Pregnant patients need to pay close attention to their health, both in order to support strong fetal health and because those who are pregnant are more susceptible to various health conditions. The following are a few simple, natural ways to boost prenatal health. Always consult with a trusted healthcare practitioner to determine the right health plan for you during pregnancy and to find out more options that may be a good fit for you and your pregnancy.
Eat More of These Foods
During pregnancy, your body needs an increased amount of vitamin A. Sweet potatoes are a good source of beta carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body and is a safer, plant-based source of vitamin A. 1
Legumes, including chickpeas, lentils, beans, and peanuts, all contain protein, fiber, calcium, iron, and folate, all of which contribute to a healthy pregnancy. Folate is especially important for prenatal health and the prevention of neural tube defects. 2
Eggs are a good source of choline, an essential nutrient that contributes to the development and function of the nervous system. Pregnant women need an increased amount of choline in order to best support fetal and maternal health. 3 Try adding eggs to your breakfasts more often during pregnancy, or eat hard boiled eggs as a snack anytime of day.
Overall, a varied diet of organic whole fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins is a great approach in pregnancy and postpartum.
Acupuncture is generally considered safe for pregnant people, but always check with your naturopathic doctor or other healthcare practitioner before including acupuncture with a licensed provider, into your regimen, to ensure that it is safe for your particular situation. Acupuncture can improve prenatal health in a number of ways. Studies show that acupuncture reduces depression in many women experiencing antenatal depression. 4 5 Acupuncture can also reduce nausea and morning sickness caused by pregnancy and has been shown to decrease back aches and other muscle pain associated with pregnancy. 6 7
If you are interested in this treatment, look for a naturopathic doctor who provides acupuncture.
Maintaining a regimen of gentle physical exercise during pregnancy helps to manage gestational diabetes, promote healthy fetal and maternal weight gain, and can reduce the likelihood of a Caesarean section. 8 Some exercises are dangerous during pregnancy, so always speak to a healthcare professional first to determine what is right for you, but gentle, low-impact activities such as yoga, walking and swimming are popular options for pregnant women.