Pregnancy is tough. It is no easy job to grow a baby, and you’re likely feeling the physical stress of it all the time. While many symptoms might be evidence of a healthy baby, they can certainly take a toll on you. Establishing healthy routines is one of the most important things you can do, but when you have no energy and are battling intense cravings, it’s easier said than done. If you find yourself constantly feeling bogged down, adding in a few dietary changes or incorporating various exercises can help you feel like yourself again.
One of the earliest symptoms of pregnancy is morning sickness. While it varies in severity, it can be really hard to manage. Besides loading up on clear liquids and saltines, there are natural ways to keep nausea at bay.
- Ginger. Ginger is an ancient, natural remedy for nausea that has been proven to be effective. Ginger ale, ginger snaps, ginger tea, or ginger lollipops all can help curb nausea.
- Smoothies. Smoothies are packed with nutrients and feel good on the tummy. This strawberry ginger smoothie is packed with ingredients to combat nausea while this Mega Green Smoothie is packed with fiber.
- Vitamin B6. Adding in a vitamin B6 or B-complex supplement to your daily routine is a safe way to help with nausea. The B vitamins are water-soluble, so it will naturally discard whatever your body does not use.
- Brewer’s Yeast. Brewer’s yeast is not only rich in B vitamins that can prevent nausea, but it is also easy to add on top of various foods! Adding a tablespoon in your smoothies or sprinkling some on top of cereal or rice will go a long way in lessening morning sickness.
- Exercise. It might be hard in the midst of the first trimester to incorporate exercise, but even adding in a thirty minute walk every day will release endorphins that can combat nausea.
- Pleasant Smells. Find a scent that you can handle well, and keep it on you at all times. Wearing a citrus or peppermint-scented lotion can provide comfort as well as disguise noxious smells that often arise in places like stores or offices.
There are a lot of tips on how to reduce heartburn, such as eating smaller meals and cutting out fatty foods. Sometimes, however, it can still sneak up and wreak havoc on your body. A natural remedy may be able to stop it quickly after it starts.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. An acid like apple cider vinegar might not sound appealing, but because low stomach acid can lead to heartburn, the vinegar corrects this issue and eases the pain. While some people don’t mind drinking it by itself, you can also dilute one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with eight ounces of water.
- Pickle Juice. Whether or not you’ve been hit by that dill craving, some women have found that eating a pickle or drinking some juice provides quick relief. This is due to the acid from the pickling process.
- Dairy. Dairy neutralizes the acid in your stomach. The issue with this, however, is that it tends to be fatty. While dairy might provide immediate relief, you may want to consider alternatives such as almond milk. Greek yogurt is also a great option since it has smaller amounts of lactose.
- Papaya. Because papayas are full of enzymes, they help your body break down food. If papayas are hard to find, you can also try other high enzyme foods such as avocados or pineapples. Or, try the Papaya Enzyme chewable pills we sell in our retail store!
- Aloe vera. Just like with skin burns, aloe vera can soothe the burning sensation in your chest. It is safe to use during pregnancy, and by rubbing it directly on your chest, the cooling sensation can lessen the pain of heartburn.
Progesterone can slow down your digestive system, and adding in iron supplements sometimes only makes things worse. Constipation is nothing to ignore. Besides discomfort, it can lead to problems such as hemorrhoids. Finding foods that keep things moving is crucial during pregnancy.
- High-fiber cereals. Adding in a bowl of fiber-packed cereal is incredibly helpful with constipation. Raisin Bran is packed with both fiber and iron, which is always a bonus!
- Fruit. Snacking on a salad made with delicious fruits like bananas, figs, apples, strawberries, oranges, and raspberries is a healthy way to load up on fiber and relieve constipation.
- Prune juice. Having a few glasses of prune juice can soften your stools, making them much easier to pass. If the taste is off-putting, try adding in water and lemon.
- Flaxseeds. Flaxseeds are packed with fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. Add them to a smoothie or sprinkle them in a salad. The extra boost will help keep things a bit more regular.
- Coffee. Yes, you should limit your coffee throughout pregnancy, but most experts agree that up to 200 mg is fine. If you can stomach it, drinking a cup of coffee a day can keep things moving. Just be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day as well!
- Yoga. Prenatal yoga is a great way to stay active throughout pregnancy. Incorporating positions that target the core can keep your digestive tract healthy.
Many recommend that you add a nap into your daily routine and aim for 8-9 hours of sleep a night. This is definitely beneficial, but it is not feasible to expect that every woman is able to do this. Examining your eating habits can help when simply adding in more sleep isn’t an option.
- Eat more frequently. Not only do smaller, more frequent meals usually help with heartburn and nausea, but they also keep you energized by preventing your blood sugar from dipping too low. Incorporating healthy snacks such as nuts and fruits can also give you more energy throughout the day.
- Complex Carbohydrates. Adding in complex carbs such as beans or lentils that are packed with protein tend to give you a boost of energy, and they serve as an alternative to sugary foods that will weigh you down. Bonus: they also help with constipation!
- Be easy on yourself. Above all, have grace on your body. It is working on a complex task and all of your energy is going towards growing a beautiful little human. Take breaks when you can, and incorporate a self-care activity like a bath or a prenatal massage at least once a week to relax.
One of the most important things you can do is to take care of yourself. Staying hydrated, eating healthy meals, and exercising can help tremendously with all these symptoms. If you are a client and feel you have tried everything but are still struggling, reach out to one of your Celebrate Birth midwives. They likely have another trick from experience that will get you feeling better in no time!