I’ve recently collaborated with Arianna Sertolli from Feed the Body and Soul blog for a Live Instagram Series called Healthy Mommy Happy Baby. Arianna is a holistic chef, health coach, yoga teacher and wonderful mama to her adorable baby girl Diana who just celebrated her first birthday.
Each of our Instagram Lives cover our holistic health and wellness tips during the different periods of pregnancy as well as birth and the postpartum period. Our first Live covered Fertility and Conceiving. We covered things like getting in tune with your body and monthly cycle, our favorite fertility boosting foods, the importance of emotional balance and alternative assistance for supporting fertility like yoga, acupuncture and using essential oils.
This past week we had our Live dedicated to all things pregnancy. After an hour informative live chat, we were unable to save the Live for 24 hour viewing so we thought it would be great to recap some of what we discussed and our recommendations in a blog post here. As we mentioned during our lives, we are not doctors and are only sharing our own experiences and research. We encourage you to consult with your doctor or midwife further on anything covered in this post.
We discussed the different trimesters and some of the important happenings during each along with things we learned that were surprising and fascinating. We encourage you to download an app or subscribe to a website like thebump.com to follow along with each week so you are more aware of how baby is developing and how your body is changing as you progress through pregnancy.
- Pregnancy hormones are released that affect all organs in the body.
- You may feel very tired, experience heartburn, breast tenderness and upset stomach.
- At this time the brain, spinal cord and organs of the fetus are being created.
- Baby starts urinating to create the amniotic fluid inside the amniotic sack.
- The fetus bones harden (head and long bones).
- If you choose, you can learn the sex of your baby in this trimester.
- Many women report feeling their best both mentally and physically during this period.
- Your baby might be able to respond to familiar sounds.
28-40 weeks (or birth)
- The meconium starts forming which is baby’s first poop, made from the vernix and lanugo.
- The brain is developing a lot during this trimester. The baby is learning to blink, dream and regulate their temperature.
- Red blood cells are forming in your baby’s bone marrow.
- Baby’s rapid weight gain begins.
During this trimester or before, you could experience:
- Braxton Hicks contraction
- Varicose veins
- Brain Fog
- Lack of bladder control
- Leaky breast
Nutrition During Pregnancy
It’s so important to take care of and nourish your body during pregnancy for you and your baby. You can build up yours and baby’s immune system through the foods you are eating and choices you are making.
- Make healthy snacks to go
- Have a healthy and big breakfast
- Don’t believe the myth that you are eating for two
- Focus on lots of fruits and veggies. If you are not a fan of these, try fresh squeezed juices or smoothies.
- Incorporate superfoods like bee pollen, coconut, flax, chia, hemp seed etc.
Healthier Alternatives for Common Cravings-
- Fizzy drinks: Opt for water with fruits or with lemon (read ingredients and avoid adding flavors and sodium)
- Arianna’s favorite combination: Orange and blueberries or apples and mint
- Chocolate: Go for the dark chocolate or dried nuts and fruits
- Ice Cream: Opt for frozen yogurt or you can freeze your own yogurt in ice cubes. Choose healthier brands with coconut milk, cashew milk and low index sugar like coconut sugar.
- Coffee: Try Organic decaf or Teeccino brand
- Chips: Opt for baked ones and no canola oil
- Cookies: Grab healthier ones – gluten free, with no hydrogenated oil or white sugar
- Pizza: Try gluten free or make your own with cauliflower
- Fried chicken: Make your own with chickpea crumbs
- Fries: Opt for sweet potatoes
Healthy Foods Ideas-
High quality healthy fats: Avocado, Salmon, Flax oil, other food high in Omegas
High quality dairies*: Sheep yogurt, Parmigiano Reggiano- low dairy content, Organic Greek yogurt
- *If you are eating dairy, be aware of getting candida or yeast infections during pregnancy
High quality proteins: Legumes, Eggs, Nuts and Organic, local meats and fish
Lots of colorful vegetables & fruits:
- Sweet Potatoes provide Vitamin A and Beta Carotene
- Leafy greens: Vit C, K, A, iron, calcium, folate and potassium
You can begin taking many of these supplements while trying to conceive. The most important and sensitive time for development is the first trimester so it’s important you are getting the proper nutrients and vitamins during this fragile period even if you don’t know you are pregnant yet. Organic vitamins from whole foods are best and check the ingredients to avoid artificial colorings, toxic metals and fillers as well as hydrogenated oils.
