Healthy Pregnancy Advice From Our Naturopath For Every Trimester
In astrology, new moons are considered a chance to start afresh and create new beginnings. With this in mind, I’m sharing with you some beneficial advice for a healthy pregnancy given to me by a renowned naturopath friend of mine. Whether you are already pregnant, thinking about it or know a friend or family member who is embarking on this magical journey, please share these tips and let me know how you get on!
Healthy Eating Suggestions During Pregnancy
When pregnant, getting the right nutrients and vitamins is of extreme importance for both the health of your baby and yourself. What you put in your tummy will eventually end up in your baby’s too, and certain vitamins and minerals can make a big difference in terms of growth and development.
Eat organic or free-range ingredients wherever possible. This will reduce your exposure to chemicals, pesticides and antibiotics. Research also shows that organic produce contains significantly higher levels of nutrients than non-organic foods.
Fill yourself up with lots of fresh vegetables, especially yellow and green varieties, as they are a good source of folic acid. Reduce starchy vegetables such as potato and sweet potato to ease constipation during pregnancy.
Include two to three pieces of fruit per day, either in the whole form or in juice or smoothie. Best fruits for high nutritional value include apples, pears, kiwifruit, pawpaw, pineapple, blueberries, pomegranate, tamarillos, plums.
Protein in Pregnancy
Protein is essential during pregnancy. It is quite literally the building blocks of life. Healthy protein-rich foods include lean meat, poultry, deep-sea fish, eggs, goat or sheep products and low-fat dairy. Small amounts of nuts, seeds, sea vegetables and tofu are good vegetarian protein sources. Aim to consume some kind of protein with every meal.
Essential fatty acids are important for foetal development, especially the brain and eye development. Naturopaths recommend taking EPA/DHA (fish oil supplement) during pregnancy and best oils to use while cooking includes organic extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil; and flaxseed and Udos 3-6-9 oil blend for salads.
It is important to include whole grains and legumes for fibre and nutrients. During 1st trimester, you may eat bread to curb nausea, however, aim to have one piece of toast at breakfast and one at lunch; or lunch and dinner (rather than having two pieces of toast at breakfast). As nausea subsides in 2nd trimester, switch grains for brown or basmati rice, oats, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, teff and quinoa.
Calcium in Pregnancy
Calcium is important for skeletal development of your baby and maintenance of your bone health. Adequate amounts can be found in recommended natal multi-vitamin supplement, and nutritional sources which contain high amounts of calcium include goat and sheep products, kefir, sesame seeds (tahini), chickpeas (hummus), broccoli, almonds and bone broth. Avoid other sources such as hard cheeses and dairy for healthy weight maintenance during pregnancy.
Iron is important during pregnancy to produce more haemoglobin (blood) for you and your baby, and for energy levels. Nutritional sources include red meat, especially organ meats such as liver, eggs, lentils, white beans, brown rice, beetroot, spinach, spirulina, kelp, chlorella, kale and raspberry leaf tea.
It has been suggested that the more foods and flavours you expose your baby to in the womb, the more receptive your baby may be to these items when first trying solid food.
We have left the best and final pregnancy tip for last, get a Massage! Pregnancy can put extra pressure on joints, ligaments and organs, causing regular discomfort. Massage is a gentle way to alleviate side effects such as backaches and swelling. Massage and exercise along with food is the golden triad of health success when pregnant. If you would like to learn more about the research and benefits of pregnancy massage you will find an extensive and supportive article here