OH MAMA – MIDWIFE'S GUIDE TO INTEGRATIVE MATERNITY HEALTHCARE

By Kathy Fray
Overview

A current work in progress … here’s a taste

PROLOGUE

With the struggle to conceive our first child I discovered I was even more naturopathically minded than I had comprehended. At that time I had no medical training whatsoever. But I soon decided, I would not wish to have unnecessary interventions for my birth. I also soon realised, I would not wish to powerlessly present an unwell child into our Goliath medical machine. So – in an age before Google – I began to read and research and investigate. I began to get knowledgeable about non-mainstream healthcare alternatives. I began to get empowered about complementary options. Little did I realise at that time, that a decade later my first parenting guidebook would be published, or that another decade later on, I would have become the founding Director of a global-first conference on Integrative Maternity Healthcare.

At that time, I discovered that although modern medicine talks of the body naturally seeking homeostatic equilibrium, the reality is that the training of our hospital doctors focuses its teaching on pathophysiology – not wellness. I learned that if I wanted to get knowledgeable about health – as opposed to being knowledgeable about dis-ease – then I needed to learn from the naturopathic therapists. I discerned, we don’t really have a health-care system – we have a disease-care system.

I learned that if your child is premature, or they break a bone, or they have an anatomical abnormality – then modern paediatrics can potentially save your child’s life. But I also learned that we have hospitals full of patients with chronic coronary disease and fatal cancers – with a hospital system that continues to feed our sick white breads, overcooked vegetables and random gelatinous desserts. How can our healthcare system remain so nutritiously dumb?

Did you realise in the UK, three times as many people die annually from the side-effects of their prescribed medications, versus the numbers who die in vehicle accidents? Did you know well over six million North American children have been diagnosed with ADHD? That is equivalent to two children in every American classroom being medicated. As renowned therapeutic nutritionist Andrew Saul says “The reason one vitamin can cure so many illnesses, is because a deficiency of one vitamin can cause many illnesses”. And as the Self-Care Wholefood activist Don Tolman writes “The idea of minimum or maximum amounts of any nutrient is utterly ridiculous! We’ve gotten so chemically smart we’re stupid”.

Additional to all the physiological disease, is the rampant psychological disease. Statistics show, that a phenomenal quarter of our adult Western population annually are prescribed anti-depressants; including almost one-third of our working mothers – then again, full-time stay-at-home mums are statistically even more at risk for depression. Today our Ritalin and Ventolin-fed hyper-allergenic children are being cared for by their Losec and Prozac-fed parents, and babysat by their Warfarin & Insulin-fed grandparents.

We now are entire nations of overfed, undernourished, recurrently diseased, and desperately depressed people.
We have to seriously question why we have become the sickliest generation ever to exist, when it’s never been so possible to be healthy. And why we have become one of the saddest generations of humans ever to have roamed this earth, when human life has never had so many labour-saving luxuries.

Today we have three teenage children, who collectively have been alive for nearing 50 years, and none of them yet have ever needed a course of antibiotics for a secondary infection. I am not anti antibiotics. And my kids have been sick. I am simply anti antibiotics being prescribed as the first cab off the rank. Our children also have developed no chronic diseases, and all genuinely have almost no clue who their GP Doctor even is. It was luck none of our children were born prematurely or with congenital anomalies. But it is not just luck that they are this healthy. It is knowledge of what influences Wellness that has resulted in this lack of dis-ease.

Alarmingly, our children’s generation today, are now the first generation ever predicted to have shorter life-spans than their parents.

However today, as women, as parents, as patients, we are demanding a new paradigm.
And twenty years ago, as a health-conscious-wannabe expectant-parent, I knew instinctively that it must all begin in the womb.

Love & Light,

Kathy

To quote philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti… ​“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society”.

