Reaching for medication has never been our favourite way of coping with little day-to-day ailments. If you’ve been quick to reach for medication before getting pregnant, your options are definitely more limited now but there are some pretty powerful natural alternatives out there that can help soothe a host of issues. We have found natural remedies to be such game changers and are sharing with you, our MumShape Mamas, tried and tested natural remedies for the three most common issues that many women experience during their pregnancy.
Nausea has left many of us feeling powerless over its duration and intensity. Feeling like there is nothing we can do about it but just waiting it out until it eventually passes.
One big difference in how you experience nausea is also one of the simplest possible. Adapting a breathing technique has been incredibly helpful and represents a tool that makes us feel like we do have control over our bodies. We love pregnancy yoga and learning about how our breath has more power over us than we know. Try it for yourself and let controlled breathing be your life-saver.
Try this simple 3 step breathing technique whenever you feel that nauseous feeling creep up:
Take a deep breath and inhale to the count of three
Then hold your breath for three counts
Exhale to the count of three and repeat about three times
controlled breathing, whether you're feeling nauseous or not, can be helpful in so many other situations of stress or anxiety.
Another remedy to try is using ginger. Whether you love it or hate it, research suggests that ginger can be an aid in relieving nausea. For us, it’s the combination of sipping warm ginger tea that creates a moment of relaxation that helps soothe the feeling of nausea - whatever it is, it seems to work. There are also other ways to up your ginger intake with lozenges, tinctures or even pregnancy-safe ginger supplements, which provide the highest concentration of the root.
Tossing and turning at night, feeling uncomfortable no matter which sleeping position you try: We’ve been there. A restful night’s sleep is so important and you only realise how important it really is when you don’t have it. Of course, let's not kid ourselves: Once your little one is here, getting a restful night's sleep will be nearly impossible - at least for a while.
Meanwhile, here are our favourite ways of making sure we get our Zzz's in:
Get movin’: It doesn’t come as a surprise that one of our favourite ways to cope with insomnia is exercise. Our rule of thumb is to get at least one hour of physical exercise every day, to not only keep us fit and healthy but also to tire us out. If you're excited about that post-workout afternoon nap, keep in mind that the midday snooze you’ve been enjoying may worsen your ability to get a restful night’s sleep. Our tip is to set a cap for your nap: No more than 20 minutes should give you a little rest without messing with your nightly sleeping pattern.
Create a ritual: We’ve all read about the benefits of creating a night time ritual. If you’re pregnant or not, this can really help you drift off successfully. Take a relaxing bath, light a candle and try lavender oil in a diffuser. We’ve also found it helpful to stop using our phones or computers about an hour before hitting the sheets.
Keep a journal: Nothing is worse than waking up in the middle of the night with thousands of thoughts running through your head. Worrying can really steal your night away and will not do you any good. Try to keep a journal, writing down your thoughts and how you’re feeling during the day or before going to bed. This physical act of writing down what you’re thinking helps you wind down and de-stress.
Newborns need to feed at least eight to 16 times every 24 hours. Every woman who has experienced it knows that breastfeeding isn’t always easy and issues are very common.
If you’re experiencing issues especially around milk supply, we might have found the only nursing tea you will ever need.
MumShape team member Laura was struggling to breastfeed with both of her babies when she came across Neuner’s Organic Nursing Tea and swears by it since. Voted “Best breastfeeding tea in the UK” for five years in a row and boasting all organic ingredients of aniseed, fennel, verbena, caraway and fenugreek seeds, this tea can help boost milk supply naturally. Staying hydrated is important when breastfeeding, so sipping tea will help you get your hydration levels up.
Those tea bags will also come in handy if you’re experiencing sore nipples, by the way, so don’t throw them out immediately. In addition to soothing tea bags, you might also want to give nipple balm a shot. Our personal favourite is by Weleda and boasts lanolin, olive oil, and beeswax. Lanolin is an animal derived wax used in many cosmetic products and for anyone wishing to use a vegan alternative, we’ve found this one wonderful.
We hope you’ll find our natural remedies helpful but if any of your symptoms persist, please check in with your physician.
Have any other tips you swear by? We’d love to hear!