You’re pregnant… congratulations!
Conceiving a baby is an exciting milestone. It’s also the perfect time to continue all the wonderful work you have done to get and stay healthy. This is what will set you up for a good pregnancy, and set your baby up for the best possible start in life.
Testing to put your mind at ease
The health of your thyroid can impact your risk of miscarriage, preterm birth and health risks such as learning difficulties in your child. An experienced naturopath will ensure that you receive the correct screening and full thyroid testing, including thyroid antibodies.
It is during the first trimester that you experience significant changes in hormone levels which may cause symptoms such as morning sickness and fatigue. Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy can be difficult to cope with, leaving you tired and depleted of important electrolytes. Nausea has been shown to improve with good hydration and supplements such as vitamin B6, ginger and chromium. Read more about how to manage nausea in pregnancy.
Your baby’s development
During the first trimester, your baby’s brain, spinal cord, eyes, ears, nose and major organs begin to develop. Fingers and toes begin to form, bones and muscles begin to grow, and the intestines start to develop. It’s vital to take quality prenatal supplements during this time so that your body can support your baby’s growth, and replenish its own vitamin and mineral stores. When it comes to supplements, quality counts – there is a world of difference between retail supplements from the chemists and high quality practitioner-only supplements.
Supplementation and nutrition
Folate is essential for preventing neural tube defects and tongue tie, and for removing toxins from the body via the liver. Yet approximately 50% of women cannot convert folic acid into its active form so that the body can utilise it. A naturopath can prescribe activated folate to bypass this problem and prevent conditions such as spina bifida, and cleft lip and palate.
Your diet should be rich in wholefoods such as vegetables, fruit, wholegrains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Organic fresh meat, fish and eggs are all great sources of protein. On the other hand, the following foods should be avoided: caffeine, alcohol, vegetable oils, refined sugar, processed meats, raw meat/eggs/seafood, deli meats and salads, sushi, soft cheese, soft-serve ice cream and bean sprouts.
As you see, there is a lot that you can do to influence the quality of your pregnancy and the health of your baby. To find out more about how a naturopath can support you throughout your pregnancy, please get in touch. Stay tuned for the next blog on what to focus on in the second trimester.