Unit 3 lessons


Complete Unit 3 (print-ready)

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Lesson 27: Botanical Medicine Safety During Pregnancy

INTRODUCTION (Read or listen to the recording in the audios section on this page) Herbs have been used for pregnancy, birth, and lactation since time immemorial, with texts and treatises dating at least back to ancient Egypt. Herbal medicines are still commonly used by childbearing women for a variety of reasons, for example, ginger root […]


Lesson 28: Fertility Challenges

Introduction Treatment for fertility problems has become increasingly common in recent decades – some of this is due to an increase in fertility challenges, especially delays in time to conception (when someone gets pregnant after starting to try). Some of this increase is due to a multibillion dollar annual fertility industry that takes advantage of […]


Lesson 29: Pregnancy Wellness

This course is predicated on the belief that women’s bodies know how to do the work of being women – including birthing. However, as a midwife and herbalist for over 25 years, and now as a physician, I am acutely aware that the mind has enormous power over the body. Numerous social and cultural beliefs […]


Lesson 30: Miscarriage

Miscarriage (also called spontaneous abortion) is the most common pregnancy complication. As many as 15% of all known pregnancies will end spontaneously before 20 weeks, and it is unknown how many more end before a woman even realizes she is pregnant; this number has been estimated to be as high as 75% of all conceptions. […]


Lesson 31: Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy and Hyperemesis Gravidarum

More than 70% and as many as 88%% of pregnant women will experience nausea and vomiting to some extent during pregnancy. “Morning sickness,” or nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP) often occurs in the morning but may occur any time of the day. Possible causes include the heightened sense of smell that commonly occurs in […]


Lesson 32: Constipation and Hemorrhoids

Elevated progesterone, the increasing weight of the growing baby and placenta, and increased water absorption in the bowel all combine to hinder intestinal motility and place mechanical pressure on the bowel, making constipation a common problem in pregnancy. These factors, including the constipation itself and increased blood vessel laxity, also a result of pregnancy hormones, […]


Lesson 33: Iron Deficiency Anemia

Anemia is the condition of low hemoglobin. It is considered to be the most common chronic disease and is especially common in pregnant women worldwide. A woman may already be anemic when she enters pregnancy or may become anemic due to insufficient dietary iron or due to a greater demand on stored iron than is […]


Lesson 34: Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Heartburn During Pregnancy

This is a very brief overview lesson on two common, and very different, digestive problems that can occur in pregnancy. Heartburn is a common problem that may have been chronic for the client, but more likely arises as a common pregnancy complaint that worsens as the pregnancy progresses and occurs due to hormonal changes on […]


Lesson 35: Premature Labor and Uterine Irritability

Preterm labor is defined as labor occurring prior to the end of the 37th pregnancy week. It is one of the leading causes of infant mortality and also long-term disability in the United States. Factors that contribute to premature labor include age, socioeconomic status (SES), stress, infection, hemorrhage, and amount of stretch tension on the […]


Lesson 36: Skin Changes and Varicosities in Pregnancy

As if the monumental change of becoming a mother isn’t enough to adjust to, many pregnant women find themselves facing or trying to prevent some of the natural consequences pregnancy can have on the female body – stretch marks, varicosities, itching, etc. Some of these changes are simply a function of the enormous work the […]


Lesson 37: Insomnia, Depression, and Anxiety During Pregnancy

Insomnia and depression in pregnancy are discussed here only briefly in terms of which herbs are safe to use during pregnancy. Nonetheless, they are common enough problems to merit their own short discussion in this unit. These topics are addressed more extensively elsewhere in the course, for example, postpartum depression is covered later in Unit […]


Lesson 38: Breech Presentation

As the art of delivering breech babies vaginally is lost from conventional obstetric practice, replaced by cesarean section because of fear of breech delivery and its risks, and as midwives are legally prohibited from assisting in breech births at home, women are seeking alternatives to cesarean section for breech birth. The use of moxabustion, a […]


Lesson 39: Post Datism, Partus preparators, and Prolonged Labor

Labor and birth occur with enormous individual variation. Each woman’s birth will be as unique as she is, as her body is, as her baby is, and as her own life and sexual history. Women’s bodies are designed for the birthing process and only rarely do medical or anatomical problems truly prevent normal birth. However, […]


Lesson 40: Pain and Exhaustion in Labor

Pain in labor is a naturally expected part of the process for most women though a rare few do report a painless or even orgasmic experience of childbirth. Preparing for labor the way one might prepare for an Olympic event or a vision quest, gathering a medicine basket of tools and skills to move through […]


Lesson 41: Postpartum Care, Breastfeeding Problems, and Postnatal Depression

The postpartum is defined as the time extending from immediately after the birth through the subsequent 6 weeks. It is a somewhat arbitrary designation of weeks roughly corresponding with the time it takes the uterus to return to its pre-pregnant state — a process called involution. During this time a woman goes through a remarkable […]


Lesson 42: Materia Medica for Women 3

The materia medica section of each unit provides an overview of a selection of the herbs relevant to understanding the botanical treatment of conditions found in that unit and throughout the course. This is in no way an exhaustive materia medica of the herbs with which you will want to become familiar or need to […]


Unit 3: Cases, Formulas, and Reflections Self-Study Guide

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