Congratulations! You are expecting your beautiful bundle of joy, and I could not be more thrilled for you.
If you are one the lucky few, your pregnancy will be smooth sailing. Enjoy everyday and just think about taking care of yourself and your baby.
Some women, though, are not as lucky. After the initial joy of finding out that they are pregnant, all of these wonderful feelings can be overshadowed by nausea, vomiting and tiredness.
Tiredness is a common symptom during the first trimester. The lack of energy and desire to sleep are temporary and will pass as soon as your body is done creating the placenta. The placenta is the organ that connects the developing fetus to the uterine wall. This wonderful organ is your baby’s source of nutrients and blood; it allows waste elimination and gas exchange. During the first trimester, mama’s body works extra hard to create the placenta. This organ will then be birthed right after the baby is born, in what is called the third stage of labor.
There is nothing that can be done to overcome this initial fatigue. I recommend you allow your body as much rest as you can and let it do its job. Creating the placenta is no easy task, and you deserve all the rest you can get. I remember napping during my lunch hour and falling asleep most nights before dinner. Ask for all the help and support you need, especially if you have older children to tend to.
Another function of the placenta is the production of an array of hormones. The first one produced is called HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin hormone). This hormone ensures the survival of the embryo, and it signals the ovaries to secrete estrogen and progesterone in amounts that sustain the pregnancy.
After the third month, once the body has finished making it, the placenta will take over the pregnancy-supporting role of the ovaries, and it will be the organ that secretes progesterone and estrogen for the rest of your pregnancy.
In addition to this, at around week 11-13, your growing baby will start producing sex hormones.
All of these extra hormones can be responsible for morning sickness and nausea.
If you are or have been under the care of a western doctor, you were probably told that these disrupting, and, at times, debilitating symptoms are caused by the hormonal changes experienced during pregnancy and that there is nothing that you can do about it.
This is not always true. Let’s see why.
Our bodies are perfect, efficient machines, designed to handle the hormonal changes brought about by pregnancy. The organ in charge of this is the liver. The liver has over 500 metabolic functions in the body. It creates bile, which is necessary for fat digestion and toxin removal. The liver stores and releases glucose. The liver decomposes red blood cells, and it is one of the organs of detoxification. It is the liver’s detox function that is responsible for conjugating hormones, that is, to neutralize them and excrete them from the body once they have been used up. A healthy liver is capable of handling the surge of hormones that occurs during pregnancy. Unfortunately, our livers are under constant stress. Between environmental toxins, the Standard American Diet, trans-fats and high sugar intake, our livers have taken a hit, and more and more people suffer from liver congestion and toxicity. Liver congestion and toxicity can manifest themselves in several ways, like acne or fatigue, maldigestion, constipation, etc. In a pregnant woman, a congested liver is unable to respond to the body’s demands and that’s when morning sickness sets in. It doesn’t help that in order to combat the nausea and malaise, women often turn to saltines, foods high in starches, and the omnipresent ginger ale, laden with high fructose corn syrup. This fare introduces yet another assault to the liver.
I am available in person and via Skype or phone to help you have the best pregnancy that you can!