Monday, December 16, 2013

7 Amazing Herbs to Prepare for Pregnancy

Having a baby is an exciting time. It is a beautiful and amazing process. We love being able to support the body naturally, and pregnancy is no exception. You can start preparing your body for pregnancy 2-3 months before you plan to start trying. By making following a proper diet, engaging in regular exercise, and incorporating some herbs into your life you can increase your health and chances of getting pregnant. Furthermore, if your body is well prepared for pregnancy, you will reduce your chance of miscarriage and are more likely to have a happier, healthier pregnancy.

Here are 7 herbs that will help you prepare your body for pregnancy, naturally:

1. Red Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus)

Probably the most well-known pregnancy herb, red raspberry leaf is extremely high in vitamins (A, B, C and E, mainly) and targets the uterus, toning and strengthening it to help prepare the body for pregnancy. Red raspberry leaf is most helpful when dealing with issues such as heavy menstrual bleeding or a weak uterus. As some women can be more sensitive to red raspberry leaf than others, if you have a history of miscarriages, you will want to stop using red raspberry leaf after ovulation - as the toning properties can sometimes be too much for a weak uterus. Red raspberry leaf is best used in preparation for pregnancy, and avoided in the first trimester.

2. Oatstraw (Avena sativa)

Oatstraw benefits the reproductive system by being a natural fertility enhancer. This herb is rich in calcium and magnesium, and helps to reduce stress and anxiety (which is always helpful when trying to get pregnant). If you are dealing with stress-related fertility issues, some oatstraw is the perfect choice.

3. Nettles (Urtica dioica)

Very high in minerals and vitamins, nettle is great for improving overall health and gently cleansing the liver and kidneys. Nettle also high in iron and helps to support proper blood formation and circulation. In the first days and weeks after conception, it is very important to have a proper blood supply to the uterine wall to provide nourishment for a growing embryo. Make sure, though, that you are using nettle leaf, not the root, as the root is unsafe for pregnancy and the preparation for pregnancy.

4. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)

As with most of the other herbs, alfalfa is high in minerals and vitamins, helping to create an overall healthier body. It is also contains many amino acids, which are not made by our bodies, but rather taken from food or other sources. Because alfalfa is easy to absorb, it makes for a great source of vitamin intake.

5. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Both the leaf and the root are useful in preparing for pregnancy, and can be combined for added benefits. The leaf is very nourishing, used to increase overall nutrition and help balance out hormones. Many times, uneven hormones can lead to irregular menstrual cycles which can make ovulation harder to predict (and timing is essential when trying to get pregnant). The root also can improve hormone balance, and aids in liver health. 

6. Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa)

Very high in vitamin C, hibiscus flowers can help aid in iron absorption and have also been proven to help support healthy cervical mucous, which can offer an optimal environment for sperm and aid in getting pregnant. Hibiscus works best when combined with other herbs that are high in iron (like nettles and red raspberry leaf).

7. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

Another great herb for reducing stress and anxiety, lemon balm can help support a healthy response to stress and may lessen depression. As mentioned earlier, stress and anxiety can have a negative effect on getting pregnant, making it more difficult to conceive. Lemon can help place you in the right emotional state, and make getting pregnant a bit easier. (Note: lemon balm is not for use in individuals suffering with hypothyroidism).

Well, there you have it! Some great, natural herbs that can help you achieve your pregnancy goals faster. Which have you tried? Do you have any other favorites to add to the list?

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