Tag Archives: Childbirth

Caulophyllum thalictroides

Botanical Name :Caulophyllum thalictroides
Family: Berberidaceae
Tribe: Leonticeae
Genus: Caulophyllum
Species: C. thalictroides
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms: Leontice thalictroides L

Common Names:Blue Cohosh Root , squaw root

Habitat :Caulophyllum thalictroides  is native to   Eastern N. America – New Brunswick to South Carolina, Arkansas, North Dakota and Manitoba. It is found in hardwood forest of the eastern United States, and favors moist coves and hillsides, generally in shady locations, in rich soil. It grows in eastern North America, from Manitoba and Oklahoma east to the Atlantic Ocean.

Description:
Caulophyllum thalictroides is  a flowering plant in the Berberidaceae (barberry) family. It is a medium-tall perennial with blue berry-like fruits and bluish-green foliage. growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).

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From the single stalk rising from the ground, there is a single, large, three-branched leaf plus a fruiting stalk. The bluish-green leaflets are tulip-shaped, entire at the base, but serrate at the tip. Its species name, thalictroides, comes from the similarity between the large highly divided, multiple-compound leaves of Meadow-rue (Thalictrum) and those of Blue Cohosh.

It is hardy to zone 7. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

 

Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

 

Cultivation:
Easily grown in a damp light humus-rich woodland soil preferring a position in deep shade. One report says that it is best in a peat garden. Plants are hardy to at least -20°c. The plant only produces one large leaf each year. The seeds rupture the ovary before they are fully ripe and continue to expand naked, they are bright blue when fully ripe.

Propagation:  
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a shady part of a cold frame. If stored seed is used, it should be sown as soon as it is received. Germination can be erratic. Prick out the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a shady part of a greenhouse or cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions during autumn or early winter. Division in spring or just after flowering[200]. Plants are slow to increase

Constituents:  alkaloids, cystine (caulophylline), baptifoline, anagyrine, laburnine. also caulosaponin, resins

Medicinal Uses:

Properties: * Abortifacient * Antibacterial * AntiCancer * Antirheumatic * Antispasmodic * Emmenagogue * Anthelmintic;  Antispasmodic;  Birthing aid;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Emmenagogue;  Oxytoxic;  Sedative.

Papoose root is a traditional herb of many North American Indian tribes and was used extensively by them to facilitate child birth. Modern herbalists still consider it to be a woman’s herb and it is commonly used to treat various gynaecological conditions. An acrid, bitter, warming herb, it stimulates the uterus, reduces inflammation, expels intestinal worms and has diuretic effects. The root is anthelmintic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, oxytocic and sedative. An infusion of the root in warm water is taken for about 2 weeks before the expected birth date in order to ease the birth. This infusion can also be used as an emmenagogue and a uterine stimulant. Papoose root should therefore be used with some caution by women who are in an earlier stage of pregnancy since it can induce a miscarriage or early delivery. The plant is also taken internally in the treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease, rheumatism and gout. It should not be prescribed for people with hypertension and heart diseases. The powdered root can have an irritant action on the mucous membranes, therefore any use of this plant is best under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. The roots are normally harvested in the autumn, because they are at their richest at this time, and are dried for later use. The root is harvested in early spring as new growth is beginning and is used to make a homeopathic remedy. It is used especially in childbirth and in some forms of rheumatism[Hypertensive * Parturient * Uterine Tonic

Blue cohosh is considered to be one of the best herbs to bring on menstruation, and is one of the traditional herbs used to induce labor in natural childbirth.2,3 It contains the phytochemical calulopsponin which actively stimulates uterine contractions and promotes blood flow to the pelvic region. 1 Blue cohosh is generally used in combination with other herbs, often black cohosh, to treat menstrual disorders. The herb’s powerful antispasmodic properties are helpful in relieving the menstrual cramps of a painful period.

The Iroquois used it to treat arthritis – research also suggests the plant possesses some anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic

 Known Hazards :  This plant should not be used during pregnancy prior to the commencement of labour. Excessive doses may cause high blood pressure and symptoms similar to nicotine poisoning. Overdose may cause nausea, vomiting, in-coordination and narrowing of blood vessels to the heart muscles. Powdered root can have an irritant effect on mucous membranes . Contraindicated in patients with ischaemic heart disease (angina and heart attacks) and in patients with high blood pressure

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:

http://www.ask.com/wiki/Caulophyllum_thalictroides?o=3986&qsrc=999
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail88.php
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Caulophyllum+thalictroides

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New mom? Eat right and exercise

 

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The thought, preparation and expense that go into “the great Indian wedding” are unbelievable. Yet barely have the stars faded from the new bride’s eyes than subtle pressure from parents, in-laws, spouse and well-wishers sets in. Everyone wants to hear the “good news” —a baby on the way. People don’t stop to think if the bride is ready for motherhood. And once the mother-to-be has been coddled through the pregnancy and everyone has oohed and aahed over the little bundle of joy, the excitement and interest fades. The new mother finds that she is totally unprepared for the drastic changes in her life after the birth of a baby. No one told her that she might have a baby that refuses to sleep at night or that she would feel and look like an elephant after childbirth.

