Friday, December 20, 2013

The Tattooed Priestesses of Hathor

Midwifery is an ancient art, statues of midwives attending birth date back at least 8000 years and Hathor is frequently portrayed in a midwifery role (Mayes Midwifery).

"She was known as the mother of god and the daughter of god, the eye of god, the creatrix of the rays of the sun, the embodiment of the circular essence of life. She was the Lady of the Limit or the one who spreads to the edge of the universe and the Lady of the West who welcomed souls to the afterlife. She was the goddess of fertility and assisted women in childbirth. She was Hathor the Celestial Cow whose legs formed the pillars of the sky and the Milky Way ran across her belly. It is believed that the worship of Hathor dates to pre-dynastic times and in fact she may represent many of the earlier original female deities such as Bat, Sekhmet and others all combined into one figure. Female deities gradually became less important as complex agrarian society became predominate and the emergence of the ever increasing ownership of both goods and land exalted the male gods who represented power through physical strength. Male domination of society pushed the sacred feminine aside and began the systematic removal of the sacred feminine from virtually every religion on earth. When the gods are no longer female then human females have less power or no power, they are second to the male who is in the image of the divine but it was not always this way, once there was balance and many of the earliest deities were seen as having a dualistic nature embodying both the masculine and the feminine. The worship of Hathor paints a vivid picture of this type of transition, from the temple of the greatest god, the mother of all to the modern perception of a cult of tattooed prostitutes. Hathor was one of the most important gods in early Egypt and she remained important up until the middle kingdom when the significance of the female gods waned and with it the role of women in the priesthood. Hathors temple may have been one of the few that allowed women to hold equal positions as men but by the new kingdom only men seem to hold the title of priest and women are reduced to the role of shemayet or musicians.

As persons of legitimate power in their own right and consider their sexuality as the manifestation of fertility and the instrument of new life then they are Hathors representatives on earth guiding and protecting women through the very dangerous process of childbirth, a process that requires both spiritual and medical assistance. The act of sex, pregnancy and childbirth are three parts of an inseparable cycle and the last part of the cycle, childbirth, was for ancient women a dance with death that quite often left them on the trip to the afterlife. The production of children is essential for the success of all cultures and the priestesses of Hathor may have been there to protect and assist women in this dangerous process. Amunet’s tattoos were located on her superior pubic region covering the lower part of her abdomen, on her mid frontal torso and directly inferior to her right breast. She also has tattoos superior to her elbow joint and on her left shoulder as well as on her thighs. Most of these tattoos are in the form of dashes, and dots and some form concentric circles on her abdomen. I think it is important to note that the more ‘carnal’ tattoos as they have been called do not draw attention to the genitalia but instead cover the reproductive organs."


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Happy Christmas and New Year

Marie and Maureen would like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and New Year. Wherever you are in the world have a wonderful time.

Did the Ancient Greeks use Venus Calendar to track pregnancy?

Very interesting article for those who are interested in the history of midwifery.

"New research suggests that a calendar based on the movement of planet Venus was used in the daily lives of people in ancient Aegean civilizations about 4,000 BC, and may have even been used to track milestones during pregnancy.   Neolithic objects in the shape of ‘frying pans’ that were found in Greece, were decorated with concentric circles, spirals, radial patterns and sometimes rowing vessels. Professor of space physics, Minas Tsikritsis, suggested at the 21st International Conference of SEAC (Societe Europeenne pour l’Astronomie dans la Culture) that the objects were used as calendars to perform astronomical calculations of the orbits of Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Sun. The use of the frying-pan object, whose shape is believed to be symbolic, was used to associate activities and events in their life with the environment and astronomical events. Furthermore, according to Professor Tsikritsis, it appears that during the Neolithic era the ancient Greeks not only knew that Earth requires 365 days to make a complete circuit around the Sun, but also that Venus needs 584 and Jupiter 399. The interesting thing is that it looks that the movement of planet Venus was correlated to the biological cycle of pregnancy. Planet Venus (related to Goddess Aphrodite) appears before the sunrise for 263 days (approximately 9 moon months) and another 265 days after the sunset. So half of Venus cycle is approximately 9 months which coincides with the biological cycle of pregnancy. Adding to that, it can be seen that on some of the objects triangles and other symbols were engraved next to specific days of the calendar, and some even had engravings in the shape of the female uterus. This suggests that such a calendar was used by women to determine if they were pregnant or not, as well as tracking the milestones of their pregnancy. It seems that people of this Era in Greece had advanced astronomical knowledge and used multiple complex calendars for many different reasons, including the famous Antikythera Mechanism."


