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 well-being 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. If you’re unsure of anything please do stay on the safe side and get in touch with your Chiropractor.
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 adjustments aim to balance the pelvis, giving 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, decreased back pain and sciatica, improved sleep, less headaches, increased energy and improved overall comfort
2. Pregnancy Posture
Your growing belly is a beautiful thing that naturally creates some postural imbalances and a shift in weight bearing.
- 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
3. Pregnancy Exercise
- 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 Child’s Pose 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
4. Pregnancy Hydration
- Drinking water is especially important when you’re pregnant. Try not to be discouraged by the extra trips to the bathroom. Your body needs extra water to help with increased blood supply, removing toxins and transporting nutrients throughout your body
- Approximately 3L is a good target per day or making sure your urine is pale yellow.
- Some alternatives are coconut water (it is loaded with electrolytes), raspberry leaf tea, artemis pregnancy tea or lemon squeezed into the water
5. Pregnancy Nutrition
ANTI NAUSEA TIPS:
- Use ginger in your meals, soups and teas.
- Eat smaller meals (and more often) throughout the day.
- Don’t eat sweet and savoury flavours together. Stick to one or the other.
- Remind to relax often by taking deep slow breaths or other methods of relaxation.
Supplements are a hot topic. Your midwife is likely to recommend folate and iodine, here are others to consider:
- A quality pregnancy multi-nutrient will 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 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, cramps, fatigue, constipation and gestational diabetes
- Vitamin D is important as 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
- We have all of these supplements available to our pregnant practice members at wholesale price plus 5%.
6. Pregnancy Mindset
A positive mindset is vital for a healthy and happy pregnancy.
- Small changes like regular breaks for fresh air, following a guided 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 incredible 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 during Pregnancy
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 are here to help – as soon as you feel up to it visit us for a post-birth check-up. We also offer and encourage all newborns to get checked (even if they do not have any particular concerns). To make this easier your newborn is given their first assessment half price (when parent/s were under care during pregnancy)