Pregnancy: The Ultimate Hormone Test
Pregnancy is the one time in a woman’s life where many hormones come into play that otherwise have little use. It is the ultimate test of a woman’s endocrine system. Throughout pregnancy there are many biochemical changes and also significantly increased material that must be eliminated so as not to toxify the mother’s blood. Many of these materials are actually excess amounts of hormones, such as Human Growth Hormone, and also protomorphagenic material from the heavy reproductive action of the growing fetus. So not only is there the challenge of providing all the materials for the growth of a baby, but also handling all the waste material from the process. It is generally known that essential vitamins and minerals will help the developing child in utero, such as Folic Acid, but what is not as well known is the effect of certain weaknesses in the mother’s body on the development of the child. For instance, proper development of the lungs in utero require adequate levels of adrenal hormones, particularly cortisol. The adrenals and the thyroid are crucial in the healthy development of a baby. Often miscarriage is the result of adrenal fatigue or undiagnosed hypothyroidism. In addition, the fact that women over 35 tend to have a higher risk of mental retardation or stunted growth patterns may be due to the fact that more women over 35 have thyroid problems, many of which go undetected.
The point at which miscarriage happens is also important in determining exactly what the problem is with the pregnancy. As we know, each stage in the development of the baby requires different levels of hormones, enzymes, nutrients and body support. Crucial weaknesses develop at different times along the way that can make the baby vulnerable to various conditions of the mother’s body. For instance in week 5 the baby’s heart will begin to beat becoming reliant on the mother’s thyroid for regulation and Vitamin E, B12, Calcium and Magnesium for strength and development of the heart muscle.
Morning sickness and nausea which is common during early pregnancy is an indicator of the rate of embryonic growth. The faster and stronger the growth cycle, the more protomorphagens are released from the placenta into the maternal circulation. Whole vitamin C is wonderful for reducing this nausea sensation and supporting the mother’s body in handling the embryonic development. Nausea should cease after a month or so, but should it continue or be quite severe, it may indicate that the mother’s liver is not able to eliminate the toxic byproducts of embryonic development from her body. This can then allow toxic levels to rise within the placenta and miscarriage can occur. This may particularly be the case if the woman has a history of kidney issues, including chronic swelling of the ankles, frequent urination and kidney/urinary tract infection.
This may also be the case later in pregnancy with preeclampsia. This is generally due to the excess production of protomorphogen decomposition products, i.e. guanidine, overloading the eliminative functions. This can be the case not just because of kidney burden, but also because of a weak parathyroid function. It is probable that the parathyroid normally converts this guanidine into creatine phosphate with the assistance of methyl groups from the liver, a substance that is fairly easy to eliminate. If the woman has a history of calcium issues including osteopenia, bone spurs, gallstones, kidney stones, breast calcifications or muscle weakness, then the parathyroid may not be up to handling its role during pregnancy. A strong kidney detoxification prior to pregnancy and then support for the kidneys and parathyroid during pregnancy can make all the difference in the world in preventing these issues from occurring.
Here are a few additional suggestions. Chlorophyll is wonderful during pregnancy because it is a female hormone precursor as well as containing high levels of vitamin K which reduces bleeding. It is also an intestinal detoxifier that is safe during pregnancy. Folic Acid is essential for supporting the neural development of the baby. If a woman is over 35, thyroid support is essential. I choose Bladderwrack seaweed, or Standard Process Thytrophin PMG. High grade vitamin E is excellent for oxygenating the uterus and reducing uterine spasm which can contribute to pregnancy problems. Standard Process Utrophin PMG is essential if there is a history of miscarriage, abortion or any uterine damage.
The hormonal challenge for women does not end with the birth of their child. Following pregnancy, it is important that the woman’s body realizes that the birth is completed. This will power down some of the stream of hormones that was common during the pregnancy and help to re-establish normal glandular balance in the mother. In primitive cultures, the woman would actually eat the placenta as part of the post-natal process. I provide Standard Process Utrophin PMG to women post-natal in order to complete the birth process and balance the endocrine system.
In addition, post-partum depression is a serious condition that seems to affect thousands of women annually. This can often be the case with adrenal fatigue or the dropping of the thyroid post-natal. A simple program can effectively change this with foods that contain high levels of B vitamins as well as Omega 3 essential fatty acids and a relaxing neurological complex of minerals. I will also provide adrenal and thyroid support if needed, which can dramatically change not just mood, but sleep cycle, heart rate, blood pressure and many other post-natal issues. If there has been a serious bout with post-partum depression, I recommend waiting three years before another pregnancy to allow the body to fully recover and to regain a healthy balance.
I also like to use the herb Shatavari, an asparagus extract, after pregnancy as it helps to increase lactation and acts as a general tonic for women focusing on restoring the reproductive energy of the body. When translated it means "she who possesses a hundred husbands" (not that you need it right this minute, mind you). Other herbs that are great for enhancing lactation are fennel, fenugreek and vervain. Once a woman makes the decision to stop breast-feeding, there can be some difficulty in stopping lactation. The herbs Sage and Peppermint can really help with this process.
One thing that is vitally important is not to self-medicate during pregnancy. Often you will not be aware of all the ingredients in a particular remedy that you might choose, nor will you be certain of its indication for pregnancy. Please consult a professional for pregnancy support.