I get really sad when I hear of people who are not enjoying thier pregnancy experience. This should be a time of great self love, vitality and abundance; sure everyone has a few hicups along the way but here are a few tips to overcoming 5 of the more comon complaints. Of course if health concerns become overwhelming and simple tricks are not cutting it, please seek advice from your healthcare professional... you may like to book a consultation with me!
1. Fatigue... yes you are going to be tired, you are building a person, but you shouldn't let fatigue get to a point where it is interfering with day to day life. Your energy and nutrient requirments are now much higher than before. Lets look at some specifics:
*Calories- you need approximatly 300 extra calories per day (not really much!) but you need these in a format which will give you sustained energy and nourisment. The old saying of "eating for 2" is not true and is bad advice since unhealthy weightgain in pregnancy is no good for anyone! Sweet toothed mothers can pass sugar addiction onto their babies, they have larger babies and this often leads to overweight kids! 60g of mixed raw nuts will give you all the extra calories you need plus lots of healthy omega 3 fats.
*Iron, Folic acid and B12- All of these should be measured via blood test (ideally before you concieve) If your levels are low and do not improve following supplementation over 6 weeks then you should investigate further... perhaps you are not absorbing these nutrients and need to take a supplement where they are in "activated" form (available through professional prescribing) Or an IV infusion may be needed. Great sources of Iron include red meat, wholegrains, tofu and green leafy vegetables. To enhance absorbtion of iron from these foods add something acidic such as lemon juice or vinegar.
Some of my favorite reccomendations to pregnant women include Spirulina, Vitamin supplements with Activated B Vitamins and good old Rest n Relaxation.
2. Poor sleep... There are a number of reason womens sleep is interupted durig pregnancy... frequent urination, discomfort, cramps, anxiety, busy mind... the list goes on.
*My number one tip is go and shout yourself a fortnightly or monthly massage (I may be bias as I am a massage therapist ;-)) However, my bias is founded... massage offers relaxation to mind and body, it eleviates stress, pain and tension. Research shows that regualr massage and self care during pregnancy leads to a more positive experience for the mother; and more importantly feedback from my many pre-natal massage clients allows me to say with great confidence that you will sleep deeper and wake more refreshed.
*Calcuim and Magnesium- these minerals are in high demand throughout pregnancy and can aid in bringing about mental calm, improving sleep and also reducing muscle spasm and cramping. Always seek advice when choosing a supplement as their ratios and quality vary greatly between brands.
3. Colds, Flus & Allergies... So annoying! Nothing worse than feeling terrible and not being able to take anything to relieve your symptoms. Best get your immune system up and about!
*Immune boosting foods to add to your diet include garlic, onions, tumeric, mushrooms, bone broth, ginger, berries and bright coloured vegetables.
*If you need further immune support look into the wonders of probiotics and supplemented colostrum.
*Investigate your Vitamin D status, it is a comon deficiency and impacts strongly on our immune system
4. Stretch marks... boo hiss! Unfortuantly stretch marks are often hereditry so I strongly suggest if your mother has them, get onto these tips ASAP!
*Top 10 Foods which assist the production of Collagen (the protein responsible for skin elastisity):
1. Bone broth (you are litterally eating collagen)
2. Dark green leafy vegetables
3. Vitamin C and antioxidant rich foods such as citrus, berries and tumeric
4. Omega 3 rich foods like fish, raw nuts and seeds
5. Cabbage.. of all sorts; contains an abundance of nutrients required for collaged production
*Topical moisturisation- keep it simple, use coconut, avocado, olive or jojoba oil. Creams and fragrant oils usually contain a heap of scary stuff (which they don't always have to label) take Bio Oil for example, it touts itself as a natural product for stretch marks and is used by thousands of pregnant ladies but it contains all sorts of fillers... google it as its too long a list for this blog.
The moral of the story... keep it simple!
5. Nausea...because you can't talk about pregnancy woes without mentioning nausea! The exact causes are not well understood and can be multifactorial. Hormonal changes such as increased HCG and estrogen are thought to be major contributers as is blood sugar disregulation, stress and fatigue, increased sence of smell and obesity.
*Simple home remedies include keeping your windows open and allowing fresh air to ventilate through the house, eating something small 20 minutes before you get out of bed, eating regular small meals, drinking water between meals rather than with meals, avoiding trigger smells and getting pleanty of rest.
*You may also try ginger tea (or adding ginger to other herbal teas) inhaling peppermint oil, ginger supplements, Vitamin B6 and accupuncture.
I wish everyone a happy vital pregnancy, if you're not feeling great, don't suffer, go and seek preofessional advice and enjoy this magical experience!