Pregnancy can be an exciting time with many changes happening to your body, but all too often niggly ailments get in the way. Here are our top tips for each trimester to help you sail through!
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The first trimester is the critical ‘embryonic stage’. This is when all the clever stuff happens, organs and membranes develop, therefore, it is important to support the body through the correct nutrient and lifestyle choices. Here are some important health tips to help you through:
- Morning sickness – Ginger might become your friend if you are suffering from morning sickness. Try this wonder spice in a tea with a little honey to sweeten if needed. Studies have shown that 1g per day may help ease morning sickness. Speak to your practitioner about vitamin B6 which can also help
- Drink up! – The recommended amount for pregnant women is at least 2 litres of filtered water daily. Water can be flavoured with ginger for those feeling nauseous or berries for an antioxidant boost. This will increase during breast feeding and after exercise.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids – This is a little hero. An essential fatty acid and one which the majority of diets are low in, with Omega 6 usually being dominant. DHA (found in fish) is crucial at this early developmental stage and is needed for foetal and infant nervous system growth and development. If eating oily fish is a challenge, try Bare Biology Mum’s & bumps capsules as these have been developed to provide the optimal amount of omega 3 for pregnancy.
- Vitamin D – It is known as the sunshine vitamin and is particularly important for winter pregnancies when the sun can be elusive! Always check your vitamin D levels before supplementing as they can vary dramatically.
- Pregnancy Multi-Vitamin might be worth considering especially when sickness plays a role during the first trimester, it can be difficult to eat a varied diet. A nutrient dense smoothie or eating little and often might help here. Speak to your practitioner about a good pregnancy multi such as Wild Nutrition Food Grown Pregnancy.
The second trimester is the most rapid period of foetal growth. Often where women feel their best as any discomfort from sickness will hopefully have subsided! This is the stage when you can maximise your nutrition for you and your baby:
- Paraben and toxin free skincare products – Skin care products are often laden with toxic chemicals and, as our skin is the biggest organ in our bodies, it can become more sensitive during pregnancy so making this simple switch can be very beneficial to both you and your baby. Aim to buy products that are at least 95% natural and preferably mainly made with organic ingredients.
- Iron – Your growing baby might tap in to your iron stores so make sure you are getting enough iron in your diet such as grass-fed meats and free range chicken (darker meat). Vegetarian options include spinach, molasses and apricots. If you have any concerns about your iron levels then please speak to a practitioner or your GP.
- Protein – The protein requirement for a healthy weight, pregnant individual, is 1.2g per kg. Protein sources include poultry, meat, fish, eggs, beans, pulses, yoghurt and cheese. It is important to minimise large fish like tuna which can be high in mercury. Try switching to sardines or instead which are just as yummy and full of Omega 3’s. Avoid cured meats such as Parma ham, salami and unpasteurised cheeses.
- Healthy Fats are important for your baby’s development and are a vital energy source try avocado, extra virgin olive oil drizzled on vegetables and salads. Coconut oil is great for cooking.
- Eat a Rainbow – Try to include lots of colourful fruits and vegetables which will be packed full of nutrients such as antioxidants and magnesium. These should be properly washed and organic where possible to decrease toxins in the body.
- Exercise is important to keep your spine moving try yoga, pilates, walking or low weight bearing exercise like swimming.
The third trimester is when your baby gains weight and starts to open their eyes and move around! It is time to get prepared for the birth and the first few months of being a mother:
- Me time – Whether it’s meditation, breathing exercises or time snuggled up with a good book, it’s important to take a moment for yourself when you can to prepare and nurture your body before the birth.
- Batch Cook – This is great time to stock the freezer with nourishing meals for when your baby arrives. Soups, stews and snacks are great to have at the ready. Have a look at our website for recipe ideas.
- Stock up – Herbal teas such as Fenugreek and Shatavari can help boost your milk supply so good to have on hand for when your baby arrives. Add healthy snacks to your cupboards such as nutrient dense nuts and seeds. Fill the freezer with smoothie mixes to aid energy when breast feeding.
- Sleep – Try to have a good bedtime routine with screens off two hours before. Studies have shown that the blue light from smart phones can disrupt our circadian rhythm. If you are having trouble with your sleep try and have a calming bath or foot soak before bed with pregnancy bath blends to help your body wind down. If sleep is hard try naps during the day.
- Pack your hospital bag – Add healthy snacks, comfy clothes and a cooling facial mist such as Natural Birthing Co – ‘Cool It Mama’ Pregnancy Body Spritz.
ENJOY IT & GOOD LUCK!
Arabella Hambro is our NatureDoc specialist in fertility and pregnancy health. She also provides post-natal Nutritional Therapy and practical advice for new mums and their babies, helping you build a healthy and confident start to motherhood. To book with Arabella please call NatureDoc reception on 020 3397 1824 or email [email protected]