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Itching in pregnancy - Don't ignore it!

Mild itching from time to time in pregnancy can occur due to the skin being stretched or due to the increased blood supply. 

However, if the itching becomes intense and spreads from your tummy to other areas of your body often occurring on your hands or feet, it is important to let your midwife know immediately because a blood test can be done.  

What is obstetric cholestasis?
Obstetric cholestasis is a rare complication of pregnancy.  It is sometimes called Intra-hepatic cholestasis of pregnancy.  A build-up of bile acids in the bloodstream causes a persistent itch in the last trimester, usually after 24 weeks but it can develop earlier.

It is a condition of the liver which occurs in some pregnant women.  Cholestasis means there is a reduced flow of bile down the bile ducts in the liver, some bile then leaks out into the bloodstream, in particular, the bile salts. These bile salts circulate in the bloodstream and can cause symptoms such as itching.  

Who gets Cholestasis?
It occurs in about 1% women (Australia).  It is more common in women carrying twins or triplets. If you have cholestasis in one pregnancy, you have a high chance of it occurring in future pregnancy.  

What cause obstetric Cholestasis?
The exact cause is not clear.

  • Hormonal factors.  Pregnancy causes an increase in oestrogen and progesterone hormones.  These can affect the live in a way which slows down the rate of bile passing out along the bile ducts.  Some pregnant women may be more sensitive to these hormones.
  • Genetic factors.  Obstetric cholestasis seems to run in some families (although they may skip a generation).  One theory is that women who develop obstetric cholestasis may inherit a slight problem with the way bile is made and passes down the bile ducts.  This does not matter when not pregnant, however, the high levels of hormones made during pregnancy may tip the balance to cause a much reduced flow of bile.
There may be other environmental factors which contribute.  Whatever the underlying cause, pregnancy triggers the problem.  Within a week or so after giving birth the symptoms clear and there is no long-term problem with the liver.

What are the symptoms of obstetric cholestasis?
Typically the symptoms occur after 24 weeks of pregnancy when the  hormone levels are at their highest. Sometimes it develops earlier in the pregnancy.
  • Itching is the most common symptoms and this can be all over the body, often worse on the hands and feet.  Commonly it is the only symptom and tends to become worse until you have your baby.  The itch can become severe and affect sleep, concentration and mood.
  • Tiredness
  • Poor appetite
  • Mild jaundice.  you may go yellow and have dark urine and pale stools.  This is uncommon and due to an increased level of bilirubin (part of bile) leaking from the bile ducts into the blood stream.
Is obstetric cholestasis serious?
The symptoms can be unpleasant for the mother, in particular the itching.  Further research is being carried out into the risks of harm to mother and baby, it is thought that obstetric cholestasis causes an increased risk of stillbirth and fetal distress.  

There is a higher chance of your baby opening his bowels in the amniotic fluid (water surrounding your baby) and can irritate the baby's lungs if breathed in during labour.

A blood test
This can detect the raised level of bile acids and liver enzymes in the blood.  

What is the treatment?
There is no cure for obstetric cholestasis other than the birth of your baby.  You may have a blood test every two weeks to check your liver.  The obstetrician in collaboration with your midwife and you will advise on the best plan for you and your baby.  

Your obstetrician or GP may prescribe Ursodeoxycholic acid which boost liver function and reduces the itching.  

The obstetrician may decide that your baby should be induced or birthed earlier usually about 37 weeks (can be earlier depending on the bile salt levels) rather than waiting for you to go into labour naturally.  More research is being done into the risks and effects of the condition and treatment.  

Please let your midwife know if you get any itching in pregnancy.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Cochrane Data Base - Midwifery led care

The Cochrane Library (named after Archie Cochrane) is a collection of databases in medicine and other healthcare specialties provided by the Cochrane Collaboration and other organizations.  Many midwives and midwifery students will be aware of the Cochrane database and we welcome the promotion of midwifery-led care for low risk women.

