Fertile Ground Health Group provides a range of services and expert practitioners to guide you through all aspects of your pregnancy journey from conception all the way through to caring for your newborn.
Fertile Ground Health Group (FGHG) is a multidisciplinary, natural medicine practice with expertise in preconception, infertility, pregnancy and family health. We are currently seeking an experienced Osteopath with a desire to develop their career and work with other high achievers in a vibrant, professional team. If you can start in August, we have a waiting list of patients ready for you!
We are ideally looking for a dedicated professional with special interest and experience in treating pre and post-natal women, newborn babes and children. A minimum of 3-5 years’ experience as an Osteopath working with pregnancy is an absolute necessity and additional training in this area, as well as treating babies will be highly regarded.
We are also very interested in applications for an enthusiastic osteopath who treats men and women generally (without experience in babies and children necessarily) and we encourage you to apply also as we grow our physical therapy team. We have plenty of patients with pain who need your confident expertise and hands-on therapy too!
You will also want to actively raise your own profile amongst your peers, medical specialists and other important referrers as well as share your expertise with our patient base through blogs, podcasts and/or social media. Your ability to collaborate with other practitioners, coupled with confidence in communication with and presenting to medical specialists and other primary health carers will be highly regarded.
Starting immediately, FGHG has room for a practitioner doing at least 2-3 days per week including valuable Saturdays. Our current osteopath Andrew Nguyen and his partner are moving back to Tasmania to start a family of their own leaving a gap ready to fill. To apply please email a covering letter and resume to Monique Bevan at email@example.com. Apply ASAP.
Pregnancy can cause varied levels of discomfort no matter what time of year it is. However, an increase in blood volume, fluid retention and a metabolism working in overdrive through summertime seems to take the cake in terms of a heightened sense of discomfort 🤰🥵
Luckily, there are a few easy tips that will help you stay cool and comfortable this summer 🌸
STAY HYDRATED 💧
Guidelines recommended that pregnant women drink 8-12 glasses of water each day and more if exercising. Water helps regulate your body temperature, when you are hydrated your body is better able to release heat (primarily through sweat). It’s important to make sure you replace the water leaving your body!
FIND A LOCAL POOL OR BODY OF WATER 🏊♀️ 🏖
Swimming has numerous benefits in addition to cooling you down – it is a whole body workout, increases circulation, provides relief from swelling and minimises stress! Exercising is an important part of maintaining health during pregnancy and doing so in a safe body of water avoids any risk of overheating in the summer sun.
HOME MADE ICY POLES OR FROZEN FRUIT SNACKS 🧊🍉
Pick some of your favourite fruit with or without some yogurt (for a diary free option) and make your own refreshing ‘nice’ cream or icy pole. Healthy, refreshing and full of vitamins and minerals!
WEAR LOOSE, LIGHT AND BREATHABLE CLOTHES 👗
These items speed up the evaporation of sweat allowing your skin to cool quickly, plus they don’t dig in. Pop on light colour and your clothing will absorb less heat too.
KEEP YOUR HOUSE COOL 😎
Open your windows in the evening and overnight once the temperature has dropped then in the morning close the windows and blinds to trap the cool air in.
Exercise during pregnancy should be done and is safe in a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy. In fact, performing the recommended type and amount of physical activity during pregnancy achieves health benefits for mother and baby including reduced risk of pre-eclampsia, pregnancy induced hypertension, a reduction in instrumental delivery and unplanned caesarean section birth and may help to reduce the severity of lower back and pelvic girdle pain
According to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) evidence- based guidelines for physical activity in pregnant women, it is recommended that in a normal pregnancy woman participate in 150-300 minutes of moderate intensity or if previously exercising can continue 75-150 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise per week.
This can be completed over a minimum of three days per week, however, being active every day (ideally 30 minutes per day, less if previously inactive) is encouraged and doing some physical activity is better than none.