- Prenatal Vitamin- Garden of Life
- Omegas – Life Equals
- Probiotics – Life Equals
Use CODE: SER50 for 50% off supplements at lifeequals.com
- Chlorella tablets- Green Foods
- Prenatal Vitamin- My Kind Organics
- DHA – Omegas 3- Honest Company
- Probiotics- Klaire Labs or Life 9 by Young Living
Natural Remedies for Morning Sickness
These are natural remedies we discussed that we encourage you to research further and try before turning to traditional medications.
- Chamomile, Peppermint or Ginger Tea
- Boil umeboshi and drink the water
- Vitamin B
- Instead of eating 3 large meals- break them into smaller, healthy snacks throughout the day
- Peppermint or Lemon essential oil inhaling/diffusing or applying topically to temples and behind the ears will a roller can assist with easing nausea
- Boil organic lemon peels and drink the water or add a drop of Lemon essential oil to water
Movement is so important. Continue the exercises you were doing with alterations, being mindful and listening to your body. Take care of your body and mind however you are comfortable to create a low stress, peaceful environment for both you and baby.
Possible activities and exercises include:
- Prenatal Yoga
- Prenatal Massage
- Prenatal Chiropractic Care – The Webster Technique
- Mom to Be Pregnancy Groups
- Birth/Other Classes
Baddha Konasana: Butterfly or bound angle yoga position
A seated pose that strengthens and opens the hips and groin while eradicating abdominal discomfort. The consistent practice of this pose can help with childbirth, urinary discomfort, and feelings of pain and heaviness. During each exercise, make sure to maintain a focus on your breathing.
Viparita Karani: Legs up the wall yoga position
Sit close to a wall. Lie faceup and raise legs, so flexed feet face the ceiling. Shimmy your hips until your heels and calves gently rest against the wall. From here, rest both hands on your belly, or place one hand over your heart and one on your belly. There comes a point in pregnancy where it will no longer feel great to lie on your back. At that point, use a bolster or pillows so you’re on an angle instead of straight back for this pose.
It’s never too late to start swapping out conventional products for non-toxic, green and more sustainable alternatives. So many moms can get overwhelmed or think it’s too late, but every swap counts towards you and your baby’s health.
- If you are just starting to swap out conventional products, we recommended natural deodorant to be a priority for pregnancy, breastfeeding and beyond. Aluminum can be a scary toxin in the body. Tasha wrote more on this here.
Tasha’s favorite brands: Pachy by Rustic Maka, Schmidts & Earth Mama
Arianna’s favorite brand: Meow Meow Tweet & Earth Mama
- Stretch Mark Prevention:
Nature’s Bare Body Butter was Tasha’s favorite body butter for stretch mark prevention.
- Arianna made her own body butter and used Wheat Germ oil. You can use Almond, Coconut, Jojoba oil or even Shea Butter as a base. Some great essential oils to add in for skin support while stretching are Gentle Baby blend, Frankincense and Lavender.
- Some supportive essential oils to use when experiencing swelling are Copaiba and Cypress and are easiest to apply to the area when mixed with a carrier oil like coconut oil.
- You can use almond oil or something similar to prepare the perineal area for stretching during birth and lower the chances for needing stitches.
- We encourage you to avoid conventional skincare and beauty if possible during pregnancy as many ingredients are linked to developmental issues, but particularly look up the ingredients in any anti-aging products as these can have even stronger chemicals that can be absorbed quickly into the bloodstream after application.
Healthy Child Healthy World by Christopher Gavigan
The Mindful Mom-To-Be by Lori Bregman
The Vaccine – Friendly Plan by Paul Thomas
The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning by Alicia Silverstone
Gentle Babies: Essential Oils & Natural Remedies for Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infants and Young Children by Debra Raybern
Remember, you always have choices and a voice and can say, “No.” We encourage you to research your options when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth.
Our next Live will cover making a birth plan, preparing your body and mind for labor, our hospital bag must haves as well as natural baby product favorites. We hope you’ll join us!
Lots of love and good health,
Tasha & Arianna
Photo by Ashtyn Nicole Photography