Exercise

Pregnancy is not an illness, so don’t treat yourself like Dresden china. Regular exercise will help to tone up the muscles and prepare the body for the exertion of childbirth. The sort of exercise you decide on very much depends on what you used to do before. Now is obviously not the time to start training for the Olympics if all you used to do is walk round to the local shop. The heart’s workload increases by 40 per cent by the twenty-eight week so don’t give it extra unnecessary work. If you were fairly active before, by all means keep it up, with the exception of water or snow skiing, parachuting, scuba-diving and horse-riding; and these are denied to you only because of the risk of injury. Any accident or fall during the early months of pregnancy could result in a miscarriage and when you’re voluminous and your centre of gravity changes balancing can be difficult. Swimming is wonderful and it is a blessed relief to be relieved of

the weight of your bulk as you float in the water. Swimming is particularly helpful for relieving back pain. Obviously do not swim after a large meal, avoid very cold water as it may give you cramps, and don’t try any high diving as the sudden change in your blood pressure could affect the baby’s circulation. Walking and dancing are great but don’t get too acrobatic in the last few months (not that you are likely to feel like dominating

a discothèque). Yoga is good for harmonizing the body and the mind and for ensuring suppleness. Do remember to tell your yoga teacher that you are pregnant during the first few weeks when it will not show so that your teacher can ensure you are not practising unsuitable postures.

 PELVIC-FLOOR EXERCISES

These are particularly important for pregnant women because learning to control the pubococcygeal muscle especially during the second stage of labour can help prevent tearing of the perineum. This PC muscle is a cone-shaped hammock suspended from the sides and back at the bottom of the pelvic bones, descending to the area between your legs. A weak PC muscle can cause menstrual problems, involuntary urination, a difficult pregnancy- nancy and delivery, infertility, painful intercourse, lack of sensa tion during love-making and difficulty in achieving orgasm, and can contribute to rectal, bladder and uterine prolapse. It is the only muscle in the body which is not exercised by gymnastics,daily living or any sport.

Testing the PC muscle

When you urinate spread your legs wide and try to stop the flow dead. Don’t attempt this first thing in the morning or if you have recently drunk lots of liquid. If you can completely stop the flow several times consecutively you are in good shape. If not do the following exercise.

PC hold

It does not matter what position you adopt – sitting, standing or lying. Slowly contract the PC muscle (i.e. as though you were trying to stop urination) until you are squeezing it as forcefully as you can. Then hold the contraction. Count to ten slowly. Relax the muscle slowly. Breathe naturally throughout. No clenched teeth or thighs, Repeat ten times. If you can’t hold cash contract tion for ten do what you can and build up slowly. Do not let the abdominal muscles assist the PC. You will know you are cheating if you lightly place your hand on the lower part of the abdomen during the exercise and feel it tightening. To avoid this, spread your legs.

I would advise every woman to exercise this muscle regularly from her teens on. Not only is a well-toned PC muscle beneficial during pregnancy but it is insurance against prolapses and incon tinence later in life.

BAREFOOT WALKING

Walking barefoot on sand or grass will release the static electricity in your body, so do it daily. Ensure that you dry your feet with a rough towel immediately afterwards to encourage your circulation

Stress

As Juliette de Bairacli-Levy so beautifully put it, ‘Pregnancy should be a daily song of triumph and thanksgiving in a woman’s mind and heart.

Stress is very common in pregnancy and burns up your nu trition faster than any other factor. Prolonged stress increases the chance of the baby suffering from neurological dysfunction, behavioural disturbances, developmental lags and generally poor health. Hyperactive adrenal glands cause fatigue and exhaustion, so

relaxation is if anything even more vital than exercise. The savasana (corpse pose) in yoga is very helpful, as is lying on the floor on cushions with your buttocks against the lower part of an armchair and your legs draped over the seat with bent knees. Two hours daily of complete relaxation is ideal and will help minimize labour pain.

