Well you’re counting down the days until you meet your little bundle of joy, but what can you do to prepare for childbirth?
A herbal formula called 5W by Nature’s Sunshine is an absolute must for the last five weeks of pregnancy. It contains the herbs Black Cohosh, Lobelia, Pennyroyal, Red Raspberry & Squaw Vine. This formula helps to strengthen the uterus in order to help make labour and delivery easier.
Black Cohosh is good for almost all female problems and also provides a natural supply of estrogen. Estrogen needs to rise during childbirth in order for the fibrous tissue of the cervix to soften and for it to dilate. Estrogen also helps in the production of proteins that act as a cheer squad for contractions.
Lobelia is one of the most powerful relaxant herbs, stopping the mum to be from over-fretting about childbirth. It also helps to reduce the pain in labour.
Pennyroyal stimulates contractions which makes it wonderful to use at the end of the pregnancy. It should never be used in the early stages, however for the same reason as it will induce contractions leading to a miscarriage.
Red Raspberry, an astringent herb, is wonderful throughout the entire pregnancy it has so many uses. During the last part of the pregnancy it helps to strengthen the uterus, it also helps to co-ordinate uterine contractions during labour, often resulting in a shorter labour. It also stimulates milk production.
Squaw Vine is also an astringent herb that has a special affinity with Red Raspberry. When the two are combined they are excellent for childbirth. As the name would suggest this herb was introduced to us by Native Americans who always used it to induce labour as well as other women’s health problems.
Giving birth can give the mum a feeling that she’s out of control, this is where Rescue Remedy is wonderful. Rescue Remedy is a combination of Bach Flower remedies that is good to take when you literally feel like you need rescuing. A few drops on the tongue will cause stress levels to drop and relaxation to kick in.
Another good remedy to have on hand is Arnica. This is a homeopathic remedy that comes in a number of strengths 6x is best for labour, but if this is unavailable try 30. Arnica helps reduce bruising. Take a dose when you start labour and another when labour is over, then take every 4 hours for 24 hours. This should reduce any bruising and inflammation. It will also help to promote healing, especially if there are any tears or if a cut had to be made.
So for the last few weeks of pregnancy make sure you have 5W, Rescue Remedy, Arnica, a bag packed and a supportive birthing partner on hand.