Healing Path, Inc.




Finding Balance
Chapter 2.23 - Pregnancy

In this chapter, Dr. Donache presents Complementary/Alternative Medical (C.A.M.) Therapies for the prevention and treatment side effects and diseases associated with pregnancy.

The chapter includes an overview of the the medical conditions typical during pregnancy, conventional treatment methods, and alternative therapies, including Bio-Energetic therapies, Bodywork and Movement therapies, and Mental / Emotional treatments.

This chapter is taken from Dr. Donache's upcoming book, Finding Balance - Integrating Complementary/Alternative Medical (C.A.M.) Therapies for the Prevention of the Top 30 Diseases in America. Each section of chapter 2, which describes alternative treatments for each of the top diseases, is available as a free download on this website.

Table of Contents
Chapter Excerpt
Glossary of Terms Used in this Chapter
Additional Disease Descriptions and Treatments Available for Download

Table of Contents

  1. ABOUT THIS DOCUMENT
  2. PREGNANCY
  3. CONVENTIONAL APPROACHES
    1. Treatment and Management
    2. What To Avoid
    3. Issues and Answers
    4. Tests Performed During Pregnancy
      • Amniocentesis
      • Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)
      • Ultrasound
      • Estriol Excretion Studies, Nonstress Test, Oxytocin Challenge Test
      • Pregnancy Self-Test
    5. Pregnancy Related Problems
      • Backache
      • Bleeding Gums
      • Constipation
      • Dizziness
      • Edema (Swelling) of the Hands and Feet
      • Gas (Flatulence)
      • Groin Spasm, Stitch, or Pressure
      • Heartburn
      • Hemorrhoids
      • Insomnia
      • Leg Cramps
      • Miscarriage (Spontaneous Abortion)
      • Mood Changes
      • Morning Sickness
      • Nosebleeds and Nasal Congestion
      • Sciatica
      • Skin Problems
      • Soreness in the Rib Area
      • Stretch Marks
      • Sweating
      • Urination, Frequent
      • Varicose Veins
  4. C.A.M. THERAPIES
    1. BIO-ENERGETIC THERAPIES
      • Nutrition and Supplements
        • Nutrition
        • Supplements
        • Enzymatic Therapies
      • Rainforest and Western Herbs
        • Rainforest Herbs
        • Western Herbs
      • Homeopathic Remedies
      • Essential Oils
    2. BODYWORK AND MOVEMENT THERAPIES
      • Therapeutic Bodywork and Massage
      • Traditional Chinese Medicine
      • Hatha Yoga Postures
    3. MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL SUPPORT
      • Meditation
      • Visualization
      • Affirmation
  5. APPENDICES
    1. RESOURCES
    2. PRODUCT ORDERING INFORMATION
    3. GLOSSARY OF TERMS

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Chapter Excerpt

Finding out that you are pregnant can be thrilling! While certainly not a disease, pregnancy related problems, their prevention and treatment are the concerns of this cumulative report. It is the only time in a woman's life when what she is thinking, feeling, being, doing, eating - and how she is or is not taking care of her body directly affects another human life.

Some women take a pregnancy test, at home or in the doctor's office the moment they suspect they are pregnant. Others wait until after they miss a period or begin experiencing symptoms, such as fatigue and nausea. By the time you learn that you are expecting, your baby may be anywhere from a 2-week-old embryo to a 12-week-old fetus -- sometimes even older. Anyway you look at it, pregnancy is a time of changes -- both those occurring inside your body and those you may want to make in your lifestyle to ensure a healthy baby.

