Bump-starting Pregnancy: How to Feel Great During Pregnancy
Dr. Emily Brown's Top 4 Tips towards Bump-starting pregnancy!
We all know women who have talked about how "easy" and "pleasant" their pregnancy was. For the rest of us who have experienced a different story, here are some tips on how to help you become one of those women who LOVES being pregnant! :)
1. Stress/ Relaxation
Stress can be very detrimental to your pregnancy. Babies in utero are very sensitive to mom's stress hormones. It is important to stay as stress free as possible. Some tips to help you relax during pregnancy, which can be one of the most uncomfortable times in a woman's life, include the following:
- Talk to baby: remember that your relationship with your baby starts early! Babies love to hear from their moms. A mother's voice becomes soothing to a baby from the very beginning. Chatting with your little one will help you to feel more connected and increase your "feel good" hormones.
- Music: can be a very relaxing tool. Babies love to hear their mom's "jams" even if its just a soothing classical mix. Take time at night to listen to some music with your little one. Again, this is a great early bonding experience and will increase your connection while helping you de-stress!
- Massage: is very important for releasing tight muscles that force you to hold on to stress. It also aids with increasing mobility to keep you moving comfortably throughout your pregnancy. Massage can lower your cortisol levels and help baby to relax in mom's belly.
2. Sleep (Gotta catch those zzz's)
Sleep is one of the most important things for you to achieve during pregnancy. Your pregnancy will be some of the last full nights of sleep you may receive for a while. We don't say this to scare you, but to make you aware of a potential reality you face. (Not to say you won't value those quiet and still early morning feedings with your little one while the rest of the world is sleeping-these are irreplaceable memories). But..... we're saying you should get sleep while you can. Here are some tips on how to get a more comfortable, wholesome night's rest:
- Lying Down: simply lying down has been shown to increase blood flow to your baby. Being comfortable is important, so we recommend side lying with pillows propped around to provide support. Lying on your back will become difficult later in pregnancy and should be avoided because it can compress vital blood vessels.
- Essential Oils: We love our Young Living Oils! We highly recommend diffusing lemon, sandalwood, or Neroli oil to help you sleep. You can also rub these oils on your temples or your feet to help you sleep.
- Teas: a nighttime tea can help relax you and soothe you to sleep. You can add this in while listening to your nightly music with baby. Recommended teas include: limeflower, lemonbalm, and rosehip.
- NOTE: please avoid chamomile, lavender, passionflower, fennel, and hops as these may stimulate early uterine contraction.
3. Chiropractic Care
We may be bias but we love chiropractic! One of the many reasons why is a well functioning nervous system can help a mother to combat the hurdles of pregnancy! Chiropractic care should be administered by an ICPA trained and Webster certified chiropractor. Dr. Emily has done over 200 additional hours of training in pregnancy and pediatric chiropractic and has her Webster certification. She has helped many pregnant women before, during, and after giving birth. Reasons why you should be adjusted regularly throughout pregnancy are many, but a few popular reasons include:
- Decreased Labor Times: research by Dr. Joan Fallon has shown that labor times in women who get adjusted regularly before giving birth are decreased between 24-39% from women who did not receive chiropractic care. These reported less pain and overall a more comfortable delivery (not that giving birth is ever "comfortable").
- Preventing a Potential C-Section: the Webster technique is a great tool to help keep the pelvis open and the ligaments loose, allowing baby to be in good position. A study from the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, found that Webster Technique was 82% effective in encouraging the baby to move into optimum delivery position. The Webster Technique is a great medication free, holistic way to spur a breech baby to move into a head down position.
- Relieving the Aches of Pregnancy: it is no secret that pregnancy comes with a long list of aches and pains. Chiropractic care has been shown to be effective in reducing neck and low back pain during pregnancy. When mom is pain-free she will be able to relax better, sleep more thoroughly, and enjoy her pregnancy.
Nutrition is a huge component to pregnancy. There are some basic "do's" and "don'ts" that you should be aware of to stay healthy and happy in your pregnancy. These are some general recommendations but be sure to consult with your doctor for a thorough consultation to determine your pregnancy specific needs.
- Folate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Folate is so important for the development of your baby! Make sure to take a prenatal that has folate in it. Folic Acid is the synthetic form of Folate and is less desirable.
- Probiotic: Probiotics are very important to set the stage for your gut bacteria. Mom's bacterial biome is the first bacteria that baby is exposed to. Because of this, it is so important to make sure mom has a variety of good bacteria!
- Organic Food: organic foods are whole, fresh foods without any pesticides. You also want to avoid foods with GMO, antibiotics, or heavy metals. Fresh foods are the best in this case as it is important to make sure your baby does not enter the world having to combat toxic chemicals in the foods you've been eating.
- Soft cheeses and lunch meats: while soft cheeses are delicious, it is important to avoid them during pregnancy. Lunch meats and soft cheeses can harbor bacteria that can be detrimental to baby.
- Fish: primarily tuna, shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish should be avoided during pregnancy. These fish are higher in their concentrations of mercury which can be harmful to baby.
- For more foods to avoid check out this link: http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/foods-to-avoid-during-pregnancy/
After giving birth, women who continue with chiropractic care can recover from their pregnancy quicker, and chiropractic can aid with postpartum depression and anxiety. For infants, chiropractic care can aid in a variety of things including: Colic, Ear Infections, Breastfeeding, Reflux, and many more!!! If you have any other questions or would like to learn more about other tips we have to a healthy pregnancy, please give us a call!
Stay tuned as our next blog post will be coming shortly!