Training should be a combination of aerobic (brisk walking, cycling, swimming, dancing, exercise classes) and strength (body weight, light weight or resistance band) exercises and exercise intensity will vary depending how physically active you were or we not pre-pregnancy. Women who were active prior to conceiving can continue with their usual activities for as long as they feel comfortable but are advised to check with a health professional if they would like to continue with vigorous intensity or high impact sports and exercise
Additionally, some exercises may need to be modified as your pregnancy progresses due to biomechanical changes and pain i.e. After 16 weeks it is best to avoid exercises lying on your back.
Exercise is not recommended in all circumstances. The following are cases in which exercise is not recommended;
Ruptured membranes, preterm labour
Persistent second or third trimester bleeding
Evidence of intrauterine growth restriction
Multiple gestation (triplets or higher number)
Poorly controlled Type 1 diabetes, hypertension or thyroid disease
Other serious cardiovascular, respiratory or systemic disorder
Stop and seek advice from a health professional if you experience any of the following while being physical activity:
Persistent excessive shortness of breath – that does not resolve with rest
Persistent dizziness / feeling faint – that does not resolve with rest
Regular painful uterine contractions
Amniotic fluid loss
Calf pain, swelling or redness
Sudden swelling of the ankles, hands or face
Decreased foetal movement
Still unsure what physical activity you can or cannot be doing during pregnancy speak with your health care provider before starting an exercising program
*Exercise intensity ratings are based on ratings of perceived exertion on a scale of 1-10 where 1 is not moving and 10 is maximal effort. Activities in the range 3-7 indicate moderate-vigorous intensity and are considered safe and are recommended for health benefits in pregnant women. This can also be judged by the ‘talk test’ in which a conversation can be held during moderate intensity activities but difficult during vigorous activities.
Written by Dr Nicole Cukierman, Fertility, Pregnancy and General health Osteopath at Fertile Ground Health Group.
Brown, W.J., Hayman, M, Haakstad, L.A.H., Mielke, G.I. et al. (2020). Evidence-based physical activity guidelines for pregnant women. Report for the Australian Government Department of Health. Canberra: Australian Government Department of Health.
Have you noticed any asymmetry in your baby’s head shape or neck movements. If so, new mama’s, read this:
A misshaped head, clinically known as plagiocephaly is a common condition affecting up to 1 in 5 babies in their first 2 months of life. This is most prevalent at 4 months of age as prior to this babies do not have the strength to hold up their head when sitting without support.
Strains in-utero position, during or after birth may predispose neck restriction leading to a head turning preference which may then result in unilateral flattening of the head. A 2008 study indicated that 73% of newborns have one or more asymmetry, 16% of these had torticollis aka neck tightness, limiting their range of motion.
If a baby is born with a restricted neck they are susceptible to spending time with their head resting on the one side which may lead to unevenness over time. 1 in 3 mums also reported feeling that their baby remained in the same position or was stuck during their final few weeks of pregnancy. Studies have linked babies being in a confined position for six weeks or more with an increase the incidence of torticollis when compared to restricted in-utero position for shorter periods of time.
Worried this may be present in your bub? Here’s our advice:
See an Osteopath trained in paediatrics: A 2011 study on the impact of osteopathic intervention for infants under 6.5 months old with positional plagiocephaly found significant improvements in asymmetry following 4 osteopathic treatments over a 2-month period.
Tummy time: When bubs are positioned on their stomachs it strengthens their neck, trunk, shoulder and hands. It also prevents pressure on the head and therefore flattening.
Repositioning: Encourage babies to turn their head to the non-preferred side. You can try this by sitting on their non-preferred side while playing or positioning their cot to be facing the window, pictures or toys in their room to capture their attention.
Early intervention: Early diagnosis and treatment is always preferred. Early intervention for plagiocephaly is positively correlated with an increased potential for correction.
Without intervention plagiocephaly can worsen with time. Are you concerned about your child? Come see our paediatric trained osteopath, Nicole Cukierman.
