I really need advice. I want to do everything natural, but I think I've made some poor choices that have lead me down an unnatural path. :(
It started about a month or so ago when I started having weird mild pains/twinges in my lower abdomen. I assumed since I felt healthy overall that it was just my uterus growing and probably pushing my other organs out of the way. But now I think it was part of my UTI. I went to my 2nd midwife visit a couple weeks ago (I am currently in my 15th week), and they took a lot of blood tests and a urine test. The urine test came back with high cultures of two kinds of bacteria (e.coli. and group B strep) that caused me to have a urinary tract infection. It felt like it definitely turned into a bladder infection because of the location and intensity of the pain I felt. I had assumed that the frequent bathroom trips I had been having were also simply a normal part of being pregnant. I was surprised to find out that I have a UTI because I had been drinking about 3-4 quarts of water (sometimes more) a day.
From what i understand, overgrowth of bad bacteria often happens when there's not enough good bacteria in the gut. About 5 years ago, I found out I had zero good bacteria in my gut so my holistic doctor put me on probiotics which I ended up stopped taking them after a few years. Probably the wrong thing to do given the current circumstance.... but hindsight is 20/20, right? :/
I've talked with a few midwives, one whom prefers to try natural methods first. They all recommended me taking the antibiotic (augmentin 875, 2x a day) to prevent a kidney infection (very serious). The more natural midwife also advised me to take a probiotic specifically formulated for women, such as Fem Dophilis by Jarrow, in addition to D-Mannose or cranberry extract.
So 3 days ago, I started my antibiotic and women's probiotic that also has cranberry extract and Vitamin D (also found out I'm Vit. D deficient, which is crazy because I love the sun and have a healthy sun tan). That same evening, I noticed my hand had some itchy bumps. At first, I figured it was from food allergies because I'm also visiting my in-laws who don't quite understand my special diet. But over the last couple days it has spread to the back of both hands and small patch on my face. Thankfully it doesn't look like bad hives, and it isn't itchy anymore. This morning, I remembered reading in the paper insert that came with the antibiotics that a rare side effect could be a rash and to call the doctor if one occurs.
So I just talked with the prescribing midwife and now she is saying I should take Benadryl. I hate Benadryl and how it makes me feel, so I don't feel comfortable taking it. I also don't want this rash/allergic reaction to get worse. But I also don't want to just cover up these symptoms with a "band-aid".
This is so ridiculous! Medicine is such a slippery slope. :(
Here are the questions now running through my head:
Should I do what the midwife says and take the Benadryl and antibiotic?
What are natural ways to prevent and treat UTI's?
Any advice on why this sun-loving girl is Vitamin D deficient?
Also, with Group B Strep it's recommended to take antibiotics during labor to prevent it's spread to baby... should I do it, or avoid it?
Any advice or opinions are appreciated! :)
You'll have to make the decision about following your midwife's suggestions, but I can tell you from experience personally and with my daughter that UTI's are stopped cold when we drink a few cups of this drink a day. The only ingredients are cranberry juice and mulberry juice, no added sugar which can worsen things. They sell it where I live in a natural food store and you can buy it online. Can you ask your midwife about natural antibiotics, like a course of ecchinacea instead of the pharmaceutical? Also, are you getting the nondairy probiotics?
All of these infections you've mentioned can be caused by a candida overgrowth. I had one early in my pregnancy, and I sorted it by taking a juice fast for a week and eating no overt fats for a fortnight.
Personally, I would not take antibiotics (or any other pharmaceutical medicine) but especially not during pregnancy. You will pass your gut flora on to your baby when it is moving through the birth canal so it is very important to ensure your gut flora is healthy - not decimated by antibiotics! Eating a high fruit raw vegan diet will ensure a healthy gut flora within a few weeks, but you could include some vegan probiotics to help jump-start that process.
As for vitamin D, sun is always best, but if you are deficient it is important to supplement during pregnancy. Check out Vitashine Vegan D3 which is one of the few verifiable vegan D3 supplements on the market. I used light therapy through the winter during my pregnancy. Now it is summer I am spending several hours a day in the garden getting sun.
I hope you are able to get the better of these infections and the rest of your pregnancy goes well :) :)