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Naturopathic Help for Pregnancy, Postpartum and Breastfeeding

  • 5 Reasons to Take Probiotics During Pregnancy

    Probiotics are the “good” bacteria or microorganisms that live in and on our bodies. We actually have more bacteria living in us than we do cells! Probiotics live in our digestive tract and perform a number of functions like helping us digest food and communicating with our immune system to fend off bad bacteria. Probiotics are one of the supplements that I routinely recommend to pregnant women that I see in my practice because they offer so many benefits to Mom and baby. Probiotics are natu...

  • A Naturopathic Approach to Treating Heartburn in Pregnancy

    Most pregnant women experience some degree of heartburn during their pregnancy, often towards the end when that sweet little baby is making its presence known!  For some, it’s a mild inconvenience after a large meal, for others it’s more bothersome making sleeping and eating an unpleasant chore. Why am I getting heartburn? Heartburn is extremely common in pregnancy.  Many – or most – women will get heartburn in the last trimester of pregnancy when the baby puts ...

  • A Naturopathic Approach to Treating Thrush in Infants and Breastfeeding mothers

    Lisa* brought her 7 week old infant Annabelle* in to see me with concerns about a rash and a thick white coating on the infant’s tongue that wouldn’t go away.  Lisa had a normal, healthy vaginal birth with no complications but did mention that she took Antibiotic medication at 38 weeks of pregnancy.  The white coating on Annabelle’s tongue started when she was about 3 weeks old and hadn’t changed in any way since.    When asked about breastfeeding, Lisa responded...

  • Back pain in pregnancy (why having two legs has its disadvantages)

    This is a guest post from Dr. Erika’s husband, Jason Krumbeck, DPT.  Jason is a physical therapist in Missoula who specializes in orthopedic rehabilitation.  Thanks to his wife he also knows a thing or two about back pain in pregnancy… Humans are great. We have two legs instead of four. That really helps to run long distances efficiently and let’s us use our hands for interacting with the world, but it also means we’re not as stable as other creatures. Four...

  • Bacteria in the Placenta

    An article was recently published in “Science Translational Medicine” entitled “The Placenta Harbors a Unique Microbiome”. The researchers collected placentas from 320 subjects and analyzed DNA to accurately identify which strains of microbial life were present. There’s bacteria in the placenta? In the past, placentas and the intrauterine birth environment were thought to be sterile sites. This study shows that is simply not true. The researchers found microbiota from the Firmicute...

  • Failure to Thrive in a Breastfed Baby

    If your baby has failure to thrive please read the first part of this blog post at: What to do if your child drops on their growth curve or is diagnosed with Failure to Thrive Contact an IBCLC first If your baby is breastfed and is not gaining appropriately I highly recommend working with a lactation consultant (IBCLC).  Click here to find a lactation consultant near you I also highly recommend checking out kellymom.com which is the internet’s best source for reliable breastfeeding inform...

  • Food Allergies and Breastfeeding: Is my baby reacting to something I’m eating?

    My baby is exclusively breastfed and has never eaten solids, but seems to react to my milk. What could be causing it? Proteins from the foods you eat are passed to your baby through your breastmilk and may be causing an allergic or hypersensitivity reaction. The foods that most commonly cause these reactions in young children are cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, gluten, soy, tree nuts, corn, fish, and shellfish. The allergies show up as digestive issues, skin rashes, and respiratory concerns, and of...

  • Food Cravings in Pregnancy – What do they mean?

    Pregnancy.  That time in a woman’s life when she feels her body is not her own, and often feels like her food cravings are being driven by something other than her taste buds! We’ve all heard stories of late night trips to the grocery store, or impromptu stops at a drive-thru.  And, in my practice I hear daily accounts of insatiable cravings for fruit (especially citrus) and aversions to foods such as meat, among others.  I often joke that the first trimester should be labelled t...

  • Growing and Glowing: Healthy Weight Gain in Pregnancy

    I see many pregnant women in my practice, and I love working with moms and dads to-be as they are so inspired to live and eat well.  But, inevitably, they’ll come to an appointment upset because they’ve been told (or fear) that they’ve “gained too much weight”.  Just recently, a first-time Mom was told that if she didn’t slow down her weight gain (by eating less and exercising more at 30 weeks pregnancy) she’d turn into a “chunky monkey.”  Yes, you read that corr...

  • How To Feed a Newborn (Prepping for Successful Breastfeeding)

      Will breastfeeding come naturally? How do I learn how to breastfeed? Do I need to use formula? My mom and grandmother say it comes naturally and I don’t need to worry about it. But my friends have had trouble. Have I done what I need to do to be ready for breastfeeding? First of all, I can tell you from experience that breast-feeding does NOT (necessarily) come naturally. HOWEVER, I can also tell you from experience that a newborn left to his own devices will (almost certainly) find the...