Looman, W. S., & Flannery, A. B. (2012). Evidence-based care of the child with deformational plagiocephaly, Part I: assessment and diagnosis. Journal of pediatric health care : official publication of National Association of Pediatric Nurse Associates & Practitioners, 26(4), 242–253. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pedhc.2011.10.003
Flannery, A. B., Looman, W. S., & Kemper, K. (2012). Evidence-based care of the child with deformational plagiocephaly, part II: management. Journal of pediatric health care : official publication of National Association of Pediatric Nurse Associates
Stellwagen, L., Hubbard, E., Chambers, C., & Jones, K. L. (2008). Torticollis, facial asymmetry and plagiocephaly in normal newborns. Archives of disease in childhood, 93(10), 827–831. https://doi.org/10.1136/adc.2007.124123
Lessard, S., Gagnon, I., & Trottier, N. (2011). Exploring the impact of osteopathic treatment on cranial asymmetries associated with nonsynostotic plagiocephaly in infants. Complementary therapies in clinical practice, 17(4), 193–198. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctcp.2011.02.001
We are here to help you – it’s what we love to do. This COVID care package is for you if you:
Want better health, rest and body-wide repair,
Want help with navigating the complexities of making your Fertility Plan,
Have PCOS and want to start making healthy recovery strides simply by adjusting your diet,
Need help creating better breathing and respiratory health habits to carry you through a COVID climate,
Are experiencing frayed mental edges that need soothing,
Want relief, attention and release of areas that experience cyclic or persistent pain,
Love to have beautiful restorative sleep,
Want insights into how to ramp up the health of your diet and your digestive tract
How can we help?
You may have noticed that we’ve enacted an outpouring of free things to you since the inception of COVID. We have made a concentrated effort to create free resources for you with love from many of our wonderful practitioners, to support your mind, body, and sense of connection through all the recent challenges and beyond.
These resources have felt like a lifesaver for many people who have felt disconnected, stressed, in pain, anxious and fearful with reverberating body-wide repercussions like restlessness, digestive issues, insomnia, panic attacks, breathing difficulties, muscular pain and more. It’s important that you pay attention to your health with even more precision during stressful times like these.
We are robust and resilient when given the right ingredients for thriving and surviving.
Your COVID Care Package Freebies
We are dedicated to supporting you now and beyond – download any and all of the freebies contained below in our free COVID Care Package. We have built all of these resources for you and will be adding to this package often over the coming months, so keep your eyes peeled on our newsletters and Instagram OR Facebook pages so that you can grab each freebie as it comes out.
It is our pleasure and mission to support your glowing health and healing always.
Free 10-minute Naturopathic Wellness Consults
Book herefor anyone who needs preventative wellness strategies for immunity, symptomatic relief for an acute condition and general health enquiries. We will, of course, refer you if needed for more complex issues/conditions, but this is a great way to make a start toward your healthier life.
Immune Essentials E-book
Nine simple steps to enhance your health and resilience written by our wonderful naturopathic team.
Naturopath, Sage King, is putting together a free 6 part series designed to help you navigate your fertility journey. Sage touches on everything from preconception care, pathology screening, to assisted reproductive technology (ART) and how to optimise your outcomes with Naturopathy. Register to be notified when the series is released.
Free PCOS & Diet Guide
Do you have PCOS? Access this simple Naturopathic guide to get started with balancing your body through your diet. Inside you’ll receive delicious PCOS friendly recipes, detoxification details, information on how to approach carbohydrates, fats and proteins, food swap charts, as well as steps that you can take to really kickstart your healing. Well known PCOS treating Naturopath, Josephine Cabrall, has put this together to help anyone suffering with PCOS start to find the path to healing. Get your free copy of this fantastic resource.
Deep Sleep Yin Yoga
Jane Holland, yoga teacher, international retreat facilitator and educator has lovingly created this Deep Sleep online series in collaboration with Fertile Ground at The Melbourne Apothecary.
These yin classes are designed to guide you into your body to fully inhabit sensation, find release and arrive in spaciousness, allowing you to melt tension and move into a deep state of rest. Jane is generously offering to everyone to come and experience their first class free.
The Starter Pack includes 3 x 15 minute Buteyko embedded meditations and comprehensive instructions about duration, frequency, what to expect as results. Made with love by our breath specialist naturopath Carly Woods
Carly has also made a hilarious and informative online quiz entitled ‘Are you a Dirty Mouth Breather?’ So go ahead and find out – are you a Dirty Mouth Breather?
