Conception, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and recovery stretch our bodies, in more ways than one! Although herbal medicine is particularly well suited to supporting our bodies at this time, there is a lot of contradictory information about how to work with them safely.
In my practice, I accompany pregnant people of all genders through the stages of the childbearing journey, through pre-conception and fertility support to labour and aftercare for the birthing parent and baby. Depending on when we start working together and your unique experience of pregnancy, this is usually done through a series of 3-6 individual sessions.
I also offer herbal aftercare for abortions or miscarriage,
supporting both your body and your spirit, wherever you are at.
Pre-conception and fertility support
The state of the pregnant parent is a major contributor to both a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby and the 3 to 6 months before you try to conceive is the optimal time to bring yourself to your full, vibrant well-being. It is the time to manage your health conditions and build preventative strategies into your routines. If you have already been trying to conceive without success, taking a break from what can be a cycle of stress to care for your body and soul can make all the difference.
In one to three sessions, we focus on:
- Supporting optimal nutrition
- Stress management and building resiliency
- Balancing hormones and removing the barriers to fertility
We generally meet once per trimester, with one or two additional sessions as you get to term.
- How to navigate the use of herbs safely throughout pregnancy
- Pre-natal supplementation
- Nausea and fatigue
- Use of herbs in case of threatened miscarriage
- Herbal support for mindful birthing
- Management of the discomforts of pregnancies and issues that may arise: UTIs, lower back pain, high or low blood pressure, anemia, heartburn, constipation…
- Continued management of discomforts and issues: hemorrhoids, muscle cramps, restless legs, varicose veins, swelling and water retention, gestational diabetes…
Preparing for labour
The use of partum perparators is a millennial practice of getting the body ready for this major life event. These herbs, taken 2-4 weeks in advance of the expected date of birth, can help reduce the length of labour, reduce pain and help make contractions more efficient, reduce risk of hemorrhage and support a smooth recovery. I will help you navigate the use of herbs and other approaches safely. We can also work together with your primary care provider to help bring on late labour.
Preparation for breastfeeding
It is helpful to prepare in advance, have your tools on hand if they are needed, and to know what to do if issues arise
While I provide home visits or can send herbs over after birth, I usually suggest planning your aftercare in advance of the birth. While each person’s experience is unique, many parts of recovery are predictable, and herbs can be used right from the start. This session is often combined with the session on breastfeeding, and it can be helpful for the birth partner (co-parent, friend, relative, etc.) to be present at this session in order to feel empowered to take on the preparations themselves.
Abortions and miscarriage
No matter how you come to them, abortions and miscarriage are often surrounded by strong emotions that can range from grief to relief and change day by day. They are also trying for your body. I offer herbal medicine to help stabilize your nervous system and rebalance your hormones. In the case of planned abortions, I suggest meeting together beforehand, with a support person is desired, to plan your aftercare in advance so that you have on hand what you need, when you need it.