In the Spirit of Doula Week, here are 7 TIPS for a Healthy Pregnancy and Labour #WellbeingWednesday
With the spring equinox passing, marking the end of winter and beginning of spring, it signifies not only warmer weather but fertility with the rebirth of life. This week also coincides with “doula week”, a celebration of people that help pregnant women welcome their babies. So, today’s Wellbeing Wednesday tip in the spirit of spring and rebirth, is some healthy tips all you pregnant, soon-to-be, or want-to-be pregnant mamas, can consider for a healthy pregnancy and labour.
- Digestion: If you aren’t already eating whole grains, start now. Whole grains are rich in vitamins and minerals, and most importantly fiber. It’s not a secret that pregnant women have a tendency to constipation, so eating high fiber foods are going to help to keep things moving smoothly.
- Eat your Fruits and Veggies: A pregnant women only needs 300 calories more per day, so not much, but they should come from nutrient dense foods. Fruits and Vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and these phytonutrients will help keep mom-to-be and baby healthy.
- Have some protein with each meal: Protein is essential for keeping a pregnant woman’s blood sugar levels, but is also the building blocks to healthy cells and blood for the fetus. Aim to eat a “palm sized” piece of clean protein with each meal. This can be lean animal meats, eggs, legumes, beans, organic dairy, nuts or seeds.
- Increase your intake of Omega 3’s: This essential fatty acid is so important to the developing brain and heart of a fetus. The human body cannot make omega-3s, so we need to get it from our diet. You can either eat fish such as; salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines or herring, or include walnuts, eggs and flaxseeds for vegetarian friendly options. A recommendation is to take an omega 3 supplement, to ensure adequate amounts.
- Get a good daily dose of Calcium: This mineral is essential for healthy teeth and bones and a pregnant woman needs double. Healthy sources come from organic dairy products, dark green vegetables, almonds, black strap molasses, tahini, chia seeds, tofu and seaweeds
- Think Sleep: Just when you think you’ve gotten enough sleep, sleep more! Making a baby is exhausting. Most women are pretty run down in the first trimester and then again as the due date approaches. Nourish your body and enjoy the rest, once the baby comes you’ll be thinking about it all the time!
- Consider a Doula: In my experience from both being a birth doula and being on the receiving end, 3 times, it is the best investment you can make. Research shows having a doula; lowers C-section rates, reduces epidural requests, increases breast feeding initiation, and overall increases the mother’s birth experience, reduces postpartum and boosts her confidence into motherhood.
Wishing you all a fruitful spring, whatever that means to you…..
Rachel Schwartzman is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor, Doula and Acupuncturist. She practices in Toronto and can be reached at 416-371-3422. To learn more about Dr. Rachel take a peek at rachelschwartzman.com