Pregnancy is a time to be enjoyed and cherished. With pregnancy come the joys of planning a life for you and your child. Along with the many new questions that arise during your first pregnancy is the question of health and diet – for you and your baby. Your body is going through many changes for the first time – but don’t worry, your body knows what it’s doing.I was made to do this. All it needs from you is your help mentally and nutritionally. This article provides advice on diet, nutrition and general well being during your pregnancy. Congratulations!
Perhaps you are wondering if you indeed are pregnant. Many women who have not been pregnant before have a hard time discerning pregnancy symptoms from other conditions. It is important to understand that different women experience different symptoms, at different times. Below is a general list of common pregnancy symptoms:
• Menstruation delay: Your menstrual cycle should stop if you are pregnant. However, there are other reasons why your cycle could stop or skip a month including stress. In some cases, the stress of possible pregnancy actually causes menstruation to temporarily cease.
• Spotting: When the embryo implants itself on the uterine wall, some bleeding may occur which results in spotting (small traces of blood discharge. Alternately, this symptom may be an altered or diminished menstrual cycle.
• Swollen Breasts: Some women’s breasts will swell immediately while others don’t swell for months (or at all in some cases). Swelling is often accompanied with tenderness.
• Fatigue: Being pregnant gives your body a lot of work to do. The result can be general fatigue.
• Morning Sickness: Morning sickness is not experienced by all women, and can occur within 2 weeks of pregnancy. Morning sickness refers to general nausea, usually in the morning and sometimes accompanied by vomiting or retching.
• Headaches: Hormone changes can cause you experience what are called hormone headaches. Common in pregnant women, hormone headaches are another sign of pregnancy.
• Back Ache: Back aches are common among pregnant women particularly in the later stages of pregnancy, however some experience back within a month of pregnancy that continues until delivery.
• Heartburn: Very common in pregnant women, it does not mean your baby will have lots of hair (old wives tale!)
• Urination: Frequent urination is a tell-tale sign of pregnancy. Usually starting around the second month of pregnancy, women need to make more frequent trips to the restroom.
• Cravings: Everyone has heard of odd cravings in pregnant women. In reality, your cravings may not be strange but they will probably be strong. Many doctors believe you should go with your cravings, as your body is telling you what you need.
Morning Sickness Remedies and Other Pregnancy Related Remedies
With pregnancy some women experience morning sickness, headaches, backaches and other undesirable symptoms. To help tackle some of the big ones, here are some home remedies:
• Morning Sickness
• avoid heat and warm areas which can exacerbate nausea
• get out of bed slowly
• try eating light carb foods like toast or crackers in the morning
• get enough rest, nap during the day
• cook with the barbeque or microwave if smells trigger nausea
• carry a napkin or handkerchief perfumed with an essential oil that does not cause nausea – if you are in a situation where an odor causes nausea, simple place the napkin under your nose
• avoid greasy or spicy foods
• eat smaller meals, but eat regularly
• avoid dinking during meals
• make sure you are properly hydrated by drinking water or clear teas
• apples w/ a tiny pinch of salt in the morning can help prevent headaches
• lavender oil applied to a cold wet cloth and placed on the forehead
• very small amount of caffeine may help
• heated baths or showers
• massages from a friend or partner
• sleeping with neck support pillows
• St. Johns Wort tinctures
• eat smaller meals (but eat regularly)
• drink milk if it doesn’t make you nauseous
• honey in warmed milk
• avoid spicy or greasy foods
• mercurius solubilise three times a day
• drink fluids regularly
• avoid bowel straining
• eat plenty of vegetables and fruits
• apply witch hazel directly
• take a sitz bath
• don’t resist cravings, eat what you crave unless it’s dangerous for your or baby’s health
• be careful not to overeat, cravings usually end after having a small amount of the food craved
During pregnancy, you want to make sure your body is in optimal health for you and your baby. From the time you are pregnant to the time you deliver, the foods you eat will directly affect your baby. Here are some diet suggestions to give your baby a great head start while remaining healthy throughout your pregnancy:
• Prenatal Supplements: To ensure your body is getting all the extra vitamins it needs, take trusted, high quality prenatal vitamins daily.
• Fibre: Eat plenty of whole grain breads, pastas, cereals and rice.
• Folic Acid: Prevents neural tube defects and promotes health. Can be found in leafy green vegetables and legumes such as black eyed peas and lima beans.
• Iron: It is important to build up your iron stores for your baby (breast milk contains very little iron)
• Calcium: Make sure you are getting the right amount of calcium by having at least 4 servings of dairy per day.
• Vitamin C: Make sure you get sufficient Vitamin C by eating plenty of oranges, honeydew, grapefruit, green peppers, sprouts and mustard greens.
• Vitamin A: Carrots, pumpkins swash, turnips, beet greens, apricots and sweet potatoes all contain Vitamin A.
• Ginger: ginger is healthy and can also help reduce the nausea associated with pregnancy
• Cod Liver Oil: High quality cod liver oil contains omega-3 and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which helps in your baby’s brain development.