Pregnancy is an exciting time full of amazing changes. It is also a time when women put a lot of focus and effort into their health and wellbeing, as an unborn child is one of the most precious things in life.
Here are some of our top tips for you to use as a general guide, however if you’re unsure of anything please do stay on the safe side and get in touch with your Chiropractor before starting.
1. Get checked and adjusted by a Chiropractor
One thing not many mothers know is that having a balanced spine and pelvis can massively increase the chances of your baby being born without intervention, as well as help you feel a lot more comfortable during pregnancy.
Chiropractic care to balance the pelvis, gives the baby the best opportunity to move into the ideal birthing position. Adjustments can also improve neurological communication for uterine function, promoting a self-regulating body and a straightforward labour.
Many pregnant clients often report shorter, more pleasant deliveries when they receive chiropractic care. Other benefits often reported are: decreased heartburn, improved sleep, less headaches, increased energy and improved overall comfort.
Your growing belly is a beautiful thing that naturally creates some postural imbalances and a shift in weight bearing.
Some good things to consider:
· When standing, have your feet shoulder width apart for increased stability with ‘soft knees’
· Try not to flatten your lower back curve by tucking your tummy in, but also don’t push it out too far – let it be a hammock, nice and neutral, for your baby.
· Let your shoulders relax and stand tall.
· Listen to your body to be aware of positions that are not ideal.
· Avoid wearing high heels.
· Instead of using your stomach muscles to sit up from lying down, roll to your side and push yourself up with your arms.
Child’s pose is a great stretch
During pregnancy movement is fantastic, especially exercise like walking and swimming, accompanied by stretching or yoga and pelvic floor activation.
Hamstring and calf stretches are especially important, not just for comfort but also to prepare for the different positions of labour.
A couple of great yoga poses you can do at home are the Child and Cat Pose. There are lots of online prenatal yoga and stretching routines you can follow. If a pose doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
If you have an exercise ball then sitting on it helps keep the pelvis forward in good alignment, it’s great to rock side to side, back and forth and in circles with your pelvis. Make sure you exaggerate the movement, and hold onto something if you feel unsteady.
Drinking enough water is as important as ever when you’re pregnant. Try not to be discouraged by the extra trips to the bathroom, as your body needs it to help with the increased blood supply, removing toxins and transporting vitamins throughout your body. Approximately 3L is a good target per day or making sure your urine is pale yellow.
Some alternatives is coconut water (it is loaded with electrolytes), raspberry leaf tea, artemis pregnancy tea or lemon squeezed into the water.
Supplements are a hot topic. Your midwife is likely to recommend folate and iodine, and here are some more things to consider:
· A pregnancy Multinutrient to ensure you are getting a little of all of the essential nutrients
· Essential Fatty Acids (eg. Fish oil) throughout your pregnancy is important for your baby’s developing brain and nervous system and is also important to continue when breastfeeding
· Probiotics: A quality, whole food source probiotic will contribute to your health, as well as to a healthy gut in your baby. Research has shown a decrease in allergies, eczema and upper respiratory tract infections in babies when probiotics were taken during pregnancy.
· Magnesium can help with morning sickness, fatigue, constipation and gestational diabetes.
· Vitamin D: Prenatal vitamin D deficiency may play a role in increased rates of cesarean delivery, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and bacterial vaginitis. Risks to the child long-term relate to brain and immune system function.
ANTI NAUSEA TIPS:
- Use ginger in your meals, soups and teas.
- Eat smaller meals (and more often) throughout the day.
- Don’t eat sweets together with savoury dishes. Stick to one or the other.
- Remind yourself to take deep breaths or other methods of relaxation. Often.
A positive mindset is vital for a healthy and happy pregnancy.
Small changes like regular breaks for fresh air, following a guided or self pregnancy meditation, breathing exercises or lunch siestas can be very helpful.
Self-massage of your belly can help you connect to your baby. Whilst you do this, talk to your baby about what you wish for them, how amazing they are, or whatever feels right for you. It is amazing how often you will feel the baby physically respond.
Your body is perfectly designed to grow and birth a baby, stopping to appreciate this amazing miracle is a great practice. Thanking your body will grant you with gratitude and self love, two incredibly powerful pillars to become the most happy and healthy version of yourself, as well as it has been shown to increase the chances of a natural uncomplicated birth.
Visualisation of your ideal birth plan has also been shown to increase the chances of this happening. The key is to also be prepared for Plan B and getting your partner involved.
7. Read, Research & Learn
Resources we love:
– Book: Well Adjusted Babies – Jennifer Barham-Floreani – www.welladjusted.me
– Book: Sarah Buckley – Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering
– Online resources & course: Calm Birth – www.calmbirth.org.nz
– Book: Active Birth – Janet Balaskas
– Website: www.ICPA4Kids.com – parent resources
And when it’s all said and done…
Accept help where possible so you can recover – meals, cleaning etc.
Everyone has an opinion – be prepared to hear lots of stories and advice.. It’s all shared with good intentions, but only take on board what resonates with you.
We’re here to help – as soon as you feel up to it, visit for a post-birth check-up. We also offer a half price newborn assessment to those under care during pregnancy, whether it’s because baby is unsettled, having trouble feeding, or for a wellness check.