Cochrane compiles findings from multiple studies into systematic reviews, considered top-notch for determining the best evidence-based care. In this instance, the authors looked at outcomes for moms and babies of what the authors refer to as “midwife-led continuity models of care” — defined as incorporating a midwifery perspective of minimizing routine intervention during birth, and midwives acting as the lead professionals in organizing and delivering care before, during and after birth.

They considered 13 studies representing 6,242 women in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom that compared the effects of midwife-led continuity models of care with other models: eight studies compared it to a shared model of care (responsibility is shared between different care providers); three studies compared it to medical-led models of care (what we’re most used to in the United States); and two studies compared it to various options of standard care, including midwife-led (with varying levels of continuity), medical-led, and shared care.
All of the studies looked at licensed midwives in hospital birth settings.

In the final review, “Midwife-Led Continuity Models Versus Other Models of Care for Childbearing Women,” the authors report that the midwife-led continuity models of care were associated with some benefits, including a decreased likelihood of episiotomy or instrumental birth, and decreased likelihood of preterm birth or loss of the fetus before 24 weeks’ gestation. Women cared for under this model were more likely to have spontaneous vaginal birth; they also had slightly longer labors and were less likely to use any pain relief.  There were no differences between groups in rates of cesarean birth (although the authors suggest more data may be needed), or overall fetal loss or neonatal death. There were no specific adverse effects attributed to midwife-led continuity of care models.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (a UK professional organization) essentially agreed with the message of the review, noting that while other types of specialists should be available for high-risk pregnancies and emergencies, “more women with low-risk pregnancies should be given the option of midwifery-led care.”
While noting that additional research is needed, the Cochrane authors’ recommend what has become standard practice in many parts of the world: “Most women should be offered midwife-led continuity models of care and women should be encouraged to ask for this option although caution should be exercised in applying this advice to women with substantial medical or obstetric complications.”

While the midwifery model of care — especially midwife-led continuity care — is not standard practice in the United States, midwives and other health advocates have been working to change that. Some academic medical centers now incorporate midwives into their care teams for hospital births, for example, though not all teams are midwife-led.

Cochrane Database

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Dad's Calendar - Getting men to push for a good reason

This is one I would love to see :-)  Well done Dad's.

"He is one of a dozen dads in the Racine, Wis. area who posed for the 2014 Homebirth Dads Calendar. Funds raised from sales of the $29.99 calendar — the brainchild of midwife Kimberly McGuinness-Rook — will benefit the Greater Racine Collaborative for Healthy Birth Outcomes. Some of the proceeds also will be used to create a birthing center for McGuinness-Rook’s practice, InnerBirth.
“Racine County has a really, really high infant mortality rate,” McGuinness-Rook says. About 17 of every 1,000 babies born in the county, only 90 miles outside of Chicago, do not survive the first year of life.
Photographer Katie Hall said Richmond and the other dads really got into the spirit of the photo shoot. “He did such a phenomenal job. His wife was there with their little one. And she was encouraging him and said ‘No, honey, it felt like this.’”
McGuinness-Rook and Hall coached him to grimace in pain, but he couldn’t quite convey the hurt. That is until McGuinness-Rook’s husband, Kevin Rook, smacked him on the butt.
“I got that scream,” Richmond says, laughing.
“I was a little apprehensive and nervous [but] once we got into it [I thought] ‘This is really going to be a funny story one day.’”
Reenacting birth scenes gave the fathers a different perspective on what their wives experienced."

Friday, December 13, 2013

Instruction video for the La Bassine Birth Pool

Marie and Maureen have birthing pools and liners available for use at home or hospital.  This video gives instructions on how to inflate/deflate pool, a job we leave for the partner or support person :-)

For more information just phone us on 027 472 0077 or 0800 the midwife

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Why home birth is safer for low risk women

"Low risk birth, in which the mother takes responsibility during the pregnancy to eat right and exercise, in which the baby is head down and delivers after 37 weeks, is pretty much a sure thing at homebirth unless the fetus has congenital malformations incompatible with life, or the provider breaks the water causing a cord prolapse. Head down full term babies that survived 9 months of pregnancy, dont suddenly die as they come out. The studies that find homebirth to have 3 (Wax) or 10 times (Grunebaum) more perinatal death than hospital birth are lying. They never provide any hypothesis or theory for why homebirth would be more dangerous because it isn’t."


Thursday, December 5, 2013

History of Midwifery in Roman Times

I love reading about the history of midwifery and the role of the midwife in caring for the woman. This article will appeal to midwives and students alike and those who are interested in the history of midwifery. 

