A Natural Pregnancy
Four Tips for Your First Trimester
If you’re reading this and you’re pregnant, congratulations! What a wonderful adventure you are about to embark upon. We are so lucky as women that we have an opportunity to grow a baby and give birth – what a precious gift.
You may have heard through social media or read on my blog Joyous Health that my husband Walker and I are expecting a baby girl (our first) in September! Fortunately I had a few books on pregnancy from a natural health perspective so I felt confident I had some knowledge on how to address the ups and downs of pregnancy.
While some lucky women sail through the first trimester without any nausea or strange aches and pains, others do not. For me, I had on and off nausea from morning to evening, from week six to week twelve. However, had I not had been aware of some wonderful natural remedies I’m sure it would have been a more challenging time.
Here are four natural health tips for getting through the first three months of pregnancy as naturally and joyously as possible.
Tip 1: Try acupuncture You’ve likely heard of acupuncture as being a wonderful tool to increase your fertility, well, it’s also fantastic once you get pregnant. For me, more than anything else I just found that acupuncture really relaxed me. Even if I felt nauseous prior to the session, I always felt better afterwards. I asked Dr. La, Naturopathic Doctor at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine what the benefits of acupuncture are for pregnant mamas and here’s what she said:
“Acupuncture is a great approach to use when pregnant because it is effective for a wide range of health concerns including nausea, vomiting, frequent infections, thyroid concerns, anxiety and fatigue. It helps to minimize your baby’s exposure to medications while in the womb”.
Tip 2: Keep your blood sugar stable. This tip is crucial. Growing a baby is an extremely energy-intensive and demanding process on your body. You are not eating for two, but you should consider that your body needs around 300 additional calories per day.
If you go too long with an empty belly your blood sugar will plummet. On the flip side if you eat foods that spike your blood sugar such as processed foods, sugar, refined carbohydrates and the like, this is a recipe for nausea.
While you need more calories, remember that not all calories are created equal. The type of food you choose makes all the difference! Choose nourishing whole foods such as nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and so on. Make sure all your meals and snacks are comprised of good fats, high quality protein (either animal or vegetarian) and complex carbohydrates. Not surprisingly, there were many days that I woke up feeling sick and making smoothies for breakfast was my go-to for weeks on end.
Tip 3: Affirmations: Common throughout pregnancy are aches and pains as your uterus shifts and grows to accommodate your growing baby. It’s very common during your first trimester, especially if it’s your first baby, to get totally freaked out by every strange thing your body does that seems out of the ordinary. Some women find this extremely anxiety-provoking because you automatically worry that something is wrong. More often than not, there is nothing wrong and the best thing you can do is to relax.
I was definitely one of those women who felt a pang of anxiety when odd changes were happening in my body, so I created some affirmation cards. I kept a copy in my coat pocket and a copy on my desk. For example: I trust my body to create the healthiest baby.
Every time I felt a bit unsure or anxious, I would pull out these cards and read them. It had a huge impact on my outlook and my emotional well being. I highly recommend affirmations for any situation, not just pregnancy.
Tip 4: Get Support From Your Partner: A supportive and understanding partner is extremely important during pregnancy, especially during your first trimester when you might not be feeling your best. However, if you don’t speak up and share your needs then your partner might not know how he or she can help you. Communication is key for any successful relationship but especially during pregnancy.
Be sure to share with your partner when you need their help. Whether it’s doing the grocery shopping, washing the dishes, or asking them to make dinner, it will make all the difference in your energy, happiness and vitality.
In our household, I am usually the cook but I actually prefer it this way because I love creating in the kitchen! During my first trimester I wasn’t very hungry and the last thing I felt like doing was making dinner. Walker jumped in and was very supportive in this regard. It’s a simple thing, but has a huge impact.