Pregnancy is the most incredible, awe inspiring time. You kick back, live your life and grow an entire human. Nails, eyelashes and all. It’s miraculous.
For many women, the being pregnant part.. sometimes does not feel like it.
Nausea in pregnancy can affect up to 70% of women in their first trimester. It can be easily dismissed as ‘just part of pregnancy’ but it can be a real affliction for many women striking at any time of day or night. It can make living a normal life very challenging, finding it hard to work, socialise and find enjoyment out of activities you once did. I’ve had clients tell me they felt quite low and even depressed in their first trimester as they battled their intense feelings of nausea and fatigue.
As Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners we take an individualistic approach. We use Acupuncture to strengthen the energetic function of the digestive system and balance out any individual disharmonies. There are also empirical points that have been shown to reduce feelings of nausea, using acupressure on these can have an instant affect and can provide a helpful tool to women.
When managing morning sickness it’s very important to stay hydrated and keep your blood sugars balanced. This means eating smaller meals and more often, trying to avoid the empty hungry feeling. Avoiding anything too sweet and sugary that might spike blood sugars, slower releasing carbohydrates can be useful here such as bread, pasta, rice, potatoes.
Some other helpful tips at managing morning sickness include:
Staying hydrated, sipping on water frequently throughout the day. Even being slightly dehydrated can exacerbate symptoms
Eating small portions and frequently can help.. protein is ideal or whatever you can stomach.
Don’t judge your food choices or craving choices! Just let it be. Do what you need to do.
Keep biscuits or plain food in an air tight container next to the bed, in your handbag, in the car, at your desk.
1000mg of ginger per day has been shown to reduce feels of nausea. Slicing up ginger and letting it simmer in boiling water for 20 minutes before sipping throughout the day can help. Or pieces of candied ginger can also help.
Chomomile or peppermint tea
Gingerale or ginger tea
Mineral water with freshly squeezed lemon
Potato soup or roast potatoes.
If you’re really struggling with morning sickness, make sure you book in with your GP or midwife to talk through options that might be available to you. As unpleasant as the feelings might be, they won’t last forever but there is always support available for you.
This would have to be the worst winter for illnesses that i can recall. In clinic I have seen the flu (as in the real one), horrendous colds, sinus problems and gastro. Everyone I speak to is recovering from something and still has a lingering cough or snotty nose. I would have to say in clinic Sinus related issues has been the most common.
Thankfully Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine has been helping but most of all it’s dietary changes that i am sending sufferers home with. You see, in Chinese Medicine an accumulation of phlegm is discharge is considered to be a damp pathology. Damp is derived from a weak or overly exhausted digestive system, heavy and greasy foods, dairy, raw veggies, fruit, alcohol, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and antidepressants all wreak havoc on you stomach and spleen and give rise to damp pathologies – such as sinusitis, phlegm nodules, indigestion, foggy head, pressure headaches, heavy sensation and a weakened immunity.
The best way to resolve damp is to incorporate the medicinal properties of food is through excluding the wrong foods as above and including the right foods – some favourites are; Adzuki beans, green tea, rice, olives, tangerine or mandarin peel, mushrooms, parsley, garlic and seaweed.
If you are suffering from frequent bouts of sinus issues call the clinic and book in today 02 8406 0679 or book online http://www.nbip.com.au
Acupuncturist and Herbalist
When it comes to stress and managing “life stuff” through lockdown, you may be feeling the effects of either an increased workload, accommodating work changes, lost work, feeling the effects of a lack of physical connection with others and how that plays into your life, or you might find yourself secretly relieved that you get to just… pause.
It’s so normalised to be constantly on-the-go that for those being forced to stop and sit with our “stuff” can be really confronting for a lot of people. In a lot of ways, stress is a protector; it feels like there’s never enough time to process the things we’re working through.
Our bodies don’t actually know the different between “good” stress and “bad” stress, so while you might have the type of personality that thrives on pressure or training as a release, it’s good to not only have some practises that require stillness, but also be able to identify how your system responds to the stressors in your world.
There are three distinctive phases with stress:
In ‘alarm’ stage we get that classic cortisol release. Our heart rates up, we have adrenaline, and we’re ready to react. In our everyday lives, this might get spiked regularly by daily work, family needs and general time pressures, and become a familiar feeling to the ever-increasing demands of city-living.
‘Resistance’ stage sees a slight lowering or cortisol, and the body starts to recover from the stressful situation. Hormone levels are able to begin repairing again (in ‘alarm’ stage, your body brings all its attention to the ‘emergency’, and as a result, lots of regulating processes go on pause).
During prolonged periods of stress, your body adapts to living with higher levels of stress & coping mechanisms come in. Common signs are being irritable, frustrated, and having difficulty concentrating. All things we often perceive as our ‘normal’.
Chronic stress leads us into ‘exhaustion’ stage. So many of us see the associated key symptoms as relatively common lived experience, whether it be personally, or someone you know; fatigue, burnout, depression, anxiety, and a decreased stress response. These can all contribute to a weakened immune system and stress-related illnesses popping up. Feeling drained physically, emotionally, and/or mentally is increasingly being tolerated while living through a pandemic.
Dosing our stress and modulating our stress response is where Acupuncture and TCM is ever-appreciated adjunct in these routines. Acupuncture gets us into a parasympathetic state (aka our rest-and-digest mode) and facilitates those healing responses that get us back to a healthier baseline; pre-cursers to better sleep, energy, digestion, and hormone repair.
As AHPRA practitioners, we fall under an essential service for those requiring care. It’s more than just adjusting to tolerating a stressful block. Listening to your body is not always an easy thing to do!
Appointments available to book via phone or online to get some support.
Laelia is available in clinic on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday’s. You can find more from her on insta @chi.and.chill