Everyone knows that proper hormone balance is important for female health. Most women also understand that this is extremely important during a pregnancy. When we think of female hormones, especially during pregnancy, most people jump to thinking about estrogen. While this one hormone is indeed important to female health, there is another hormone that is as equally important, especially during pregnancy: progesterone.
Why is This So Important in Pregnancy?
Progesterone is known as the pregnancy hormone and has an important role during pregnancy. Prior to implantation in the uterus, this hormone is responsible for the thickening of the uterine wall. During this period it is secreted by the ovaries. At 8-10 weeks gestation, the placenta takes over the bulk of the production.
After the fertilized egg implants, this hormone continues to be extremely important by continuing to keep a nurturing environment for your developing baby. It also helps with the development of breast tissue, as well as relaxing the natural contraction of the uterus, allowing it to expand as your baby grows.
Low progesterone during pregnancy can cause the uterus to be unable to carry the baby to term, being one of the leading causes of miscarriage. So you can see how important it is to love your body and support your body’s production of this important hormone.
Natural Options For Supporting Hormones During Pregnancy
Many moms-to-be are moving toward more natural ways of supporting their body’s, especially during pregnancy. There are some incredible options for supporting your hormones without relying on prescriptions.
This is easier said than done for most women during pregnancy; however, it can make a world of difference. When the body experiences stress, it starts kicking out the stress hormone cortisol. Part of how this happens is converting progesterone into cortisol, thereby reducing pregnancy hormone your body needs.
Research has shown that when we intentionally shift our minds to positive emotions, it sends the signal to the adrenal glands to stop producing cortisol, thereby stopping the dangerous conversion.
Increase Vitamin E
A 2009 study published in the Journal of Ovarian Research showed that 67 percent of women taking vitamin E daily improved their hormone levels. Some of the foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin E include almonds and other raw seeds, Swiss chard, kale, spinach and avocado. Also, some oils such as coconut, hempseed, cottonseed and olive oils also are good sources of vitamin E.
Increase Vitamin C
Everyone knows that vitamin C is for your immune system. A report in August 2003 issue of Fertility and Sterility showed better hormone levels in women who took vitamin C compared to those who did not. While everyone associates orange juice with vitamin C, there are better food sources to consider, including yellow bell peppers, guavas, dark green leafy vegetables like kale, Kiwifruit, broccoli and strawberries.
There are several essential oils to consider that may help to support healthy hormone levels. According to Dr. Josh Axe, a certified doctor of natural medicine and nationally recognized author, some of these oils include clary sage, thyme, sandalwood, rose oil, lavender and frankincense. Do be careful what oils you use, as not all oils are created equal and some contain harmful chemicals. A good rule of thumb is if the bottle of oil has a warning about using it topically or ingesting it, it is best to steer clear of it.
Pregnancy can be a magical time, but also one that is full of uncertainty and concerns. Give your body the extra TLC it needs to help you feel great and help your little bundle of joy that’s growing inside you.
Related Content: Cord Blood Donation: An Option Post-Labor
Most of us are familiar with bone marrow and blood donations. Cord blood donations are along the same lines as these when it comes to their use. The blood found in the umbilical cord and placenta shortly after childbirth contains stem cells that are useful for treating many diseases, as the cells are able to grow into healthy blood cells and immune system cells, among others.