Women's Health - part 2
Infertility, Pregnancy, and Postpartum
Often the mere thought of wanting to have a baby can awaken the best and worst in us. Sometimes pregnancy can catch us by surprise, creating a whirlwind of emotions, and other times we start off excited and hopeful, only to realize that things are not going as smoothly as we would like.
So much happens behind the scenes when a soul decides to enter this world. The relationship between a mother and child is a covenant made in heaven, ministered by angels. This relationship often begins well before the baby is conceived, “forcing” us to go through a process of preparation and evolution, to better connect with who we truly are, before the incoming soul can arrive.
In this article we will focus mainly on the physical aspects behind infertility and explain how to remedy this. We will also explain how to best support the mother and baby throughout the pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum.
Possible causes of infertility
Often we will first become aware of reproductive issues only when failing to conceive. This can be an extremely trying experience, especially when we can’t find answers to the underlying causes of infertility.
Often, when seeking medical advice to determine the cause of infertility, we may be diagnosed with a thyroid issue, polycystic ovaries (PCOS), uterine fibroids, fallopian tube obstruction, and/or an inflamed uterus. While all of these conditions can create infertility, the real question is: what is causing these symptoms?
The Epstien-Bar Virus
In the last few years, pioneers within the medical community have begun to uncover the true culprit behind autoimmune diseases that have mysteriously appeared in the last few generations, only to discover that a benign virus has mutated and is now causing a long list of complications that did not exist prior to 1900 – the Epstein-Bar virus (EBV).
EBV often targets the thyroid and different parts of the reproductive system - particularly the uterus and/or ovaries. This can lead to hypothyroidism, polycystic ovaries (PCOS), uterine fibroids, inconsistent menstrual periods, fallopian tube obstruction, preeclampsia, low birth weight, endometriosis, and inflammation of the uterus. EBV often works together with streptococcus bacteria, which causes the inflammation behind pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ectopic pregnancies, and most miscarriages.
If you are struggling to conceive, or have been diagnosed with any of these conditions, it is essential you read about the EBV virus and learn how to lower your viral load and heal. The information you need can be found in the article: Autoimmune Disease and the Epstein-Barr Virus.
Hormonal based infertility
A well balanced hormonal system is dependent upon proper thyroid and adrenal function. As we mentioned earlier, when the thyroid is underactive this can create fertility problems, but often this is only part of a larger picture.
The adrenal glands are part of the endocrine system and are located directly above the kidneys. These glands produce adrenaline and cortisol, as well as most of the female reproductive hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. When the adrenals are weakened or compromised, this will negatively affect their ability to create the needed blend of hormones to allow for conception.
Contrary to popular belief, the quickest and easiest way to balance the hormonal system is by supporting and healing the adrenal glands. This is best achieved through a diet composed of natural glucose, sodium and potassium rich foods eaten every hour and a half, as described in the Understanding Adrenal Fatigue article.
In addition to supporting the thyroid and adrenals, a diet rich in fruit, especially berries, greatly improves fertility, especially for women who are older and nearing menopause.
Today women have more choices than ever before in human history. Some of us choose to have children at an early age, while others prefer to focus on their career before starting a family. There are those who want to wait for the right type of relationship before committing to bringing children into this world, those who prefer to have a baby "ön their own", and those who simply aren’t ready for the changes and challenges having a baby entails until later in life.
When using contraception for many years, we give our body a message that this is not the right time for a baby. Once we decide we are ready to have a baby and we go off the pill, our bodies need to reprogram itself not just hormonally, but mentally as well. Our bodies listen to our thoughts and desires, and if we have spent many years telling our body we do not want to get pregnant, this can create an underactive reproductive system.
To remedy this situation, we need to take time to reprogram our body, mentally and physically. Visualization and creating intent is helpful when done in the correct manner. When it comes to learning how to reprogram the innate body, it is helpful to enlist the help of a trained practitioner. We often have subconscious belief systems that stand in contrast to what we want to create. I have learned the art of consciously reprogramming the subconscious at the Cosmic University, and we have superb staff trained to walk you through the steps. You can contact us at [email protected]
In addition to rereprogramming the psyche, we can also reprogram the reproductive system by drinking 6-10 cupos of raspberry leaf tea. When it comes to balancing the female reproductive organs, raspberry leaf tea is one of the most powerful tonics available for addressing infertility and preparing a women’s body for pregnancy. Raspberry leaf is an overall hormone balancer that supports the adrenal gland’s production of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. It also feeds the thyroid and is useful in preventing miscarriages and supporting the body following childbirth. Raspberry leaf also fortifies the mother’s milk with vitamins and minerals, making it more nutritious for baby.
Getting ready for pregnancy, and what to do once you are pregnant
Sustaining a pregnancy requires a considerable amount of energy, which can compromise the mother’s immune system and weigh heavily on reserves stored within the liver. Pregnancy can cause a low grade viral infection to become more active, leading to preeclampsia, gestational diabetes or thyroid problems.
