Pregnancy

belly of healthy pregnancy

Pregnancy

There are a myriad of natural treatments to help get pregnant, maintain a healthy pregnancy, have a healthy baby and treat complications of pregnancy.  Dr. Frank does extensive infertility treatment with a high rate of success and then guides women through prenatal and post-partum care.

During pregnancy, you want only the safest most scientifically valid treatment available. Naturopathic medicine meets that criteria, to prove it, we’ve assembled research on the most effective natural treatments in pregnancy below.

Natural Treatments in Pregnancy – Research

Birth Outcomes

Folic acid

Mothers that supplemented with folic acid through their entire pregnancy were found to have higher serum levels of osteocalcin, and overall better birth outcome parameters and apgar scores.  Source: J Bone Miner Metab, 2010 July 3.

Congenital Heart Defects

B Vitamins

Low concentrations of B vitamins in pregnant women were found to increase the risk of congenital heart problems in the baby. Source: Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine Annual Meeting Proceedings, January 2008

General

Diet

Pregnant women in the lowest quintile of vegetable intake during the first trimester showed more than a three-fold increased risk of having a small for gestational age weight infant. Source: J Nutr, 2009 Jan 21.

Vitamins

Research shows that taking a multivitamin increases conception in women wishing to conceive. Source: Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Feb;95(2):428-36. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.021915. Epub 2012 Jan 4.

Treatment with multiple micronutrients was found to lead to a higher pregnancy rate compared to those solely on folic acid in women undergoing ovulation induction. Source: Reprod Biomed Online. 2012 Jan; 24(1):54-60.

Evening primrose oil

A current study suggests that use of evening primrose oil during pregnancy is not supported in the literature and should be avoided. Source: American Family Physician, Volume 80, Issue 12, pages 1405-1408, Decemeber 2009.

Folate

Folate deficiency during pregnancy has been associated with an increase in behavioural problems in children.  Source: Medical News Today, November 5th, 2011.

Probiotics

Pregnant women with functional constipation received daily probiotics which increased frequency and significantly decreased abdominal pain and other symptoms. Source: Nutr J. 2012 Oct 4;11(1):80.

Zinc

Zinc supplementation may have a positive effect on the rate of head growth in infants and therefore be beneficial to infant development. Source: Eur J Clin Nutr, 2012 May 9.

A study discovered that supplementation with zinc during pregnancy has long term heart benefits for the infant.  Source: J Nutr, 2010 Dec 22.

Vitamin D

A study challenged the idea that a fetus always takes nutrients it needs at the expense of the mother. The data showed that if the mother is deficient in vitamin D, the fetus will be deficient as well.  Source: Pediatrics, March 2012.

Gestational Diabetes

Lutein

Lutein supplementation with pregnant women with gestational diabetes was found to be associated with lower oxidative stress in the mothers. Source: Lorenzoni F, Giampietri M, et al, Gynecol Endocrinol, 2013 Oct; 29(10): 901-3; 2013 June 28.

IVF

Acupuncture

Acupuncture increases clinical pregnancy rates those undergoing in vitro fertilization. Source: Fertil Steril. 2012 Mar; 97(3):599-611. Epub 2012 Jan 11.

Morning Sickness/Nausea of Pregnancy

Acupuncture

Treatment with acupuncture prior to spinal anesthesia was found to be as effective as an anti-emetic drug in reducing nausea and vomiting during and after caesarean section. Source: J Anesth, 2011 July 15.

Neural Tube Defects

Methionine

Dietary intake of methionine in pregnant women may exert a protective effect against neural tube defects in offspring. Source: Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol, 2010; 88(6): 451-7.

Folic acid

To reduce neural tube defects, additional folic acid and possibly vitamin B12 needs to be supplemented in non-deficient women before they become pregnant.  Source: Nutr Res Pract. 2011 February; 5(1): 3–10.

Oxidative Stress

Antioxidants

Supplementation with antioxidants may protect against a mother passing oxidative stress through her maternal milk to a newborn baby. Source: Arch Gynecol Obstet, 2011 July 21.

In women 12-28 weeks pregnant, dietary intake of antioxidants through consumption of fruits and vegetables or vitamin C was found to protect against a rise in oxidative stress. Source: Eur J Clin Nutr, 2011 May 18.

Postpartum Depression

Micronutrients

Women who had lower Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) scores were found to have higher mean nutrient intakes, particularly selenium and omega-3s. Source: BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2013 Jan 16;13(1):2.

Folic Acid

Folic acid supplementation during pregnancy protects against depression 21 months post-partum.  Source: Eur J Clin Nutr, 2011 July 20.

Selenium

Selenium supplementation during pregnancy may exert a protective effect against postpartum depression. Source: J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med, 2010 Jun 8; [Epub ahead of print].

Pre-eclampsia

Calcium

Calcium supplementation during pregnancy was found to be associated with a 69% reduced risk of pre-eclampsia and a 49% reduced risk of preterm delivery. Source: Int J Gynaecol Obstet, 2008; 104(1): 32-6.

Calcium supplementation during pregnancy may reduce preeclampsia and low birth weight.  Source: Nutrition Research and Practice, Volume 5, Issue 1, pages 3-10, February 2011.

DHA

Supplementation with DHA during pregnancy may reduce homocysteine levels and decrease risk of developing pre-eclampsia. Source: Clin Nutr, 2010 Aug 17; [Epub ahead of print].

Selenium

Selenium supplementation throughout pregnancy may be associated with a reduced risk of pre-eclampsia. Source: Taiwan J Obstet Gynecol, 2010; 49(2): 181-187.

Vitamin D

Mothers who receive vitamin D earlier in pregnancy were found to have lower odds of pre-eclampsia.  Source: Ann Nutr Metab, 2014 Feb 28; 63(4): 331-340.

CoQ10

Coenzyme Q10 supplementation from 20 weeks pregnancy until delivery was found to significantly reduce the relative risk of pre-eclampsia.  Source: Int J Gynaecol Obstet, 2009 Jan 18.

Antioxidants

Supplementation with micronutrients containing antioxidants during gestation might reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia.  Source: J Obstet Gynaecol Res; 2012 May 8.

Pre-term Birth

Folic acid

Incidence of preterm birth was found to be significantly lower among folic acid users than non-users. Overall, use of folic acid was associated with a 14% reduced risk for preterm birth.  Source: Int J Epidemiol, 2014 March 5.

Folic acid supplementation in pregnant women was found to help prevent premature birth and placental abruption. Source: American Journal of Epidemiology, January 2008

Preterm Prelabor Rupture of Membranes

Vitamin C

Women who experienced preterm prelabor rupture of membranes (PPROM) were found to have considerably lower plasma vitamin C levels as compared to those without PPROM. Source: Arch Gynecol Obstet, 2010 Nov 3.

Small for Gestational Age Infants

Vitamin B12

Low dietary intake for vitamin B12 in the presence of high folate intake in the first trimester was found to be associated with a higher risk of small for gestational age infants. Source: Am J Clin Nutr, 2013 Oct 9.

DHA

Supplementation with DHA in pregnant women was found to increase birth weight and help babies complete their gestational life cycle.  Source: Am J Clin Nutr April 2013 ajcn.050021