STRESS SUPPLEMENTATION

The more carefully you buy and prepare your food, the less you will need in the way of supplements, but during times of stress it is not always possible to get all the vitamins you need through yout diet alone. Supplement ir with 25,000 IU vitamin A and 2,500 IU vitamin D; two strong sustained-release B-complex tablets, one after breakfast and one with lunch; 1,000 mg vitamin Bs: 6-98 vitamin C sustained-release, divided into three doses taken with meals; and 1,000 IU vitamin E (provided your blood pressure is

normal and there is no history of rheumatic fever). Overworked adrenal glands can be supported with the follow

ing formulation Equal parts of:

mullein

borage

ginseng (preferably Siberian)

hawthorn

cayenne

gotu kola

ginger liquorice

Take 4 level teaspoonful of the finely powdered herbs mixed with a little sugarless jam or juice three times daily. If you have any problems with high blood pressure, leave out the liquorice and the ginseng and substitute equal parts of motherwort and cinnamon. Take the supplementation suggested above together with this formulation only while under stress and for a few weeks afterwards.

Diet

I was astonished to read in a little book published by the British Medical Association that, ‘Nothing very special is required for your diet in pregnancy. It is certainly unnecessary to add much to a diet that is normally well balanced. A so-called well-balanced diet is extremely hard to achieve. Ninety-eight per cent of every. thing we eat passes through the hands (or more generally the machines) of food processors. The average Britain eats 4 lb (2 kg) of additives a year. Dr Williams has stated quite clearly that supermarket produce is likely to be deficient in vitamin B. magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin C, folic acid and trace minerals

diet is in danger. A supine Department of Health aided and abetted by suppress sions and evasions from complacent government ministers and compounded by the powerful lobbyists of the food manufacturer ing industry and the advertising industry will undoubtedly con tinue to perpetuate this situation. So forget all about average! and ‘well balanced’ and concentrate on superb. again and remember that, apart from the

expectant mother’s own nutritional requirements, by the time the foetus is six weeks old she will have stopped feeding off the amniotic sac and will be totally reliant on the mother for nourish ment through the umbilical cord. It certainly is not necessary to ear for two’ during pregnancy but you should aim for about 1,800 calories a day to avoid your baby being underweight at birth

PROTEIN

The entire structure of your baby’s body and brain will be largely made from the protein you eat, and your own need for protein includes that required for the formation of new tissue in the uterus and breasts. Ensure protein intake is at least 22 oz (75 g) daily. Vegan mothers should make sure that they are getting enough combined foods (i.e. pulses married with grain, or grain married with legumes) to make a complete protein at any one sitting. I find that vegetarians and vegans with whom I work are generally more ‘clued-up’ about their protein requirements than meat-caters, so this is usually not a problem,

Avoid gelatin (the least complete of all proteins) – it contains excessive glycine, which causes a protein imbalance that results in a slow seepage of essential amino acids into the urine. Also, if you are prone to allergies try to take most of your protein from vegetarian sources that do not include high-protein foods like fish, eggs and dairy products. These (along with meat) are more allergenic than combination substitutes. By avoiding them you minimize the risk of passing your allergy on to your baby.

OILS AND FATS

Aim for 1-2 tablespoons of mixed vegetable oils daily and use them as part of a salad dressing (do not heat them). A teaspoon or so of unsalted butter is also permissible

CALCIUM AND VITAMIN B12

The need for calcium escalates rapidly during the last three months of pregnancy. A lack of it will cause leg and foot cramps, susceptibility to tooth decay (no doubt you have heard the quotation about a woman losing a tooth for every baby), headaches and sleeplessness. It may also lead to the baby having faulty bones and teeth.

