6 Steps to Promote a Proactive & Healthy Pregnancy
Every mom wants a healthy pregnancy. Here are 6 steps to help mom’s body to create the best environment possible for herself and baby.
1. Reliable Support System
A support system is essential. Support system involves your birth team, friends, family, etc. An important piece to this is choosing a birth provider that you trust. Your pregnancy and labor is a very intimate experience, and to have confidence in those who are to be aiding you is so important. Birth support can drastically affect how your labor can go. Interview Ob/gyns, hospitals, birthing centers, midwives and doulas, and ask questions!
If you are wanting to avoid a c-section as much as possible, ask them what their c-section rate is. If you are wanting to be able to move around during labor, walk, be in water, etc, ask them what their policies are. If you are wanting to not be switched around from person to person, ask them how likely it is that they will be specifically the one to be there at your birth. What would be their reasons for inducing?
If you are apprehensive of breastfeeding, ask for a referral for a lactation consultant, or if they have any on staff of where you are birthing. This is your birthing process, and asking these questions can help you find the support system and birth team that you desire. It is also important to consider who you want (partner, family, friends) to be at your birth, and to explain to them the support and your desire of how you wish to labor. If you find that you are lacking support and you do not have much of a say of where you can labor, interviewing doulas should be high on your list of things to do.
Sure, it may not go as planned, but to have an attentive and understanding support system makes the “unplanned events” much easier to go through. Being proactive and asking questions and interviewing various birth providers help you feel better prepared and empowered.
2. Pregnancy and Birthing Classes
Whether it is something that your birth team provides or an external class, pregnancy/birthing classes can be very beneficial. It is often a safe place to learn about your body and how capable it is of going through the changes of pregnancy and labor. Confidence in your body’s ability to birth is so vital, and these classes can help address and put away fears. Local natural pregnancy/baby stores and doulas often have suggestions of various classes that are offered in your area.
We all know the big ones: no smoking, alcohol, sushi. Mom’s nutrition becomes the baby’s building blocks for their developing body. Be cautious of foods high in preservatives, chemicals, and aspartame (diet drinks), as these can have known neuro-toxins in them. Finding a good prenatal vitamin is important as well-it helps prevent deficiencies of vitamins that are essential to fetal growth and development.
Walking, swimming, prenatal yoga, running, etc. The biggest thing is to not push past whatever level you were at during your pregnancy. If you have not done a marathon before, this is not the time to start training for one. However, even if you have not had any level of physical activity before your pregnancy, walking is one of the best ways to keep your body moving, especially if your pelvis is properly aligned.
5. Early Chiropractic Care
Many women know to seek a chiropractor during pregnancy for 2 reasons: If their baby is breech, or if they have back pain/sciatica/ligament pain. While specific chiropractic adjustments and techniques may be beneficial in these circumstances, the benefits can be felt earlier on. Consistent neuro-spinal chiropractic care throughout pregnancy can not only help mom’s body, but the environment for their baby as well. Proper spinal and pelvic alignment throughout pregnancy is key, as the body is adapting to so many changes, beginning at conception. When the spinal shifts are corrected, secondary conditions become addressed and mom’s nervous system has a chance to function optimally, which is especially important throughout pregnancy.
Yes, movement is important. And so is relaxing! The parasympathetic nervous system functions best when you are relaxed. It is the part of the nervous system responsible for resting, digesting and healing. Ideally, our bodies should be in the parasympathetic state 80% of the time. However, most of us are not even close to this number. This can have a drastic effect on health. Many moms find themselves “stuck” in sympathetic overload, especially when these other steps listed above are not being addressed. Take the time to do something that brings you happiness and comfort.