birth. The high calcium content, which is readily assimilated, helps diminish muscle pains in the uterus, in the legs and elsewhere.
  • Prevents hemorrhage after birth. Nettle is a superb source of vitamin K, and increases available hemoglobin, both of which decrease the likelihood of postpartum hemorrhage. Fresh Nettle Juice, in teaspoon doses, slows postpartum bleeding.
  • Reduces hemorrhoids. Nettle’s mild astringency and general nourishing action tightens and strengthens blood vessels, helps maintain arterial elasticity and improves venous resilience.
  • {Postpartum} Increasing the richness and amount of breast milk.          ~Susun Weed

oats in flower webOAT STRAW

Oats, another herb high in calcium and magnesium, builds healthy bones and nourishes the nervous system. This is the perfect herb to relieve nervous exhaustion and allow for relaxed rest when sleep is difficult. An easy way to incorporate the healing power of oats, and its high fiber content, is to eat oatmeal cereal in the morning. Oatstraw tea has a mild flavor that can be used alone or mixed with other herbs. And a warm oatmeal bath is not only relaxing, it softens skin and relieves the itch of a growing belly.            ~Motherlove Herbs

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EVENING PRIMROSE OIL

Evening Primrose Oil contains essential fatty acids, linolenic acid (LA) and gamma linolenic acid (GLA). The body uses GLA to produce beneficial compounds called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins have long been known to help “ripen” the cervix, making it stretchy and aiding in dilation and effacement during labor.

Many midwives will suggest dosages of Evening Primrose Oil to help prepare the cervix for labor. Some say use with caution; begin the supplement around 38-40 weeks of pregnancy. Some women gradually begin (with small doses) a bit earlier, around 36-38 weeks.

Dosages usually begin with one or two 500 mg capsules orally, increasing up to a total of 2,500 mg per day. (The total is usually divided up, to be taken 2-3 times per day.) Other pregnant women use part of the total dosage as a suppository placed near the cervix, as well.

CAUTION: Use Evening Primrose Oil with caution during pregnancy, as it is effective in ripening the cervix. Do not take if expecting surgery, as it may act as a blood thinner. Check with your midwife or care provider to see what is appropriate for your situation, before using.            ~ Passionate Home-making

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Healthy Pregnancy Tea

  • 8 parts red raspberry leaves
  • 3 parts alfalfa
  • 3 parts peppermint (if you’re nursing, replace this with fenugreek as peppermint can decrease your milk supply)
  • 2 parts nettles

Directions:

1. Combine herbs and store in air tight jar or container.

2. To make hot tea, pour boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of the tea mix. Let it steep for about 5 min. Remove the leaves and sweeten with agave syrup, honey or another natural sweetener.

3. To make a gallon of cold tea (my favorite), pour about 4 cups of water over ½ c. of leaves and let steep for about 4 hours.       ~ The Humbled Homemaker

NOTE: As always, if you have any questions or concerns, and prior to starting any herbal regimen, please consult your midwife or physician.

 

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