It is difficult even in a healthy body to get calcium to pass into the bloodstream, and the problem is exacerbated by under secretion hydrochloric acid the stomach. This generally comes about the result years of faulty diet. Lack of fat also means that calcium more likely to be discarded in the Bear mind too that vitamin needs to be combined with

calcium during absorption by the body to be of any real value. There popular myth that vitamin is only available in the animal and dairy products, and vegans are constantly lambasted about possible deficiency of in their diets. Actually 85 per cent the vitamin meat lost when it is cooked, and I do not know many people who indulge in steak tartare. Vitamin adequately manufactured by the bacteria in the intestines, provided the latter are not coated with mucus (which, of course, reduces permeability of all vitamins), and provided putre from too much protein or sugar, or pollution or enzyme deficiency are not present.

Vitamin particularly abundant in four-day-old bean- sprouts (especially mung and alfalfa) and present in sea plants, algae, rye, clover, okra and sauerkraut as well as almonds, apples, asparagus, bananas, brewer’s yeast, cantaloupe melons, carrots, celery, lemons, mushrooms, oranges, onions, parsley, peaches, cabbage, corn, comfrey, dates, grapes, grape fruit, pineapple, rice polishings, soya-bean meal, spinach, tomatoes, watercress, watermelon, wheat germ, whole wheat bread, and peas. Women with healthy intestines have storage capacity sufficient provide them with enough for up to five

years. There equally popular myth that dairy products are the most effective form calcium. They are not. An ounce (30 g) of hard cheese contains 230 mg calcium, compared to the 252 mg in watercress and 306 mg oz (30 g) kelp. Undoubted plants best-assimilated form calcium, and calcium needs vitamins and well phosphorus order to function properly. Foods rich calcium include oats, millet, sesame seeds, and most raw vegetables, especially turnip-tops and parsley. Pregnant women need 2,000 mg daily.

Calcium formula

parts horsetail comfrey

 3 parts nettles

2 parts kelp

I part marshmallow root

I part meadow-sweet

I part lobelia

Take two size “O’ capsules of the finely powdered herbs with each meal throughout pregnancy. If you are feeling queasy with morning sickness mix the formula into honey and take it off the spoon.

IRON

The baby takes much of the mother’s iron in the last two months of pregnancy and, like calcium, iron needs a healthy stomach excreting sufficient hydrochloric acid for its proper ingestion. A simple way to ensure this is to sip a teaspoon of cider vinegar in

water half an hour before each meal. Iron should always be taken in its natural form in foods and herbs and is most obvious in herbs with very dark green leaves The inorganic iron salts used in the ‘enrichment of food are known to lead to chronic disability and fatal disease in some people. Natural sources of iron are far better assimilated in the body and in turn help with the assimilation of vitamins C and E. Natural iron has the added advantage of burning up accumulated poisonous waste, flushing it out of the body, and unlike synthetic iron it does not cause constipation. Coffee or products with caffeine in them, like chocolate, inhibit iron absorption. Iron is richly present in rice polishings, kelp, wheatgerm,

sunflower seeds, parsley and apricots, and to a lesser extent in

purslane, the tops of beets and turnips, bilberry, blackberry,

booklime, burdock, chicory, comfrey, cornflower, dandelion, yellow dock, gentian, groundsel, ground-ivy, hawthorn, hops. nettles, periwinkle, raspberry, restharrow, rose, salep, scabious, scullcap, strawberries, toadflax, vervain, watercress, wood-sage, wormwood, pumpkin and sesame seeds. Women lose 15-30 mg iron with each period and as much as soo mg during childbirth and pregnant women need as much as 120 mg daily. If you are in any doubt about your iron intake from

natural sources use the following formula, especially during the

last three months of pregnancy.

3 parts yellow dock

part gentian

part burdock

Take two size ‘O’ capsules of the finely powdered herbs morning and evening on an empty stomach. Do not drink tea, coffee or chocolate during the time you are taking this formula Replace them with herbal teas and coffee substitutes ideally dandelion-root coffee.

IODINE

A deficiency of iodine in pregnancy increases the risk of a still-birth and may cause other problems. Pregnant women can safely take as much as 3 mg a day, which should ideally be obtained from safe natural sources by eating nori seaweed or sprinkling a liberal teaspoonful of kelp over every vegetable meal. I’ll admit it tastes terrible over cereal, which is why I will let you off at breakfast!