Acupressure for Stress Relief
Stressed? Understatement of the year perhaps.
Download this wonderful Acupressure for Stress Relief Guide from Acupuncturist, Chinese Medicine practitioner and Naturopath, Holly Peyton-Smith (thanks so much Holly).
This fabulous Super Soups Ebook has been built for you with love by Naturopath Tina Jenkins. Do you want to ramp up your Winter wellness in an oh-so-delicious way?? If so, make sure yougrab your copy here.
Phew! That’s A LOT of resources for healthy living that you can use right now or access later as you need. Feel welcome to share it with your friends too – these resources are for everyone.
Have a great time consuming all of these wonderful resources packed full of actionable health-enhancing goodness. Thank you to all of our loving practitioners and team for putting these together for our community so quickly and with such care.
Brought to you by Carly Woods Director, Naturopath and Breath Specialist, Fertile Ground Health Group and The Melbourne Apothecary.
Pelvic girdle pain. What is it and what can be done to help?
Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) is a term given to describe the discomfort felt anywhere from the front of the pelvis (pubic symphysis) to the back of the pelvis (sacrum) and even around to the sides of the pelvis (hips).
During pregnancy 1 in 4 women will experience pelvic girdle pain due to changes the body will undergo in a relatively short period of time. This can occur at any stage of the pregnancy however, it is most commonly experienced in the second and third trimesters.
What causes Pelvic Girdle Pain?
Ligaments throughout the body stretch and soften to accommodate for the growing baby. When these ligaments relax our muscles are required to work extra hard which may result in pain. Additionally increases in load, changes in posture, centre of gravity, walking style and alterations in core function can contribute to pelvic girdle pain.
While some individuals accommodate well to these changes, experiencing limited or no pain, it can be debilitating for others and 7% of women will continue to suffer with this pain after their baby is born – requiring ongoing treatment.
Sharp, stabbing or grabbing pain that is aggravated climbing up and down stairs, getting dressed/undressed, rolling over in bed, getting in and out of the car, extended periods standing, sitting or walking and pain on sexual intercourse.
If you are experiencing pelvic girdle pain try these helpful hints:
Sleep with a pillow between your knees
Keep knees together when rolling in bed or getting in and out of car
Focus on maintaining good posture while standing and sitting. Avoid crossing your legs
Avoid heavy lifting (your joints are already under enough load), prolonged sitting, wearing heels, carrying uneven loads e.g. bag on shoulder or toddler on hip
Wear support bracing or garments such as tubigrip, SRC shorts or Serola belt
The specific tissues causing pain differs between individuals and it is best to seek professional advice from an osteopath with experience in this area for appropriate treatment.
Fertile Ground Health Group (FGHG) is a busy, multidisciplinary, natural medicine practice with expertise in preconception, infertility, pregnancy and family health. We are currently seeking an experienced Osteopath with a desire to develop their career and work with other high achievers in a vibrant, professional team.
If you are a dedicated professional with special interest and experience in treating pre and post-natal women, newborn babes and children, as well as general osteopathic support for men and women, we encourage you to apply. A minimum of 3-5 years’ experience as an Osteopath working with pregnancy is an absolute necessity and additional training in this area, as well as treating babies will be highly regarded.
The team at FGHG are regarded as some of the most experienced, professional and effective practitioners in Melbourne. Working at FGHG will provide you with a well-established platform for you to develop your skills as a practitioner so you can take your profession to the next level. Do you value research, education and a collaborative approach in a patient-centred environment? So do we! Results are what we expect at FGHG so we only accept practitioners who want to focus all of their attention on their patients to help them achieve their desired health outcomes, leaving all the administration and business responsibilities to our expert clinic support team.
You will also want to actively raise your own profile amongst your peers, medical specialists and other important referrers as well as share your expertise with our patient base through blogs and facebook posts. Your ability to collaborate with other practitioners, coupled with confidence in communication with and presenting to medical specialists and other primary health carers will be highly regarded.
Starting immediately, FGHG has room for a practitioner doing at least 2-3 days per week including valuable Saturdays. To apply please email a covering letter and resume to Monique Bevan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Application close 7th September 2018.