Giving birth in the twenty-first century remains potentially hazardous. For Roman women it could be positively deadly. According to Suzanne Dixon, the mortality rates during childbirth slashed young women’s life expectancy compared to their male contemporaries, with female prospects of longevity only increased once they left their fertile years behind them.
Evidence from tombstones confirms this view, with female mortality greatest between ages 15-29, as in the case of Rusticeia Matrona of Mauretania whose husband dedicated the following inscription:
Sacred to the gods of the dead. Rusticeia Matrona lived 25 years. The cause of my death was childbirth and a malignant fate.’ (Inscription from Ain Kebira, cited in Leftkowitz and Fant)
As a result, expectant Roman mothers did everything they could to ensure their deliveries were safe. This ranged from petitioning the gods to more practical ways of ensuring a safe birth for both mother and child.

Roman Gods of Childbirth

Romans summoned a variety of gods to attend upon and aid at births, according to Tertullian. The obscure Diespiter rather vaguely helped as the ‘child accomplishes its birth’ while the goddess Postverta had a more definite role. Tertullian described her as the goddess of breech births. In contrast, Ovid and ancient religion expert George Dumezil both believe Postverta  was actually a fate overseeing the new human life.
Di Nixi, or Nixae, served as the central Roman birth deities. Chief among them was Lucina, an aspect of the goddess Juno who brought the ‘child to the birth and light of day,’ according to Tertullian.  ‘Thanks to you, Lucina!’ praised the poet Ovid in his Fasti. ‘You are named from lucus, ‘grove,’/ Or because you begin life’s lux, its light./ Show Mercy, I ask, kind Lucina, to pregnant girls,/ And gently extract the womb’s ripe burden.’
Women called upon Lucina to aid an easy birth. One of the customs surrounding this goddess was for everything from clothing to the unbinding of hair, as Romans believed knots would inhibit the passage of the child. Even a crossed leg or interlocked finger could dangerously delay a birth. This custom applied not only to the labouring mother but any attendants around her.
Likewise, Dumezil notes that no one entering the temple of Juno Lucina on the Esquiline Hill could have a knot in his or her clothing. It was customary for new parents to visit this sacred spot after a successful birth to deposit a coin into the temple treasury representing the new child.

Juno Lucina was the goddess Juno in her birth goddess guise. In archaic times, it was believed essential to have her favour during childbirth.
Juno Lucina was the goddess Juno in her birth goddess guise. In archaic times, Romans believed her favor was essential during childbirth.

Choosing a Midwife

Doctors such as Soranus may have written about the theories of gynecology. But it was female midwives who attended the birth, supported the mother and ultimately brought a child into the world.
We have no records of birthing techniques written by Roman midwives but Soranus gives us a glimpse into the qualities of the best of them. Ironically, despite the lack of written evidence from their point of view, the doctor believed that a competent midwife was able to read in order to ‘comprehend the art through theory too.’
Soranus’s ideal midwife was sober, discreet and motivated by professional pride rather than financial gain. And despite the plethora of comforting birthing deities available, Soranus also stipulated a midwife should not be reliant on ‘superstition.’ Hygiene was essential and midwives needed  ‘[l]ong and slim fingers with short nails,’ in order to touch ‘deep-lying inflammation without causing too much pain.’

Giving Birth the Roman Way

Soranus recommended a total of three midwives attend a birthing mother: one in charge and two to assist. Essential equipment for the birthing room included: ‘oil for injections and cleansing, hot water…. hot compresses to relieve the labor pains, sponges for sponging off, wool for covering the woman’s body and bandages to swaddle the baby in, a pillow so that the infant may be placed on it below the mother until the afterbirth has been taken away.’
Herbs were also a stock item during childbirth.  Donald Todman records how laboring mothers could be offered a less than appetizing drink consisting of powered sows dung to help manage their labor pains. Soranus’s recommendations were altogether more pleasant and he prescribed: ‘scents such as pennyroyal, sparganium, barley groats and quince and if in season citron or melon….for the recovery of strength.‘
The birthing room was also equipped with two beds.  They were not for the delivery. One, a hard couch, was for lying down between labor pains. The other, made up with soft coverings, was for recovery after the birth. The actual process of birth took place on a birthing stool equipped with a bar at the front for the mother to grip and a crescent-shaped hole cut in the seat to allow the baby to pass through as it was born.
During the process of birth, the main midwife crouched down in front of the mother to supervise the birth while the two assistants stood behind her, supporting her and massaging the belly downwards as necessary to help ease the passage of the child. From this position, the chief midwife would ease or manipulate the child into the world.

