For many women, finding out they are pregnant is the most exhilarating, nerve-wracking, and anticipated events of their entire lifetime I am sure anyone who is pregnant or has been pregnant before can relive feeling these emotions, seemingly all at the same time. I practiced midwifery for over thirty years and delivered eight children myself, so growing a baby is a topic that is very near and dear to my heart.
In her book Birthing From Within, Pam England states that "worry is the work of pregnancy". We hope and yearn (and yes, worry) for a healthy pregnancy. This is of course, a worthy goal, and the good news is that there are a few simple things that you can do to nurture a healthy fetus and prevent many potential issues that may arise. Pregnancy takes a large toll on a pregnant woman's body. In addition to providing the nutritive needs for the developing fetus, your body is also expanding its blood volume, breast tissue, and fat stores for delivery and postpartum recovery. A lot of potential problems can be prevented throughout pregnancy with proper nutrition and care. Follow these steps to make pregnancy easier on your body and help that little bundle of joy to grow healthy and strong!
- Choose a whole-food vitamin: If you were to ask any doctor or midwife the most important thing to remember during a pregnancy, they would likely tell you to remember to take your prenatal vitamin. Prenatal vitamins are jam-packed with essential nutrients for not only the baby, but the mother. I highly recommend our Prenatal Multi, which is packed with high-quality ingredients including methylated B vitamins, beets, asparagus, wheat grass, green algae, alfalfa, pineapple, apple, and probiotics. Because it is a whole-food supplement, your body recognizes and absorbs the nutrients better than from a typical vitamin found at a pharmacy. I like to think of a prenatal vitamin as a safety net, not a replacement for healthy foods. If you don’t get enough nutrients throughout your day, you should get these crucial ingredients in your prenatal vitamin, but you should still strive for a diet that is full of fresh fruits and vegetables!
- Take extra vitamin D: Vitamin D is a nutrient that our bodies produce we are out in the sunshine. Vitamin D is essential for proper growth and development, and our body uses it in so many different ways! In addition to supporting proper skeletal, nervous, and endocrine system development, Vitamin D also supports a healthy immune system in both mother and baby. Vitamin D is also useful for treating depression in the mother both prenatally and during the postpartum period.
- Daily green supplement or large green salad It is essential to get plenty of greens, either in the form of a dark, leafy green salad, a smoothie, or a green supplement. Dark leafy greens are full of folic acid, a nutrient that prevents nervous system development issues like spina bifida. Greens have minerals in them that are predigested by plants. Amino acids form complete proteins and nourish the body. Green plants provide minerals for bones, tissues, and development of the growing baby. With all these benefits, why not intake green salads or green supplements every day throughout pregnancy? Our Emerald Essence was specifically created to be easily blended into a smoothie if you find yourself unable to fit enough greens into your daily diet.
- Wholesome diet: A nutritious diet is an essential building block for health, especially when pregnant. Even so, many people find themselves eating fast foods, or shelf-stable convenience foods more often than is recommended. We definitely don't want anyone to feel shamed when these foods are all that is available at a moments notice-- but we also want to stress the importance of a diet high in lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. It's relatively easy to swap out white rice for brown, white bread for whole grain, a sugary snack for applesauce or a banana, and a breakfast sandwich for an egg and some berries. One question I like to ask myself with every meal is "where are my fresh fruits & veggies? How can I add nutrients to this meal?" The answer is often easier than you think!
- Hydrate! Studies show that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Drinking water is so simple, yet so crucial to our health. Drinking enough water helps regulate body temperature, keeps joints lubricated, prevents infections, delivers nutrients to cells, and maintains organ function. It also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood. Since your body is flushing out extra metabolic waste from your baby during pregnancy, it is even more crucial to hydrate. You should make it a priority to drink at least eight 8 oz. glasses of water per day. Water should be the number one choice of beverages! Before you drink juice, tea, or coffee, ensure that you have had an adequate amount of water!
So there you have it-- my five most essential tips for a healthy pregnancy. Of course, I could (and probably should someday) write a book about the many herbal remedies for pregnancy-related discomforts, but today I wanted to start with the basic foundational principles that have created beautiful outcomes for myself and so many of my beloved clients over the years.
I sincerely hope that as your pregnancy progresses, you experience vibrant health, and discover every joy that pregnancy has to offer.
If you are trying to conceive or experiencing health issues during your pregnancy, I would love to help you set up a health plan specific to your needs! Give my office a call to schedule your holistic health consultation today.