A weight gain of between 12 to 14kg during pregnancy is normal and healthy. Many women expect all the extra kilos to disappear immediately after delivery. Actually, around 5kg (the weight of the baby and the placenta) will disappear immediately. The rest should disappear gradually within nine months.

Kegel exercise  is very much useful so that the pelvic floor muscles to remain shape & size.

 

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It is very easy to start overeating after childbirth. Visitors arrive laden with delicious tidbits and vociferously advise rest and a high calorie diet to ensure adequate breast milk. In truth, breast-feeding requires only around 750 extra calories. Since brand new moms tend to be sedentary, their caloric intake should be limited to approximately 2,500 calories. Even though many women complain that they continue to “feel like a bloated elephant” after delivery, this is not the correct time to go on a drastic diet. Healthy eating and judicious exercise will ensure a gradual and safe return to pre-pregnancy weight.

Light aerobic exercise or walking can be started around two weeks after delivery, even by a person who did not exercise at all during pregnancy. But it is important not to do too much too soon. A hormone called relaxin, responsible for making the joints loose during pregnancy so that delivery is easy, persists in the body for about six months after delivery. So vigorous exercise should be started only after six months to avoid damaging joints. Walking 15 minutes a day is a good start. Increase the time by 15 minutes every week until you reach an hour. Endorphins released during walking will help to elevate the mood and combat any post partum depression. It will also help to tone the muscles. Exercise does not reduce breast milk production.

Pain in the genital and the caesarian site often comes as a shock. It makes going to the bathroom or even sitting an ordeal. Many are afraid to take medication (with reason) for fear that it might cross over in the breast milk to the newborn baby. Heat or cold applied locally to the area will relieve the pain. You can use an infra red lamp, a hot water bottle, or apply ice. The ice needs to be in a plastic bag or bottle. To prevent infection, always wash the area with water after going to the bathroom.

The skin over the abdomen may show white lines called stretch marks. These may itch. Applying coconut oil for half an hour before a bath helps.

These usually fade over time. If there is a scar (caesarian or episiotomy), it should be left alone until it has healed completely.

The hormones responsible for maintaining the pregnancy drop suddenly after childbirth. This abrupt change can lead to depression, bouts of crying and feelings of inadequacy. These usually last for around two weeks and then subside by themselves. If they last for a month or longer, then postnatal depression may have developed and a physician should be consulted.

The abdominal wall becomes lax during pregnancy. The abdomen itself may appear pendulous. Sits ups with the knees bend and oblique abdominal exercises will help with this. Start with 10 sets twice a day. Aim to reach 50 repetitions morning and evening within four months. You need to continue doing this exercise at least thrice a week.

A few drops of urine may leak out while coughing, sneezing or laughing. It may be difficult to hold the urine for even a limited time if the bladder is full. This is because the pelvic floor muscles become weakened during childbirth, making the sphincters, which control urination, lax. This can occur even if the delivery was by caesarian section.

These humiliating accidents can be tackled by doing “Keegles’s exercises”. Sit on the floor in the namaz position or in the yoga “child’s pose”. Touch the nose to the ground, concentrate on the pelvic muscles and consciously tighten them. Also, try to “stop and start” consciously while passing urine.

New mothers have lost a great deal of blood. The baby needs to be fed frequently so that sleep patterns are disturbed and often inadequate. Tiredness and fatigue are common and normal after childbirth. Try to sleep whenever the baby sleeps. And those colourful iron and calcium supplements need to be continued as long as you are feeding the baby.

Source: The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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Mums Always Think Mother Knows Best

 

Mothers-to-be think their own mothers know better than the medical profession when it comes to health advice, researchers say.

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Pregnant women are bombarded with diffenent advices

A University of London team talked to women who gave birth in the 1970s, 1980s and the 2000s.

Modern women were more likely to take a mixture of advice – but were still more likely to follow family wisdom.

One baby charity said family tips were useful, but medical advice should be sought if mothers-to-be had worries.

The researchers talked about pregnancy and childbirth advice to seven women who gave birth in the 1970s and 12 of their daughters who had babies in the 2000s.

They then also analysed interviews on the same topic which had been carried out with 24 women in the 1980s.

The 1970s women were most likely to take advice from family members.

But researchers found that women who had babies between 2000 and 2010 had to evaluate a wide range of information from doctors, midwives, books, magazines and, latterly, the internet – as well as that from their families.

