How about an easier pregnancy?

Congratulations! What a wonderful experience, your very own little son or daughter growing inside you. Pregnancy should be a time of wonder and fulfilment for all women — after all, pregnancy is a normal, natural occurrence, not an illness. These days, however, far too many mothers-to-be find it an affliction: a time of reduced wellbeing and even a harrowing event.

"My last pregnancy was nine months of purgatory!" one client told me. "I’m hoping you can help me prevent a recurrence now that I find myself pregnant again." Thanks to a complete dietary makeover, the lady’s second pregnancy was flawless.

No matter how long I work in this field, I never cease to marvel at the difference that eating correctly can make. You will notice that foods are emphasised above all other remedies. This is because, quite simply, foods provide the foundational substrates of tissue growth and repair. My own preference, too, is for a vegetarian regime — for no other reason than that it consistently gives me the best results. The final decision, of course, is always your own.

Here are some hints to help you make the most of this magic time by minimising as many potential constitutional stressors as possible.



This all-too-prevalent pregnancy problem is not just due to lack of iron. Many nutrients play a role in preventing anaemia, e.g. Vitamins B<->2, B<->6, B<->12, B<->9 and C; copper, molybdenum and selenium; histidine and lysine as well as citrate. The following are some excellent foods which cover all contingencies:

  • fresh ripe raspberries
  • endive
  • watercress
  • asparagus (especially the white and purple varieties)
  • English spinach
  • cos lettuce
  • dark grapes
  • sunflower kernels
  • biodynamic cottage cheese
  • biodynamic oats
  • raw goat’s milk


Anxiety, mood swings and depression

In my experience, most unhappy mood shifts during gestation are indicative of nutritional deficiencies in the limbic network: the part of our brain associated with emotions, feelings of pain or pleasure and mechanisms of subconscious perception. Instead of blaming blue days on shifting hormones, it’s much more satisfactory to ensure that substrates required to build hormone-regulating enzymes are present in the diet and that essential nutrients forming the foundation of the hormones themselves are also adequately supplied. To this end, there is a wonderful choice of totally safe goodies:

  • biodynamic cottage cheese
  • lentils
  • sunflower kernels
  • pinto beans
  • navy beans
  • black beans
  • broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • asparagus
  • watercress
  • squash
  • garden peas
  • English spinach
  • okra
  • onions
  • cauliflower
  • celery
  • dill
  • fennel leaves and root
  • coriander
  • lettuce

Even the well-known antidepressant lithium can be supplied naturally by sprinkling thyme leaves over a salad.



Few mums-to-be escape this discomfort during their nine-month wait. Apart from commonsense dos and don’ts like wearing comfy shoes, avoiding high heels, checking mattress contours, watching posture and correct lifting, a number of nutrients are invaluable for maintaining a sound back.

Protein is important, though I prefer a non-animal source which avoids uric acid. B-complex vitamins, Vitamins C and D, as well as calcium, phosphorus and silica all help maintain connective tissue alignment. The homoeopathic remedies Calc. fluor., Calc. phos., Kali. phos. and Nat. mur. may be used safely where indicated. An apple cider vinegar compress can relieve pain while an occasional glass of freshly-made celery and apple juice can help prevent it.



Bladder infections

Because a growing baby puts pressure on mum’s bladder, incomplete emptying can lead to bacterial infections. Wearing loose clothing and natural fibres not only improves circulation but prevents germs from incubating as readily. Another way to keep potentially pathogenic micro-organisms under control is to eat wholesome probiotic foods on a daily basis. My favourites include:

  • biodynamic yoghurts
  • home-curded cottage cheese made from biodynamic milk
  • organic sauerkraut
  • natural unprocessed whey



This is a case of one problem leading to many more. Constipation can result in diverticular disease, haemorrhoids, varicose veins, headaches, halitosis, insomnia, cellulite, weight gain and even hernias and bowel cancer. If regular exercise and drinking more fail to keep you regular, one simple remedy that works frequently and reliably is freshly-made juice of unpeeled potato. Most mums find it quite palatable if flavoured with a sprinkle of sea salt. The following have all helped in different cases:

  • mucilaginous linseed tea
  • biodynamic pear juice
  • preservative-free prunes
  • whey
  • nettle tea
  • baked apples
  • pumpernickel and essene sprouted breads
  • coleslaw with sultanas
  • swede
  • Lactobacillus plantarum

Tissue salts can be very helpful, but a practitioner may need to guide you to the best choice.

