Pregnancy – How To Prepare Your Body

In order to prepare your body to undergo the immense task of supporting a new life, whilst maintaining your own health and vitality, it is important to consider:

 

  • The Mother’s Health – In order to avoid becoming nutrient deficient during and fter pregnancy (remember the baby will take everything it needs from the mother’s own cells).
  • The Baby’s Health – A baby will inherit his/her mother’s balance of nutrients as well as toxins existing in her cells, blood and tissues.

 

Here are a few essential dietary, lifestyle and environmental tips to support you and your baby’s radiant health!

 

DIETARY RECOMMENDATIONS

FATS: For a healthy brain and strong immune system.

Saturated Fats

* VEGANS – cacao butter, non hydrogenated, unrefined coconut (antibacterial properties) and palm oil (sustainably source)

* OMNIVORES – butter (preferably from grass-fed cows), clarified butter (ghee)

 

Polyunsaturated Fats

* VEGANS – chia seeds, freshly ground flax seeds, Sacha Incha seeds, Hemps seeds

* OMNIVORES – cod liver oil, sardines, **Salmon should be avoided or limited to 1x/month due to mercury content

 

Protein-Fats

* VEGANS : avocado, olives

* OMNIVORES : unpasteurized cheese, eggs (cage free)

 

PROTEIN: For healthy muscular and cellular development

NB. VEGANS must take a B12 supplement. 

* VEGANS – legumes, pseudograins ( amaranth, quinoa, millet, buckwheat)

* OMNIVORES** – lamb, chicken/turkey, bison, wild caught sardines

** Meat must be from an ethical source, raised without constriction, with no added hormones or antibiotic use.

 

WHOLE and preferably SPROUTED GRAINS : for cellular and digestive health

* Whole wheat, spelt, kamut, barley, semolina, bulgur, rye ( **These gluten containing grains are NON-ESSENTIAL and should be consumed in moderation and only if well digested)

* Corn (non-GMO and organic), wild and brown rice

* Sorghum, Teff

 

NUTS are NON-ESSENTIAL foods that are a great source of fat, provide nutrients and some protein, especially for VEGANS

 

A word on SOYA Products: Tempeh, miso, natto and edamame are the least processed and easiest products to digest. Non-GMO and organic Soft Tofu may be occasionally consumed.

 

LIGHTLY COOKED VEGETABLES*: rich in antioxydants, fiber, minerals and vitamins (as long as you conserve the cooking water – I recommend using it for vinaigrettes, sauces or simply to be drunk as a tea with your meal)

 

*Lightly cooked vegetables are easier to digest, and minerals are slightly easier to absorb, especially when served with a bit of fat/oil.  Also, you can eat more vegetables when they are cooked!

NB: Raw vegetables are an abundant source of enyzmes and should also be a part of daily consumption.

 

* 1-2 cruciferous vegetables/day (cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, turnip, rutabaga)

* 1-2 root vegetables/day (sweet potato, Jerusalem artichokes, red potato, beetroot, carrot)

* 1-2 leafy green vegetables/day (kale, Swiss Chard, arugula, mesclun greens, mâche, dandelion leaves)

 

FRUIT – rich sources of anti-oxydants and vitamins

* Berries

* Tree fruits – apples, pears, oranges

* Tropical Fruits should be reduced or avoided (risk of parasites and have a tendency to mold)

 

BROWN SEAWEEDS: Mineral riche and Assist Heavy Metal Detoxification

* Kombu, kelp, wakame

** Minimize other seaweeds due to risk of heavy metal toxicity (an exception would be organic nori which is cultivated in independent pools, protected from ocean toxicity)

 

LACTO-FERMENTED FOODS: To support immune and digestive health

* VEGANS: sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, miso, water grain kefir (Kombucha may be irritating to the intestines, consume as tolerated)

* OMNIVORES : milk kefir

 

NB: consume between ½ - 2C per day of these probiotic rich foods

 

NUTRIENT RICH BROTHS : For cellular health

* VEGANS: kombu broths

* OMNIVORES: bone broths

 

HERBAL TEAS

MORNING TEA – to replace coffee and black tea

 - Nettle (tonic, energizing)

