The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: Supplements + Nutrition
Welcome to The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: Part Two – Supplements + Nutrition
When I first found out I was pregnant, I was in Thailand with my beloved, on our belated honeymoon. We didn’t quite make a ‘honeymoon’ baby, but unbeknownst to us, this little soul had come into being just beforehand.
You can head over HERE to read about the team I first called upon, almost immediately, whilst still in Thailand, after seeing those two little lines show up on the pregnancy test.
Now one incredible woman that I consider VITAL to me team of support is Naturopath Tanya Goldie from Dove Cottage. My spiritual mentor, Belinda Davidson, first put me in touch with Tanya last year. During our work together, Belinda had picked up on a few non-threatening health concerns (serotonin deficiency + digestive troubles) that Tanya and I had been working on. In addition to my health, it was clear to both Belinda and myself that I was going to become a mamma soon! The energy of this child was literally attached to my own… I could sense it so intensely. Because of that, Tanya had given me a couple of supplements to start taking to prepare my body, just in case I fell pregnant.
FYI: This simply included a tweak to the herbal tonic I was taking for my serotonin issue, as well as Royal Jelly, Spirulina, Folate and Iodine.
We also put my husband on Silymarin for liver detoxing and a Zinc Supplement.
It wasn’t long after (maybe a few days) that I started these supplements when Tanya emailed me to say, “Conception will be very easy for you…”
That sentence filled me with both relief and anxiety, all at the same time.
She wasn’t wrong. I (blessedly, gratefully) fell pregnant easily. I’m not going to call this pregnancy an ‘accident’… but it wasn’t exactly planned! So as soon as I found out, I shot an email off to Tanya to get some guidance.
Her response: “Remember, everything you eat and consume makes up the DNA of your bubby”.
Being a woman dedicated to the health of vitality of my own body, this reply came through to me loud and clear. It BOLDED and UNDERLINED the last 6-7 years of my own wellness journey, as if to say, you know how you care for your body and consume only the best? Well, now it’s even more important!
As soon as I was on home soil I had a session with Tanya to make sure I was armed up with the right knowledge – what to take and why!
Before I go on, please note that I am not suggesting or recommending you blindly take and do what I have done for your own pregnancy. You MUST seek out your own expert advice and it must be in relation to your body, health and history.
Tanya and I have touched based regularly throughout this pregnancy to ensure I am getting enough of the nutrients and supplements for bub but also for my own health. Pregnancy throws up a whole host of various ailments … Tanya’s guidance has been vital in keeping me healthy and balanced.
Someone once said to me that I needn’t worry about taking a bunch of ‘fancy’ supplements whilst pregnant – the baby will get from me what the baby needs.
That might be the opinion of many but to me that is complete and utter crap. The baby WILL take, and take, and take… but if I am not feeding myself the right stuff (nutritionally and supplementary) the baby might be taking the WRONG things and we will both become severely depleted. My health is vital not just during the pregnancy (for me and bub) but AFTER, so I can be a strong, alive and present mum.
So here is an outline of the supplements I’ve been taking so far. Use this as a guide only and explore options for yourself.
- A B6 Supplement + Liver Detoxer to help my body process the 400+ hormones flying around! B6 made a HUGE difference to the all-day-sickness (as did eating every 2 hours).
- Folate, Royal Jelly and Spirulina for Energy, Iron and Sustenance. Folate is a MUST if you are planning or just fallen pregnant.
- Iodine for bub’s development and for many of my body’s important functions! The Iodine has dramatically healed the fibroids I had in both my breasts by the way!
- Indigestion + heartburn: Slippery Elm tablets (this has been my life-saver!)
I stayed on the Royal Jelly and Iodine. In addition we added in a new Iron supplement (with co-factors so it doesn’t cause constipation) and a B12 spray.
I started on Zinc and Fish Oil at 12 weeks – for the baby’s brain development and for the baby’s skin! These are also helpful to prevent post-natal depression and stretch marks. Win-win.