Birthing stools were commonly used across the ancient world.
Birthing stools were commonly used across the ancient world. Image by Ad Meskens.

After the Birth

Just as they are today, no visible deformities and a strong pair of lungs were the most obvious signs that a child was fit and healthy. But whereas modern babies receive baths of water or in some cases just get gently wiped down, Soranus recommended cleaning the newborn in salt and honey and bathing its eyes in olive oil to strengthen its eyesight!
Despite limited medical knowledge, the Romans recognized the importance of removing the placenta from the body.  Soranus observed how a retained placenta ‘produces pain in the head and lower abdomen and convulsions or suffocation.’ If the placenta did not evacuate itself naturally, it was for the midwife to remove it by inserting her hand and  gently manipulate it out before the uterus closed.
Even with such care, dangerous postnatal complications could occur. But given the times, the Roman mother had a good chance of surviving childbirth.

Pregnancy and Childbirth Remained Dangerous in Ancient Rome

In spite of the Romans’ attention to careful preparation and following rituals, childbirth remained dangerous. Both mother and child could suffer, but midwives worked hard to reduce the risk.


Dixon, S. The Roman Mother. (1988) Oklahoma University Press: Norman, Oklahoma.
Dumezil, G. Archaic Roman Religion, Volumes 1 and 2. (1996) John Hopkins University Press: Baltimore and London.
Leftkowitz, M R and Fant, M B. Women’s Life in Greece and Rome. (1995). Duckworth: London.
Ovid, translated by A J Boyle and R D Woodard. Fasti. Penguin Books: London.
Ovid, translated by D Raeburn and D Feeney. Metamorphosis. Penguin Books: London.
Translated by Owsei Temkin. Soranus, Gynecology. (1991). The John Hopkins University Press: Baltimore and London.
Tertullian, translated by Q. Howe. Ad Nationes 1. (2007). Faulkner University. Accessed November 22, 2013.
Donald Todman. Childbirth in ancient Rome: from tradition folklore to obstetrics. (2007). Australian & New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Aquarobics may help ease labour

Gentle walking and swimming are two great exercises you can do in pregnancy. 
"Half the women were assigned to attend three 50-minute sessions a week of aquarobics during their pregnancy, while the other half acted as a control group.
"We found no statistically significant differences in the duration of labor or they type of delivery between the two groups," study author Rosa Pereira, of the University of Campinas in Sao Paulo, said in a news release. "However, only 27% of women in the aquarobics group requested analgesia, compared to 65% in the control group. This represents a 58% reduction in requests."
There's some debate about the wisdom of women exercising during pregnancy. The main concern is that exercise may interfere with fetal/placental demands and compromise fetal development or growth or increase the risk of abnormalities. Pereira and colleagues concluded that aquarobics had no harmful effect on the cardiovascular health of pregnant women and also confirmed the well-being of infants born to the mothers who did aquarobics.
"We've shown that the regular practice of moderate water aerobics during pregnancy is not detrimental to the health of the mother or the child. In fact, the reduction in analgesia requests suggests that it can get women into better psycho-physical condition," Pereira said."

Why pregnant women should not smoke

As health professionals you have heard this said many times and for good reasons, not just for your health but also for the health of your unborn baby.  The evidence is overwhelming regarding the effects that that puff on that cigarette has on baby and we are here to help you.