Chapter Topics

PROLOGUE

INTRODUCTION

Overview of Therapeutic Modalities & their Wellness supportive properties in the Childbirth Journey
European medical herbalism
Chinese medical herbalism
Ayurvedic Indian medical herbalism
Homeopathy
Acupuncture
Osteopathy
Chiropractic
Reflexology
Aromatherapy
Others

ANTEPARTUM (Pregnancy)
Common Minor Discomforts of Pregnancy
Bacterial vaginosis (vaginal infection)
Carpal Tunnel syndrome
Constipation
Diarrohoea
Fatigue
Group B Strep (vaginal infection)
Haemorrhoids
Headaches (minor)
Indigestion heartburn
Insomnia (sleeping difficulties)
Iron Anaemia (Iron depletion)
Uterine Ligament pain (random abdominal pain)
Lumbar lordosis (back-pain)
Nausea/Vomiting (morning sickness)
Oedema (puffy cankles)
Pruritis (itchy skin)
Sciatica (leg nerve pain)
Urinary Tract Infections (bladder infections)
Varicose Veins

PREGNANCY PATHOPHYSIOLOGIES (Medical Complications)
Antepartum haemorrhage (vaginal bleeding)
Breech malpresentation (fetus bum-down)
Depression
Gestational diabetes (temporary pregnancy Diabetes)
Gestational proteinuria (temporary protein in urine)
Intrauterine Growth Restriction (small for gestation babe)
Oligohydramnios (abnormally low waters around babe)
Polyhydramnios (abnormally high waters around babe)
Pre-eclampsic toxaemia (pregnancy high blood pressure with complications)
Recurrent miscarriage
Small for Gestational Age (physiological not pathological)
Transverse malpresentation (fetus side-ways)

LABOUR PREPARATION
Cervical Ripening (ways to get your cervix soft and ready for labour)
Latent Labour – normal & prolonged
Postdates prolonged pregnancy

INTRAPARTUM (Childbirth)
Assisting normal Labour-Birth
Maternal fear & anxiety
Maternal exhaustion
Active Labour – first stage (dilation of the cervix)
Transition
Active Labour – second stage (pushing stage)
Active Labour – third stage (birth of the placenta)
Active Labour – fourth stage (immediate postpartum)
Delayed urination

LABOUR-BIRTH COMPLICATION
Preterm rupture of membranes (waters breaking early)
Preterm labour (premature labour)
Prelabour rupture of membranes at Term (waters broken and not in labour)
Prolonged First Stage – maternal exhaustion, asynclitism, posterior
presentation, anterior lip
Obstructed labour – transverse arrest, cephalopelvic disproportion
Meconium liquor
Fetal Distress – heartrate concerns
Maternal Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Maternal Pyrexia (high fever)
Prolonged Second Stage – obstruction, arrest & augmentation
Prolonged Third Stage – ?retained placenta
Haemorrhage (initial bleeding) & Hypotonic uterus (boggy womb)
Vulval/Perineal haematoma

POSTPARTUM
After-pains
Breastmilk over-supply (longer term)
Breastmilk under-supply
Breast Engorgement
Caesarean dehiscence (separation of suturing)
Constipation
Day 2-3 Blues (normal!)
Haemorrhage (secondary bleeding)
Haemorrhoids
Mastitis breast infection & Breast abscess
Nipple trauma
Puerperal sepsis (postnatal infection)
Postnatal depression
Vulval/perineal laceration healing

NEONATAL
Cephalhaematoma (skull bruising)
Colic
Conjunctivitis (sticky-eye or pink-eye)
Cord infection flare
Cow’s milk protein allergy
Cradle cap
Gastro-oesophageal reflux
Failure to Thrive (low weight gain)
Heat rash
Hypoglecemia (low blood sugar)
Jaundice – physiological
Jaundice – pathological
Lactose intolerance (Lactase deficiency)
Meconium aspiration (respiratory distress)
Nappy rash
Overtired (overstimulated)
Possetting burps
Temperature instability & Fever
Thrush (oral)
Transient Tachypnea (temporary rapid breathing)

CONCLUSION & THANKS

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