Every evening I also take Magnesium, Calcium, Slippery Elm and a powdered probiotic (which I have been taking the whole way through!)
The magnesium + calcium have helped me sleep better and completely healed the restless legs syndrome I was starting to get – as the baby sapped my mineral stores my body started to show signs of it. These supplements completely sorted that out.
For a period of time I was experiencing a lot of congestion and sinus irritation/mucous. This is a common side effect to pregnancy. Progesterone is released in such high dosages and does all sorts of weird things to your body – sinus problems being one of them!
Taking a homeopathic remedy until it cleared really helped – this was a tissue salt from Dr Schuessler.
I’ve just entered the home-stretch of this pregnancy and this is what my ‘supplement’ kitty looks like now:
- Magnesium + Calcium (reduced dosage)
- Royal Jelly
We’ve replaced my probiotic with a new strain Sb Flora Activ. This is designed to help prevent Strep B (an infection many women get that often results in antibiotics) and to keep my gut health pumping.
I’m also now taking a Raspberry Leaf Tonic (not a tea, much more concentrated) to help with toning the uterus in preparation for childbirth and post-labour. This tonic will also help the fibroids discovered in my uterus in an effort to prevent excessive post-labour hemorrhaging.
Tanya has included a lovely liver herb to help me process the excess estrogen as well.
Now, on to NUTRITION.
PROTEIN! In the first trimester your baby is building bones, a brain and organs. It needs protein. So whether you are vegetarian or a meat-eater make sure you are getting lots of good quality sources of protein. For me, this bub is a straight-up meat eater (takes after my husband) so I require a lot of animal-based protein, but I’ve tried to keep it varied.
- Dairy – yoghurt, cheese.
- Chia seeds
- Almonds, nuts and seeds.
I also needed to pepper my diet with more carbs than I was used too. I opted for delicious sourdough breads in the morning (in fact, in the first trimester I couldn’t get out of bed with a slice, drizzled with tahini and raw honey), brown rice, 5-grain oat porridge, plain yeast-free or almond meal crackers. My carb intake has dramatically decreased as my pregnancy has progressed. I no longer need it as much – it helped a lot in the earlier, nausea-filled days.
Second trimester onwards:
Protein is still required, at least for this bub. He/She is a meat-eater (takes after my South American husband!) But my intake of dark green leafy veg has increased to what I used to have before I was pregnant – Kale, Spinach, Silverbeet. Lots of fresh veggies and fresh fruit.
I am eating a lot of GOOD fats – cultured butter, ghee, coconut oil, olive oil. Avocado, grass-fed meat with the fat on, nuts and even organic bacon!
Smoothies have made a comeback featuring almond or coconut milk, blueberries, coconut oil, coconut yoghurt, chia seeds, cacao (not too much cacao though, it makes the baby a little too ‘cray-‘cray’!)
And I love a green juice with added spirulina or Iced Raspberry Leaf tea.
My portion sizes are smaller and more frequent (otherwise say HELLO to heartburn).
I’m lucky that I don’t have any cravings at all. My body just wants good food and that’s what it gets. I’ve been warned of ‘late-night KFC cravings’… which have never happened. I truly believe that if you are not yet pregnant and you start cleaning up your diet now, your body and baby will only crave GOOD food.
Ok, so that’s it so far! It’s not too complicated, but conscious. If anything changes in my diet or the supplements I’m taking I’ll be back in here to update it.
I hope this gives you an idea of what your body and baby actually require during pregnancy, and how important it is to be conscious about it. Go seek out a great Naturopath, get some guidance and do this PROPERLY.
Don’t go into fear or overwhelm mode and then do nothing.
This is important: your body and baby will thank you for it!
Your turn: Do you have anything to add – something you were eating/taking during your pregnancy?
Or let me know any questions you might have below in the comments!
Love + light,