"If your health isn’t enough to encourage you quit smoking, then the health of your baby should be. Smoking while pregnant increases the possibility of stillbirth, miscarriage and low birth weight – especially in teens and young adults.
Teens and young women have the highest reported smoking prevalence, and it’s only getting worse. The problem is kids experiment with tobacco and it often turns into a lifelong habit. Nearly 90 per cent of adults say they started smoking by the age of 18.
This is a reflection of aggressive tobacco industry marketing to girls. Tobacco companies advertise in magazines, market their brands through direct mail and adverts, promote their products in convenience stores and coerce youth through Internet websites and social media sites.
They fail to mention that tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals and at least 60 cancer-causing compounds. Two compounds are especially hazardous to a mother and child: highly addictive nicotine and carbon monoxide.
Pregnant women often have intensified desires for cigarettes due to increases in their metabolism. The addictive effect is very strong and often proves extra difficult to cut cravings.
However, according to a new study, a brisk walk has been shown to temporarily reduce the effects of nicotine. Exercise was known to interrupt nicotine cravings for men and women, but it was still unclear for expecting young mothers.
“This was the first time we have been able to replicate the findings with pregnant smokers,” said Harry Prapavessis, director of the Exercise and Health Psychology Laboratory at Western University in Ontario, who led the research."
Please see your Midwife because we can give you the support to help you and your famly/whanau quit smoking and also refer you to a smoking cessation counsellor.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The worst newborn baby product

Wow, whatever next?  I would not recommend it at all!

"Award for worst baby equipment of the year must go to US Fisher Price for their "Newborn-to-toddler Apptivity Seat for iPad device". This will allow your newborn (yes newborn – yesterday he was in the womb today he is on the iPad) to experience iPad learning from birth.
This nifty little item combines the holding device of a baby seat with the screen technology of an iPad. It comes less than a week after occupational therapist Lindsay Marzoli warned that excessive screen time for toddlers could cause children long-term damage. This is because when they are using touch screens, they are not building up the muscles needed for writing. In fact the guidelines from the American Academy of Paediatrics state children should not be allowed more than two hours screen time a day. By children they mean over twos: the guideline for under twos is that they should have no screen time at all."

More astounding reading at this link

Dietary Supplements and Pregnancy

It is important for you to eat healthily during pregnancy, it is a myth that you should eat for two. The following is excellent nutritional advice in pregnancy and where to obtain enough vitamins and minerals for you and your developing baby.  Please speak to your midwife about healthy eating.

"Dark Green & Leafy Vegetables
These are truly nature’s fast foods, as they cook quickly—and many can even be eaten raw. They are the perfect pregnancy food, full of vital nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, trace minerals, folic acid, and vitamin K. They are also great sources of antioxidants and carotenes.

Add more of the following to your diet: kale, watercress, beet greens, bok choy, Chinese (Napa) cabbage, collard greens, dandelion greens, endive, mustard greens, Swiss chard, and turnip greens.

Yellow and Orange Vegetables
Rich in carotenes, yellow and orange veggies contain potent antioxidants, boost immune function, aid the growth and repair of tissue, reduce ultraviolet damage to skin, and support eye and skin health.  

Good choices include carrots, yams, pumpkin, squash, and sweet potatoes. 

Broccoli and Cabbage Family
High intake of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage is important for immune function. These veggies are high in indols and carotenoids, which have been proven to possess anticancer properties. Broccoli is also a great source of calcium, vitamin C, potassium, and iron.  Some mothers need to avoid this vegetable group in the first three months of nursing.

Other members of the cruciferous family: brussel sprouts, kale, bok choy, collards, turnips, mustard greens, kohlrabi, and watercress.

Dark Pigmented Berries 
High in antioxidants and rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and flavonoids known as anthocyanins, berries boost the immune system and reduce free-radical damage and inflammation. They help with collagen formation, eyesight, and circulation. Oxidative damage (from free radicals) has been linked to gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia, so eating a diet high in antioxidants makes sense. Also, berries in combination with fermented milk products like yogurt have been shown to reduce the incidence of urinary tract infections that can cause kidney infections and premature rupture of membranes during pregnancy.

Food sources include rosehips, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, and strawberries.

Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are high in essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and concentrated protein. Essential fatty acids found in nuts and seeds help influence cellular strength, balance hormones, protect nerves, and reduce inflammation. They are also concentrated sources of vitamins and minerals like calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Consume raw or as cold pressed, unrefined vegetable oils. 

Cashews, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and sesame seeds are good choices. 

Plain, Organic Yogurt with Live Cultures
This fermented food enhances digestion and is a great source of complete protein, calcium, B12, potassium, and zinc. Both prebiotics (food for probiotics that aids in absorption of calcium), and probiotics (beneficial organisms for the digestive tract) are important. Probiotics have demonstrated the ability to enhance the immune system and aid in detoxification. Probiotics compete with yeast and “bad” bacteria to prevent urinary tract infections and yeast infections that can be more prevalent during pregnancy. "

More healthy eating advice from this link.