Aches and pains are inevitable during pregnancy, as your body adjusts to a completely new shape. While gentle exercise, yoga, or pilates is important to stay limber and reduce pain, there are various herbs and food items that can be a great alternative to questionable pain drugs.
Nettle: (pictured above) Reduces pain and inflammation, and is a rich source of iron. Use in 3rd trimester only.
Side effects: promotes lactation, eases hemorrhoids, reduces fatigue, supports kidney function, reduces mucous in the lungs, and relieves allergies. Did you know this grows wild in Wisconsin?
Olive leaf: Reduces pain and inflammation. This is also the best herb to use during pregnancy to prevent colds & flu. It is antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic, and antifungal.
Side effects: reduces fatigue, antiviral, promotes circulation, and improves digestion
Borage oil: 2-3 grams per day was found to reduce pain. Use 37 weeks and later only.
Side effects: improves heart function, softens the cervix, increases flexibility of ligaments, and prepares the body for labor.
Bromelain: Found in pineapple cores. Reduces pain, inflammation & swelling, and eases pain from varicose veins. It also helps reduce breast pain during and after breastfeeding. It has not been thoroughly tested during pregnancy in large amounts, but whole food amounts are safe and beneficial during pregnancy, such as juicing 1 whole pineapple. One study found that consuming 9 whole pineapples at a time could cause uterine contractions.
Side effects: improves arthritis, increases blood flow, reduces risk of blood clots, eases asthma and allergies.
Get the recipe for this delicious pain-reducing juice here: https://megankerkhoff.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/tropical-tendonitis-treatment/
Omega 3’s: Vital for anti inflammatory response.
Side effects: Healthier joints, less “pregnancy brain,” supports heart health, and may increase baby’s IQ. (Yes, there are studies that have concluded this!) 2-4 grams per day is recommended during pregnancy even if you are pain-free, as DHA is vital for baby’s brain to develop.