Having a healthy pregnancy is one of the best ways to promote a healthy birth. Which means taking care of yourself has never been more important. Luckily, it’s not hard to find your prenatal support system, and that you can get strong prenatal care through nutrition, exercise, working with a doula, and acupuncture.
Prenatal nutrition is impactful for both parents’ and babies’ health, which is why it is such an important part of your prenatal care.
A well balanced prenatal diet includes plenty of protein, which can reduce morning sickness and nausea, help with fetal development, and balance blood sugar levels when paired with carbs. It’s also important to incorporate healthy fats into your pregnancy nutrition.
Fat can help provide energy, facilitate digestion, and absorb certain vitamins and antioxidants. Additionally, Omega-3 fats are especially helpful, supporting your baby’s brain and eye development.
When it comes to eating while pregnant, try smaller, more frequent, and nutrient-dense meals. This can help with nausea as well as early satiety as you get towards the end of your pregnancy and begin to feel full quickly because of your growing baby.
Lastly, prenatal vitamins are very important when it comes to strong prenatal care through nutrition. You should look for folic acid, iron, vitamin C, calcium, and omega 3s when looking for the prenatal vitamin that’s right for you.
Exercising throughout your pregnancy has a tremendous number of benefits. Prenatal exercise can help you feel more energized and emotionally balanced, improve sleep, reduce constipation, lower blood pressure, decrease the likelihood of complications like gestational diabetes, and it also supports better physical and cognitive outcomes for your baby.
Each trimester brings new changes and challenges, so beyond these general benefits, exercise can help with the specific changes your body goes through in every stage of your pregnancy.
Work with a doula
A doula provides informational support, emotional support, and physical support throughout your pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum experience. Doulas can help you find a childbirth class, formulate questions for your care provider, and provide labor support — all while also being your hype person because you’re about to give birth to another human! As a core aspect of strong prenatal care, doulas are the extra support system you and your partner may need beyond your medical care.
Acupuncture is important for prenatal care for many reasons. It can help with morning sickness and fatigue, heartburn, lower back pains, sleeplessness, stress, digestive issues and the anxious preparation as you approach your due date. Prenatal acupuncture can also be effective in adjusting a baby’s breech presentation so that a vaginal delivery is possible, and can also assist with labor induction leading up to your baby’s arrival. Acupuncture is a holistic, whole-person approach and has an amazing ability to treat multiple symptoms and multiple body systems at the same time.