  • How to treat postpartum depression naturally

    Read about Dr. Erika’s personal story about postpartum depression here. I’m going to talk today a little bit about how to treat postpartum depression naturally, and some things you may want to speak to your doctor about if you think you have postpartum depression or anxiety. The very first thing we should talk about is some lab work.  So when we talk about treating postpartum depression naturally I really want to know why someone has postpartum depression, and not to just treat it p...

  • Mommy blogs make me anxious

      Mommy blogs make me anxious.  Especially the crunchy, granola, happy, hippie, healthy Mama blogs.  You know, the ones tagged antivax, homebirthing/waterbirthing, GAPS diet, elimination communication, EBF, baby-wearing, co-sleeping, baby-led weaning or unschooling.  The ones with eight or nine beautiful, artsy photographs of their trendy kids frolicking in fields of blissful childhood. What’s wrong with me?  I’m a naturopathic physician.  A naturopath.  I love all things natu...

  • Naturopathic C-Section Recovery (and my own Cesarean story!)

    I was in disbelief when I found myself being wheeled on a stretcher into the OR for an unplanned c-section. After 2 days of going in and out of prodromal labor, 20 hours of intervention-free natural labor including over 12 hours of active pushing, it was determined that my baby and I needed help… And I was exhausted! I am grateful for my OB, midwives, doula and husband. I’m guessing you’re here because you’re recovering from a similar experience. Here are some ways that I...

  • Postpartum depression or postpartum thyroiditis?

    My own experience with postpartum depression started 6 weeks after the birth of my first child, Annika.  I remember clearly that it was a Friday, Annika was “colicky” (or so they said) and had one of her fits of crying that lasted about 45 minutes.  Me, I cried for three hours straight. Before having Annika I knew I was passionate about treating children with naturopathic medicine, but it wasn’t until I became a mother that I realized the need for treating moms as well. Treatment of post...

  • Pregnancy and Constipation – How to get Things Moving!

    Pregnant and experiencing a change in bowel habits? Just another one of the many wonderful “woes” of pregnancy! Constipation is a frequent complaint amongst pregnant women, even for those who don’t typically experience it! You can thank progesterone for that as it tends to slow everything down a bit! Laxatives may be contraindicated in pregnancy (especially in the 1st trimester), so finding ways to “get things moving” can be a challenge.  I like to focus on increasing soluble and ins...

  • Thyroid Health for Moms-to-Be, Moms, and Babies

    I’ve helped many women become pregnant after they’ve “failed” several rounds of in vitro fertilization (IVF). It didn’t take any fancy equipment, painful procedures, or expensive medications. It just took looking at these women like they were more than ovaries and uteruses. Many of these women had undiagnosed hypothyroidism. Once we discovered and corrected for this, they were quickly able to become pregnant – and stay pregnant. Optimizing thyroid health is also important for minimiz...

  • What are Folic Acid, Folate, Methylfolate, and MTHFR, and Why Is Everyone Talking About Them?

    Most folks have heard by now that women need folate / folic acid, one of the B vitamins, to grow healthy babies.  Women who do not consume adequate folate run a much greater risk of having a baby with a neural tube defect (NTD). The neural tube closes very early in pregnancy (28 days from conception), so the folate must be consumed from conception, or, ideally, before conception. For this reason, the United States and other countries require fortification of cereal grains with folic acid (a syn...

  • What I wish someone had told me about Postpartum Depression

    It was six weeks after Annika was born, on a Friday, that it hit me.  Annika was having another one of her “colic” fits of uncontrollable crying.  (The crying that is completely unsoothable, regardless of how many of Dr. Karp’s “S’s” I try.)  Annika’s uncontrollable crying lasted about 45 minutes.  My uncontrollable crying lasted 3 hours. It sounds stupid to say that I didn’t know I had postpartum depression, but I didn’t.  I thought, it’s just sleep deprivation from nev...

  • Why Am I Always Yelling / Tired / Crying? (Just What Is Postpartum Depression?)

    Do you find that you can’t stop yelling at your family?  That you almost fall asleep driving yourself and baby to the doctor’s office?  That you cry all the time?  It’s possible you have Postpartum Depression.  Keep reading. I recently wrote an article on my personal blog about my experience with postpartum depression (PPD). I’m out of the woods now, but it lasted until my baby was well over a year old. I write about how I recognized it fairly early on and tried to get he...

  • Will I ever drink again: Alcohol and Nursing

    The baby has arrived, you are home and beginning to think you may have settled a little in to this new parent thing.  You may even dare to think you are developing a bit of a routine.  Your body is healing and your baby is thriving.  Adult beverages have begun to sound appealing again.  But how does drinking affect nursing? Does it show up in breast milk?  What does it do to baby? What does it do to your supply? What problems might arise from drinking and nursing? Does alcohol transfer into...