Much of a person's appearance and personality traits, as well as one's gender, are determined at the moment of conception, by genetic codes carried on chromosomes in the mother's egg and the father's sperm. Approximately once a month during a woman's reproductive years, one of her ovaries releases an egg. Fertilization of the egg by a sperm usually occurs while the egg is traveling in the fallopian tube toward the uterus. When the egg and sperm unite, a new cell is created. The egg carries 23 chromosomes from the mother. The sperm brings along 23 chromosomes from the father. The new cell contains 46 chromosomes that form a complete genetic map of a human being. Chromosomes also determine gender. A woman contributes an X chromosome, while a man contributes either an X or a Y. An X chromosome from each parent will result in a girl. An X from the mother and a Y from the father will result in a boy. Once fertilized, the egg begins to divide, forming more and more cells. Some of the cells will form the embryo, and others will form the placenta. The fertilized egg implants in the endometrium, the lining of the uterine wall. There, it develops into an embryo. After about 5 more weeks of development, the embryo is called a fetus. Vital organs and body parts have begun to form.

Hormonal changes are thought to contribute to some of the common early symptoms of pregnancy, such as:

  • breast tenderness,
  • fatigue,
  • nausea ("morning sickness"),
  • mood swings,
  • changes in heart rate,
  • frequent urination,
  • constipation and gas,
  • food cravings,
  • taste changes
  • and vaginal discharge.

Some women find that eating frequent, small, bland meals helps to combat morning sickness.

The placenta produces a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone can be measured in a woman's urine and blood. Home pregnancy tests detect this hormone in urine. Your doctor or nurse-midwife may wish to confirm your pregnancy with a blood test as well. The due date is assumed to be 280 days from the first day of your last menstrual period -- not from the moment of conception. Doctors track pregnancy on a week-by-week basis for each of the 40 weeks. Pregnancy is also divided into trimesters, each lasting about 13 weeks. An organ called the placenta grows from cells of the embryo. The umbilical cord connects the placenta to the developing fetus. The placenta carries nourishment and oxygen from the mother's blood to the fetus. Waste returns from the fetus by the same route. Food, oxygen and waste travel back and forth via the placenta. Alcohol, nicotine and drugs also can move across the placenta. Avoiding the use of these substances is best for the fetus.

Prenatal care is essential for both mother and fetus. The health care professional who manages your pregnancy may be an obstetrician-gynecologist, a family practice physician, or a certified nurse-midwife. If your age, general health, medical history or family history calls for a doctor with special skills, you may be referred to an obstetrician-gynecologist who specializes in high-risk pregnancies. Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, thyroid problems or epilepsy could put you in a high-risk category. Depending on your medical and family history, you may also be advised to have genetic counseling to help determine your risk of having a child with an inherited birth defect or genetic disease.

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Glossary of Terms

Term
Definition
Amniocentesis
A procedure in which a small amount of amniotic fluid is removed from the sac surrounding the fetus to detect genetic defects.
Certified Nurse-Midwife
A registered nurse with specialized graduate training to provide primary gynecologic and obstetric care, including childbirth.
Cesarean Section
Delivery of the infant via an incision through the abdomen and the uterus.
Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)
A procedure in which a small sample of fetal cells is taken from the placenta and tested for genetic defects.
Chromosomes
Threadlike structures located in each cell of the body; contain genes that determine characteristic and development.
Embryo
The stage of a fertilized egg's development; from about the 3rd to 8th week of pregnancy.
Fallopian Tube
The passageway between the ovary and the uterus.
Fetus
The stage of development following the embryo stage, from about the 8th week of pregnancy until birth.
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG)
A hormone produced by the placenta.
Neural Tube Defects
Developmental defects caused by failure of the vertebral column to close around the spinal cord; may range from mild to severe.
Obstetrician-Gynecologist
A physician who specialized in the care of women.
Ovaries
The female reproductive organs that produce and release eggs.
Placenta
An organ attached to the fetus and to the inner wall of the uterus through which the fetus receives nutrients and oxygen and excretes waste.
Toxoplasmosis
A disease that may be transmitted in cat feces; sometimes causes fever and swollen glands; in a pregnant woman it can harm the fetus.
Ultrasound
The user of high-frequency sound waves to crate images of the developing fetus or internal organs.
Umbilical Cord
The structure that forms during the 5th week of pregnancy and connects the fetus and placenta.
Uterus
The womb.

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