Pregnancy should be a special time in a couples life when they can celebrate their happiness at the anticipation of the arrival of their precious bundle of joy. It should not be filled with stress, illness, pain and discomfort.
During pregnancy your body goes through many physical, emotional and chemical changes in preparation of carrying your child and giving birth.
These pointers stem from the foundations of Thrive! Lifestyle Solutions.
I started to think about these things long before becoming pregnant and managed to have a happy healthy pregnancy with my daughter, Breah who was born in Jan 2014.
5 important things to consider during Pregnancy:
The first thing that develops in your unborn child is their brain and spinal chord, then the nerves start to branch off from the spinal chord, the organs start to develop (heart, lungs, kidneys etc) and slowly your baby begins to form. Your brain and central nervous system controls everything in your body, from your heart and lungs to your skin and teeth.
During pregnancy your body starts to make structural changes to allow for the growth of the baby and for birth. The increase in the size of the uterus changes your centre of gravity, increase in hormones, stretching of ligaments, weight gain, changes in pelvic tilt, can all take their toll on your body. Not to mention the nausea, heartburn constipation, pubic pain, etc or the stress that it puts on your Spine and Nervous System. Most women are lead to believe that these are all natural parts of pregnancy. Regular Chiropractic care can assist in combating these hurdles. Chiropractors can assess the alignment of the pelvis and make sure that it is in the correct position allowing your baby to get into the ideal position for birth. Having your Nervous System checked will ensure that communications between mother and growing baby are clear and functioning correctly.
Chiropractic researcher Dr. Joan Fallon conducted studies that showed a 24% reduction in average labor time for first-time mothers who received Chiropractic care, and 39% reduction for women who were delivering for the second or third time.
Another study by orthopaedic researcher Dr P. Freitag MD PhD showed that analgesics during delivery was reduced by half in pregnant patients under regular Chiropractic care.
A study conducted by Dr Irvin Henderson MD (a member of the American Medical Association Board of Trustees) demonstrated that “Women who received chiropractic adjustments in their third trimester were able to carry and deliver their child with much more comfort.”
Make sure your Spine and Nervous System are functioning at their highest with regular Chiropractic care before, during and after pregnancy for the health of you and your unborn child.
Keep The Power On!
Another crucial element to you and your unborn child during pregnancy is Nutrition. Ensure that you are eating nutrient dense, high quality foods. Make better choices, if you are craving something sweet, have a piece of fruit or veg instead of a chocolate bar. Avoid processed and pre packaged food. If it comes in a packet and lists more than 5 ingredients, you can’t pronounce some of the ingredients or the list of ingredients looks more like it comes from a science lab – it is NOT real food!
Excessive weight gain during pregnancy, whether from poor nutrition or lack of movement, are associated with gestational diabetes, pregnancy related hypertension, delivery of large-for-gestational-age babies and has been shown to affect the health of both the mother and the child.
Eat Real Food!
Studies shows that regular movement during pregnancy helps contribute to normal on-time delivery. Some other benefits our practice members have noticed have been more energy, more restful sleep, shorter labour, easier labour, less mood swings, better stress management, less weight gain. Just because you are pregnant it doesn’t mean that you have to give up your regular routine or that you can’t introduce regular movement. Slight modifications can be made to your regular routine during pregnancy to ensure that you are getting the movement your body needs to help in the development of your baby. If you don’t currently have a routine you can introduce mild or moderate movements with the help of a good personal trainer. Stretching is also vital during pregnancy, it helps to relieve aches and pains and keep the body supple.
Movement has an abundance of benefits for you and your unborn baby.
Thoughts & Beliefs
Stress effects the way your body functions and any stress that you experience will even have an effect on your unborn child. Learn to meditate, get a life coach or some counselling.
Single tasking – we may think that we are great at multitasking but our brains are not wired for it. We work at out best when we do one thing at a time. Prioritise your daily tasks.
We respect that parents will have their own individual choices when it comes to birth choices and so should all healthcare practitioners. Make sure that you choose the right option for you. Do not be pushed into something you do not wish to do or that goes against your beliefs; find a birthing professional and plan to suit your personal choice but always remember that births are unpredictable, things may not always go as planned and emergency measures may have to be put in place. Discuss your plan and all the possible outcomes and come up with plan for each of the different scenarios so that they are not a shock or stress if it comes to a time they need to be put in place. Do your research and know what to expect!
Communication is key, don’t wait until you are throwing plates around the kitchen in anger, talk to each other, tell him you are sick of cooking every night, tell her the snoring is keeping you up at night.
Take 5 minutes in every day to de-brief each other, discuss your wins and challenges for the day.
Make one night a week “date night” and stick to it, even throughout pregnancy. Whether it’s going to the movies, theatre or staying in to watch a movie on TV, make it a special event every week.
Be grateful, take the time every morning to think of 3 things that you are grateful for in your lfe (these might be different every day or exactly the same).
Be The Balance
Rest & Recover
Your body is intelligent, it will tell you when it needs to rest and recuperate. Quality is better than quantity. Listen to your body, prioritise and schedule rest time in your day.
Try to switch off all electrical equipment for at least one hour before going to bed (television, computers, cell phones) and avoid having them in your bedroom. Rather read a book or play a board game before bedtime.
Set yourself a bed time and stick to it. Your baby will pick up on your rest routines and when they are born they will continue to follow those routines.
Sleep in complete darkness. Make sure your bedroom is completely dark. Seal off any artificial light with block out blinds and/or curtains. Anything in your room that emits light like a clock or charger must go or be covered.
But the most important things to remember during pregnancy are:
Smile, laugh, play, HAVE FUN!!
Fallon J. The Effect of Chiropractic Treatment on Pregnancy and Labor: A Comprehensive Study. Proceedings of the World Federation of Chiropractic, 1991:24-31
Henderson I. American Medical Association records released in 1987 during trial in U.S. District Court Northern Illinois Eastern Division, No. 76 C 3777, May, 1987
Freitag P. Expert Testimony of P. Freitag MD PhD comparing the results of two neighboring hospitals, U.S. District Court Northern Illinios Eastern Division, No. 76 C 3777 May 1987
Hatch M, Levin B, Shu XO, et al. Maternal leisure-time exercise and timely delivery. American Journal of Public Health 1998;88:1528-33