Pregnancy is an incredible, life-changing experience. The health of your mind, body, and spirit are all tested in ways you probably never thought possible. Most women know that staying healthy themselves is the best way to have a healthy baby, but we needn’t over-complicate things.
Here are just a few no-nonsense rules to help you have a healthy pregnancy and baby — naturally.
Visiting Your Doctor or Midwife
Your first step toward having a naturally healthy pregnancy and baby is to make a prenatal appointment with your doctor or midwife. They will monitor your baby’s progress, can prescribe remedies (even natural ones), and ensure you’re doing everything you can to stay healthy so you can prevent the need for unnatural interventions. Many women choose to work with a midwife instead of an OB/GYN in order to have expanded freedom for more natural treatments and techniques.
While there is a lot you can do to maximize your chances of a healthy pregnancy and baby, don’t beat yourself up if something out of your control happens. It’s important to identify problems early so they can be treated before they get serious and put you or your baby at risk.
Relaxing and Preparing
One of the best things you can do to have a naturally healthy pregnancy and baby is to reduce your stress. Striking a balance between relaxation and preparation is imperative.
Oftentimes one of the greatest stressors after birth is the sudden impact of the cost. Medical bills from the delivery start pouring in, baby needs his or her own insurance, and — wow — you went through those diapers from your baby shower fast!
One thing’s for sure: You’re not alone in feeling the financial squeeze. Raising babies has gotten more expensive, as this article from BumpReveal outlines. From daycare to health insurance, babies simply cost more than they did in 1960.
After you set your preparatory budget, make sure to actively seek ways to relax. Take warm baths with scented oils, read some new books in a cozy spot, take a specialized pregnancy yoga class, or get a prenatal massage. Make time to relax just as you do to eat — relaxation fuels and nourishes your mind and body, which helps make for a naturally healthy pregnancy.
Speaking of eating, we know that following a proper diet during pregnancy is extremely important for ensuring a healthy pregnancy and baby. While all women are recommended to take a prenatal vitamin to cover any deficiencies, doctors still tell us that Mother Nature knows best. Whole foods (including fruits and vegetables), lean protein, and healthy amounts of fat (including Omega-3s) are vital sources of nutrients for baby and mom.
At the same time, try not to stress too much in early pregnancy if you are unable to eat a perfect diet due to morning sickness. Many women are stuck eating a lot of simple carbs like crackers or rice because it’s the only thing they can keep down. If you are struggling to eat a well-rounded diet, consult your doctor or midwife for some natural remedies to stay healthy, including ginger (in various forms like candy, gum, soda, tea, or capsules), Sea Bands, and peppermint tea.
Keeping your blood flowing and your muscles strong is crucial. Being fit helps reduce the growing aches and pains of pregnancy and can make your labor, delivery, and recovery go more smoothly. It can also reduce the risk of some pregnancy conditions such as gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia.
If you’re already pregnant and do not have a current exercise routine, consult with your doctor before beginning one. While it’s generally safe to continue exercises that you are already conditioned for pre-pregnancy, if you haven’t been working out, you’ll want to start slow. Doctors will usually recommend 30 minutes or so of walking to get started.