Natural Remedies for Pre-Conception Care and during Pregnancy

Pre-conception care ideas (not once pregnant)

See the section on ‘Healthy Living Tips’ for life style choices, healthy eating, and de-toxing during pre-conception care. Be as healthy as you can be for the adventures ahead. Spring clean the womb, a special visitor is coming!

Naturopathic tips for pre-conception care – an interview with Anne Digby

Anne Digby, naturopath,  advices the following:

Anything bright and colourful is naturally rich in anti oxidants. Include dark green vegetables, blueberries and oranges for example, to create a rainbow on your table and make sure you eat a natural diet (refer to healthy living tips and healthy eating during pregancny). For daily detoxing include lemon juice in water before breakfast. Try Dandelion and Milk Thistle Tea, add honey to Milk Thistle Tea if really bitter, or take in tablets. Drink plenty of water, at least two litres a day or more. Finally, take acidophilus powder or capsules, from health food shops. These create good bowel and gut flora for healthy and optimal digestion of nutrients.

For overall supplementation for long term health as well as in pre-conception care Anne recommends taking a normal adult multi-vitamin tablet, which includes at least 400mcg of folic acid/folate (take as instructed on the bottle). Folate has been found to significantly decrease the occurrence of children born with spina bifida when the mother has had a regular folic acid intake prior to conception. Anne also recommends purchasing a good quality fish oil liquid or tablets for your pre-conception care time (For omega 3 and 6, if strict vegetarian, find a flaxseed oil alternative). Read the label to check that it states that the product has been screened for toxins, accumulations of mercury and other toxins. Don’t be tempted to buy a cheap fish oil, without this label.

You will easily find the supplements and teas in health food shops, supermarkets and chemists. Zinc tally tests can be found in most chemists and health food stores. Test, using the instructions, if you experience a nasty taste you have enough zinc, if not you can look to supplement and test again later (tests are for both the man and woman before conception).  Zinc is an important mineral for man’s sperm development. You can also have a blood test for your iron and vitamin B levels.

Naturopaths can give you a high quality vitamin and mineral supplement and fish oils that are practitioner prescribed only (the best ones). If your zinc, iron or vitamin B levels are low they can help. They can also assist in a detoxing program, if you wish. If you have been on the pill, drinking alcohol, smoking, having caffeine and or eating poorly then it is best to see a naturopath to supervise your detoxing process. The website is a great site to find practitioners near to you.

Australian Bush Flower Essences for pre-conception care – an interview with Caitlin Graham-Jones

The Australian Bush Flower Essences by Ian White, act for overall health on the physical and emotional body. They are well worth considering as part of your pre-conception care and for ongoing health in life. It would be ideal to start looking after your health on a deeper level three to six months before conception and along with de-toxing from caffeine, alcohol, the pill, and establishing a healthy life style, the following program of care could take place.

Some notes on taking Bush Flower Essences. They are for both partners to take, not just the woman (Except for Woman Essence). Tell your partner the sexuality blend will increase libido and he should come to the party! One bottle is often enough to change a particular emotional or physical imbalance, but always be guided by your intuition; if you feel you need more, you probably do. The dosage is seven drops under the tongue (morning and night), until the bottle is empty. I have found that if I leave my bottle on my bedside table, it becomes a habit.

The Australian Bush Flower range can be taken with other medicines and alongside other Naturopathic and Homeopathic remedies, but it is best not to take two different Australian Bush Flower blends at the same time. However this is fine if one is a course taken morning and night and the other is taken for a specific purpose, while on the computer or travelling, for example. Most health food stores now sell these blends over the counter. If you are having difficulty finding them, please call Australian Bush Flower Essences on 02 9450 1388, to find a supplier. You can also look up their internet site in the resource section for courses near to you, if you would like to explore this gentle healing modality further.

As a pre-conception care practice, Caitlin recommends to take the Australian Bush Flower blend called Purifying Essence. This purifying essence is powerfully cleansing on both a physical and emotional level. Caitlin has had many cases where strong physical detoxification has occurred at the same time as old emotional baggage is released. Therefore while it is perfect for both partners to take during the preconception stage, it is not recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding. This blend of essences contains Dagger Hakea, which helps with forgiveness. Bottlebrush, as the name describes, is like a brush cleaning out the old emotional baggage we no longer need while clearing the bowel on a physical level. Wild Potato Bush may help clear heavy metal from the body and is great for renewing enthusiasm. Bauhinia helps when a person resists change or holds on to negative emotions. When purifying your physical and emotional body ready for your forthcoming pregnancy and child, this blend can help.

