How should I change my habits now that I’m pregnant?

A pregnant woman in the park

How should I change my habits now that I’m pregnant?

So you just found out you’re pregnant… Congratulations! I still remember the exact time and place that my wife blessed with the news to me on both our daughters.  Since you are going to be growing a human being, or multiples, it’s important to take the extra time to ensure you are making the appropriate precautions.  Generally, the baby will take whatever it needs nutritionally from its mother so you will need to take in a little extra food but don’t let yourself slide by falling into the trap that “you are eating for two.”   A baby’s rate of growth is 7x faster than that of her 3-year-old sibling so it’s much like feeding a baby elephant.  A mother to be must provide the proper nutritional fuel and the following nutrients are essential.

1. 800 mg of iron- this ensures the proper production of RBC.  Iron is found in lean red meat, most dark leafy vegetables or a liquid supplement is often available. (Vit C helps in iron digestion)

2. Folic acid (folate) is important to nervous system development and must not be omitted.  Luckily it’s found in most of the same foods you find iron.

3. 1200 mg of calcium.  This is found in dairy, and also almonds.  (Vit D helps in the absorption of calcium)

*Luckily with the advancement of technology, there have been many great “pre-natal vitamins” created to make the consumption of these vitamins and minerals a cinch, but don’t rely purely on a supplement and neglect the food intake.  You want to get as close to the source as possible.

Weight Gain

It wasn’t that long ago when mothers-to-be were told to restrict weight gain to 8-10 pounds.  This is no longer the case.  The latest research shows that weight gain of 25-35 pounds or more is healthy as long as it’s on a high protein diet that is well balanced and the foods are not laden with chemicals, preservatives or refined sugars.  Be cautious when taking too much Vitamin B when pregnant because it tends to reduce the amount of available breast milk.  Another interesting facts are that babies do not like garlic so try to avoid that if breastfeeding and too much chocolate can lead to diarrhea in babies.  Moms have also been told to restrict their salt intake but natural sodium is important in the production of extra blood volume and a lack can be disastrous.  I recommend salting your food to taste with Celtic or Sea Salt.  In the end, listen to what your body tells you.  With our first, my wife craved saltine crackers and pickles (she must have needed the sodium).  And boy, does my daughter love crackers and pickles still to this day.

Pregnancy No-Nos

1. Alcohol- this has been shown to cause problems with the baby’s nervous system.  Some researchers say a little is okay, but error on the side of caution and avoid it if possible.

2. Caffeine- found in coffee, soda, teas and chocolate.  Too much has been linked to birth defects so it’s best to limit your intake or again, avoid it completely.

3. Artificial sugars and sweeteners- it’s a good rule of thumb for all of us to avoid these but it’s an absolute necessity if you are pregnant.  Avoid these at all costs.

4. Medications- be cautious with medications because many have the tendency to cross the placental barrier and affect the baby.

One of the most common nuisances in pregnant moms is morning sickness.  It affects everyone differently and it is often caused by hypoglycemia or “low blood sugar”.  Since your baby steals your food as you sleep, you’ll generally wake up in the morning with very low blood sugar which is often what causes the sickness.  A trick that worked for my wife was to keep a snack near the bed.  The moment her eyes opened in the morning, she was consuming something and she didn’t suffer like others (maybe she was just lucky?).

Can you receive chiropractic care while pregnant?

This is a fantastic question and one that I have talked extensively about and even made some videos for social media.  Not only is chiropractic care okay during pregnancy, but it’s encouraged.  The main reason you’ll want chiropractic care during pregnancy is that your body will be going through so many rapid changes which often lead to pain and discomfort especially in the lower back and sciatic nerve.  We can often facilitate the changes to happen more smoothly and avoid the pain.  Many moms also swear that chiropractic care during pregnancy makes delivery much more tolerable and some state that it reduces labor times.  And lastly, chiropractic care has been shown to aid in the proper positioning of babies when moms present early on with breech presentations.  A combination of chiropractic, acupuncture and exercises/stretching can do wonders for these situations.

As always, the first step on the road to health is a consultation with Dr. Travis Ring of Eastern Oklahoma Chiropractic.  It’s as easy as a phone call to 918-940-4630 and we can get you started down the right path.  Moms that experience chiropractic care often says they wish they had known about it during their previous pregnancies.  Don’t be the one who wishes they would’ve made the call.

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Eastern Oklahoma Chiropractic