Therefore, when thinking about getting pregnant, it is important to improve your health in any way possible by addressing existing health issues, improving your eating habits, and learning to support the liver and adrenal glands, which both work very hard throughout the pregnancy.
It is also important to strengthen the immune system by eating as much organic produce as possible, and supplementing where necessary. Organic food can be expensive, and not everyone can afford it, however, it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing situation. Fruit with thick skins like bananas, mangoes, melons and avocados do not necessarily have to be organic, while leafy greens, celery, cucumbers, apples, berries and potatoes are better organic whenever possible.
Sometimes pregnancy can catch us by surprise, and we aren’t always able to prepare for the pregnancy as much as we would like to. It is important to remember that the body is extremely resilient and that we can still support the immune system and lower the viral load by eating healthy foods and drinking melissa and nettle tea, while gently detoxing the liver with foods like celery, spirulina, barley juice extract powder, and dulse. If you are extremely toxic, use just a bit of these foods daily. It is important to detox using only foods such as these that safely escort toxins out of the body.
Things to avoid during pregnancy and when trying to conceive
Most people know to stay clear of cigarettes and alcohol during pregnancy, as well as table sugar and corn syrup, which are toxic. Coffee is a strong stimulant and should also be avoided. Another lesser known stimulant is chocolate, which contains alkaloids that are toxic to a fetus, and therefore should be avoided when trying to conceive and during pregnancy.
All chemicals, especially pesticides, herbicides and fungicides are extremely toxic to fetuses, young babies and children. It is important to limit our exposure to all toxins as much as possible before becoming pregnant and throughout the pregnancy. Be wary of public grounds and golf courses that are often heavily sprayed with chemicals. If you have bugs in your home, find a non-toxic way to escort the bugs out of the house. If you live in an apartment complex or condominium, ask the landlord to not allow pesticides to be sprayed around your unit.
Another toxin you want to stay clear of is air fresheners. These ”fresheners” are not the same as essential oils. They are highly concentrated chemical compounds, synthesized in a manner that compounds the toxicity of the different chemicals. These “fresheners” are antagonistic to the brain and to the body, and can accentuate existing illness. They are particularly harmful to unborn babies and infants, and have no place in the home, workplace, school or anywhere else.
Feeding yourself and your baby
Breast milk is optimal food for a newborn and infant, and has the best fat/protein/sugar ratio for for optimal brain development and growth. Many will be surprised to learn how little protein and fat breast milk actually has - on an average 1-1.5% protein and even less fat this. From this we can learn that healthy sugars and carbohydrates are by far the most important ingredient when feeding a baby.
This information is critical for understanding the type of food we need to focus on when pregnant and breastfeeding. Our babies need lots of healthy carbohydrates, and not high protein food. A high protein diet can starve a fetus and lead to low birth weight. In addition to this, a high protein diet weighs heavily on the mother’s liver and kidneys, often burdening an already compromised immune system.
High quality carbohydrates and grains can be found in potatoes, winter squash, artichokes, brussel sprouts, fruit, berries, millet, and quinoa. When nursing, in order to ensure a good supply of milk, focus mainly on potatoes, bananas and avocado.
It is important to recognize that animal protein is also high in fat, which can be a leading factor in the development of gestational diabetes. If you’re concerned about the sugar in fruit, it is important to know that gestational diabetes does not occur from eating fruit or potatoes, but rather is caused by bad fats and sugar combined – such as cheese combined with potatoes or ice cream. You can read about the causes behind high blood sugar in the article on Diabetes and Insulin Resistance. High blood sugar can be avoided and remedied by eating a healthy diet.
During pregnancy the liver goes through a lot of strain and stress. Pregnant women often have a hard time with methylation - the conversion of nutrients into other nutrients and the tagging of micronutrients with hormones so that it can be used by the body. Dietary folate helps support this process. Excellent sources of dietary folate include romaine lettuce, spinach, asparagus, parsley, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, lentils, and turnip, mustard and collard greens.
Taking herbs and supplements during pregnancy:
During pregnancy it’s best to stay away from supplements and herbs as much as possible. If you have a medical condition that needs treatment, herbs are generally safer to use than medication, and a knowledgeable practitioner or herbalist should know what is right for you. Herbs that you can use safely during pregnancy include a little bit of peppermint, nettle leaf or lemon balm tea.
Most doctors will recommend taking a prenatal supplement during pregnancy. This can be very tricky, as there are a lot of prenatal supplements on the market that contain additives that are harmful to the mother and baby. If you decide to take a supplement, make sure you’ve checked to see that it is free of harmful ingredients. You can find a list of what to avoid in the in the article: How to Support your Immune System.
