Welcome to the Carnival of MS Bloggers, a bi-weekly compendium of thoughts and experiences shared by those living with multiple sclerosis.
Happy Belated Carnival
from the Newly Married Lady
from the Newly Married Lady
|Rob and Lisa|
(a few select photos from the big day)
by Dr. Yumi of Universal Balance Consultations
OK, here’s Part II of my article on reducing the risk of relapse after delivery. Remember in Part I, we talked about how much your risk increases after delivery, and how
important rest is to recover properly and avoid relapse. We also included some tips to make sure you get that rest.
Nourish your body for post-delivery recovery
Next is diet. I can’t stress the importance of proper diet enough. Not only will you be providing nourishment for yourself (and the baby if you’re breast-feeding,) a nutrient rich diet with some selected items will actually speed your healing process. And by recovering and strengthening the body, you’ll be reducing your chances of relapse.
“So what foods are best to nourish, and promote healing and strength after delivery?”
As soon as you get home from the hospital, you should make a big pot of Recovery Soup. It should have the following ingredients:
- Lamb, pork kidney or carp (one or more)
- White spring onion or white scallion, (the white parts are especially important)
- Ginger (freshly crushed or cut into thin slices is best)
- Dong quai (Angelica sinensis)
There are other herbal supplements you can use to recover and nourish if you’re interested. But the Recovery Soup will make a great base to start from. I recommend you have a bowl or two each day for at least one month after delivery, or as long as you’re breast-feeding.
For the remainder of your diet during this period, you want to be eating as many nutrient rich foods as you can, which means include fruits and vegetables in all your meals. Also, stay away from fatty meats and junk food. I shouldn’t have to say here to avoid buckets of
greasy fried chicken and value meals from the local fast food joint. But I will. Avoid them!
These should be a very last resort; so maybe suggesting specific dishes you’d like to your friends in the cooking rotation would be a good idea. (See Part I) You want to strike a balance between healthy and tasty.
With the combination of rest and a nutritious diet, you should be well on your way to recovering from your delivery, and thereby reducing the chances of your symptoms flaring up. If you’re not interested in the diet, then the best thing to do is to just rest as much as possible after delivery. And avoid exerting yourself at least for a month or two. This will allow your body to heal. But I highly recommend you supplement with your diet.
Great, now you know how to regain your strength and avoid relapses. But you may still be wondering what it is that makes you more prone to relapses just after delivery.
What’s the deal with pregnancy and relapses?
According to oriental medicine theory, the kidneys are a major energy center, and govern the brain, back, spinal cord, bones, and bone marrow. The kidneys also store prenatal energy and control birth, growth, maturation and sexuality, so they’re one of the main organs that support pregnancy.
MS patients have lesions in the brain and/or spinal cord, which means your kidneys are probably already weak. (The kidneys could be the original problem, or they could have been weakened by some other imbalance.) Nevertheless, pregnancy, delivery, breast-feeding, sleep deprivation, overexertion, or any kind of mental stress, further burden
When the kidneys are weak and overtaxed, the risk of relapse increases.
You’re particularly at risk if you’re breast-feeding because your body is still weak from the delivery, and your kidneys are providing nourishment for both you and the baby. This especially drains your kidney energy, so you might want to consider switching to formula after a month or two. However long you breast-feed, though, be sure to have the Recovery Soup for the duration.
You just don’t want to take unnecessary chances. Everything about your pregnancy and delivery is putting a strain on your kidneys. So it’s important in the first few months after delivery to properly heal and allow your body and kidney energy to strengthen.
All right, so now we know what’s going on with your kidneys and why women with MS are more prone to relapses. We’ve also learned how we can avoid those relapses. By following the guidelines I’ve presented, you can rest easier knowing you’re taking appropriate steps to maintain your health.
I hope this information has been useful to you and will help keep your own pregnancy episode-free. Especially if you have MS, you need to take good care of yourself, so you can in turn take care of that precious little person who’s just come into your life.
I’ve enjoyed presenting this info here and look forward to discussing further MS topics with you. Thanks for your time.
Dr. Yumi Izumisato