I always thought I’d be that mainstream Mama, up on the latest baby trends, and who loves a good Pottery Barn Kids catalog and adorable preppy baby clothes. However when it came to trying to conceive and then choosing birth providers, I was disappointed when that mainstream approach failed me. So I turned to alternative, more natural treatments…I needed to get a bit crunchy.
Irregular Cycles and Infertility
I discovered in my mid-twenties I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and a tilted uterus, which make my cycles irregular, making it difficult to pinpoint ovulation (if it even occurs that month). After a boatload of tests (some pretty invasive) at a reproductive physicians office, an endocrinologist, the OB-Gyn, and my primary care physician, I was over it all with the constant “take a pill” approach which tended to make me feel even worse.
First up, doing something to help my irregular cycles. In my research I discovered Maya Abdominal Massage. This technique is performed externally by gently guiding and supporting organs, in this case, my uterus, back into their optimal position, allowing for improved function. Basically, I went for this deeply relaxing massage, where after a few sessions, I literally felt my uterus go back in place! Afterwards, my monthly cycles became more regular and I was able to actually pinpoint when ovulation should occur. There are a few providers around Central Florida who offer this treatment.
With my uterus back in place, I decided Acupuncture was the next step for me. This relaxing technique (although I always kept my eyes shut so I couldn’t see those needles!!!) helped maintain my cycle.
Once we conceived we were over the moon! My OB had prescribed five little pills (Femara) to help me ovulate and that weren’t as strong as some of the others recommended to me in the past. This was a great example of how Western medicine alongside a holistic approach can work really well. During my pregnancy we made the switch to midwifery care.
After 21 hours, including several hours of back labor, we had a healthy baby girl, delivered in water by our midwife at a birth center. Three years later, we got pregnant again with our son and decided we’d do a home birth with our midwife.
This time around, Chiropractic care during my pregnancy was a God-send. First, I came down with a horrible ear infection in my left ear and because I was pregnant, I knew I couldn’t take meds. I went to my chiropractor, and when I he adjusted me, I felt the fluid in my ear drain and pop.
In my 35th week, I was speaking with my doula who was present for my first birth on how I wanted to avoid back labor with this baby. She suggested I visit a chiropractor specializing in pregnancy. I visited a chiropractor in my last month of pregnancy and she worked on my pelvis to ensure everything was lined up. Throughout those last weeks of pregnancy, these quick adjustments were not only preventative to keep me aligned for labor, but therapeutic for all those aches and pains associated with pregnancy.
I am happy to report our son did not give me back labor! However, after hours of pushing after my water broke, he emerged with some funny mouldings on his head. His two bumps made him look like Mickey Mouse from behind!
We headed to our chiropractor for a checkup a few days after birth to make sure Daniel wasn’t out of alignment in other areas due to such a long, hard birth. Using a light approach with just her fingertips, she was able to get him into alignment. At that appointment, she referred us to a specialist in CranioSacral Therapy to work on his head.
CranioSacral Therapy is a light-touch approach that works with the soft tissues of the body, it releases restrictions around your brain and spinal cord, allowing your body to self-correct and free itself of pain and dysfunction.
At his first appointment, I saw the tension release as Robyn touched on certain points. The closest thing I can relate it to is acupressure. And it’s not just his head. In just a few sessions, our son Daniel was nursing better than ever before with an amazing latch, no gag reflex, no longer spitting up after every feeding and was sleeping through the night at 12 weeks old. It makes sense though- with so much fluid and pressure in his head, it was pulling on all other areas of his body so he was pretty tight in certain areas.
For both my kids, I am grateful for all my birth providers from pre-conception to newborn care. I’m proud to have added a healthy dose of crunch to my approach. What alternative treatments have you had success with?
Note: This post is for anecdotal purposes. Always contact a medical provider for any health-related issues.