As a new mom and acupuncturist, pregnancy and caring for myself was an entirely new experience. I received help along the way and used a variety of ways to care for myself. Here are the 8 things I recommend during pregnancy:
1. Acupuncture (when & why to come in)
First trimester: Make weekly appointments to support growth, development of baby and to minimize common side effects such as: nausea, fatigue, constipation and bloating.
2nd trimester: Many know this as the honeymoon phase of pregnancy, energy levels pick up, and many of the first trimester symptoms disappear. If your pregnancy symptoms (nausea, fatigue, constipation, etc) have not subsided, continue with weekly sessions. If they have, and you're feeling great, drop to every other week, or once a month.
3rd trimester: Time to prep for the big day! It's ideal to start coming in more frequently (once a week) to help the body begin to prepare for labor. By 34 weeks most moms know if baby is head down or breech. Acupuncture is very effective at encouraging a breech baby to turn. Other commonly treated symptoms in the third trimester include hip pain, back pain, fatigue, and swelling.
2. Prenatal Vitamins
I recommend a prenatal vitamin because they are a way for mom and baby to get vital nutrients and are key to development. New Chapter's Perfectly Prenatal vitamins are organic, made from whole-foods, easily digestible, and don't contain added sugar.
3. DHA Vitamins
DHA vitamins support the brain, nervous system and visual development in babies.
4. Blackthorn Oil
My favorite oil for stretch mark prevention is Dr. Hauschka's blackthorn oil. I used this on my belly daily in the morning and evening. Keep in mind that there is a genetic component to stretch marks (if your mom had some you may be more likely to have them, too)!
5. Natural Calm Supplements
Calm is a magnesium and calcium supplement that is best to take before bed. It aids digestion by helping to relieve constipation. The supplement also helps with muscle cramping, and anxiety (magnesium deficiency can be the cause of anxiety or exacerbate an existing anxiety condition).
6. A Fit Splint
The fit splint was my favorite belly band support for working out while pregnant and postpartum support. It was designed by a physical therapist who works with elite athletes too.
7. Ina May's Books
Ina May Gaskin is a well-known midwife. Her guide to childbirth is very informative on all aspects of labor and delivery. The second book about breastfeeding is also very helpful.
8. A Doula
Having a doula was very helpful for me. As a first time mom I didn’t really know what to expect as I prepared for labor. Having a seasoned doula was so supportive to my pregnancy. She answered my questions, gave me exercises, helped me write a birth plan and understand all of the interventions that could be presented. I highly recommend Baby Caravan as the support I received from my doula was invaluable to my pregnancy.