PREGNANCY, BIRTH & POSTPARTUM
Pregnancy is the perfect time to focus on your health, and the future health of your Little One. At Two Rivers Health we’re excited to help you and your partner experience the healthiest and most enjoyable pregnancy possible, so that you can head into parenthood in the best of health.
Dr. Elizabeth Cherevaty and Dr. Antoinette Falco are Guelph Naturopathic Doctors who are dedicated to serving the health needs of women during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. They are also trained birth doulas who attend hospital and home births in the Guelph area.
To learn more about pregnancy and birth support at Two Rivers Health, contact us to book a free, 15-minute introductory consultation. We’ll take the time to answer your questions personally and see if there’s a good fit to do some healthy work together.
NATURAL TREATMENT OPTIONS In PREGNANCY
From the moment you get a positive pregnancy test, we’re here to support your wellbeing through each stage, so you can have the healthiest & most enjoyable pregnancy possible.
As your Naturopathic Doctors & Birth Doulas, we work together with your midwife, family doctor or obstetrician (OB) to help ensure you feel your best during your pregnancy. We’re experts in pregnancy nutrition, the use of natural medicine and acupuncture in pregnancy, and helping you prepare for a safe, empowered birth.
Our naturopathic pregnancy program includes at least one visit per trimester.
FIRST TRIMESTER VISIT: 2-12 WEEKS
In your first trimester, we’ll discuss nutrition and supplements, prevent or treat morning sickness or nausea, encourage you to connect with the Guelph Midwives or Family Midwifery of Guelph as soon as you know you’re pregnant if you’d like a midwife-attended birth. Note that you’ll receive medical/obstetrical care if you choose or need it, but as the midwives’ rosters fill up, if it’s something you’re interested in please do give them a call. If miscarriage has been a concern for you, we’ll also discuss this at your early pregnancy visit.
SECOND TRIMESTER VISIT: 16-26 WEEKS
In your second trimester, we’ll focus on physical activity if you had to take some time off in your first trimester, nutrition, sleep, stress or anything on your mind. We can also help you treat and prevent minor infections such as colds, flu, urinary tract (bladder) infections and yeast infections. Constipation is a common concern by this visit and we’ll be sure to address that. We’ll also consider your iron stores and can order blood work if your midwife or OB hasn’t done so already.
THIRD TRIMESTER VISIT: 30-34 WEEKS
By your third trimester, it will be time to discuss strategies for prevention or treatment of Group B Strep, a bacteria that can be normally found in women’s vaginal flora but that can cause serious illness in newborns. If detected, you’ll be encouraged to receive intravenous antibiotics once your water breaks and throughout your labour. Having an IV can affect your ability to move around, use the shower or birthing tub, and change positions to cope with labour pain. If labour becomes more painful as a result, an epidural may be a subsequent intervention, which of course, also involves immobility and increases the risk of an unplanned C-section.
By this visit, you’ll also know whether your baby is in a head-down position or breech.
If your baby is breech, your primary practitioner for the birth (midwives or OB) will discuss options with you in the event that the baby doesn’t turn before the birth. It’s helpful to try to encourage baby to turn by the middle of your third trimester.
Natural strategies to turn a breech baby include:
- Acupuncture – this is highly effective in our experience
- Homeopathic medicine – sometimes used instead of, or in conjunction with acupuncture
- Webster Technique (performed by a chiropractor)
Our patients usually find that their baby turns during the evening after acupuncture treatment. The earlier you know your baby is breech – say 33 or 34 weeks, the better and more successful treatment can be. There is less and less room as weeks go by and baby grows to allow for turning, but it has been known to happen!
If your baby is breech or in a less-than-optimal position, you can also try taking advantage of gravity and using different positions to encourage baby to shift and move. Some women have had their babies turn from going swimming.
PREPARATION FOR LABOUR
Starting from your Estimated Due Date, you can enjoy acupuncture treatment aimed to help the cervix soften and dilate naturally in preparation for an efficient labour and delivery.
In a study of women who received a specific acupuncture protocol starting on their due date, those who received acupuncture gave birth an average of 3 days sooner than the women who did not receive acupuncture.
We can use these acupuncture points to help your labour begin naturally and not forcefully.
HOW WE HELP YOU DURING PREGNANCY
We’re here for you throughout your entire journey: fertility, pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. We can help you manage common concerns of pregnancy, including:
- Morning Sickness
- Anemia or Low Iron
- Constipation & Digestive Concerns
- Colds & Flu
- Yeast Infections
- Bladder/Urinary Tract Infections
- Headaches, Pain or Discomfort
- Anxiety & Depression
- Sleep problems
- Carpal tunnel/Tendonitis
- Group B Strep prevention
- Breech Baby
- Natural Induction Support
- Birth Preparation
You’ll notice our visits are longer than conventional pregnancy visits. We think it’s important to take the time to ensure you feel heard, can consider options, and learn as much as you want about how to optimize your pregnancy, birth and baby’s health.
