Holistic pregnancy has many benefits for you and your baby. A holistic approach focuses on the whole person and considers not only the mother’s physical health, but her mental, emotional, and spiritual health as well.
Here we present the ultimate go-to guide to help you navigate through your holistic pregnancy, incorporating all the key elements needed for a safe, healthy, natural experience.
- Eat to Nourish
In order to properly nourish your baby and replenish your lost nutrients it’s important to eat mostly whole foods. You need plenty of fruits and vegetables, especially dark, leafy greens, along with protein and fats including meat, eggs, legumes, olive oil, and dairy. Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated and eat fiber to prevent constipation. A good prenatal vitamin can supplement important nutrients that you cannot fully obtain from a healthy diet – including folate, which prevents neural tube defects.
- Exercise to Prepare Your Body
Pregnancy has been compared to training for a marathon, and it’s true! You need strength and endurance for what lies ahead. Walking, yoga, swimming, nature hikes, dancing…exercise can be fun! Avoid exercises that strain your abdomen and be sure to check with your doctor or midwife to make sure your regimen is safe.
Pregnant Pauses is an excellent scientifically proven way to reduce pain and prepare your body for the immense changes that are coming.
- Know the Process
Knowledge is power! Learning about your body’s changes and your baby’s development will help reduce anxiety about the process. Prenatal classes are a useful resource and can teach you helpful breathing techniques for both pregnancy and labour. Research your options for childbirth including labouring methods, types of pain relief, and potential interventions so you can feel empowered and better equipped to make your own choices. Trust that your body was built to do this.
- Use Natural Remedies and Alternative Therapies
Lower the baby’s exposure to unnecessary chemicals and help soothe aches and pains using natural, alternative remedies and therapies. Regular massages by a licensed therapist can relieve backaches and tense muscles, and acupuncture can reduce swelling, sciatica, nausea, heartburn, and other uncomfortable symptoms. Fight colds and flu with chamomile tea, and combat nausea with ginger, crackers, seasickness bands, or essential oils. You might also consider visiting an osteopath who can help you maintain proper pelvic alignment.
- Avoid Environmental Toxins
You can limit your exposure to dangerous toxins to protect your baby. Avoid alcohol and high mercury fish, and limit caffeine intake. Avoid soft cheeses and processed meats to prevent listeria infection, and use gloves while gardening and give someone else litter box duty to protect against toxoplasmosis. Gloves, good ventilation when cleaning, and switching your cleaners to natural alternatives when possible will also help.
- Practice Mindfulness and Lower Your Stress
Being mindful means living in the moment, being aware of yourself and your surroundings and how you interact with the world. Pregnancy can be stressful, and it’s important to devote time each day to center yourself and connect spiritually with your growing baby. Meditation can help you relax and calm your inner core, lowering anxiety and blood pressure and promoting a sense of well-being.
- Build a Support Network
Having a child is a huge transition and can be overwhelming at times – that’s why it is so important to build a good support network to help you sort through the emotional aspects of pregnancy. Share your feelings of anxiety and doubt with your significant other, family and friends so they can reassure you. Accept assistance when it’s offered – people want to help and be there for you and your baby.
Enjoying a holistic pregnancy means connecting the mind, body, and spirit together for the optimal health of mother and baby. Use holistic care to embrace a calm, natural pregnancy, and begin the life-changing journey of motherhood knowing you’ve made the best decisions for you and your baby.