Building the Case for a Pregnancy Recovery Program
Many women have observed that they started to suffer from various symptoms shortly after giving birth. Many of them believe that they have postpartum depression, but other symptoms are just as commonly mentioned.
The complaints that tend to appear in women soon after giving birth are many and varied, and include the following:
- Back, pelvic, or neck pain.
- Chronic bladder infections.
- Chronic fatigue.
- Depression, anxiety, and/or irritability.
- Digestive disturbances.
- Hair loss or weak, brittle nails.
- Irritable bowel syndrome.
- Joint pain.
- Loss of sex drive.
- Lowered immunity (manifested by "catching every cold or flu that comes around").
- Muscle weakness.
- Pounding headaches.
- Rapid heart rate.
- Skin problems.
- Unexplained sadness (often expressed as "crying for no reason").
- Yeast infections.
We believe that the key to finding the common thread that links so many women lies in the mysteries of biochemical nutrition the study of nutritional building blocks as they relate to the form and function of body systems and tissues in search of a better understanding of health and disease during and following pregnancy. Most physicians are ill informed or just plain ignorant when it comes to nutrition. This makes little sense, considering that every tissue in the body is made from the nutrients that come from what we eat and drink. The proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, enzymes, and water we take in are the stuff that forms our bodies. Bones are made of protein and minerals. Muscles are mostly made up of protein, iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid. The brain is composed of very specific fats and proteins. The structure and function of every organ, gland, muscle, and bone in our bodies are dependent upon adequate nutrition. When nutrient reserves are drawn upon heavily, or if nutritional intake is lacking in quality or quantity, the systems that keep the body running smoothly are affected at their most basic cellular levels. Various symptoms appear, depending on which body systems are not getting the nutrients they need.
A baby's body is built entirely from the nutrient reserves of its mother. If a developing baby is in need of key nutrients when there are not enough to go around, the baby's needs always come first. The mother is the one who goes without. As a result, any nutritional deficiencies affect the mother, and she is the one who suffers from health problems related to the lack of those nutrients. Of course, severe nutrient deficiencies can also affect her baby's development and health.
Many of the women we counsel about postpregnancy ailments insist td ever eaten in their lives during and after their pregnancies, carefully calculating serving sizes and including plenty of protein, vegetables, and fruit. Most women also used prenatal vitamins. These women found it hard to believe that they could still be lacking in nutrients. However, while most prenatal vitamins have enough of the basic vitamins and minerals to fulfill the needs of the growing baby, they fall short of supplying adequate amounts for both baby and mother. In addition, some of the most crucial nutrient building blocks for the baby's body are completely missing from many prenatal vitamins. These nutrients are depleted from a pregnant woman's body at a high rate if she is not eating an abundance of the foods that supply them.
Conventional wisdom tells women that they no longer need to take vitamins after having their babies, although their bodies are probably more depleted than ever after the trials of labor. This is especially true if a woman lost a significant amount of blood during delivery or had to have an emergency C-section.
More on: Postpartum
From A Natural Guide to Pregnancy and Postpartum Health by Dean Raffelock, Robert Rountree, and Virginia Hopkins with Melissa Block. Copyright © 2002 by Dr. Dean Raffelock. Used by arrangement with Avery, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
To order this book visit www.penguin.com. Get a 15% discount with the coupon code FENPARENT.