WEEK 34 – NATURAL TREATMENT FOR URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS
Weekly Baby News
Baby Size: 45cm, 2146 gm (2.1kg)
Bub is busy taking up any room available in your abdomen, making you uncomfortable or constantly having to move your body to make room for where he/she wants to put a limb or foot. Your bub is very busy practising sucking, blinking, moving, breathing and even grabbing things such as the other hand or umbilical cord. The baby’s growth is still very much depended on placenta health to deliver oxygen and nutrients. Keeping to a nutrient-dense diet with plenty of fluids (filtered water to ensure chlorine and fluoride has been taken out), deep breathing techniques to assist oxygenation of blood and checking with your holistic practitioner that your iron and haemoglobin levels are optimal.
Now is a good time to go over what you learnt in birthing classes (Calmbirth/ Hypnobirth/ Midwife Antenatal Class. If you haven’t already been this is a fabulous time to book in, grab your partner and learn as much as you can about the pending birth. Some recommended readings that I found most helpful to educate about the birth are listed below. I found that reading and learning from as many sources as possible has gave me a broader understanding of the birth and different factors to be considered. I feel it has opened my mind to the different births rather than having only one birth in my mind, therefore helping to prepare me for many different ways that I may labour. Of course I still have my birth wishes and the ideal birth that suits me, however feel prepared for if things change or aren’t as I expected, as lets be honest here I have no idea what to expect so the more reading I can do the more confident I feel for what is to arise during labour. Plus bringing it back to being empowered for your own birth rather than handing that power over to someone else, this is your birth remember (yes I harp on about this all the time however I feel it is crucial for us to take back the power of birthing as woman and mammas).
Spiritual Midwifery – Ina May Gaskin
New Active Birth – Janet Balaskas
Well Adjusted Babies – Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani
The Inner Journey of Pregnancy – Jane Hardwick Collings
Gentle birth, gentle mothering – Sarah J Buckley MD
Naturopath Advice – Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections (UTI) can be common during pregnancy, especially in the later months due to the size of bub putting pressure on the urinary tract, bladder and affecting abnormality or obstruction. It is important to ensure that even though you may have what feels like endless trips to the toilet each day that you do continue to empty your bladder as necessary to reduce the instance of a UTI. UTIs are a bacterial infection caused by bacteria’s such as Escherichia coli, Enterobacter species and Porteus mirabilis, there is also a few other bacterias that can cause UTIs however are less common.
Signs/ symptoms that you may have a UTI are; painful urination, blood in urine, pain or cramping in lower abdomen (different from Braxton hicks), strong-smelling urine, cloudy urine.
Testing for a UTI is from a simple urine test that you can do through your midwife, GP or obstetrician.
If found to have a UTI your conventional practitioner is likely to recommend antibiotics, however it is important that you consider natural treatment initially due to the side-effects of antibiotics in pregnancy. Antibiotics through pregnancy can actually cause UTIs, as well as disturb your and bub’s gastrointestinal good bacteria influencing digestive health and synthesis of nutrients such as Vitamin B12 & K. Also greatly affecting immune function at present and long-term, increasing susceptibility to allergies for bub and infections.
Natural & Safe Treatment
Natural medicine can use a range of herbs, nutrients and dietary aspects all beneficial in fighting infection, relieving pain/symptoms and tonifying the urinary system to reduce recurrent infection. The list below is all safe to use during pregnancy:
Eliminate refined foods, caffeine, sugar, fruit juices
Fruits that are however therapeutic are cranberries and blueberries, due to containing constituents that inhibit adhesion to bacteria to the bladder tissue lining the urinary tract. If choosing cranberry juice, ensure it has no added sugar or preservatives and is organic if possible
Increase prebiotic and probiotic foods: miso, cultured unsweetened yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut
Lactobacillus probiotics have been found to be most therapeutic against UTIs. I recommendBioceuticals Ultrabiotic Pregnancy Care probiotic as it has 5 strands of the lactobacillus organisms plus bifidobacterium also supporting digestive health. This probiotic is great to be taking daily during pregnancy.
Vitamin C and Zinc supplementation to enhance immune function, inhibit bacterial growth, and mucous membrane integrity
Ensure high levels of fluid intake to assist flushing of infection. This can be herbal teas (Dandelion, Echinacea, Chamomile recommended), fresh vegetable juices and filtered water.