If thyroid problems are at the root of constipation, steamed swedes, pureed with a sprinkle of ice float leaf, lemon juice and unsalted butter, can help greatly. Other causes of constipation may include dehydration, high-fat diet, low stomach acid, underactive pancreas, impaired bile secretion and an excess of processed foods.


Cramps and spasms

For night cramps, grate best-quality chemical-free parmesan cheese over your vegetables or salad at night, two to three times a week. Eat asparagus, biodynamic oats and sprouted seeds. Also eat Vitamin E-rich foods such as raw almonds, corn, sunflower kernels, unhulled sesame seeds, raw peas, tomato, apples, rye, hazelnuts, walnuts, raw peanuts, raw pistachios and raw macadamia nuts.

Groin cramps are invariably due to zinc deficiency. Freshly-shucked pumpkin seeds, if eaten regularly, will prevent this discomfort. For leg cramps drink chamomile and nettle (50:50) tea, especially last thing at night. Also add fresh fennel bulb to salads. The cell salt Mag. phos., dissolved in a little hot, unchlorinated water and sipped slowly, is almost a prerequisite. Anaemic mums could benefit from Calc. phos.

Keep up a regular daily intake of electrolytes by drinking freshly-prepared juices.



Occasionally, a pregnant mum reports the urge to eat strange substances such as wax crayons, cork, earth or even hair. This is always an indication of mineral and trace element deficiencies, particularly erbium, chlorine, terbium, calcium and zinc.

The best foods to prevent pica include:

  • sunflower kernels
  • freshly-husked pumpkin seeds
  • ice float leaf
  • raw goat’s milk
  • a variety of raw, unsprayed leafy green vegetables in a salad


Dizziness, light-headedness, vertigo

Check with your doctor that there are no underlying problems such as blood pressure, hypoglycaemia, diabetes or problems with the ears or heart. If no overt cause is detectable, try:

  • Sprinkling a little freshly-grated ginger root over delicious fruits such as pineapple, pawpaw, and pears.
  • Celery seeds, a time-honoured Chinese remedy. Make a tea with them or grind them to a fine dust and sprinkle a little over salads, soups or vegetables.
  • Pumpkin seed and avocado butter (50 per cent freshly-shucked pumpkin seeds and 50 per cent avocado, pureed with a sprinkle of sea salt) which can be a delicious cure.
  • The tissue salt Kali. phos., which can help if symptoms are worse on rising or when looking upwards; Nat. sulph. is indicated in liverish dispositions, while Nat. phos. suits acid stomachs and heads that feel as if they need a good vacuuming inside.



This common but potentially unsociable affliction is seldom a problem when digestion is efficient and the alimentary tract well lined with friendly bacteria. Often, a broad-spectrum digestive supplement will calm troubled water. Fennel seed, chamomile, caraway and anise teas are invariably reliable. Of course, go easy on beans and the brassica family.


Gestational diabetes

This form of pregnancy-related diabetes has been associated with insulin resistance and hyperoestrogenism. It is a condition invariably demonstrating multiple nutritional deficiencies including zinc, lipoic acid, magnesium, chromium and selenium. There appears to be a consistent and strong thread running through this disorder: namely, sensitivity to a number of major environmental pollutants.

As this state of glycosuria and hyperglycaemia can have a number of undesirable consequences, it is essential mother and baby remain under the care and guidance of a qualified health practitioner.


Gums (inflamed or bleeding)

Use Equistetum and Calendula tea as a regular mouthwash.

  • Chew on fresh watercress leaves whenever available.
  • Myrrh as a lotion, is invaluable for massaging puffy, sore gums (use a clean finger rather than a brush).
  • Chlorophyll-rich fresh green juices are almost specific.
  • Drink rosehip tea every day.
  • Only use a 100 per cent natural bristle toothbrush.
  • Chew cardamom seeds instead of lollies.
  • Explore the many reliable homoeopathic remedies with a knowledgeable practitioner.
  • Eat a predominantly raw food diet.



There are so many factors that contribute to headaches, it’s best to consult a qualified practitioner if symptoms persist. Mineral imbalances, chemical, environmental or food sensitivities, musculoskeletal problems, stress, visual defects, sinus, indigestion — the list is endless. Sometimes digestive enzymes, a hot or cold poultice, mustard foot bath or high-magnesium diet can solve the problem. A pleasant pain-relieving tea that often works is a blend of equal parts peppermint, cinnamon, lemon balm, ginger, lemongrass and evening primrose or sunflower seeds. A little arnica and lavender oil rubbed on the forehead and temples can bring great benefits. If the simple approach fails, do seek help.



