Keep Pregnancy Natural

Achieving a Natural Pregnancy

All pregnancies, no matter how they were conceived, are natural. From the moment of conception you have a life to develop for nine months and achieving a natural pregnancy will give you the best possible chance of maintaining optimal foetal and maternal health.

A natural pregnancy is one that is clear of unnecessary medications, bad foods and chemicals. Exercise and a good diet are also essential for maintaining and achieving a natural pregnancy. Complimentary therapies can help you ward off pregnancy side effects such as nausea, constipation and stress by allowing your body to respond naturally. 

Achieving a natural pregnancy need not be difficult. All it takes is a few simple lifestyle changes that will benefit you throughout your pre and post-natal stages.

The information you read in this Hub is not intended to replace the advice of the midwife or obstetrician leading your pre-natal care, You must always consult with them before trying any complimentary therapies or new exercise regimes. In addition to his, if you find that any ailments you are attempting to ward off through natural means are persistent to the point of your day to day life being affected, please seek the advice of a medical professional who is familiar with your pregnancy.


Defeat Common Pregnancy Ailments Naturally

The majority of pregnant women will experience some unwanted side effects at some point during their pregnancy. Most women experience pregnancy nausea aka 'morning sickness' during their first trimester, many experience pregnancy constipation at various stages and restlessness can also become quite an un-welcomed side effect during your third trimester.

Combat Pregnancy Nausea Naturally:

Pregnancy nausea, aka morning sickness, affects the majority of pregnant women during their first trimester. Some will find that they experience it throughout their pregnancy and others experience small bouts of it even after they feel their first trimester nausea has ended.

Pregnancy nausea can become quite bothersome, it may prevent you from eating and can make day to day life quite difficult. It is important that you maintain your natural pregnancy and don't resort to prescription pills designed to combat nausea. Here are ways you can defeat pregnancy nausea naturally:

  • Drink ginger ale or nibble on ginger biscuits.
  • Take small sips of water when you feel sick.
  • Eat 6 small meals a day instead of 3 large ones.
  • Take naps when possible.
  • Use homeopathic remedies such as ipecac, sepia, pulsatilla or nox-vomica.
  • Try aromatherapy after the first trimester.

If you choose to use a homeopathic remedy to defeat pregnancy nausea, speak with the midwife or obstetrician leading your pre-natal care prior to trying it. Homeopathic remedies are safe for the majority of pregnant women, but there may be a particular reason as to why you cannot take it.

Rid Yourself of Pregnancy Constipation Naturally:

Another very unpleasant side effect of pregnancy is constipation. Your digestive system slows down slightly during pregnancy, making it difficult for it to process food. You may find yourself going 4-7 days between each stool, and when you do go further unpleasant side effects such as bleeding can occur. The pressure of straining can in some cases lead to weaker bladder muscles.
It is not advisable to take over the counter laxatives during your pregnancy. Here are some natural pregnancy methods you can try:

  • Start your day with a fibre rich breakfast, such as fruit 'n' fibre.
  • Fill yourself up with fruit and veg.
  • Switch your white carbs to brown ones.
  • Take small amounts of exercise, it can get your digestive system moving.
  • Stay on top of your water intake, it can soften stools and make them easier to pass.
  • Try homeopathic remedies such as nux-vomica, sepia, bryonia or sulphur.
  • Try using lavender oil in your bath (after the first trimester), it has been known to make your digestive system tick over quite smoothly.

Again you must consult the midwife or obstetrician before using complimentary therapies. If the above methods do not work and you are finding your pregnancy constipation unbearable, visit your GP and he may prescribe you a weak laxative to soften your stools.

Rid Yourself of Pregnancy Insomnia Naturally:

Despite feeling extremely tired, a lot of pregnant women experience 'pregnancy insomnia'. Two of the most common causes for pregnancy insomnia are listed above, and if you follow the above natural methods to rid yourself of them you should be able to rest easier.

Another common cause of pregnancy insomnia is the frequent urge to urinate. You can combat this by steering clear of caffeine in tea, coffee and coke. If you like these drinks, choose the caffeine free options. Caffeine acts a diuretic and consuming it in large proportions is not recommended during pregnancy. 
  You may also want to not drink for an hour before bed time, this will give you the chance to empty your bladder before bed time and will reduce night time toilet trips.

Another reason for finding sleeping difficult during pregnancy is your over-active mind. Pregnancy is a very important time in your life, so you may experience a busy pregnancy mind for any number of reasons.
  There are ways you can clear your mind before going to sleep. Half an hour before bed time, try writing down your worries, this method has been known to relieve you of those bothersome thoughts that can keep you tossing and turning during the night. You may also want to consider trying a sleep hypnosis or meditation MP3, which can be purchased for as little as £0.79 on Amazon. Relaxing and soothing sounds such as ocean waves, thunderstorms and rainforest tracks can also help rock you in to a relaxing sleep.

