This is part two of a two-part article. See part 1 here.
We began our discussion of natural pregnancy by considering how to choose a medical provider. We then touched upon which ultrasounds and scans are necessary, as well as things to consider when conceiving later in life. You’re probably not surprised to learn that there is much more to the topic.
Preventing Group B Strep (GBS) Infection
Approximately 25% of women carry a bacteria called Group B Strep (GBS), which lives in the vagina or rectum. When pregnant, there is potential for the mother to pass the disease to the newborn during delivery. 1 in 2,000 babies will be affected, which can create serious or life-threatening complications.
Screening for GBS takes place between weeks 35 to 37.
Today’s conventional modern approach to medicine consists of giving women intravenous antibiotics that kill the B strep bacteria in the birth canal if they test positive. The antibiotics do kill the GBS bacteria. Unfortunately, the drug can’t single out only harmful bacteria. It effectively kills all bacteria in the birth canal. This removes essential bacteria designed to boost your baby’s immune system, help absorb nutrients, promote good digestive health, and produce vitamins.
In a natural approach to pregnancy, I recommend beginning to inoculate the birth canal with probiotics at week 30. This can be done by upping consumption of fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and by adding raw garlic to the diet.
Should a client test positive for GBS, I have herbal protocol to rid the body of the bacterial infection without completely compromising gut and vaginal flora. Every protocol for GBS is followed by a flora restoring phase.
Request the initial screening between weeks 32-35, so you have time for a retest if you do test positive.
Addressing Gestational Diabetes
Your baby doesn’t run on the typical three meals a day schedule we all are accustomed to. Instead, your baby will pull nutrients from the body throughout the entire day and night. To prepare for this, your body goes through a natural metabolic shift, which includes some level of insulin resistance. The alteration ensures that there are enough nutrients for the baby through long periods when you can’t eat, at night, for example.
The American Diabetes Association estimates that 9.2% of pregnant women suffer from gestational diabetes. Often, these women had no blood sugar issues prior to pregnancy.
There are ways to prevent and minimize the impact of gestational diabetes, such as maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, and eating a healthy diet. If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it’s essential to work with a nutritionist to create and implement a diet that helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
For more information on gestational diabetes, check out my five-part series covering everything from testing to measuring your levels to managing with diet.
Creating a Nutrient-Rich Environment
Your baby is built from the food you eat, digest and assimilate.
Take a moment to consider this. Can you name all the ingredients from the foods you’ve eaten recently? If you were to read the labels, would you be able to pronounce every ingredient?
Your baby is nourished by the foods you eat and is, unfortunately, exposed to everything, toxins and all. It’s important to ensure that you are giving your baby the most nourishing elements from which to grow. This means eliminating highly processed foods, trans fatty acids, man made concoctions, and introducing clean, unprocessed, organic foods.
Here I outline different diet adjustments to make when working to increase fertility. Luckily, they are the same guidelines that you can follow when nourishing your unborn baby.
Exercising, Resting, and Managing Stress
Exercise is a crucial component of a healthy pregnancy.
Women who regularly exercise prior to pregnancy can continue with their pre-pregnancy workout routines, adjusting the intensity to what feels comfortable. If you’re new to exercise, start slowly and build according to your midwife’s recommendations. It is also important to choose an activity that you enjoy, so that working out does not become a burden.
Meditation is a fantastic tool during pregnancy, which gives you the ability to quiet your mind, opening an opportunity to listen to your body. There are few more effective ways to be in tune with all the changes you are undergoing. It’s also magical to listen to the little heartbeat. Benefits of meditation include sleeping better, and reducing stress.
In today’s hectic world it can be tempting to try to finish everything before the baby comes. This can mean long workweeks, late nights, and large-scale projects to prepare for the baby. This increase of activity, stress, and busywork is the opposite of what the body needs.
Your body needs rest.
Rest gives the body the platform to gain strength. We all underestimate the physical changes the body undergoes during pregnancy, particularly in the final weeks prior to birth. Maintaining a low stress environment coupled with a good night’s sleep can help your body adapt to the changes brought on by pregnancy.
Out of all the elements that I teach, this was the most challenging for me to implement during my pregnancy. I understand the urge to put in 50-hour workweeks, knocking out as many work-related projects as possible. While it may not be easy, rest is extremely important to a healthy pregnancy.
Listen to your body. Rest when you need to.
Controlling your Environment
Living a natural pregnancy isn’t limited to diet. It also requires evaluating the chemicals with which your skin comes in contact. When you take a serious look at all the items that touch your skin throughout the day, such as soaps, water, and shampoos, you may be alarmed at all the things you are exposing your body.
Switching to organic products helps eliminate unwanted toxins. See my full guide of items to look out for in my guide to “Household Items to Watch Out For.” Many will surprise you.
Defining Your Pregnancy
In reality, these two articles only scratch the surface. Between chemicals and toxins in our food supply and an overzealous medical institution, there is a lot for an expectant mother to ponder.
I am here to help you find your way.
Schedule a free 15-minute consultation today to see how beneficial my Baby Bumps package can be for you.