This all-too frequent annoyance often responds dramatically to a dose of pineapple enzymes before each meal. Slippery elm, steamed organic millet and linseed meal, yoghurt, lemon water, peppermint tea, celery juice, fennel tea, cabbage juice, dillweed, meadowsweet, marshmallow (not the confectionery kind!) and dandelion root teas have all helped.


Haemorrhoids (see also Spider veins)

Any ailment that involves blood vessel weakness or incompetence can be directly attributed to malabsorption of methoxylated bioflavonoids. These members of the ascorbic acid-enhancing Vitamin P group appear almost exclusively in citrus fruit.

  • Nobiletin — found in the pith of oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit etc — is particularly useful when prolapsed internal haemorrhoids protrude externally; tangeretin (found in mandarins, tangerines and oranges, etc.) really helps painless internal haemorrhoids; rutin (found in buckwheat, calendula, chamomile, fennel, lemon, mandarins, onions and oranges) is almost specific for external haemorrhoids while excruciatingly painful thrombus-prone haemorrhoids respond best to betanin (found in red beetroot, purple eggplant, red and purple grapes and capsicum — the deeper the colour, the better).
  • Tissue salts Calc. fluor., Ferr. phos., Kali. mur., Nat. sulph., Mag. phos. and Nat. mur. can all relieve bleeding and itching when well chosen.
  • Bathing with witch hazel; homoeopathics for example use aloes, lycopodium, aesculus and collinsonia; abdominal compresses and deconstipating measures may all need to be considered.



Morning sickness

In my experience, this distressing condition manifests when a mother, for one or more of many reasons, is incapable of eliminating her baby’s metabolic wastes successfully. Homoeopathic remedies really come to the fore in providing relief. Ipecacuanha, pulsalilla, ailanthus, symphoricarpus, tabacum and others are well worth consideration with the help of a trained practitioner.

Here are some suggestions which have all helped in different situations:

  • ginger
  • peppermint
  • raspberry leaf and dandelion teas
  • artichokes
  • watercress
  • organic sauerkraut
  • yoghurt
  • the tissue salt Nat. sulph.
  • avoiding fatty foods
  • nibbling on raw almonds
  • sipping freshly-made pineapple, beetroot and carrot juice



Pregnant women are often prone to cramps or irregular pains in the legs, feet, calves, groin and abdomen, especially around the fourth and fifth months and towards the end of their pregnancy. A few drops (up to eight) of arnica oil in a warm bath can work wonders. The homoeopathic remedy Colocynth is worth trying if cramps are followed by pain and stiffness of the affected part. Mag. phos. and Calc. phos. tissue salts, taken especially in alternation, gently correct muscular spasms. Yarrow tea is an excellent circulatory tonic as well as an antispasmodic.

Leg cramps are a rarity if the daily diet contains:

  • dark leafy green vegetables
  • yoghurt
  • broccoli
  • unhulled sesame seeds
  • organic pecan nuts
  • raw almonds
  • raw Swiss brown mushrooms
  • preservative-free organic prunes
  • sunflower kernels
  • dark chocolate made with 70 per cent organic cocoa


Nosebleeds (see Haemorrhoids and Spider Veins)


Pre-eclampsia and eclampsia

A mother must always remain under qualified medical supervision if either condition is diagnosed. However, prevention is always preferable and research has shown that certain nutrients can be of great value in reducing the incidence and/or severity of these problems. Vitamins C and E, magnesium, chromium, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids appear to be particularly beneficial. All the nutrients involved can be provided by:

  • broccoli
  • citrus fruits
  • guavas
  • parsley
  • pineapple
  • coleslaw
  • strawberries
  • rosehip tea
  • sunflower kernels
  • corn on the cob
  • green leafy vegetables
  • asparagus
  • apples
  • grape juice
  • mushrooms
  • raw peanuts
  • organic raisins
  • onions
  • garlic
  • alfalfa sprouts
  • raw Brazil nuts
  • raw cashew nuts
  • raw walnuts
  • organic flax seeds
  • ice float leaf
  • organic cottage cheese
  • organic ricotta cheese
  • genuine parmesan cheese