In these women, it tended to be family advice that won out – particularly if a mother-to-be was dealing with a specific symptom.

One woman, Hetty, from the 2000s generation, said she had tried to stop drinking tea because she had read on the internet that caffeine could cause miscarriages in the first few weeks of pregnancy.

But she then added she had taken her grandmother’s advice that tea could help relieve morning sickness.

“She just used to stay in bed and have a cup of tea. And that did help actually.”

‘Strike a balance’

Professor Paula Nicolson from Royal Holloway, University of London, who led the study, said: “When it comes to the crunch – if women feel sick for example – they will take their mother’s or their grandmother’s advice.

“They wouldn’t necessarily recognise how important it was to them, but it would override the science.”

She added: “Taking all the guidelines too seriously leads to anxieties. Lack of self-confidence also can lead to worry about ‘doing the wrong thing’ which is potentially more harmful than taking the odd glass of wine or eating soft cheese.”

Jane Brewin, chief executive of baby charity Tommy’s, said women had to “strike a balance” about what advice they took.

“It’s only natural to want to talk about the significant changes that happen to a woman’s body and how she feels; mums and close friends often have first-hand experience and tips that are helpful.

“However we always stress that if any mum-to-be is worried about anything during their pregnancy they should seek medical advice without delay.”

Source:
BBC NEWS:May 14. 2010

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Baby Development & Care from Birth to Three Months

It is very difficult to know  what a newborn baby is capable of. In the early days and weeks after birth, to the naked eye, not much. Eating, crying, sleeping, and pooping seem to take up the majority of her day, with a few moments of alertness thrown in for good measure. But recent research has shown that she’s doing a lot more than that. “Even in the first minutes of life, babies are a wonder,” says Naomi Steiner, MD, a developmental and behavioral pediatrician at Tufts-New England Medical Center, in Boston. “The newborn has a superactive brain and is primed to learn.”
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Recent research, much of which relies on high-tech advances in intrauterine photography and brain imaging, now offers empirical proof of what parents have known all along: Babies are smart. What’s more, each baby is born with a unique personality that becomes readily apparent within the first few weeks of life. “Babies come into the world as themselves,” says Dr. Steiner. “It’s our job to get to know them.”

Baby’s Ability

Even though your baby can’t care for herself, what she is capable of at birth may surprise you. She’s born with 70 innate reflexes designed to help her thrive, some of which are truly remarkable. “Reflexes like the tonic neck reflex — in which your baby turns his head to one side, straightens one arm, and holds the other out — are critical to labor and delivery, helping your baby squirm around during the birth process, stimulating the uterus to keep contracting,” says Dr. Brazelton. In essence, he’s helping your labor progress.

Other reflexes are less subtle to a new parent. If left on his mother’s abdomen in a dim, quiet room after birth, a healthy newborn “will rest for about 30 minutes and will gaze at his mother’s face on and off,” reports Marshall Klaus, MD, who wrote the first textbook on neonatology and has coauthored a number of popular books for new parents, including Your Amazing Newborn (Perseus). Then he’ll begin smacking his lips and moving toward the breast completely unaided, using a powerful stepping reflex and bobbing his head up and down to gather momentum. Once at the breast, a newborn will open his mouth wide and place his lips on the areola, latching on all by himself for his first feeding. From that point on, these inborn responses will affect your newborn’s every move. The rooting reflex, for example, helps your baby seek nourishment. However, seemingly random, reflexive movements may be more intentional than we first thought. “When in a quiet, alert state, and in communication with a caregiver, some babies will reach out to try and touch something,” says Dr. Klaus.

Normal newborns at birth apparently have the underlying potential to reach for things, he explains, but their strong neck muscles are linked to their arms, so that a slight neck movement moves the arms as well. This connection protects the baby’s head from suddenly dropping forward or backward.

Baby’s Thinking

It depends upon how you define thought; of course, a newborn can’t share ideas. But some researchers believe that babies do put concepts together (albeit on a primitive level), evidenced by the fact that they remember and recognize their mother’s voice from birth, and express and respond to emotions before and immediately after birth. One could argue that memory and emotion are inextricably linked to thought. “A baby’s brain grows very differently depending on what sorts of experiences the baby has both in utero and after birth,” says Wendy Anne McCarty, PhD, the founding chair and faculty of the Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology Program at the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute, in California. “During gestation, birth, and early infant stages, we learn intensely and are exquisitely sensitive to our environment and relationships. From the beginning of life, we’re building memories.” Other experts say that a baby’s brain is too undeveloped to do more than orchestrate vital body functions. One fact remains clear: Newborns learn every day and apply that knowledge to their growing repertoire of skills. So can a newborn really think? Watch your baby, and judge for yourself!

