This is Emili, Jenni’s younger sister. You might have read in one of my previous posts where I mentioned that my first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. After successfully having 3 more pregnancies and 3 more children, I recently became pregnant again late last year. This time I had some complications and began spotting around 9 weeks.
To make a long story short, when I went in to get an ultra sound at 12 weeks, there was no heart beat and I lost the baby. It was a very difficult experience for me, and I felt very alone, although blessed to have 3 beautiful children to hold on to as I grieved my loss.
The purpose of this post is to share some of the tips I picked up to help others avoid the same problem. These are things I will do in my future pregnancies to prevent miscarriage to the best of my ability. I realize problems can still arise, and I don’t know if anything out there can prevent every problem that can come along, but here are some things you can do to help your early pregnancy health.
Vickie Sorensen is my midwife, and I love her and her midwifery team! She has delivered babies for a couple generations now and has been a midwife for over 30 years. She has taught me so much about prenatal and health care through the years I have known her. According to Vickie, many early miscarriages (miscarriages in the 1st trimester) can be attributed to hormone imbalances that effect the development of the baby. Some are due to fetal abnormalities, and you just can’t change. But after my miscarriage she put me on a hormone balancing program that I would like to share with you (it’s actually pretty simple).
The first supplement Vickie had me take was Red Raspberry Leaf. A little research on the web will show you that Red Raspberry Leaf (when taken consistently) is awesome for your hormones. It can also be used to help aid in fertility, ease morning sickness, relax the smooth muscles of the uterus, help your birth go faster & easier, help bleeding after birth, and calm uterine cramping. It is super high in vitamins such as iron, calcium, magnesium, B1, B3 & E, all good for pregnancy. It is awesome for regulating periods and helping with heavy bleeding (but only after consistent use, at least 3 or more months). Nice list of benefits!
You can take Red Raspberry Leaf in capsules or you can make up some tea. If you choose capsules, take 2 in the morning and in the evening. If you decide to drink the tea, you’ll want to drink 3-4 cups of it a day. I found an easy way to drink the tea (since it doesn’t taste like raspberries at all) is to mix it with a fresh squeezed lemon or orange and sweeten it with stevia (or you can just use lemon or orange oil and save yourself the time squeezing). I usually make a quart or 2 at a time and put it all in a pitcher in the fridge to drink throughout the day.
I would start this when you start thinking or planning on getting pregnant and take it for the rest of your LIFE. But seriously, it’s a good thing to take all the way through nursing, as it will also help promote a good supply of breast milk.
The next thing to add to the list is Evening Primrose Oil (in a capsule). It is also awesome to aid in fertility and is rich in an essential fatty acid your body needs as well as vitamin E.
Vitamin E is one of the most important vitamins the body needs in pregnancy for a healthy placenta. Evening Primrose Oil is also often used to aid in labor and delivery and the comfort level of the laboring Mom.
The third supplement Vickie had me take was her own formula FemEase that I’ve talked about previously.
FemEase contains the following herbs: False Unicorn, Wild Yam, Blessed Thistle, Red Raspberry, St John’s Wort and other herbs. I’ve found that False Unicorn is awesome in preventing miscarriage (but it’s quite expensive when you buy it alone). It improves ovarian function and helps the ovary produce a normal egg. It can also be very helpful in easing morning sickness, but you want to avoid large doses of it or it can do the opposite. Wild Yam is high in progesterone, which helps your body keep the baby. I take 2 capsules every morning when combining it with Red Raspberry Leaf and Evening Primrose oil.
I’ve just barely learned about a supplement called chaste tree berry or vitex. Apparently it is also awesome for balancing hormones and I’ve read that it can really help with your ovulation schedule if you don’t ovulate regularly. I mentioned it to Jenni and she started taking it daily a couple months ago and has noticed a positive reaction in her hormones and emotions being more stable. I’ve read it’s a must if you’re trying to get pregnant, but it does take consistency.
Lastly and probably most importantly, is early pregnancy nutrition. Too many times in early pregnancy we are so exhausted (and fighting pregnancy cravings) that all we know about eating on the healthy side, we throw out the window. A diet high in fruits and veggies and low in fat and fried or processed food will definitely take you far when it comes to preventing miscarriage and fighting off morning sickness. You’ll want to be taking a plant-based prenatal vitamin, but be sure to keep the majority of your diet full of the colorful healthy fruits and vegetables to help you have the energy and nutrition your body needs.
As for me, I changed my diet up and worked diligently to take care of myself after I miscarried. I conceived without any problems and am now 17 weeks pregnant and feeling great (especially when I can squeeze a nap in). I’m very excited for this new addition to our family!
We would love to hear about anything you have done to help with your morning sickness or early pregnancy health. If you are in this stage or hoping to be in this stage of a pregnancy soon, we wish you good luck and hope these tips help.
What is the most important thing YOU feel you have done to prepare for pregnancy and healthy childbearing?