It is best that you steer clear of medical sleeping aids in order to maintain a natural pregnancy. Studies have found that the consumption of sleeping pills during pregnancy can lead to your baby becoming addicted, they then experience withdrawal symptoms after the birth. Some studies even indicate that your baby will have a lower IQ due to sleeping pill consumption. There are currently no sleeping pills that are marked as being completely safe for use during pregnancy by The NHS or The FDA.



Maintain a Nutritious Pregnancy Diet

One of the most vital parts of being a mum to be is maintaining a nutritious pregnancy diet. What you eat is passed through your placenta to your baby, he relies on you to keep him well nourished. 

What you should avoid or restrict:

  • Smoking: Smoking restricts the blood flow to your placenta and fills your bloodstream with 4000 nasty chemicals that just should not be there. Your midwife or doctor can advise you on how to quit.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol is another unnecessary vice that should be avoided during pregnancy. Although it is thought that one or two drinks a week may be okay, there is no actual clarity as to how safe it is to consume any alcohol at all during your pregnancy.
  • Caffeine: If you had a serious Starbucks habit before falling pregnant you may wish to consider cutting down. Caffeine is a stimulant and can increase your heart rate as well as your baby's. Consider switching to decaff and give herbal teas a go.
  • Certain Raw Seafoods: Certain sea foods that are eaten raw, such as sushi and oysters, are also a no-no. This is because we are more sensitive to listeria during pregnancy because of our lowered immune system. However, a lot of store bought and restaurant made sushi is frozen below -40 degrees, which kills any existing bacteria. Ask a staff member before consuming though, just to be sure.
  • Certain Cheeses: Mould ripened cheeses such as stilton, brie and camembert are out of the question. Again this is due to your increased sensitivity to listeria during pregnancy.
  • Pate, Undercooked meat and eggs: If you eat pate, undercooked meat or softly cooked eggs you are exposing your unborn baby to bacteria that he/she can't handle.
  • Liver Products: These are high in large amounts of vitamin A, which could harm your baby.
  • Fish Containing High Mercury Levels: Such as swordfish and tuna steaks. This can damage your baby's neurological development.
What you should be eating:It is important that for the first twelve weeks you take a folic acid supplement, this is known to reduce spina bifda and can help neurological development. You may also want to consider taking pre-natal vitamins throughout your pregnancy in order to ensure you are maintaining an equal balance of all the nutrients your baby needs.  Taking pre-natal vitamins is not enough on it's own though, you need to limit how much junk you consume and do not take the phrase 'eating for two' seriously. You only need to add an extra 200 calories per day to your diet in the last trimester. The best rule of thumb is, eat when you are hungry. Make sure you maintain a good balance of carbohydrates for energy, vegetables and fruits for vitamins and proteins for nourishment. Keep your calcium intake up too, and make sure you get your daily dose of fibre to prevent pregnancy constipation.
Tackling Cravings:It is a myth that because your body is craving chocolate, you must eat chocolate. It is okay to give in to these cravings on a small scale, but you must treat them as a sign that your body is craving something nutritious. For example, a craving for chocolate could be your body crying out for calcium and fruit (tackling the dairy and sweet craving!). Think what healthy alternatives could tackle your pregnancy cravings and you should be able to maintain a natural pregnancy diet.  A strange craving for something like mud, coal or soap could mean you have an iron deficiency. Speak to your midwife or doctor if you experience these cravings.
For further information visit this baby centre guide.


The Importance of Exercising During Pregnancy

In years gone by the advice regarding exercise during pregnancy has simply been: don't do it. Fortunately in more recent times studies have found that some forms of pregnancy exercise can be beneficial to women during their child bearing year.

If you exercised before falling pregnant:

If you exercised before falling pregnant, it will usually be safe to carry on with your usual regime. As long as your exercise does not consist of contact sports or long periods of ballistic movement, your usual exercise routine can still continue to be beneficial to you during pregnancy.

If you didn't exercise before falling pregnant:

If you didn't exercise before falling pregnant there is no reason why you cannot start. Discuss options with your midwife or OB before starting any new forms of exercise, but taking on a small walk each day or pregnancy yoga is considered to be safe for the majority of pregnancies.

How exercise helps you achieve a natural pregnancy:

  • Taking a small walk each day or practising pregnancy yoga will help alleviate back ache and cramps, reducing the need for painkillers and allowing you to maintain a natural pregnancy.
  • It can help reduce stress.
  • It can improve pregnancy circulation, relieving you of itchy skin and sore legs. Again there will be no need for pain killers or topical creams, allowing you to maintain a natural pregnancy.
  • It will prepare your body for a natural childbirth.

Remember the aim with pregnancy exercise is not to lose weight, but to stay healthy and achieve a natural pregnancy.

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