Yopu may find the following:-In the first three months, your baby will learn to raise his or her head, smile, kick, move both arms and legs, roll over and make babbling noises. You will also learn to distinguish your baby’s cries, which will help you determine what your baby wants from you. Baby may also learn to wake up less as his or her stomach grows bigger and takes more in at a feeding.

Dr. Klaus discovered that newborns instinctively reach out until about 3 weeks of age, when this ability apparently disappears until about 3 months of age. This coincides with the time it takes your baby to start learning how to integrate his senses and gain control over his muscles. This is a prime example of how your baby’s need to learn so much, so quickly, means he must set aside some tasks while focusing on other, more important ones, such as regulating his sleep-wake cycles and figuring out how to focus his brand-new eyes on all the new sights around him.

So why do all these useful survival instincts seem to disappear so early — some as early as the 2-month mark? A baby spends the first few months of his life reacting to the world around him. But once he starts to understand where he ends and the world begins, which is partly a matter of brainpower, and partly a matter of practice, some behaviors that were once reflexive become active, as gradually baby learns that he can make things happen on his own and affect his environment. And, says Dr. Brazelton, “Just watching a baby learn is enough to give you hope for the human race.”

Baby’s Senses and Sensibility:-
Touch:
Your newborn’s skin is his largest and most highly developed sensory organ. At birth, your baby can respond to variations in temperature, texture, pressure, and pain. Your newborn’s lips and hands have the largest number of touch receptors, which may account for why newborns enjoy sucking on their fingers.

Smell:
By the 28th week of pregnancy, your baby can use her nose. One piece of evidence: Newborns placed between a breast pad from their mother and one from another woman most often turn toward the one with the alluring Mom-smell.

Taste:
In your womb, your baby gets a sampling of flavors as he swallows amniotic fluid. Studies have shown that fetal swallowing increases with sweet tastes and decreases with bitter or sour tastes.

Hearing:
Although your baby’s middle ear is still somewhat immature at birth, as are the sound processing centers of his brain, your newborn can hear you and will prefer human speech over any other sounds, especially if the voice is yours.

Vision:
By the time you actually meet your baby, her eyes are capable of excellent vision; however, her brain is still too immature to distinguish between different shades of color. By the time your baby is 3 months old, she will want to look at the world around her. She’ll prefer bright colors or sharp contrasts, and her favorite thing to look at will be faces.

Resources:

http://www.parents.com/baby/care/newborn/your-baby-from-birth-to-3-months/?page=5
http://www.thebabydepartment.com/babycare/baby-development.aspx

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New Way to ‘Stop’ Premature Birth

A drug used to treat cancer can stop contractions and may prevent premature labour, researchers say.
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The Newcastle University team tested the drug Trichostatin A on tissue taken from 36 women undergoing a caesarean.

The researchers said the therapy worked by increasing the levels of a protein that controls muscle relaxation.

One expert said with rates of premature births rising – there are 50,000 a year in the UK – a new treatment was badly needed.

Preterm labour and birth continue to be the single biggest cause of death in infants in the developed world and around 1,500 babies die in the UK every year.

A number of drugs are used to try to stop early labour, but most have serious side effects.

Trichostatin A (TSA) is known to promote the death of cancer cells.

The researchers got permission to take samples of the muscles of women undergoing caesarean sections at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, the Cellular and Molecular Medicine journal reported.

Contractions
They exposed the muscle to TSA and measured the effects on both spontaneous contractions and those induced by the labour drug, oxytocin.

They found an average 46% reduction in contractions for the spontaneously contracting tissue and an average 54% reduction in the oxytocin induced contractions.

It has been previously shown that a protein kinase A (PKA) is involved in controlling the relaxation of the uterus during pregnancy.

The researchers showed that TSA increased the levels of a protein sub-unit of PKA.

Professor Nick Europe-Finner, who led the research, said: “We will not give this drug to a patient because it can damage as many as 10% of the genes in a cell.

“But it does show us that other more specific agents that act on the same enzymes but only one at a time are worth investigating.”

New treatment
Dr Yolande Harley, deputy director of research at Action Medical Research which funded the study, said: “This project has uncovered some of the molecular pathways that regulate uterine contractions and so could be linked to premature birth.

“It could have a role in preventing premature birth – finding a new treatment for early labour would be a major step forward.”

Professor Jane Norman, a spokeswoman for the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (RCOG), said: “At the moment, it’s not possible to treat preterm labour effectively. We only have drugs that delay it by 24 hours or so – not enough to deliver the baby safely.

“One of the interesting things about this research is that they are using a new kind of drug – the drugs we are currently using have been around for a long time.

“And they are targeting pathways we have not known about before.

“When you consider that preterm birth rates are rising in all four countries of the UK a new more effective drug is badly needed.”

Source:BBC News:Oct.22 ’09

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