The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.
Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy
These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.
HISTORICAL USES OF HERBS IN PREGNANCY
ALFALFA: North American Indians adopted Alfalfa for human use and thought it helpful for every condition of the body.
KELP: A natural source of iodine which feeds the thyroid gland and contains many trace minerals.
DANDELION: Used by early Arabian physicians. Contains Vitamin A and many trace minerals. Believed to have a beneficial effect on female organs and the kidneys.
ROSEHIPS: A nutritive herb because of its high content of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, organic iron, calcium, and B complex, which are all needed during pregnancy.
RED RASPBERRY: World famous Quaker herbalist, Henry Box, says, "a tea made from Red Raspberry is the best gift God ever gave to women." It strengthens and acts as a tonic for the whole body, thus making childbirth easier.
WHITE OAK BARK: This herb is rich in tannins and is a strong astringent herb. Early settlers used it for toning a weak vascular system.
YELLOW DOCK: One of the best blood builders in the herb kingdom; known to stimulate elimination and rich in easily digestible iron.
PAPAYA: Contains papain, an enzyme that breaks down protein food to a digestible state.
PEACH BARK: Women have relied on Peach Bark leaves during pregnancy for centuries as a safe diuretic and to help keep bowels open.
PSYLLIUM: A safe, gentle bulk to prevent constipation during pregnancy.
FALSE UNICORN: This herb tones the reproductive organs by strengthening the muscles of the uterus and has been used historically for all types of complications of pregnancy. It has been successfully used by midwives as an aid to preventing threatened miscarriages. If the baby is healthy, when False Unicorn is used in conjunction with bed rest and Capsicum for a few days, the results promise to be gratifying.
CAYENNE: Cayenne was used for internal bleeding in the middle ages. A small amount at the beginning of labor was believed to prevent hemorrhages as it also contains Vitamin K.
BLACK COHOSH: Introduced into the medical world in 1831 by Dr. Young, this herb was used as a cardiac tonic and for women's ailments, especially to quiet false labor and stimulate true labor.
BLUE COHOSH: Used by Indian women to dilate the cervix and hasten the birth.
RED RASPBERRY TEA: Was drunk while in labor to make it easier and prevent excessive bleeding.
VITAMIN E: Women often take this every hour while having contractions; it supplies oxygen for the baby if there is fetal distress. APSII: combination which can be used for pain.
WOW!! IT'S OVER, NOW WHAT DO YOU DO?
CAPSICUM: right after delivery to help stop bleeding.
BUTCHERS BROOM: The Indians have used this herb for varicose veins, etc. because it seems to have a "sweeping effect" on the buildup in the veins; has been said to help in bringing the uterus to normalcy because of its "drawing effect".
If breastfeeding, for richer milk take FENNEL, BLESSED THISTLE and MARSHMALLOW to increase the flow:
BLESSED THISTLE: Historically known to increase mother's milk because of high oxygen content.
MARSHMALLOW: This herb is high in Vitamin A, calcium, oxygen and zinc. Historically mothers have relied on it to help babies sleep through the night.
If it's decided to give the baby cow's milk, add PAPAYA MINT for better digestibility. SAGE and PARSLEY are two herbs said to help dry up mother's milk because both have been proven to be great diuretics
Daphne Singingtree, CM, LDEM Executive Director, Oregon School of Midwifery Staff Midwife, Community Midwifery Services 541-338-9778 Fax 541-338-9783 Daphnetree@aol.com http:
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