ZINC

This is extremely important to the rapidly growing child in the womb in order to protect her from malformations and an unpleasant skin malfunction.

Zinc is richly present in alfalfa, red raspberry leaves, eyebright, slippery elm, cramp-bark, echinacea and yellow dock, as well as brewer’s yeast, seeds, apricots, peaches and dark-green leafy vegetables. It is superabundant in liver. Adequate intake will help prevent stretch marks. Excessive coffee, and elevated levels of copper, calcium and cadmium aggravate low zinc levels. Aim for 30 mg daily

VITAMIN A

If, during the course of your pregnancy, you suffer from an infection or are exposed to a serious illness like German measles, you will need to take vitamin A in temporarily high doses. Take 50,000 IU, for eight weeks only, in consultation with your doctor. Fat-soluble vitamins have difficulty passing through the placenta, and babies born with a vitamin A deficiency will be particularly susceptible to infection. It is a good idea to drink plenty of carrot juice during the last months of pregnancy as vitamin A from this source is more easily assimilated than that from fat sources, Fortunately, the colostrum you first feed your baby will contain a particularly plentiful supply of fat-soluble vitamins and will help build up the baby’s auto-immune system quickly,

B-COMPLEX VITAMINS

Many of the illnesses common to pregnancy like nausea and

oedema are often exacerbated by lack of this group of vitamins, especially Bg. All pregnant and breast-feeding women need 4 mg vitamin B, daily but as a therapeutic dose to help morning sickness they can take as much as 300-500 mg daily The richest source of the B-complex group (B, will not work in isolation includes brewer’s yeast, black strap molasses, malt extract, wheat germ and its bran, sunflower seeds, soy beans, ground rice, tomatoes, sweetcorn, barley, sweet potatoes, bananas, peanuts and cabbage.

VITAMIN E

The need for this vastly increases during pregnancy, so a supple- ment is certainly necessary. Your daily dose should be 8001000 IU but you cannot start with this much if you have blood pressure problems, and vitamin E should not be taken as a supplement if there is history of rheumatic fever, over-active thyroid or dia betes. If you get toxaemia you must stop supplementation in mediately, so ensure that your blood pressure is checked on a regular basis. Under ordinary circumstances if you are reducing your vitamin E intake do so gently and gradually. If you are taking iron supplementation, separate this from your vitamin E dose by at least eight hours. D-alpha-tocopherol is the

preferred type of vitamin E supplement and is richly present in wholegrains, and seeds and their cold-pressed oils. Eleven percent is lost if these foods are heated.

VITAMIN K

If the intestinal bacteria are healthy, they generally produce sufficient vitamin K, but because this vitamin is fat-soluble, it cannot easily pass through the placenta into the blood of the foetus. This means that newborn babies are particularly suscep tible to haemorrhage as they enter the first week of life. To protect them against this, many obstetricians now inject vitamin K some 20-24 hours before labour begins. Establish in advance that this will be the case because you certainly will not be in a position to do so when you are actually in labour.

Natural sources of vitamin K include kelp, alfalfa, all dark green leafy vegetables, milk, plain live yoghurt, black strap molasses, apricots, cod-liver oil, sunflower oil and garlic, Supple mentation for the baby is not necessary while breast-feeding it the mother’s diet is abundant in these foods.

Drugs

Don’t take any at all, not even aspirin-use natural alternatives. Drugs cross the placenta and can damage the foetus. Analgesics can prolong pregnancy and labour and lead to severe bleeding in both mother and baby. Anti-acids like bicarbonate of soda can cause muscle problems in the foetus or oedema in the mother. Some cough-mixtures can cause birth defects. Tranquillizers and sedatives can lead to foetal addiction and breathing problems. Tetracycline is deposited in the bones and will lead to poor bone growth. Sulphonamide antibiotics affect the liver and induce kernicterus in newborn babies. (Kernicterus is the result of bili rubin being released into the foetal bloodstream and accumulate ing in the brain, resulting in permanent brain damage.)

