Botanical Medicine for Perinatal Health – Guest Blog by Dr. Aisling Lanigan

Is it just me or are there seem to be a lot of pregnant women right now? I feel like we go through periods of baby booms and right now I know a lot of women who are due around Novemeber/December of this year. The last time I knew a chunk of woman due around the same time was June/July 2011. Since the topic of pregnancy and fertility seems to come up a lot in my office right now I reached out to Dr. Aisling Lanigan, Naturopathic Doctor at Totum Life Science, to discuss perinatal health from a naturopathic doctor’s perspective. It gets even better – she’s also a naturopathic doula and hypobirthing instructor! This lady sure knows her stuff in this department. So ladies, are you paying attention? Here are some great tips about botanical medicine to help you through your pregnancy.

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My passion for perinatal care developed while I was completing my Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine. During the dr. aisling laniganprogram I started working as a Birth Doula. Originally, I took on a traditional Doula role where I provided mainly physical and emotional support for the mother and her partner. I advocated for the mother’s wishes, maintained a relaxing environment and provided information to couples to help them make informed decisions. After graduating as a Naturopathic Doctor, I transitioned into a Naturopathic Doula. As a Naturopathic Doula, I employ many natural interventions during pregnancy, labour and post-partum for comfort, health, healing and breast feeding support. The most common natural therapies I use for peri-natal health are nutrition, homeopathy, acupuncture and botanical medicine.

Though the treatment of many pregnant women and the attendance at their births, I have found botanical medicine to be particularly effective in treating peri-natal health concerns. Botanical medicine utilizes diverse plant substances for their powerful healing and nutritional values. The flowers, roots, leaves or oils of a plant may be used in the form of teas, tinctures, ointments, essential oils or supplements.

Here are my top 5 peri-natal botanicals:

  1. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea: Start drinking this at the 18 week mark of your pregnancy. It contains many vitamins and minerals essential for pregnancy, such as vitamins A, C, B and minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron. It supports healthy development of baby and prepares momma for a smooth and easy birth.
  2.  Passiflora: Use in tincture form to relieve anxiety and panic during labour and promote sleep in between contractions. Especially helpful if mom is feeling like she wants to give up. Also wonderful after birth to support mood and prevent post-partum depression.
  3. Perineal Wash (yarrow, bearberry leaf, lavender, calendula, gotu kola): Steep dry herbs in boiling water, strain and let cool. Add to perineal bottle and wash over perineal area to encourage healing of tissues after delivery. NOTE:Aisling mixes this herself for her clients
  4. Fem Tonic (motherwort, crampbark and angelica sinensis): Use in tincture form for post-partum after pains, as a slight laxative to promote regular bowel movements and for feelings of fear, hysteria or melancholy.  If hemorrhage occurs or mother is exhausted, add astragalus. NOTE:Aisling mixes this herself for her clients
  5. Lactaid (borage, blessed thistle, fennel, goat’s rue, fenugreek): Promotes milk production and improves milk quality to ease breast feeding and nourish babe. NOTE: Contact Aisling for where to find this particular product

Best wishes to all mommas to be for a happy and healthy pregnancy and beautiful birth!

Yours in health,

Dr. Aisling Lanigan N.D.
Doula, HypnoBirthing© Instructor

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Thanks so much Aisling! It’s always great when mama’s have natural alternatives for helping with some discomforts during pregnancy. Dr. Aisling has a clinical practice at Totum Life Science North and King St. locations as well as at Erin Mills Optimum Health in Mississauga. If you would like more information on Dr. Aisling’s Doula, Naturopathic or Prenatal Courses please feel free to contact her through her website or email her at AL@AislingND.com to book an appt or a complimentary 15 minute meet n’ greet to see how her services can benefit you.

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Follow her on Twitter – @AislingND

Stay tuned to tomorrow’s post on nutrition and pregnancy and how it can make or break your whole pregnancy experience!

 ***As with all botanicals, it’s best to contact a Naturopathic Doctor, like Dr.Lanigan, before you begin taking them to ensure you have a personalized treatment protocol and no contraindications with other medications you may be on***

About Sarah Maughan

Sarah Maughan is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist based in Toronto, ON and has been consulting since 2009. Her website aims to educate you, make you laugh, help you live and inspire you to eat whole food! To stay up to date sign up for free blog and recipe updates! In the meantime, empower your body with food!


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