A healthy pregnancy: where to start?

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Pregnancy should be one of the happiest times of your life.  Sometimes however health and uncertainty can override the happy times. There is so much information available and often it is difficult to know where to start.

Pregnancy multivitamins: should you take one?
A multivitamin is a minimum guarantee next to a good diet of the basic supplements we need in our daily diet.

What multi should you take?
Be aware that the multivitamins which have 800mcg.s of folic acid in one tablet/capsule usually do not have all the other nutrients that you need in a good multi. Ask your health professional about the choice of different ingredients. Also ask for non synthetic folic acid. There are many different brands on the market and they are not all created equally.

healthypregnancy2Exercise:
Nutritionally baby does have a lot of needs and will take what nutrition he/she requires, so make sure your diet and nutritional input is enough for both your own needs and that of your baby. There are amazing, tasty, and very well priced super foods on the market – add them to your breakfast and daily smoothies for high energy and nutrition.  Relaxation, gentle stretching and breathing is always good for you and baby. Please seek professional guidance if you are not sure, especially if you have had any problems with getting pregnant.

Essential fatty acids:
One of my favourites for mother and baby. There are many studies around the benefits of essential fatty acids and babies’ development. Hair, skin, memory, heart and circulation are all areas where conclusive studies have been done on taking essential fatty acids. For baby an important part of the studies is around brain and nervous system development. There are a lot of different products on the market so ask about correct dosage – it would be a real shame not to take enough.

Coffee, tea, alcohol. What is the alternative?
I would not recommend you take any of the above during pregnancy or breastfeeding. When it comes to herbal tea, seek professional advice as many herbs are not safe during pregnancy. Certain therapeutic teas support digestion, pregnancy and for later milk production. Look for the Artemis brand of herbal teas. And water – please drink as much of this as you like.

Aromatherapy oils:
I only recommend chamomile and lavender on the skin during pregnancy and for the infant and only use as recommended. Aromatherapy oils are proven to go through the whole body |and therapeutic oils are very powerful. Ensure the essential oils you are interested in are safe during pregnancy. Weleda baby products are safe for mother and baby. The Weleda stretch mark product is one of my favourite recommendations. There are some aromatherapy ingredients as well.

When it comes to mother and baby, there is an impressive range of natural health products available, with simple natural alternatives to help support colic, digestive upsets, skin rashes, bath time and wellbeing.

Monica van de Weerd is a well respected Waikato based beauty therapist and aromatherapist, with an impressive knowledge of natural health and wellbeing. She and husband Frans (a qualified physiotherapist, homoeopath, craniosacral therapist and bowen therapist) are committed to living a naturally healthy lifestyle. www.naturallyhealthy.co.nz

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