Pregnancy can be one of the most joyful times of your life. It can also bring body and health challenges that you have never experienced (or even heard of) before. Making simple adjustments to your current habits can help create the most comfortable pregnancy possible so you can focus on your growing family.
Get ample fiber
Some women suffer from constipation during pregnancy due to progesterone relaxing everything in your body (including your digestive system). To avoid the discomfort this can cause, be sure to fill up on fiber like broccoli and leafy greens, plenty of beans and legumes, and whole grains like quinoa. If you’re still struggling with sluggish digestion, ask your doctor about adding a supplement like Eliminate or Move.
The importance of sleep
Thanks to hormones, a growing belly, heartburn, and body aches, you may find yourself tossing and turning at night. Purchasing a pregnancy pillow can help with any physical discomfort. It can also aid back and stomach sleepers to remain on their side since you’ll get the best blood flow laying on your left side while you sleep. Good sleep hygiene such as avoiding blue light from cell phones and television at night, practicing meditation, taking a doctor-approved magnesium supplement, and avoiding caffeine will help increase the length and quality of your sleep.
Change your skincare routine
If you’ve been curious about natural skincare, pregnancy may be the perfect time to switch up your routine. Retinol, fragrance, benzoyl peroxide, and parabens are just a few of the ingredients your doctor or midwife may recommend you skip while pregnant and breastfeeding. It’s important to check each of your skincare items and ask your doctor for specific recommendations on what to avoid while pregnant and breastfeeding.
Drink lots of water
Your body increases its blood volume progressively starting at just six weeks into pregnancy, ultimately increasing by 40-50 percent of your pre-pregnancy volume. If you’ve experienced the “pregnancy glow,” you have this increase in blood volume to thank! You also may experience increased thirst since extra blood means an increase in the need for water. Staying hydrated ensures the blood can circulate properly, which is crucial for keeping baby and mom healthy. Along with fiber, water will also help keep your digestion moving during pregnancy.
It’s no secret that breast size increases during pregnancy (it’s often one of the first signs you’re expecting!). While you might be feeling tempted to avoid making new purchases, buying bras that actually fit (and ideally are labeled “maternity”) will help you avoid unnecessary back pain down the road.
Move and stretch daily
Some pregnant women continue with their pre-pregnancy workouts with no issues, while others may feel like taking it easier as their pregnancy progresses. Whichever camp you live in, getting some form of movement will help regulate hormones, improve mood, decrease back pain, lower your odds of complications, speed up post-birth healing, and improve sleep. Low-impact exercises like walking, prenatal yoga, pilates, or swimming are a few excellent options.
Take a high-quality prenatal and probiotic
The aim should always be to get ample nutrition from a whole foods diet. Since it’s nearly impossible to keep the “perfect” diet and since micronutrient needs increase during pregnancy, taking a high quality, doctor-approved supplement, like Cultivate, is an integral part of ensuring both yourself and baby get everything you need each day.
Practice body love
Pregnancy is a time where body changes occur rapidly. Taking some time to understand why specific changes happen (like the fact that the increased fat on your lower body helps produce healthy milk for your baby) can help you appreciate and connect to your body in a different way. Taking time daily, distraction-free to light a candle, meditate, apply body oil, or do anything that makes you feel relaxed and present is a positive step to connecting to your body and its miraculous ability to grow your baby.
Eat small, frequent meals
As your uterus and baby grow, there’s less room for your organs, and specifically, in your stomach. Eating more (or even eating the same as you did before in one sitting) can sometimes lead to indigestion and heartburn. To avoid this painful experience, try eating smaller meals every few hours to ensure you get enough nutrition without overstuffing yourself.
It’s important to choose whole, organic foods whenever possible to ensure you and your baby get the nutrition needed to thrive. We’ve created this pregnancy smoothie with specific nutrients in mind for pregnancy. The magnesium in the cacao will help relieve stress, encourage a positive mindset, and ease insomnia. Pumpkin seeds provide the healing power of zinc. You’ll also get a boost of inflammation-fighting antioxidants from blueberries and pears.
1 cup coconut or almond milk
1/4 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1 cup ice
Bonus: add 2-3 cups of leafy greens like spinach for a boost of folate
Remove seeds and stem from pear.
Blend all ingredients on high until creamy and smooth. Serve immediately.
Recipe and photography by Kaitlyn Noble
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