Sunday, September 4, 2011

Herbs and Pregnancy Nutrition

 When I was pregnant with Emma, I didn't have much of a chance to enjoy herbal teas and infusions.  I was just plain sick and exhausted.  With Avalon's pregnancy, I got back to enjoying herbal teas.  Unfortunately that pregnancy didn't last, but infusions of lemon balm from our garden helped my nerves as well as Adam's.  It was the calming effect that I needed during the first two weeks when life felt so surreal.

After the miscarriage, I started taking red raspberry leaf again.  I also added vitex and red clover, in addition to my whole-food prenatal and cod liver oil.  The only synthetic vitamin I took was B6, which I needed to lower my homocysteine levels and prevent morning sickness.  Wouldn't you know it - I was pregnant three weeks after the miscarriage.  I was shocked.  It took over 9 months to get pregnant with Emma, and 13 months with Avalon.  My Ob had mentioned that I'd likely get pregnant in the three months following the miscarriage, but I honestly didn't believe it because of the fertility issues.  Was it the herbs?  I have a feeling that at least part of it was.  I had a strong uterine lining and healthy corpus luteum cyst only three weeks after miscarrying - something that was an issue while pregnant with Avalon.

After I got through the first trimester nausea this time, I ordered fresh herbs for infusions.  In a quart jar, I add about 1/4 cup of this mix and cover with lightly boiled water.  The lid is put on, and the jar sits for 5-10 hours to steep.  Infusing over several hours allows more minerals and vitamins to be released from the herbs.

Here is my pregnancy tea recipe:

2 parts nettle leaf (high in vitamins and minerals, supports kidneys and vascular system)
2 parts red raspberry leaf  (tones uterus, high in vitamins and minerals)
2 parts dandelion leaf (high in vitamins and minerals, supports liver and GI system)
2 parts lemon verbena (calming, anti-spasmodic, supports digestion)
2 parts oat straw (high in calcium and magnesium, calming)
1 part rose hips (high in vitamin C, anti-inflammatory)
1 part ginger (supports digestion, anti-inflammatory)

I am preparing for another round of IVIG this week, and have altered my recipe a little for this week.  Here it is:

1 tsp rose hips (for the vitamin C & anti-inflammatory effects)
1 tsp ginger (for taste and anti-inflammatory effects)
2 tbs oat-straw (for nutrition, anti-inflammatory effects, and calming effects)
2 tbs dandelion leaf (for nutrition, liver support, and GI support)
2 tbs lemon verbena (for calming effects, possible migraine prevention, and taste)

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