From the moment a woman decides to have a baby, the health of the mother and child are intertwined. Throughout the pregnancy, the mother is concerned with the health of the baby. Any emotional, physical, dietary and toxic challenges the mother may experience will most likely affect the baby. After birth, the mother’s dietary choices continue to affect the baby if the mother chooses to nurse, which is recommended for at least 6 months. As the child grows, there are so many childhood illnesses and considerations about vaccines the parents must become educated about. Since children are so much more susceptible to stresses, toxins and changes in routine, they need to be supported with gentle yet effective therapies and historically have responded well to natural herbal and homeopathic remedies. This is even more critical today as the number of antibiotic resistant bacteria are increasing at an alarming rate. Parents need to have effective options besides antibiotics especially for viral conditions. With the increase in childhood diabetes, obesity, anxiety and autistic spectrum disorders, it is even more critical for parents to work with practitioners who screen for these conditions and are trained to create individual treatment programs designed to effectively treat these conditions or prevent imbalances the child may currently have from developing into these conditions.
When children reach adolescence the exposure to sexually transmitted diseases and the new vaccines available can be overwhelming to many individuals – children and parents alike. Professional advice regarding these issues may include evaluating an individuals risk factors and determining which ones can be minimized with nutritional or herbal therapies. Many women from many cultures have used natural therapies for generations to resolve many types of vaginal infections, urinary tract infections, and menstrual cramping. As young adults begin to consciously choose to begin a family, they may be faced with the challenge of infertility, which is on the rise in men and women. Again, couples are turning to natural therapies, especially acupuncture, herbs and specific nutritional therapies to help them get pregnant. In recent years, we have seen in increase in the incidence of uterine fibroids, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, interstitial cystitis and premature ovarian failure. Since each of these conditions have multifactorial causes, the most successful treatment programs are based on correcting individual nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances and inadequate detoxification pathways.
In general, women are more vulnerable to toxins in our environment since their lungs, livers and hearts are smaller. Also, the impact of alcohol consumption is worse in women. Alcohol is metabolized more quickly by women, making the immediate impact on heart, brain and liver more severe. Then as women age and their estrogen levels diminish they are more prone to abdominal weight gain which in turns increases the risk for insulin resistance, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and breast cancer. This is why it is so critical for women to stay active regardless what type of activity they engage in. The relationship between hormones and neurotransmitters is becoming better accepted as mood disorders such as anxiety, depression and even cognitive function are shown to be influenced by our hormones. This is why it is critical for women to investigate the need for bio-identical hormone replacement therapy and know the value of proper monitoring to ensure their body is properly metabolizing any hormones they may choose to use.
So as time moves on young babes move through the developing years of childhood, make reproductive choices during the reproductive years, support their children and society through the middle years and mature into wise women they have access to natural therapies that can help them attain a level of health and well being that is ideally suited for their personal journey.