After this Purifying Essence course has been completed, a second blend can be taken. It may be a choice between Sexuality and Relationship Essences, use your intuition for which is the right one for you. Sexuality Essence will help if there has been any abuse, or on a much less serious note, almost everyone has had early non-empowering sexual experiences and influences from parental and society’s judgments! Not talking about periods or sexual activity within your family making it a taboo subject or the media highlighting sexual passion and not the connection to love and higher consciousness that intimacy can bring. This blend also helps with negative body feelings. Birth is a continuum of the sexual experience of a woman and so it is important to clear this centre for a woman to birth with power, consciousness and freedom. If you feel you have blockages in the sexual and sensual area of your life and body image, then you can take a course of this blend, seven drops morning and night under your tongue until the bottle is empty.

If you do not take this essence as a course, you can still use this blend just before making love; this would be a great practice to get into before the planned conception. Both partners can take it. The Sensuality Essence also is available in a mist spray and can be used to spray around the room before making love in conjunction with Sexuality Essence, which you take under the tongue. Sexuality Essence includes Fringed Violet for safety and protection, helping to heal up wounds in the person’s energy body. Little Flannel Flower provokes playfulness and spontaneity. This would be very helpful for couples who are on IVF treatments, where the sexual act can become a chore.

Relationship Essence is also a choice at this time if there has been a history of broken relationships in your families or if you feel your relationship is under stress or requires nurturing. It is recommended to use Relationship Essence before Sexuality if there are any built up resentments or problems in the relationship to soften and restore communication before restoring sexual intimacy. These two blends – Sexuality and Relationship – are only if you feel drawn to these areas. However the first blend (Purifying Essence) and third blend (Woman Essence) are for everyone interested in using Australian Bush Flower Essences as apart of their pre-conception care.

Woman Essence contains the flower essence She Oak which supports the female reproduction system (ovaries, uterus) and harmonizes these organs. Bush Fuchsia helps to support the hypothalamus and pituitary glands, which can affect ovulation. The essence Old Man Banksia supports the thyroid function and Five Corners is especially useful for self-esteem. This is a fantastic pre-conception tonic, bringing a woman into her feminine power. This tonic (unlike Purifying Essence) can continue into pregnancy, birth and beyond.

Electro Essence is important to take if you are working on a computer. You can leave an unopened bottle in front of the computer and it can be left there for six months before changing it. Do not take this bottle internally, as it will have absorbed all the negative electrode energy. A second bottle could be kept away from the computer and taken orally at computer times, seven drops under the tongue. If your job involves computer work or continued talking on a mobile phone it is advisable to do a course of Electro Essence on its own, seven drops morning and night until the bottle is finished and then take the above precautions, whilst working on the computer or phone. Never carry your mobile phone around in a pocket near your reproductive organs. Again you can keep a bottle in your bag next to your phone, but do not take this internally. If working on a computer, plugging in a salt lamp, or having plants near your computer will also help.

Travel Essence can be taken when flying, or whenever flying, if an Air Flight Attendant. Space Clearing Essence can be sprayed around your home after each cleaning day, and can be used before birthing in the birth room. Calm and Clear Essence can be taken when you are feeling anxious and Confidence blend if there are deep rooted issues affecting your self esteem.

The above will help to provide for optimum health on all levels for you and your baby. We are lucky to have these amazing flower medicinal gifts on offer in our health food stores, if you wish to use them. You can contact an Australian Bush Flower Practitioner for specific issues, infertility, hormonal imbalances and individual emotional issues. Otherwise the blends are applicable for most people.   

Naturopathic Tips for Pregnancy – and interview with Anne Digby

Some pregnant women feel sick in the first few months, and sometimes the entire pregnancy! If you do feel nauseas, here are a few natural tips and home remedies to help. Try ginger and fennel teas, the herb tea varieties are available in health food shops. Ginger – sliced or grated – can be simply taken in hot water (try adding honey or lemon). Ginger also comes in tablet form, easy to swallow and without the strong taste. If experiencing morning sickness, it may also help to sniff lemon essential oil on a handkerchief. Anne, a naturopath, suggests taking Vitamin B6 tablets (25mg, three times a day). She also recommends eating frequently, as blood sugar level drops can create nausea. This is particularly important in the morning; she encourages women to eat whatever they feel like, healthy foods of course! Drinking a smoothie or nibbling on something before rising or showering can help with morning sickness.

Healing drops

Natural therapy drops and sprays are available to calm the emotions whilst pregnant. Choose from one of the following: Nervatona by Brauer; Australian Bush Flower Emergency Essence or Calm and Clear, or Bach Flower’s Rescue Remedy. All are available from a good health food store or a naturopath. These wonderful remedies may help to settle your emotional body before birthing. 

