Throughout the entire pregnancy, your body is going to go through remarkable changes to grow your baby. All of the systems of your body work together to account for your second little heartbeat. From an increased respiratory rate to increasing blood volume to hormone adjustments, the body accomplishes remarkable feats during pregnancy.
If you have been following the Standard American Diet (SAD) and related lifestyle, you are going to need to go through adjustments to give your body the best tools to do what it’s designed to do: nourish your baby. In America, our typical diet is filled with toxins and chemicals harmful to a growing fetus. You need to work to remove those sources and replace them with nourishing food.
Typically, when clients are looking to conceive, we start slowly adding in the changes to your lifestyle. If you are already pregnant, there isn’t time to take a slow approach. These are lifestyle changes you need to make today.
Cleaning Out the Pantry
Any item that has words you can’t understand in the ingredients goes in the garbage bin. If you need a chemistry degree to figure out what an ingredient is, it has no place in your body. Remember, your baby pulls nutrients from everything you put in your body. Potassium chloride and artificial coloring don’t sound very healthful.
Trust me. Those complex, unpronounceable ingredients aren’t nourishing you or your baby.
I recommend moving to a whole food diet, eliminating all packaged foods. That doesn’t always work for every client. If you need packaged options in your diet, only choose items with no more than six ingredients. Make sure you can pronounce and identify all of them. A good rule of thumb is to have 6 grams of protein and no more than 5 grams of sugar per serving in all packaged items that make it into your pantry.
From covering our produce with pesticides to feeding our meat supply hormones, fresh foods that look amazing may be very harmful. Opt for organic to ensure that you are selecting nourishing food void of chemicals.
I understand that not everyone has the budget to switch to a completely organic whole food diet. If it’s not in the budget, you can prioritize items. First, any animal fat product, such as butter or milk, needs to be organic. The body stores toxins it can’t eliminate in the fat tissue. When you take that fat byproduct off the shelf, you are selecting a cocktail of pesticides and chemicals the animal ingested and stored.
Skip the cocktail and go organic.
This also goes for meat. If you can’t afford organic meat, choose lean cuts to eliminate toxin reserves. Although, if organic meat makes it into the budget, feel free to enjoy the fattier selection. In absence of hormones and other harmful substances, organically raised animals store extra nutrients in their fat.
To prioritize your other organic purchases, check out the free EWG Dirty Dozen resource outlining which foods receive the most pesticides during production.
Moms who exercise during pregnancy give birth to babies with healthier hearts. In fact, new studies indicate that exercise during pregnancy might be one of the best ways to improve heart health after birth.
In truth, there are many benefits to consistent exercise (as long as you don’t have a medical condition limiting exercise). If you were an active person before getting pregnant, continue with your favorite workout routines. Just make sure to not over exercise.
If you love being in the outdoors hiking and despise being locked in the gym, don’t switch to the gym. Exercise in a manner that brings you joy. If you weren’t super active before, we can work on some simple exercise programs that ease you into a regular fitness routine.
It may come as surprise, but it’s not just about how much sleep you get. It’s also important when you are sleeping.
Most of my clients get seven to eight hours of sleep a night but don’t go to bed until midnight or later. You are shortchanging the body of needed rejuvenating cycles that typically happen between 10pm and midnight. We all sleep in cycles. The first cycle is a deep relaxing sleep. Here the brain actually slows down and focuses on restoration. The second cycle, REM, quickens the pace from the first cycle. Here you experience the vivid dream sleep.
While these cycles are trigged in part based on when you go to sleep, the body has a natural rhythm influenced by daylight as well. When you alter that natural rhythm, you won’t enjoy the full benefits of your most restful sleep.
Going to bed by ten matches that natural rhythm unlocking all the benefits of restful sleep.
The world has changed a lot over the last several decades. In many ways, while we have made drastic advancements in treating scary diseases and extending life, the majority of “advancements” we made with our food and even some medicines have not been beneficial to our health. More so than ever we need to be intimately aware of what we put in our bodies. What may look nourishing at first glance could be causing serious damage on the inside.
When you are expecting, that is not a chance you should take.
Sadly, these toxins extend beyond our food and water supply. Check out my article on Household Items to Watch Out for to eliminate the most prevalent chemicals and toxins from your home.
Likely you are feeling a little overwhelmed at the whole process. I’m not going to sugarcoat it; this is a lot of work. But cleansing the body and creating a nourishing space to grow your baby is the most rewarding act you can do.
When you hold your sweet baby in nine months, you will know that you did everything in your power to ensure they had the best environment to grow up in.
If you are ready to commit to change today and want a supportive guide to help you throughout the process, contact me today. Together, we can build healthy practices into your life, eliminate harmful toxins, and start nourishing the body with the foods best suited to your specific chemical makeup.