Mineral based laxatives suppress vitamin absorption and can lead to blood disorders in the baby. Even certain chemical-based creams and ointments, such as some of those used for piles, can be absorbed by the placenta and cause deformities. Warfarin can result in undergrowth of the nasal bones and mental retardation. Certain anti-convulsants can cause foetal abnormalities, though a pregnant woman prone to epilepsy must be protected from seizures because they deprive the developing baby of oxygen and so may be even more damaging than the drug.

An experienced medical herbalist can help control petit mal forms but this is a complicated business and beyond the scope of this book, so seek professional help. Certain types of grand mal seizures can be helped by sodium-valproate which, so far, seems to be free of any harmful side-effects. Women on insulin or those who have taken thyroxine for a long time will need to continue these under close medical super vision.

possible both thyroid pancreatic diet, approach would be to place yourself in the hands of an experienced and qualified medical herbalist well before conception so that you can be gradually weaned onto natural treatment and away from such drugs. I have succeeded in greatly reducing dependency on thyroxine and insulin with herbal and naturopathic treatment.

Smoking

It is now known that foetal can accelerate through anxiety even when the mother is only thinking of having a cigarette. The reduction of oxygen in a baby’s blood supply – her only life-line must be a very unpleasant feeling.

Alcohol

This is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and on into placenta and can stun the baby and make her less active in the womb than she should be. Anyone conceiving after an alcoholic binge is substantially more likely to produce a baby with genetic defects. Even women drinking moderately during pregnancy, say one or two drinks a day, have a much higher chance of miscarriage in mid-term than teetotallers.

Herbs

These need to be strictly controlled in the first three months of pregnancy, and I will never put a pregnant woman through any kind of programme. Herbs which should not be taken at any time during pregnancy include pennyroyal, oregano, hyssop, myrrh, nutmeg, angelica, mistletoe, juniper, thuja, autumn crocus, barberry, golden-seal, mandrake, male fern, poke root, tansy, wormwood, southernwood, false unicorn (except to prevent miscarriage), false hellebore and celery seed.Culinary herbs which should be used only for flavouring in small doses include sage, thyme, basil, savory, marjoram and cinna mon. Blue cohosh is contraindicated except during and just before labour.

Morning Sickness

The fact that morning sickness can often be alleviated by a piece of dry toast or a biscuit suggests hypoglycaemia, although I am convinced that some morning sickness is a result of pre conceptual inadequate diet. Nausea under the latter circum stances is nature’s way of trying to flush the toxins out of the body so that the baby will not be swamped by them. There is some suggestion that increased levels of oestrogen also aggravate morning sickness. Under all circumstances nausea needs urgent attention if de

hydration of the mother is to be avoided, and if it continues into the fourth month should be considered particularly serious. A diet such as is recommended for hypoglycemics, eating a little protein every 2-24 hours, is advisable, and avoiding fatty, spicy and sugary food as well as coffee and alcohol helps. If you decide to try vitamin B, supplementation and know you are hypoglycaemic, check with your medical herbalist first as it can also alter blood-sugar levels. Eating a piece of whole wheat toast and sipping a cup of camomile or spearmint tea with V2 teaspoon ginger added before you attempt to get out of bed helps. Some women swear by sucking cherry stones. Or try the following morning sickness formulation, but do not stay on it too long as prolonged doses of golden-seal may cause the uterus to go into spasms. After a couple of weeks revert to the gingery camomile or spearmint tea instead.

part clove

I part ginger

part black horehound I part wild yam

1 part golden-seal

Take one size O’ capsüle of the finely powdered herbs on rising and repeat later in the day if necessary.

Cramps

These are generally at their most acute in the last trimester and can be caused by the baby lying awkwardly but more often are the result of a calcium deficiency. They tend to get worse at night as the circulation becomes more laboured. Take 100 mg niacin (to help the circulation) and the calcium formulation  with 100 mg vitamin B, daily. Vitamin E also helps . Sleep with the foot of the bed slightly elevated and use hot foot baths with ten drops of lavender oil added. Drink 1-2 wine glass- fuls of cramp bark decoction daily.