Spider veins (see also Haemorrhoids)

Bioflavonoids are essential for strengthening blood vessel walls and preventing "broken" (that is, permeable) capillaries. Easy bruising, bleeding gums, nosebleeds, menstrual flooding and even recurrent miscarriages can all benefit from a regular intake of these food factors. I’ve found the following bioflavonoids especially useful:

  • Apigenin (apples, onions, chamomile tea, milk thistle and rosemary)
  • Delphinidin (blueberries, dark grapes, redcurrants)
  • Diosmin (lemons, rosemary)
  • Nobiletin (grapefruits, mandarins, oranges, tangerines)
  • Quercitrin (biodynamic rye and oats, green tea)
  • Rutin (buckwheat, fennel, lemons, onions)
  • Secoisolariciresinol diglycoside (flax seeds, poppy seeds, golden linseeds)

Phylloquinone from broccoli, English spinach, cabbage, kale, ice float leaf and lettuce will augment Vitamin K levels, preventing "haemorrhagic" conditions. These foods are important in a society where intestinal bacterial synthesis of Vitamin K has often been compromised by too many antibiotics and chronic low-level exposure to xenobiotics.


Stretch marks

These are best prevented, though some do respond when persistently anointed with the formula set out below.


Recipe to preserve skin elasticity

  • 3 tablespoons organic cold-pressed macadamia nut oil
  • 3 tablespoons organic cold-pressed sunflower oil
  • The gel stripped from 3 large aloe vera leaves
  • 2 x 1000iu. Vitamin E oil capsules
  • 3 cod liver oil capsules (the large "bullet" variety, not the "pearls")

I see the most consistent results when the following nutrients are maintained throughout the months of gestation: proline, bioflavonoids, copper, niacin, lysine, zinc, iron and calcium fluoride. These essentials are available from:

  • biodynamic cottage cheese
  • fresh wheatgerm
  • sunflower kernels
  • fresh and unsulphured dried apricots
  • pomegranates
  • tabouli
  • dried unsulphured peaches
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • fresh baby beet green

Calc. fluor. can also be supplemented via tissue salts.


Swollen hands and/or feet

At the first sign of these anomalies, inform your practitioner immediately as oedema can be an early indication of the potentially serious complication pre-eclampsia. Completely avoid commercial table salt and all foods prepared with this condiment. Make sure no clothes or elastic are leaving marks on your skin when you undress at night. Emphasise foods that preserve, nourish and heal the kidneys:

  • celery
  • leeks
  • pawpaw
  • carrots
  • endive
  • biodynamic oats
  • raw peanuts
  • avocado
  • biodynamic barley
  • broccoli
  • chestnuts
  • lentils
  • raw peanuts
  • biodynamic brown rice
  • sunflower kernels
  • bananas
  • raw hazelnuts
  • sprouted chick peas
  • kale
  • English spinach
  • red capsicum
  • potatoes, sweet potatoes
  • red cabbage slaw
  • freshly-shelled or vacuum-packed walnuts

Celery juice is a great aid, while fresh elder flowers and cornsilk (added to salads) can prevent fluid imbalances before they have a chance to manifest.


Varicose veins (see also Spider veins and Haemorrhoids)

Two tissue salts are invaluable: Calc. fluor. and Ferr. phos. The following are all reliable aids and preventives:

  • witch hazel compresses
  • homoeopathic Hamamelis
  • Pulsatilla
  • Lycopodium and sulphur
  • regular bowel motions
  • lemon peel and onion skin tea
  • bilberries
  • blackberries and blueberries
  • fresh leaves of Centella asiatica in salads
  • raw red-skinned peanuts
  • freshly made pineapple juice
  • sprouted buckwheat
  • steamed millet
  • bayberry poultices
  • ginkgo biloba infusions

If you happen to be growing calendula flowers (pot marigolds) in your garden, you may like to try the following recipe:

  • Finely snip up two cups of fresh calendula flowers (use the entire plant: stems, leaves and flower heads). Place the plant material in a clean glass jar and pour over two cups of cold-pressed grapeseed oil. Cover with a lid. Stand the jar in full sunshine for a whole day, then refrigerate for 10 days. At the end of 10 days, strain off the plant material, squeezing every drop of oil back into the jar. Before bed, anoint varicose veins generously with the oil, then wrap a firm but comfortable bandage around the site. Leave the bandage in place overnight.

The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

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