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Hormones in Childbirth
In the female reproductive system, there is a delicate play between Estrogen and Progesterone. The yin and the yang in TCM of the reproductive system; Estrogen is the yin cooling aspect, and Progesterone is the yang warming aspect.
Both Progesterone and Estrogen are steroid hormones. Meaning they are made from cholesterol...there it is again. If your body doesn't have enough cholesterol, you cannot make steroid hormones (this includes Vitamin D, which is technically a steroid hormone).
Natural Biology of Labor
When we think of labor and delivery, nutritionally, many of us think of the snacks (or lack of snacks allowed) during the 24-ish hours of actual labor. But, let me tell you a secret....the real nutritional works begins about 8 weeks BEFORE labor. This is when you are building up your nutritional stores that will fuel the natural birth processes.
Most women are not aware of the role nutrients play in the process of labor. I want to spend the next several articles discussing the important role that nutrition plays in processes of labor.
I want to start, today, by talking about the natural biological processes of labor. By understanding HOW our body goes into labor and the natural biological changes that happen in the process, it will be easier to explain how nutrition plays a role in your natural birth goals.
There has been a resurgence of a long forgotten group of vitamins. The Fat-Soluble Vitamins. Why? Deficiency is becoming epidemic here in America. A Majority of the population is walking around with at least one deficiency in fat-soluble vitamins. The most talked about are Vitamin D and K, so much so that pediatricians are now recommending supplementing infants, and giving newborns Vitamin K vaccines to prevent deadly issues with internal bleeding. YIKES! This could all be prevented with proper diet and lifestyle choices (enjoy some sunshine and eat some cholesterol…more below)
Our hormones are the rulers of our reproductive health, yet many of us don't know how they work, or where they come from. A woman's reproductive hormones are produced in the brain and in the Ovaries. The main hormones affecting a woman's reproductive cycles are; GnRH (Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone), FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone), LH (Luteinizing Hormone), Estrogen, and Progesterone.
In those with PCOS, these hormones are non properly balanced. By understanding how these hormones naturally work, we can understand how imbalances can lead to PCOS, and thus how to properly support and treat it.