Melbourne Doula

Welcome to 'Melbourne Doula', the place where I share what birth work is teaching is me, and what I am learning from the wonderful families who have invited me to share this most special season of their lives. Here you will find information about me and the doula services I provide, birth stories from remarkable women and their loved ones, as well as all kinds of resources to enrich your own journey of discovery. And welcome also to BLISSFUL HERBS, the home of beautiful herbal teas and bath herbs to support wellness through every season of life.

Tips for Preventing and Managing High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy

Are you in the position of being told that you have to be medically induced because your blood pressure is rising? High blood pressure (PIH: Pregnancy Induced Hypertension) can be a sign of a serious condition called Pre Eclampsia. It’s possible to reduce the high blood pressure, and even avoid the need to be induced, by making some changes in your diet and lifestyle.

* Water – drink more plain water

* Protein – this is a major factor in avoiding many pregnancy complications including PIH and Pre Eclampsia. Nuts, Seeds, Wheatgerm, Beans, Cheese, Milk, Yoghurt, Eggs, Chicken, Fish and Meat are all good sources of protein.

* Increase Calcium
Raw beetroot is the fastest and most effective way to naturally increase available calcium to the body. It also balances the sodium/potassium ratio of your blood. You can juice beetroot & carrot together, or make a raw salad of equal parts of one freshly grated raw apple and one grated raw beet. Other good sources of calcium are low-fat dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt); dark green vegetables (kale, silverbeet, broccoli); dried figs, dates, apricots & prunes; nuts and seeds; lentils and beans.

* Increase Magnesium

Magnesium deficiency leads to Pre-Eclampsia. Junk food has hardly any magnesium. Whole grains, raw fruit and vegetables lots of magnesium. These foods have the most: Spinach, Silverbeet, Nuts, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Avocado, Beans – kidney, navy, pinto, lima, soya; Brocolli, Tofu, Wheatgerm,

Have a bath in Epsom Salts, which contains Magnesium.

* Increase Potassium
Bananas and ripe yellow cucumbers are good sources of potassium.

* Vitamins C, E and A
Raw fruit and vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables, are good sources of these vitamins and also of calcium.

* Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) - 100mg per day

* Evening Primrose Oil

* Fish Oil

* Exercise
Regular physical activity reduces the risk of developing Pre Eclampsia. It helps by:
- reducing stress and promoting general well-being
- helping the placenta grow healthy and helping the blood flow to the placenta.

* Avoid stress and practice relaxation. Prayer, affirmations and visualization helps too.

* Sex
Semen can help prevent Pre Eclampsia. Women with one long-term partner are less at risk than women with new or multiple partners.

* Swimming
Full body immersion (in a pool, not a bath) for 30 minutes a day will help bring the blood pressure down. You need to get into the pool up to your neck and swim and float around for 30 minutes a day.

* Healthy Gums
Gum disease can cause Pre Eclampsia. Brush, floss and use mouth wash daily. You could use an Echinacea mouthwash or use tea tree oil on your gumline after brushing.

* Herbs & Homeopathics
Lemon or lime juice with a tsp of Cream of Tartar, once a day for three days. Cream of Tartar is a source of picnoginol.
Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora)
Hawthorn berry
Raspberry Leaf Tea
Grape Seed Extract

Blissful Herbs can make you a herbal tea with Passionflower, Skullcap, Parsley, Hawthorn and Red Raspberry Leaf in it.

Sometimes women can get ‘White Coat Hypertension’ when their blood pressure goes up while in the hospital or doctor’s office, but goes back to normal when no one is fussing over them anymore and they are able to relax again.

If you only have high blood pressure, but no other symptoms, this is less to worry about. Sometimes there will be a natural sudden rise in blood pressure two or three weeks before the baby is born, with no other clinical problems. If you’re not stressed and drinking plenty of water, this should not be a problem. It could actually be a healthy compensatory mechanism to increased circulatory volume and other metabolic demands of late pregnancy.

A slow steady rise of blood pressure over the weeks is more of a concern.

The other symptoms to watch out for are:
swelling (all over, not just feet. E.g., you’ve had to remove your rings.)
sudden weight gain
protein in the urine (usually after 26 weeks)
severe headache
epigastric pain (in your upper abdomen)
visual disturbances (like spots before your eyes)
decreased urine output
extreme nervous irritability
decrease in your baby’s movements
concentrated blood – (haemoconcentration – shown by a high haematocrit)

Diet, drinking water, using salt (quality salt like Celtic Sea Salt or Himalayan Pink Salt - not table "salt", and not heavily salted junk food) normally and exercise is the best way to avoid this.


Ronnie Falcao’s Midwife Archives

Heart & Hands – A Midwife’s Guide to Pregnancy & Birth by Elizabeth Davis

The Natural Way to a Trouble-Free Pregnancy by John B. Irwin

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