Living a natural lifestyle helps protect you from many harmful chemicals and toxins found in everyday products and foods. This is especially vital when it comes to having a healthy pregnancy.
Natural health during pregnancy doesn't have to be complicated.
There are many simple and natural ways to support yourself and your growing baby- things women have been doing for thousands of years. Here's a list of the top 8 things you can do at home for a healthy pregnancy.
#1- Healthy Diet
It's probably no surprise to you that eating a healthy diet is at the top of the list. The biggest question is: What is a healthy diet?
There are so many different interpretations of what a healthy diet looks like, and it gets really confusing to know what you should eat or not eat. In fact, there is no one perfectly healthy diet that works for everyone.
Your body is unique, so a healthy diet for you may look different from someone else's. If you can, you might want to talk to a nutritionist to work out an eating plan that's good for you and easy enough to maintain through your pregnancy.
But even if you can't consult a nutritionist, there are still some basic guidelines to help you out. The most important thing to remember is that you're now feeding yourself and your growing baby, so be sure you're getting lots of good nutrients!
- Protein- It's important to get more protein than you normally would for a healthy pregnancy. Most health experts recommend 75-100 grams of protein a day for pregnant women. (1) It helps both the growth of fetal tissue and your breast and uterine tissue. Some women also have less morning sickness with adequate protein intake.
- Healthy fats- Some women worry about eating fat-containing foods, but getting enough fat in your diet is vital for your baby's brain development. Depending on what kind of diet you have, you can get fat from meats, eggs, oils like coconut and olive, nuts, and certain types of dairy.
- Lots of whole plant foods- Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, fiber, and nutrients that you and your baby need during pregnancy. Whole grains are also a good source of fiber and nutrients if you don't have a grain sensitivity.
#2- Drink Enough Water
Staying well hydrated is important for staying healthy in general and even more so during pregnancy. Water helps to replenish the amniotic fluid that surrounds your baby, so you'll need more hydration than normal.
There's also some evidence that drinking more water can help maintain your skin's health and elasticity. (2) Loss of elasticity is one reason stretch marks form: Your skin tears instead of stretching. Drinking enough water may help prevent stretch marks.
#3- Take Care of Your Skin
While we're on the subject of stretch marks, there are indications that stretch marks are easier to prevent than to get rid of. This is because stretch marks are actually scars that form when your skin tears from being stretched too far.
Certain everyday ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, and aloe vera can be applied to your skin to improve elasticity and help your skin stretch further.
Taking care of your skin with natural body products and oils is an important part of a healthy pregnancy. It will help you feel better while pregnant and will give your skin a head-start at recovering after pregnancy.
#4- Stress Management
Stress management is easier said than done, but being emotionally healthy through pregnancy is just as important as physical health.
You'll likely go through a wide range of emotions through your pregnancy, but chronic stress isn't good for you or your baby. Try to find healthy de-stressing activities that work for you. Here are some options:
- Spend time out in nature and soak up some sunlight each day (if possible).
- Make getting enough sleep a priority.
- Try a gentle yoga or tai chi routine.
- Take a long bath and listen to relaxing music.
- Use essential oils for aromatherapy.
#5- Herbs & Natural Supplements
In a perfect world, we would all get the nutrients we need from our diets. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen for a lot of us, and getting the right vitamins and minerals is even more important during pregnancy.
Herbs are a great way to get bio-available nutrients that your body can easily absorb. Red raspberry leaf, nettle leaf, and alfalfa leaf have been used by pregnant women for centuries to naturally nourish mom and baby. You can try them all in this Womb Wellness tea.
And if you're worried about the safety of using herbs during pregnancy, here's more about which herbs are best and which to avoid.
When it comes to supplements, choose natural ones. Talk with your doctor or midwife before supplementing, but here are a few commonly recommended ones:
- Folate (not folic acid, which is the synthetic form)
- Prenatal multivitamin
- Vitamin D
- Iron (if your levels are low)
Indications are that exercising while you're pregnant can help you have a healthier pregnancy. Exercise has also been shown to be completely safe for mom and baby during normal pregnancies, even high-intensity exercise. (3)
That being said, listen to your body when it comes to exercising. Daily exercise is great for your health, but it doesn't have to be intense. Walking, swimming, yoga, and resistance exercises are all good options.
#7- Use Natural Remedies
If something serious happens during your pregnancy, you should of course go to your doctor. But for everyday ailments, you don't always have to reach for some kind of pill.
PUPPS rash, which is a very uncomfortable pregnancy rash, isn't life-threatening but it is frustrating to deal with. You can do several things to get relief at home along with getting professional help as needed.
There are even more natural solutions out there to help you have a chemical-free and healthy pregnancy.
#8- Get Extra Support and Care
Having a healthy pregnancy isn't something you have to do on your own. Along with getting care from your doctor, you can also seek help and support from professionals like naturopaths, midwives, and doulas.
These are all people trained to help you physically, emotionally, and even spiritually through your pregnancy. And don't forget to ask friends and family for help as you need it, too!
Enjoy a Natural Healthy Pregnancy
Of course, none of these tips are meant to take the place of getting all your prenatal and care visits done with your doctor and/or midwife or getting professional help for serious problems. But there are still many things you can do at home to help yourself out and enjoy a healthy pregnancy.
And don't forget to continue natural and herbal care postpartum as you start to raise your little one!