Your Optimal Every mother would love to have a healthy, smooth, and easy pregnancy – but sometimes this can be a challenge! Each trimester can bring its own difficulties as your body adjusts to your growing baby. All pregnancies are unique and come with their own set of trials and successes for the mother to navigate. Here are 10 tried and true ways to make your pregnancy the best that it can be…of course you will want to check in with your OB before starting anything new. This is your pregnancy—you have the ability to make it optimal! NOURISH: Nourish yourself and your baby by eating whole foods, good sources of protein, and lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Eliminate processed and sugary foods, alcohol, smoking, and excessive caffeine. Remember, everything you put into your body is also going into your baby’s body. If you are vegan or vegetarian discuss your nutritional requirements during pregnancy with your care provider to make sure you are getting what you need.
enough rest at night, and consider napping during the day during late pregnancy, it’s great practice for sleeping when the baby sleeps in the first weeks of motherhood! Good “sleep hygiene” includes reducing screentime (including smartphones!) in the hours leading up to bedtime, having a healthy bedtime snack, and making sure your room is dark and quiet. CONSIDER: Look in to complementary therapies such as massage, chiropractic, or acupuncture for relief of common discomforts of pregnancy, and to increase general well-being. DECOMPRESS: Adopt practices that relieve the normal stresses of life for about 30 minutes a day. Take a warm bath, meditate, listen to music, try different things to find what works for you! Brewing and enjoying a cup of herbal tea designed for pregnancy can be a nice ritual.
HYDRATE: Make it a priority to drink water – at least 10-12 big glasses a day. A great way to keep up is to carry a refillable bottle with you wherever you go. If you get bored with plain water, try infusing it with mint, cucumber, or lemon for a fresh taste. Staying well-hydrated gives you more energy and reduces swelling in your feet.
CONNECT: Deepen your connection with yourself, your partner, your baby, and your family. Find your “tribe”, seek out other parents and supportive people in your circle who can help you explore your feelings, desires, fears, concerns, and plans as you move into this new chapter in your life. If you find yourself overly anxious, fearful, or depressed, seek out qualified mental health professionals to help you work through these issues.
SUPPLEMENT: In addition to your prenatal vitamin, consider adding rich sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids (good for baby’s brain development) like Flax Seed, or Fish Oil until the 34th week of pregnancy, then Evening Primrose Oil until birth. If you are anemic, add extra iron-rich foods or supplements to your diet. Check for easily absorbed iron supplements that are gentle on your digestive system. Vitamin D3 can help with calcium absorption for healthy teeth and bones (for you and baby), and may keep your immune system strong and mood stable.
LEARN: Become informed and research your options. Read about pregnancy, labor, birth, and breastfeeding. Attend Birth Classes with your partner and spend time visualizing your baby’s birthday. Make a birth plan that reflects your preferences in birth setting and care team. Talk to other parents, especially those with a positive perspective. Limit your exposure to “horror stories” of challenging labors and births!
MOVE: Low impact activities like walking, swimming, yoga, or dancing are great ways to stay strong and prepare for motherhood. Half an hour of activity most days of the week is great for your health, both physical and mental – bonus points for being outside in fresh air and natural light. REST: Even when sitting still, your body is working hard to build a baby. Sleep is important – make sure you get
10 | Oh BABY!
EMBRACE your changes! Not only will your body change as your baby grows, but your priorities and routines are also transforming. Be patient with yourself as you find your new rhythm, and communicate your needs to those around you.