Health Concerns During Pregnancy
Morning sickness or nausea during pregnancy is common. It most commonly occurs during the first trimester, but may happen at anytime in your pregnancy. Maintaining hydration and adequate
amounts of protein throughout the day may minimize or prevent nausea. Balance blood sugar by eating small, healthy meals throughout the day and consuming protein and fiber. There is some
research indicating ginger and Vitamin B6 may be helpful for nausea during pregnancy, so consult your doctor or nurse midwife regarding options for decreasing nausea. Vomiting may occur with
your nausea, but if you are experiencing excessive vomiting contact your doctor or nurse midwife. You may have a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum.
Fatigue is also a natural part of being pregnant. Your body is working hard to grow your baby. Take extra time for yourself. Take a quiet walk, read a book, take a nap. Ask others for help.
Pay attention to getting adequate amounts of protein, sleep, and exercise. Decrease stress, or explore options for managing the stress in your life. Remember what you feel affects your baby.
Adequate daily bowel movements are important during pregnancy and throughout our lives to help rid wastes from our body. Constipation can allow for toxins to be reabsorbed from the stool back
into our bodies and can also lead to gas, abdominal discomfort, or hemorrhoids. Constipation is a common occurrence during pregnancy, especially during the hormonal shifts of the first trimester.
Appropriate intake of fiber, magnesium, and essential fatty acids (omega 3s) along with adequate exercise should minimize the occurrence of constipation during your pregnancy. Always speak to your
doctor or nurse midwife if you are experiencing constipation.
Pregnancy is a time of many changes and can be stressful both physically and emotionally. It is important to decrease what stressors you may have control over, and find healthy ways to manage
those you don't. By recognizing stressors in your life, you are one step closer to reducing them. Try to stay clear of stressful situations. Always maintain a healthy diet and exercise schedule,
adequate hydration, rest, and relaxation activities like walking, reading, and meditation. Avoid the desire to handle stress with alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs. If you feel your stress is
overwhelming and need help, speak with your doctor or nurse midwife or a mental health counselor.
If you already have diabetes and would like to get pregnant, your chances of having a healthy baby are good. But, it's important to plan your pregnancy and follow these steps:
- Get your diabetes and blood sugar under control three to six months before you get pregnant.
- Keep your blood sugar under control during your pregnancy.
- Keep food, exercise, and insulin in balance.
- Talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian to help you follow a special meal plan.
Remember, as your baby grows, your body changes, and these changes will affect your sugar levels. If your blood sugar rises too high, the increased sugar crossing into the placenta can result
in a large, over-developed fetus with birth defects or an infant with blood sugar level problems.
Be sure to get enough of the B vitamin folic acid, every day. Women with diabetes may be at increased risk for having a baby with a serious birth defect. Getting enough folic acid each day can
help reduce this risk.
Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that begins during pregnancy and usually goes away after the birth of the baby. If you have gestational diabetes, this means that you have a high
amount of sugar in your blood during pregnancy. This form of diabetes can be controlled through diet, medication, and exercise. If left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health problems
for both you and your baby.
During the third trimester, be sure that your diet has adequate amounts of protein and calcium. These enhance your baby's brain development and protect your own bones. Eating foods that are high
in carbohydrates (pasta and starches) in the days before your due-date gives you sustained energy for labor.
Dr. Katherine Clements, N.D., L.M.T. received her doctorate in naturopathic medicine from Bastyr University, Seattle, WA. In addition to providing nutritional counseling, Dr. Clements has
specialized training in natural approaches to balancing women's health and hormonal issues, autism and ADD, homeopathy, chronic fatigue syndrome, craniosacral, pregnancy massage, detoxification
and chelation therapy. Dr. Clements is a member of Baby Boot Camp's Program Advisory Board.
Visit www.babybootcamp.com or call 888.990.BABY.