- Peppermint (anti-nausea, adaptogenetic, antistress)

 

NIGHTIME TEA

 - Holy Basil (mental calm)

 - Milk Stage Oats (Calcium rich, nervous system support)

 

Other Safe Herbal Teas:

 - Lemon Balm

 - Ginger

 - Linden

 - Rose Hip

 

SEA SALT – to support cellular and tissue health

 -  Himalyan, Celtic

- Fleur de sel

 

FILTERED WATER

 

 - Double carbon filtered, KDF/GAC, ceramic

 - Spring Water

 

SUPERFOODS

 * Maca : hormone balance

* Goji Berries:  antioxidant rich

* Spirulina/Chlorella: complete protein, antioxidant rich, source of essential fatty acids

* Aloe Vera: digestive and articular health

* Bee Pollen and Royal Jelly : these are what support the health and vitality of baby and queen bees and will in turn provide essential and bioavailable nutrients for you and your baby

**Chlorophyll: This is safe to take during pregnancy and in addition will provide a source of calcium, iron and other trace minerals that will increase your production of  strong red blood cells and support your baby’s general development.

 

FOODS TO AVOID DURING PREGNANCY

 * Unfiltered Tap Water

* Flouride

* Conventional (unorganic) Fruits and Vegetables

* Pasteurized Milk Products** (milk, pasteurized cheese) Sheep and Goat dairy is easier to digest than Cow Dairy due to the similarity in nutritional profile and molecular protein size when compared with Human Breast Milk

** If your dairy products come from ethically raised, organic ruminates there shouldn’t be a risk for bacterial infection/toxicity. However, always check with your doctor before consuming unpasteurized foods.

* Cassava : contains too much cyanide

* Conventional Breakfast Cereals

* Fish and Seafood : Especially avoid farmed fish, tuna, swordfish and any fish larger than you could catch yourself. There is a high risk for heavy metal toxicity. Even Salmon should be limited to 1x/month.

* White sugar, refined grains, agave nectar (has more fructose than corn syrup!)

* Commercial peanuts (risk of mold)

* Canola, soya and commercial vegetable oils

* Non-fermented soy (Soya milk and firm tofu are difficult to digest and may be inflammatory)

* Coffee, Black Tea

* Microwaved and frozen food

* Rooibos tea – Contains too much Nickel

* Herbs – chamomile, black and blue cohosh, ginseng, hops, juniper, goldenseal, angelica, burdock, yarrow, castor oil, sage, blue verbena, licorice, artichoke

 

LIFESTYLE RECOMMENDATIONS

EXERCISE

* Light stretching

* Walking

* Pilates

* Light strength training (using your own body weight is preferable to lifting weights)

NB: Do not attempt to gain endurance, strength etc. during pregnancy, as this will put undo and potentially dangerous strain on your body. Instead work to maintain your overall pre-existing physical capacities.

 

BREATHING

* Alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Shodhan)

* Fire breath (Kapalabhati)

* “Kegels”

 

SLEEP

* 8-10 hours each night

* 1-2 naps/day or as needed

MASSAGE

* Massage your feet with untoasted sesame or almond oil nightly

* Receive massages from certified massage therapists trained specifically for pregnancy

 

ENVIRONMENTAL RECOMMENDATIONS

CLEANING AND BEAUTY PRODUCTS

* All natural and chemical free ingredients

* Natural make-up

 

AIR QUALITY

* Fill your apartment/home and work space with plants

Peace Lilies are especially good

* Try to spend one weekend every month in nature

 

REMEDIES FOR NAUSEA

* Peppermint essential oil : place a few drops in the palm of your hand, rub your hands together and breath deeply. Can also be applied on the temples, behind the ears, at the base of the skull and on the forehead along the brow.

* Fresh Ginger/Lemon Tea

* Suck on a lemon or lime

* Sauerkraut/ Pickle Brine

* Light Stretching

* Acupressure points

 

COMMON CRAVINGS

 * Sugar : try consuming dates, prunes, raw honey and/or fresh fruit

* Bread/Carbs: try legume/bean pasta or whole grains

 

REFERENCE: “Herbs and Things” – Jeanne Rose. “The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care” – Sally Fallon Morelle and Thomas Crown, MD