To help ensure a safe and happy pregnancy for you and your baby, and so that your child has a healthy foundation to grow and meet all the challenges that life brings, I’ve compiled a list of 8 tips for a healthy pregnancy. These lifestyle changes can (and should) begin before you decide to become pregnant, but if you are already pregnant, simply adopt as many of these steps as you can.
1. Stay Active
Exercise is good not only for mothers-to-be, but also for their developing babies. Studies show that women who exercise at the same rate throughout their pregnancies have larger placentas than their more sedentary peers. Why is that important? Well, the volume of the placenta is a general marker of its ability to transport oxygen and nutrients to your baby. Research has also shown that exercising during pregnancy can benefit a mother’s own heart and her developing baby’s heart as well.
If you’re having a normal, healthy pregnancy you can continue to do just about any exercise that you enjoy, as long as you follow the most important principle: listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it (remember: pregnancy is not the time to set any records or run any marathons.)
2. Reduce Toxins
Reducing your exposure to toxic chemicals during your pregnancy is important for the health of you and your little one. Food and Drink: the easiest way to avoid toxins is to eat organic as much as possible. Also, avoid BPA and try to reduce any canned foods. Personal Care Products: avoid using any product that lists “fragrance” or “parfum” as an ingredient. Luckily, there are now many products that are scented with natural essential oils. Cleaning: Use natural cleaning products. These include vinegar, essential oils, baking soda, and castile soap.
3. Eat Whole Foods
5. Find A Webster Doc
A Webster Certified Chiropractor has advanced training in prenatal chiropractic care. Chiropractic care throughout pregnancy removes interference to the mother’s nervous system – enhancing baby development and uterine function. It balances her pelvis, eliminating undue tension to muscles and ligaments and enhances optimal fetal positioning. Better positioning and proper nerve system function improve the mother’s ability to birth naturally.
This highly effective technique is safe and gentle and should be a first approach before considering more invasive methods. As a Webster Certified Doctor, I have seen countless situations where a baby has changed position and a mother was able to avoid a C-section or medical intervention. (Locate a Webster Doctor here.)
6. Right Mindset
Through chiropractic philosophy, we learn to respect the body’s natural design and function in all processes – including pregnancy and birth. This is so important to remember, that our bodies are intelligent and pregnancy is a natural process, NOT a condition or illness. Trust in your own body’s ability to accomplish this incredible feat. (This is easier said than done. And yes, I realize I am a man… I’ll shut up now.)
7. Educate Yourself
There can be a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth – especially on the internet. Whatever a couple decides on pregnancy and prenatal care options, it is vital to research individually and not agree to or refuse any test without researching both sides first. While it can be hard to go against the grain and refuse a test or care – especially if there is pressure from a doctor – ultimately you have the responsibility for your pregnancy, your health and your baby. You have the right to refuse or consent to any procedure and you certainly have the right to make an informed decision.
8. Supplement Your Diet
Omega-3s contain a powerhouse of nutrients to ensure that your baby will develop properly and reach its highest potential. These nutrients help to maximize the intelligence of your child, and protect your baby from autism, pervasive developmental delay, and ADHD. In addition, research has found that women who consumed greater amounts of omega-3 fatty acids during the third trimester were less likely to show signs of major depression during pregnancy, and for up to eight months after the birth.
Vitamin D can help reduce the risk of many pregnancy related complications including gestational diabetes. It is important for your baby’s muscle, bone and hormone development and helps support your immune system during pregnancy.
Probiotics are also critical, especially during pregnancy. Babies are born with a completely sterile gut and they culture their beneficial gut bacteria from what the receive from their mother when passing through the birth canal and from nursing in the months afterward. A high quality probiotic will help ensure that your baby will get a good dose of beneficial bacteria, which can reduce risk of illness in the first few years.