During pregnancy, your body is quite literally building an entire human being from scratch, meaning you’re going to need a lot of good quality sources of nutrients in order to build a strong, healthy baby.
To grow a person inside of you is hard work (!!!), which is why we’ve pulled out all the stops to put together our top 5 tips for a healthy pregnancy.
1. Educate yourself
First things first, do your research. Talk to your midwife, herbalist, an alternative health-care practitioner or doctor before starting on any new diet or supplement regime and gather as much information as you can.
There are plenty of fantastic books on pregnancy, on what to eat, drink, how to exercise with your new bump and so much more.
You have the responsibility for your pregnancy, your health and your baby so educate yourself, and enjoy the journey.
The importance of a good diet before and during pregnancy cannot be stressed enough.
It is vital for the health and energy of the mother whilst nourishing the foetus and providing the growing baby with all the nutrients required for a healthy body.
A focus on fresh, unprocessed, unrefined, whole food is essential for providing your body with excellent nutrition in its best and most absorbable form.
Aim for a well-balanced diet consisting of adequate protein, healthy fats, fruits and plenty of vegetables, with a focus on nutrient-dense food, such as avocados, nuts and greens to help your baby thrive!
Learn more about foods we recommend for pre-conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding here
3. Supplement your diet
Whilst it is best to get the nutrients from whole food sources for optimal absorption in their most natural forms, it can be a smart idea to supplement your diet with essential vitamins and minerals in adequate levels, as pregnant women in general have a higher nutrient requirement and often supplements are the only way to get adequate nutrients.
Supplement needs can vary from woman to woman, and it must be noted that all supplements should be approved by a doctor or midwife to ensure safety during pregnancy.
Some excellent prenatal vitamin supplements include Biocare Pregnancy and Lactation, Naturesplus Prenatal, Viridian Pregnancy Complex, Oxylent Prenatal and omega supplements from Nordic Naturals DHA and Minami Nutrition MorDHA.
Before conceiving and during pregnancy supplementation
It is good to know that the best time to begin a healthy pregnancy regime is about 3 months before you conceive.
Building a strong nutritional system will not only increase your own health, vitality and energy levels, but it will also improve the odds of having a healthy conception and ensuring your body is healthy and equipped to deal with the transitions of early pregnancy and the new changes it brings.
Prenatal Vitamins – For some, a good natural prenatal vitamin supplement can go a long way in providing you with the essential nutrients, including folic acid, B12 and iron. Taken for 3 months prior and often suitable for taking during pregnancy, these additional nutrients can really help support a healthy conception.
To Learn more about which nutrients and supplements to look for in a prenatal diet, see our previous blog post here
When it comes to nutrition during pregnancy, the foundation of it all is to consume a whole food heavily plant based diet.
This means eliminating processed and refined foods, refined sugars, non-organic dairy and meats and artificial sweeteners, and instead concentrating on nourishing yourself and your growing baby with foods that are grown or raised organically and naturally, without the use of unnecessary antibiotics, hormones, preservatives or additives.
Alcohol – almost goes without saying. No good comes from consuming it, and the possible detrimental effects are not worth the risk. Consumption of alcohol during pregnancy has shown to have detrimental effects on the child, both physically and also mentally.
Smoking – Smoking should be avoided for the sake of both the mother and the baby’s health.
Smoking has been linked to an increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, stillbirth and neonatal death, not to mention the increased risk of cancer.
Caffeine – This one causes much conflict regarding its safety during pregnancy.
Caffeine reduces the availably and absorption of nutrients from your diet.
There’s not a lot of point spending money on good foods and pre-natal supplements to then drink a €2.50 cup of coffee and urinate the nutrients out an hour later!
Excessive caffeine consumption has also been linked to increased risk of miscarriage so it’s best to avoid it, especially when it is not even necessary. If you do wish to consume caffeine, limit it to one cup a day.
5. Stay active
Exercise is good for you even when you’re not pregnant, and it doesn’t stop when you are!
Exercise is great not only for mothers-to-be but also for their developing babies.
Regular exercise shows many positive effects on the mother’s mood and physical disposition as well as on the development of the child.
It can help prevent excess weight gain, keep you strong and flexible during labour, and make post pregnancy recovery much easier.
There are always pre-natal yoga classes on offer to help with stretching, toning and building necessary muscle, as well as swimming, light running, walking and strength building exercises.
Take it slowly and listen to your body. Now is not the time to be pushing yourself to the limit, it is about building and nurturing your body and your little’n.
Look out for my upcoming post on the benefits of prenatal yoga on the Nourish blog for further information on how prenatal yoga can help you during your pregnancy and labour.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact me via our Facebook!
*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention
Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet, especially when you’re pregnant or trying to conceive.