In addition to supporting your care with your midwives or OB, we work collaboratively with an incredible community of qualified health practitioners who can help you with concerns in your pregnancy. This includes registered massage therapists, physiotherapists, osteopaths, nutritionists, chiropractors and counsellors. If we can’t help you get the results you’re looking for, we’ll connect you with someone who can.
Natural Medicine For Women
Get Dr. Liz’s guide to the “Top 10 Natural Remedies for Women” Sent Straight to Your Inbox! FREE DOWNLOAD HERE
Acupuncture in Pregnancy
Consider having acupuncture treatment for symptoms and discomforts that can occur during pregnancy, such as:
- Morning sickness/Nausea of pregnancy
- Aches and pains
- Swelling around your legs and ankles
- Anxiety or depression
- Breech baby
- Cervix that isn’t softening at term
- Post-Dates Pregnancy (Late Pregnancy) – “Acupuncture Induction”
As your Naturopathic Doctors, acupuncture is part of our scope of practice. You may submit receipts to your insurance under your naturopathic coverage. In addition, Dr. Elizabeth Cherevaty ND, RAc holds a Registered Acupuncturist (RAc) license with the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario (CTCMPAO). Since Acupuncture became a Regulated Health Profession in Ontario in 2013, insurance companies may limit coverage for Acupuncture to treatments provided by a Registered Acupuncturist (RAc). Your acupuncture visits with Dr. Liz may be claimed under your Naturopathic or Acupuncture coverage.
PREPARING FOR A NATURAL BIRTH
In this video, Dr. Liz talks us through the research showing the care of a Doula can help you have a safe, natural birth.
To have Dr. Liz or Dr. Antoinette attend your birth as your Doula, please contact us for a complimentary initial interview. Doula spaces are limited, as we only go on call for one birthing family at a time (approximately 1 per month at maximum). Please contact us as soon as you know you’d like Doula care at your birth to reserve your dates.
We’ve Got You Covered
Did You Know?
Visits to your Naturopathic Doctor and Acupuncturist are covered by health insurance.
Please check with your individual benefits provider regarding your coverage details.
Herbs In Pregnancy
Are herbs safe in pregnancy?
Herbal medicines should only be taken during pregnancy on the specific advice of your qualified health care practitioner.
Some examples of herbs commonly taken in pregnancy and considered safe in appropriate doses* include:
- fresh ginger root grated into hot water to make tea for morning sickness
- peppermint tea for morning sickness
- culinary herbs in typical amounts found in foods, such as oregano, thyme, caraway and cardamom which also aid digestion
- stinging nettle soup to boost iron levels
Naturopathic doctors may also recommend specific herbal medicines to help you:
- Prevent miscarriage
- Reduce anxiety
- Improve sleep
- Provide nourishment
- Prepare for a healthy labour & delivery
After your baby is born, herbal medicines can be useful to help speed healing of the perineum, boost breastmilk production, ease anxiety or reduce symptoms of postpartum depression.
Herbal medicine also includes the use of essential oils, which are the naturally fragrant oils distilled from flowers, leaves or barks of plants. Your Naturopathic Doctor can help you choose safe essential oils for use in steam inhalations, baths and diffusers.
Note that fragrances, perfumes, and “parfum” are not the same as essential oils. Rather, they are sythetic chemicals and should be avoided during pregnancy. Choose scent-free cosmetics options or talk to your Naturopath about using natural and organic essential oils in your skin care products.
Your Naturopathic Doctor can advise you about which herbs are safe in pregnancy. Naturopathic Doctors (ND) and Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners (R.TCMP) are the only regulated health professionals licensed to practice herbal medicine in Ontario.
We are also proud to work with certified Guelph herbalists and herbal medicine farmers in Guelph and other nearby communities who supply some of the medicines we use clinically.
*Always check with your health care practitioner prior to using herbs during pregnancy.
What To Expect (From Us) When You’re Expecting
At Two Rivers Health, we believe you have the right to a respectful, supportive and empowering pregnancy and birth experience.
That’s why we recognize you as the leader in your health journey. This includes when you’re pregnant, giving birth, and caring for your child.
If you have any questions about how we help, please let us know.
Whether you’re planning a home or hospital birth, have specific concerns or just want to know you’re doing everything you can to have a healthy pregnancy and baby, your Two Rivers Health team is here to support you in taking a proactive approach.
Book an appointment with one of our natural pregnancy health experts today. We’re looking forward to meeting with you!
Two Rivers Health
55 Delhi Street
Guelph ON N1E 4J7
Two Rivers Health