Our goal is to nourish your body throughout your pregnancy to keep you comfortable, happy, healthy, and as a result, create a strong and vibrant child.
- Take a prenatal vitamin. We recommend the following brands:
- New Chapter Perfect Prenatal
- Garden of Life Vitamin Code RAW Prenatal
- Garden of Life My Kind Organics Prenatal Multivitamin
- Eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains
- Use organically grown, unsprayed produce, additive-free foods, free range eggs, fresh fish, and organically treated reared meat and poultry
- Refrain from cigarette smoking and other drugs such as marijuana
- Avoid processed food
- Avoid sugar
- Avoid caffeine
- Avoid the consumption of alcohol
- Avoid pesticides and chemicals where possible
- Hair dyes, chemical household cleaners, nail polish remover, garden sprays, pain fumes, etc.
- Drink plenty of water
- Exercise in moderation – it is ok to continue your regular exercise regimen. however it is best to avoid starting any new, intense exercise during this time
- Get 8 hours of sleep, nap if needed
- Do activities you enjoy, spend time outside in nature
- Listen to your body – rest and eat when needed
Nausea is estimated to affect 1/3 of all pregnancies. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, pregnancy interferes wit the stomach’s energetic nature of aiding the movement of food downward through the digestive tract. Strong upward rebellious energy or a weakness in this down bearing function results in nausea and vomiting.
While acupuncture treatment is aimed at strengthening the energetic function of the stomach and correcting any underlying disharmonies, dietary advice is directed at reducing the energetic workload of the digestive system.
To get the most out of treatment, it is essential to be kind to your body. During nausea, thinking of food may not be a priority, but food will help you follow these guidelines:
- Fluid intake
- It is essential that you do not become dehydrated. While it may not appear that drinking relieves the nausea, becoming even slightly dehydrated will make the nausea more intense. Dry lips, feeling thirsty and a reduced urinary output are signs that your fluid intake is inadequate.
- If your urine output decreases to only once a day you need to let your doctor or midwife know.
- Once dehydration affects your electrolyte balance past a certain point the best option may be intravenous re-hydration in a hospital. If you are finding it difficult to drink fluids, concentrate on having small amounts frequently. Try soups (potato soup can be useful as it is very bland) or warm teas. Ginger tea or peppermint tea are often helpful. If burping makes you feel better a carbonated drink may help settle the nausea.
- Have small regular snacks, this will help keep your blood sugar levels stable.
- This means eating a small snack at least every 1.5 to 2 hours, before that empty hungry feeling sets in. The snack can be very small, a few raisins or nuts (almonds are often useful), 1/2 of a sandwich, 1/4 of a piece of fruit. It’s a delicate balance as to exactly how much you feel comfortable eating as overeating will also intensify the nausea.
- Avoid sugary foods that will quickly elevate your blood sugar levels; chocolate, cakes, pastries and orange juice, for example and instead consuming the slower releasing carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, rice and potatoes.
- You may find it helpful to have a snack that is high in protein (nuts, yogurt) before going to bed and a carbohydrate- based snack (toast, crackers) on waking.
- Listen to your body
- Certain foods will defiantly make you feel worse. Foods that worked for your friends or mother may have different affects on you. If you experience phlegm in your throat, or constant saliva build up, try avoiding dairy products, especially milk and cheese. If you are feeling cold and tired, focus on warm drinks and soups.
- Rest will definitely be beneficial, although tempting the “superwoman ideal” is not always based in reality, respect the changes your body is going through. If possible arrange some down time for that time of day when you are most prone to feeling nauseous, perhaps starting work an hour later or arranging some extra childcare for a few weeks.
- Other Tips
- Vitamin B6. Studies suggest that taking vitamin B6 for morning sickness greatly improves nausea, though not vomiting, for many pregnant women. There has been no sign of harm to the fetus with vitamin B6 use. A typical dose of vitamin B6 for morning sickness is 10 mg to 25 mg, 3 times a day.
- Ginger Ale
- Ginger Tea. Grate a piece of root ginger the size of a 50-cent piece, seep in boiling water for 10 min – add honey to taste. Do not exceed 3 cups per day.
- Mineral water with lemon
- Peppermint tea
It is normal for pregnant mothers to experience a burning feeling that travels from the stomach into the throat. Heartburn happens when digestive juices leave the stomach and travel into the esophagus. Changes in progesterone and estrogen levels in pregnancy cause the smooth muscle tissue in the body to relax. This allows the digestive juices to leak out of the stomach.
During the later stages of pregnancy, the uterus may press into the stomach and cause heartburn to intensify. Once the baby “drops”, or descends before birth, symptoms may lesson with pressure from the uterus decreases.
The following recommendations may help ease heartburn:
- Pain is often worse when lying down, prop your torso up with a pillow to sleep more comfortably
- Keep to small meals, and avoid large meals 2 hours before bed
- Refrain from laying down after eating
- Avoid drinking while eating
- Walk after eating to promote digestion
- Avoid foods that give you indigestion
- Limit or avoid spicy and rich foods, fried and fatty foods, processed meats, chocolate, coffee, alcohol, and carbonated beverages
- Fennel seed tea is a good digestive aid after eating
Constipation During Pregnancy
Some women experience slower bowels during pregnancy. To stimulate the bowels, we recommend:
- Taking probiotics
- Kiwi fruit – try and eat at least 1 per day
- Eating a banana first thing in the morning on an empty stomach
- Drinking a cup of hot prune juice or lemon juice in hot water half an hour before meals
- Making a paste of the following and keep refrigerated. Take 1-2 tbsp, 3-4 times a day:
- 1 cup oat bran
- 1 cup prune juice
- 1 cup applesauce
Healthy Eating for Pregnancy
Eating for pregnancy involves the same principles of healthy nutrition during other times of your life. There are three fundamental principles: safety, variety and feasibility. Eating foods that are fresh, without traces of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and heavy metals, should be the most and important step during this time. This means eating more organic foods and fewer packaged and preserved foods. It also means heeding local fishery advisories and not overconsuming fish that might be heavy in trace metals. Finally, it means eating much less raw food, unless you are certain that a given food is free of contaminants.
Eating a greater variety of foods can ensure a better nutrient spectrum for your baby. Better eating means better fetal growth and development. One of the best things you can eat during this time is dark, leafy vegetables.
Do make sure that you have lots of snacks around – we recommend making up small bags and having them in your purse, car, at work, etc.
For prenatal yoga classes, prenatal massage, doulas, birthing preparation, and parenting classes, check out Harmony in Campbell:
621 East Campbell Ave #14, Campbell, CA 95008
Phone: (408) 370-3702