Common pregnancy symptoms can really take the joy out of your pregnancy. On my prenatal yoga waiver these are the most commonly circled symptoms. The recommendations to alleviate symptoms or cure the problem are listed too.

Anemia,fatigue:
I learned about this one from my midwife 20 years ago. What an amazing supplement. My hemoglobin (red blood cell count) increased at the end of my pregnancy. Usually it decreases. Iron, B12 and Liver Fractions For Enhanced Endurance and Energy
Energizing Iron – is a source of nutrients to support the body’s need for iron, vitamin B12, and trace minerals. The iron found in Energizing Iron is heme iron – easily absorbed by the body and more gentle on the stomach than other supplement iron forms. Produced from beef liver obtained from animals raised in Argentina, Energizing Iron contains no chemical sprays, pesticides, or antiobiotics from livestock feed. Vitamin B12 – the energy vitamin – helps form red blood cells and maintain the central nervous system.

Back ache in pregnancy is the number 1 reason women come to my prenatal yoga classes

Sacroiliac Pain In Pregnancy: 10 Prenatal Yoga Poses To Strengthen and Stretch by Liza Janda
10 Minutes To Banish Sciatica With Prenatal Yoga
Do pregnancy and back pain have to go together?
8 Essential Exercises to Avoid Backache in Pregnancy
Alanna Kaivalya – Rid Yourself of Back Pain From Yogadownload

My free 25 minute class can help if you're short on time.

Constipation:
1. Recently one of my students told me that this probiotic not only cured her extreme case of heartburn and nausea, but also cured her constipation so I’m spreading the word. Ultimate Flora Vaginal Probiotics 5o Billion.

Avoid eating any refined or processed white flour products, potatoes, and white rice. Sugar and cheeses should be avoided. Increase your fluid intake. Prune juice is an excellent natural laxative that is mild enough for pregnant women. Having applesauce for a snack can also help get you functioning regularly again. Drinking hot beverages (or as warm as you can comfortably stand them) in the morning can stimulate bowel movements.
               

Dandelion root tea- increases digestion and promotes bile to relieve constipation. It is one of the best herbs for cleansing and strengthening the liver, our main detoxifying organ. The liver breaks down hormones no longer needed by the body after birth, and any drugs that may have been given at birth. Containing calcium and iron, roasted dandelion root's coffee-like flavor, is an excellent morning beverage. Add a handful of the fresh leaves, high in vitamin A, to other greens in salads. Drink dandelion leaf tea - if a diuretic is needed to relieve fluid retention. Because of its high potassium content, it does not deplete the body of this important mineral, as other diuretics are known to do. Resource: http://www.motherlove.com

Heartburn

  1. Recently one of my students told me that this probiotic not only cured her extreme case of heartburn but cured her constipation so I’m spreading the word. Ultimate Flora Vaginal Probiotics 5o
  2. One of the most successful approaches to heartburn is to use overall pregnancy tonics, such as red raspberry leaf capsules, tincture, or tea, alfalfa capsules, and nettles infusion.
           
  3. Most midwives will already have recommended these to their patients, although adherence to herbal schedules is not always what it could be.Moms should be started out slowly on tonic herbs if they have not been taking them prior to conception. Start moms out on one capsule (or dropper) three times per day (TID) and work up to three capsules TID. Expectant mothers often need to be reassured that they are not jeopardizing their babies as they would be if they were ingesting large quantities of “medicine”; rather they should consider these herbs to be true food supplements.
    • Chris Hafner-Eaton, excerpted from “Heartburn Treatment Alternatives,” Birth Wisdom, Tricks of the Trade, Vol. III, a Midwifery Today
    • eat raw almonds
    • aloe vera juice
    • drink coconut water

    • 2TBS unfiltered apple cider vinegar in water daily

  • papaya and pineapple

Itching Skin During Pregnancy

Itching skin during pregnancy can be caused by hormonal changes. Also remember that in later pregnancy your skin must stretch, which also can cause itching. Dry skin can become very irritated, especially during the winter months when forced-air heating aggravates skin discomfort."

To prevent skin irritation, pregnant women (and all people) should avoid mineral oil-based skin care products as well as harsh soap and laundry products. Some women benefit from avoiding soap altogether. Read the labels; most skin products are made with mineral oil. Also rule out irritation from any recent changes in the soap or laundry products you use. Choosing the most natural kind of shampoo, soap, and laundry products is always wise to protect your health and environment. Because you're making a baby, begin treating your own skin like a baby's. Many women have found that applying hexane-free castor oil softens and soothes dry and scaly skin.

Itching can often be alleviated by adding unrefined virgin olive oil to your diet. Also increase your intake of foods that are rich in vitamins A, D, and linolenic acids.

Vitamin A-rich foods:

  • fish liver oil, liver, vegetables, eggs, dairy products

Vitamin D sources:

  • Saltwater fish, sunlight (no tanning - use sunscreen), vitamin D-fortified dairy products, fish liver oil

Linolenic acid sources:

  • Flax seed oil, evening primrose oil, sardines

    
Between 0.02 and 2.4% of pregnant women are diagnosed with a condition called pruritus gravidarum (also called PUPS), a kind of itching unique to pregnancy. It is related to elevated estrogen and progesterone levels interfering with the liver's efficiency in excreting bile salts. Onset is usually in the third trimester, and the itching is severe. Although this condition is not characterized by lesions, abrasions caused by scratching and contact with clothing can be very painful.

If this happens to you, you should support your liver with the following herbs:

  • Dandelion: a detoxifying herb that supports liver function
  • Yellow dock: relieves heat in the circulatory system and builds iron supply
  • Burdock: dispels toxins by means of diuresis (peeing toxins out)
  • Beet root: nourishing and supportive, promotes elimination, cleanses the liver.

Make sure you are drinking sufficient amounts of water. Ask your health provider about using these herbs during pregnancy.

The worst case of pruritus gravidarum I have seen was treated without antihistamine drugs. The woman's backup physician told her that he could prescribe an antihistamine but preferred that she consult the midwife and look for a natural alternative. This young mother also said, "I've eaten worse in this pregnancy than in my first two. I'm not surprised I developed this skin condition." She was anemic and exhausted because the itching was interfering with her sleep. Within hours of starting herbal therapy to support her liver and increase her iron, she had great relief and slept through the night.

- Robin Lim, from her soon-to-be published book,
"Eating Wisely: Recipes for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women"

Leg cramps:

Leg cramps during pregnancy can occur when the calcium and magnesium ratio is either not in proper balance or there is a lack of these minerals in your overall diet. A lack of these can also cause an increase in uterine contractions. During pregnancy, your calcium/magnesium and vitamin D requirements are increased.
  
The following combination of calcium, magnesium and vitamin D are recommended during pregnancy: Calcium 1200mg, Magnesium 600mg, Vitamin D 400 iu. Unfortunately many prenatal vitamins or multi-vitamins in general either don’t have the proper balance of these or the amounts are not adequate or include iron in the mix. http://www.plummidwifery.com/leg-cramps-group-b-strep/

Swelling:  Drink dandelion leaf tea if a diuretic is needed to relieve fluid retention.

Because of its high potassium content, it does not deplete the body of this important mineral, as other diuretics are known to do: http://bit.ly/2eA5A8Q and For relief of standard edema with no other symptoms, potassium supplementation, either in capsule form or food form (bananas and apricots are excellent sources) will substantially alleviate excess fluid. Lemon tea (10 oz of water with 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon and 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup) can be consumed, hot or cold, every morning to flush the kidneys. Of course it is always important to maintain appropriate water intake as well. Judy Ballinger, RN,