Supplement support: I recommend Ethical Nutrients Urinary Tract Support. I have found this to be very successful and of course safe during pregnancy.
If unsure please contact your naturopath for a treatment that would be best suited to you, perhaps they may make a individualised herbal formula.
Week 34 brings a almost complete baby room and clinic/office. I’ve seen a few clients in my new room and love having my office at home, beautiful morning sun comes in and warms up the room and now is my favourite room in the house, even enough room for me to roll out the yoga mat – I just have to wait until I can do yoga again without risk of engaging my baby even further. The baby room has all furniture set up and thanks to my sister I am set with all the clothes needed for Button for the first few weeks at least. My sister even went a little overboard, but I guess it is quite special for her that her only sister is having a baby, even though she has had 3 of her own. I’m feeling very spoilt by her and incredible grateful as I had no idea at all what I was needing for Button. It is quite crazy the emotions that I experienced while folding all the clothes and putting them away, a mix of excitement and ‘OMG’ moments that I’m actually having a baby and that I have a nursery in my house! No more guest bedrooms, instead a room filled with little people stuff, little shoes, little socks, little beanies, little flannelette shirts and jumpers, all of which is just the CUTEST! I never realised how cute all these things really were until they were my baby’s things, maybe my pregnancy hormones are affecting my emotions also.
This week I had my blessing way with the most beautiful women in my life, who have touched my life in so many different ways, either my past or present, as a friend, sister, mother, mother-figure or inspirational woman that has helped lead me through different moments in life. It was simply amazing to sit in a circle amongst these incredible women and to connect in such a special way. Randa Karzon who married Sheeds and I held the blessing way, which was very thoughtful and memorable carrying on for this next chapter in life after our wedding. I also had my oldest and dearest friends travel from Gold Coast, Melbourne and Hawaii, so amazing to have them all together! In the afternoon we had our non-baby-shower get together with all our friends in the park. Dad cooked away on the BBQ all afternoon while Mum floated around ensuring everyone was eating constantly. We laid out blankets and cushions for a massive picnic set up and were blessed with a stunning warm winter’s day, truly perfect way to see everyone together before Button comes into our lives.
A busy weekend with a lot of socialising and visitors left me absolutely exhausted by the end of the weekend, and my stomach was incredibly painful. I was constantly saying to Button “stay in there longer, stay in there longer” as I am still certainly not ready to give birth yet, I still need to do up my birth wish/preferences and go over my Calmbirth notes and active birth poses (yes I want to be prepared and empowered for my labour, for a number of reasons). Thankfully after a day of rest my stomach settled down again and lost the intensity of pain and tightness.
I’ve figured after this week that I am best to be productive of a morning, as the day goes on and I eat and move more my abdomen becomes more uncomfortable and tighter, therefore afternoons I’m needing to rest and stay more horizontal. With the reduced amount of running around I’m still surprised how tired I get, guessing it goes with the final 6 weeks of pregnancy also, however I’m easily going to bed at 8pm each night. I’m thankfully sleeping really well most nights, the best I have through the whole pregnancy actually, except my 2 trips to the toilet to empty my bladder that is the size of a passionfruit.
My bub has started to become super active each afternoon and night, practising his paddling for surfing Sheeds says haha. I get kicks under my ribs and what feels like scratching down my sides, plus the hiccups. I am getting more uncomfortable from all this growth and kicking, however with my focus to reach my due date I am definitely more accepting of this discomfort. Although I did see a lady that had a much bigger stomach than me and she was walking around easily and had her arms folded resting on the top of her belly. If I was to do this I would feel like Button would drop out with the pressure I experience if I’m standing for too long. I was quite envious and am looking forward to hitting the 37 week mark where I can be confident that bub can come at anytime without any issues. Even though at 34 weeks there would be minimal issues I would still like the extra time for the respiratory system and liver to develop more. Which brings me back to acceptance one of the key words of my pregnancy. I am still positive that I will make 37 weeks and hopefully even August that will be 39 weeks. Especially now that I have this time to spend with my amazing husband now that he isn’t busy working on the house. We can bake in the bliss of ‘just us’ time before bub comes along and makes us a family. We regularly spin out that we are even married and have created a life together, let alone now having a baby! Very surreal the adventures life takes you on. Ok and pregnancy hormones that get you thinking about everything from a different head space haha.
Yours in Health
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