Womb cramping or false labour pains may be treated with a chamomile poultice and a daily dose of 1-2 wineglass falls of cramp-bark decoction taken internally.

Stretch Marks

I have already mentioned zinc supplementation to help with these and Adele Davis also suggests 600 IU vitamin E and 300 mg vitamin B, daily. A simple massage oil can be made of 50 mg almond oil, 15 drops of lavender oil and to drops of neroli oil. Use it often, applying in gentle circular movements.

Oedema

Vitamin B, is helpful here , as are hand or footbaths

taken twice daily using diuretic herbs like dandelion, garlic,

artichoke, hawthorn, birch, cherry, broom and meadowsweet. Ginger fomentations applied over the kidneys daily are also extremely effective.

Pre-eclampsia

This is serious and must be treated immediately. Symptoms include oedema of the feet, legs, hands and face, hypertension and protein excreted in the urine. In any emergency fast on water

melon or boiled brown rice, chew several cloves of raw garlic during the fast and drink a tea made of equal quantities of red clover blossom, ginger, comfrey and dandelion root – 6 wine- glassfuls daily. Once the situation is back under control avoid all dairy products, spices, salt, red meat and alcohol and cat an abundance of raw fruit and vegetables.

Varicosity

If you have a family history of low arterial blood pressure you are liable to varicose problems. Nearly a tenth of women get phlebitis or varicose veins during or shortly after pregnancy and this is aggravated by a calcium deficiency, standing for long periods which impedes the circulation, and wearing constricting clothes or shoes. Vitamin E is essential to keep arterial oxygen levels at their optimum; so are foods containing vitamins P and K. Vitamin P (a bioflavonoid otherwise known as rutin, as in buckwheat) needs to be taken as a daily supplement (500 mg) and married up with lecithin (6 teaspoons daily) and plenty of naturally occurring vitamin C.

Exercise helps, especially treading up and down in a bath filled with cold water reaching to the knees for five minutes daily. Also helpful are warm hand and foot baths containing ten drops in all of lavender, garlic or rosemary oil. Use these twice daily. Massage in the legs with fl oz (30 ml) almond oil with four drops of each of cypress and lavender oil and two drops of lemon oil is soothing. Use long, gentle, upward-sweeping strokes. A simple preventative remedy is as follows: Equal parts of:

Yarrow

stoneroot

cayenne prickly-ash lime flowers

Take two size ‘o’ capsules of the finely powdered herbs with cach meal.

Phlebitis

This denotes a clot in the veins of the legs which may result in localized inflammation. Changes in sex hormones in pregnancy cause the blood to dot more readily Apply externally fomentations of ice-cold witch-hazel, arnica. comfrey, marigold or hawthorn berries. Raw onion rubbed over the area externally also helps, as does cutting garlic (it stops the predisposition to blood clotting). Also take a mixture of the

following herbs:

3 parts lime flowers I part horsechestnut

I part buckwheat

I part yarrow

Take two size ‘O’ capsules of the finely powdered herbs with a wineglassful of ginger tea with each meal.

Constipation and Diarrhoea

These problems are best treated by short juice fasts (lasting no more than thirty-six hours) and, if the condition is persistent, use of the lower bowel tonic . The extra progesterone produced during pregnancy tends to over-relax the intestinal muscles.

Flatulence

Make sure you are not gulping your food. Consider a course of Probion or Superdophilus. Take equal parts of finely powdered wild yam and fennel. Three size ‘O’ capsules with each meal, each dose with a wine glass full of dill or fennel tea.

Miscarriage

The majority of miscarriages occur during the first trimester and are due to foetal abnormalities or a defective implanting of the embryo in the womb. If you are showing any signs of a potential miscarriage, spotting blood for example, telephone your doctor immediately, go and lie down and take Rescue Remedy. High doses of vitamins C And E help to prevent miscarriage, as does ensuring that the reproductive organs are strong and non-toxic.