Janet Balaskas advises the pregnant woman:

The emphasis during pregnancy will need to be on developing trust and confidence in her own body and on learning to discover her instinctive potential for childbirth and mothering. Her emotional and physical readiness for birth and her self empowerment in pregnancy will become as important as good medical care in the antenatal clinic. [1]  

Anne, Naturopath, raspberry leaf tea tonic (or tablets)

Raspberry leaf tea is a major uterine tonic. It strengthens the uterine muscle. In labour the contractions are more effective- therefore you usually need less of them and the labour is shorter. Other benefits of drinking raspberry leaf tea include:

An unexpected finding in this study seems to indicate that women who ingest raspberry leaf might be less likely to receive an artificial rupture of their membranes, or require a caesarean section, forceps or vacuum birth than the women in the control group.[2]

Here is the recommended dosage (do not take raspberry leaf tea too early):

At thirty four weeks drink one cup of raspberry leaf tea a day

At thirty six weeks drink two cups a day

At thirty eight weeks drink three cups a day

(Tablets are fine too, increasing from one to two and then three tablets in the same manner, tablets are often easier on your taste buds than tea!)

The tea and tablets are available from health food stores.

You can visit a naturopath during pregnancy to receive the practitioner only good quality supplements and also with minor ailments of pregnancy such as cramps, nausea, varicous veins or hemorrhoids, and emotional tendencies such as fear.

Early in the third trimester is an excellent time for all pregnant women to visit a naturopath for specific uterine tonics, herbal medicines and homeopathics to assist with the later part of pregnancy and the birth. Remedies come in the form of partus prep. This may include squawvine and raspberry leaf and is individually catered to the woman. If you go over your due date a visit to a naturopath may help to start labour, to avoid inducing in a hospital setting.

To find a naturopath near you, go to On this web page you can type in your suburb and also the subgroup woman’s health and pregnancy, to find your nearest practitioner.

Australian Bush Flower Remedies during Pregnancy – an interview with Cailtan Graham- Jones

Caitlin advises that Calm and Clear essence blend (available from good health food shops) can be used throughout pregnancy to soothe anxieties and worries around pregnancy and birth (Also if the morning – and afternoon sickness – is due to sub conscious fears). Pregnancy can be a time when normally easy-going and relaxed women can become ‘worriers’. Caitlan explains that by keeping the mother as stress free as possible, will protect the baby from the cascade of stress hormones that flood their tiny system whilst their mother is stressed.

Emergency essence can be taken if experiencing a threatened miscarriage, or bleed. Not as a medical intervention, but to calm the woman during these disturbing times. It can also benefit women before any major procedure or test.

Confidence essence can be taken by all pregnant women as they approach their due date. This can help to give them confidence and courage in her innate ability to birth. Caitlan explains that this essence can be particularly good for women who may have had negative birth experiences in the past, or with family history of difficult births. Australian Bush Flower blends can be purchased from health food stores.

Is morning (and afternoon!) sickness driving you crazy? Try taking a combination of Dagger Hakea, Dogrose and Pawpaw.

Bottlebrush is a beautiful essence to help the mother connect with her baby in the womb. It is the essence for mother and child bonding. The Bottlebrush essence can be taken by women who may feel “cut off” from their baby in the womb and pregnancy. Caitlin advises that to feel a connection to your baby during pregnancy is to experience some of the purest moments of parenting possible. If this is not happening for you, try taking seven drops of Bottlebrush under your tongue, morning and night.

Homeopathic tips during pregnancy – an interview with Gabrielle Brodie 

See a homeopath with any tiresome symptoms of pregnancy! Take Arnica once a day. Arnica will guard against hemorrhage and can minimize bruising of muscles and tissues (Arnica is available from healthfood shops). In addition, Caulophyllum can be taken daily for seven to ten days before the expected delivery date. This homeopathic compound prepares the uterus for delivery and can prevent the tendency to hemorrhage. 

If there is emotional stress, fear and anxiety present before (and during labour) Aconite can be given, every twenty minutes as required. If the anxiety is accompanied more with lethargy (rather than restlessness and excitability, as with Aconite) then Gelsemium can be given. Take as per the symptoms of nervousness, butterflies felt in the stomach, general weakness and diarrhea. Arnica is available from health food shops. 

[1] Balaskas, Janet; New Active Birth. HarperCollinsPublishers, London, 1989, p.14.

Raspberry leaf and its effect on labour: safety and efficacy; Australian College of Midwives Inccorporated Journal. 1999, Sept; 12 (3):20-5.