Concentrated foods such as Hawaiian spirulina and barley grass juice extract powder make a great prenatal supplement. As with any supplement, it is important to use a high quality source that is free of contamination. You can find a list of recommended supplements at Anthony William’s website: Medical Medium. There are those who are wary of spirulina during pregnancy, and if you feel it is not safe - do not take it. If you do want to take spirulina and/or barley grass juice powder, a teaspoon a day is the recommended dosage, however even a ¼ teaspoon daily is beneficial.
If you are interested in taking a prenatal supplement in addition to the spirulina and barley grass juice powder, try to find a product made of whole food ingredients that is as close to the original food source as possible, such as Innate Response Prenatal , Rainbow Light, or Mary Ruth’s organic Multivitamin and Multimineral.
Many women are told to take folate or folic acid during pregnancy. It is important to note that folate and folic acid are not the same thing. Folate is a general term for water soluble b-vitamins, while folic acid is an oxidized synthetic compound you don’t want to ingest. If you feel you are not eating enough greens and the recommended foods for proper methylation, you may want to supplement using one milligram of a good quality methylfolate daily or every other day.
Our immune system is weaker during pregnancy and needs added support. One way to do this is to protect the thyroid from possible viral damage, whether you have had thyroid issues in the past or not. A little bit of the right type of iodine can do wonders in giving you that added support. One way to do this is to add Atlantic dulse to smoothies or foods, and/or take one drop of nascent iodine every now and again.
There are some people who will advise you take vitamin D when pregnant or trying to conceive. Vitamin D thins out the blood, and that is something you do not want to do when trying to get pregnant or during pregnancy. If you feel you have to take vitamin D, D3 is the best, and be sure to take only a minimal dose.
Possible complications during and after pregnancy
A spontaneous loss of pregnancy during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy can be very unsettling. This actually is quite common, however, repeated miscarriages are an indication that there is an underlying cause that needs attention. The most common cause of repeated miscarriages is uterine inflammation. When EBV is present in the uterus this can create inflammation and a resulting spasm that can interrupt a pregnancy. This type of miscarriage is most common among women with a high viral load and high concentrations of toxic heavy metals that feed the EBV. If this is you, in addition to lowering the viral load, it is important to incorporate the Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie for a significant period of time before trying once again to conceive.
Preeclampsia, fatigue, gestational diabetes, eczema and migraines
Pregnancy and childbirth creates a tremendous influx of hormones that can feed pathogens and trigger a low-grade or dormant infection. Pregnancy also takes energy away from the immune system, leaving you more susceptible to EBV or any other existing viruses or bacteria, giving rise to a number of possible complications such as preeclampsia, severe fatigue, gestational diabetes, eczema, depression, hair loss, aches and pains, anxiety, migraines, insomnia, thyroid problems and more.
At times we will see the effects of a low grade EBV infection only after the birth, expressed as extreme fatigue, postpartum depression, thyroid issues, lupus, or other viral related diseases. Coping with a new baby can be very demanding, and when this is compounded by fatigue and a sense of not feeling well, every day tasks can feel insurmountable. Know that even small changes like celery juice, water with lemon and lots of fruit, especially wild blueberries, can do wonders.
What to do when your due date has come and gone?
The last month of pregnancy often feels like it goes on forever, and when the baby is late in comng, this can be especially trying.
We can begin preparing the body for childbirth starting at 33 weeks by drinking raspberry leaf tea in gradually increasing doses, working up to 3 cups a day once you are full term. If your due date has come and gone, a little bit of evening primrose oil (EPO) works wonders. Evening primrose oil contains large quantities of prostaglandins, a chemical naturally produced by the body during the last stage of pregnancy. Before using EPO, it is important to consult with your doctor; Do not use it before 36 weeks.
For more on how to induce labor naturally, We Have Kids has lots of helpful suggestions.
Postpartum fatigue and depression
Childbirth, even under the best of conditions, weighs heavily on the adrenal glands. Sleepless nights, nursing and caring for a new baby adds additional stress. If the adrenals are weakened and fatigued, they begin to fluctuate between producing too much or too little hormones, which in turn can create postpartum fatigue, depression and hair loss.
If you’re experiencing more severe forms of fatigue, this could be due to neurological fatigue caused by the swelling of the central nervous system due to viral activity such as EBV and/or shingles.
In the beginning of the article, we talked a bit about the inherent and deep connection between a mother and her child. There is something about a new born baby that teaches us to connect with the sacredness of life, teaching us unconditional love and worthiness. The moment of birth connects us with an inner knowing of the forces of Creation that have joined together to bring this soul into the world.
The challenges of conceiving, sustaining a pregnancy, and childbirth, takes us on a personally tailored journey, where we have an opportunity to implement unconditional love by learning to honor and respect our bodies by learning to care for the mother of our baby. With all the wonders and gifts of modern medicine and science, we are far from understanding the miracle of life and how the healing forces of nature work. This is a time to learn to trust nature, for it is powerful and life giving.
With much love,
Information in this article is based on Anthony William's work | Medical Medium
For more on the difference between folate and folic acid go to Chris Kresser's website