Stay in bed and drink 1 cup of the following decoction every half-hour until the bleeding stops, then reduce the dose to hourly every waking hour for three days. Then take one cupful with meals thereafter.

6 parts false unicorn

2 parts squaw vine parts blackcurrant leaves

I part cramp-bark

I part wild yam

I part lobelia

I part cayenne

The beauty of this combination of herbs is that they will not interfere with the natural process of miscarriage if the focus is damaged, and if it is dead they will ease its expulsion.

Love-Making During Pregnancy

 

 

 

This is perfectly safe unless there is a risk of miscarriage or unless an ultra-sound scanner shows the placenta to be lying low in the uterus. An orgasm towards the end of pregnancy might set off contractions in the womb strong enough to cause you to go into labour, and some say that prostaglandins found in the semen may bring on labour since the same hormone is used in the tests administered to help induce labour artificially, but to induce labour you will need to use a position where it is injected as high

up against the cervix as possible. Rest assured that the baby is perfectly safe cushioned in her amniotic fluid, so you can be as energetic in your love-making as you like.

Thrush

As you should not douche with anything in pregnancy, simply add one teaspoon of thyme or tea-tree oil to a shallow sitz-bath  and bathe in it, letting your knees fall open and splashing the vulva area thoroughly. Avoid all foods containing yeast spores, including vinegar, cider, mushrooms, bread, bought sprouted seeds, malt, cheese, peanuts and pistachio nuts. Also avoid all sugar and dried fruit, as well as tea and coffee.

Easier Delivery

Raspberry (both fruit and leaves) is rich in citrate of iron and tones up the reproductive areas. Mixed in equal quantities with St John’s wort, it will help to relieve the after-pains of birth. Massaging the lower back with an essential oil (clary sage, ylang-ylang, rose, neroli or lavender), mixed with a vegetable-oil base, is very helpful. One teaspoon of tincture of black cohosh in water or juice as needed during labour will facilitate a prompt delivery, and if uterine pushing is waning give one size ‘o’ capsule of golden-seal every half-hour as a safe oxytoxic. Wherever you choose to give birth, check on your doctor’s or midwife’s attitude to herbs.

Massaging the perineum daily during the last few months of pregnancy with almond or wheatgerm oil will help to prevent tearing

In Turkey the traditional midwives advise women who have difficult births to drink raw goat’s milk-as much as they can-for the last month of pregnancy and during this time to avoid cold water, vinegar and cold food. The milk makes good sense because calcium will help to decrease muscular pain. Some also suggest fasting before the birth, and this may sound extraordinary, but I have known athletes to fast before a big event, swearing that fasting enhances their performance by increasing their stamina and concentration. So fasting (on juices, herbal teas and honey) for a day before labour and of course during labour sounds a reasonable idea (unless you are hypoglycaemic). My friend Jill Davies used a tincture of equal parts of ginger and cayenne during her recent labour to reduce tension, equalize

 blood circulation and soothe the nervous system. For my part I

went further and added four drops of Rescue Remedy . for a labour at which I recently assisted. It should be administered in milk to blunt the fiery taste of the pepper and it can be taken as much or as often as desired. It is certainly wonderfully restorative. The adrenal formula  . linked with vitamin B, will assist during the prolonged exhausting first stage of labour and will also help the baby, whose adrenal glands are working equally hard. Both the formula and Bwill also help speed recovery if

labour is difficult

Prenatal formula

This is Dr Christopher’s famous formula with which during his lifetime he facilitated many births. It elasticized the pelvic and vaginal arcas, strengthening the reproductive organs for easy

delivery Equal parts of:

squaw vine blessed thistle

black cohosh pennyroyal

false unicorn raspberry leaves

lobelia

Take two or three size ‘O capsules of the finely powdered herbs morning and evening with a cupful of raspberry leaf or squaw vine tea, beginning six weeks before the birth, not sooner.