Naturopathic support during pregnancy can help you navigate these changes, ease unpleasant symptoms, and get ready to welcome your newest family member.
In the first part, we talked about how a naturopathic doctor can support your fertility as you begin to start your family.
Once you become pregnant, you’ll need to prepare for big changes in your body, from hormone levels to nutritional needs, as your baby grows and develops.
How Can A Naturopathic Doctor Support You While Pregnant?
There is a wide array of changes, symptoms, and needs you may experience while pregnant – and it can be overwhelming.
By including a naturopathic doctor as part of your pregnancy care team, you’ll be supported with carting, safe, and effective strategies to manage symptoms, stress, and hormones, from conception to delivery.
Let’s take a look below and see what
1. Reducing Morning Sickness
One of the classic symptoms of pregnancy, especially early on, is the dreaded morning sickness.
Nausea and vomiting are commonly associated with early pregnancy and can be disruptive to a pregnant person’s life, as well as being just plain unpleasant.
Thankfully, naturopathic medicine has a number of options to ease these symptoms.
There are many herbal medicines and supplements that can help with nausea, stomach upset, and anxiety.
Ginger, for example, has been shown to help manage nausea.
So has peppermint, lemon, cinnamon, and fennel, among others.
2. Managing Your Stress
For all the excitement about a new baby, pregnancy and planning for parenthood can be a stressful time.
A naturopathic doctor has a wide variety of ways to help you manage stress and its negative effects on your body.
One of the most important, for both pregnancy and stress, is nutrition.
Feelings of stress might make you want to reach for comforting junk foods, but these really only offer short-term relief.
You can work with a naturopathic doctor to choose foods that help you find satisfaction when you eat them, as well as keeping your body well-nourished in order to fend off stress and support your developing baby.
Drinking more water, indulging in flavinoid-rich dark chocolate, eating plenty of vitamin C-rich citrus fruits, soothing indigestion with peppermint, and enjoying the benefits of raw fruits and vegetables are only some of the ways you can adjust your diet to help manage stress.
A naturopathic doctor can help you make a plan to incorporate these and other healthy eating habits into your daily life, and increase specific healthful foods during your pregnancy.
3. Monitoring Your Hormone Levels
We already learned in Part 1 how important hormones are for fertility, including ovulation and preparing the body for conception.
But hormones will continue to play an important role throughout the course of your pregnancy, and a naturopathic doctor can help keep an eye on them.
A naturopathic doctor will want to see a full thyroid panel, as well as tests for other important nutrients like B vitamins, vitamin D, and folate, that play a role in hormone production and use in the body.
Monitoring hormones and their associated nutrients can help you and your naturopathic doctor choose dietary and supplemental strategies to keep you healthy, energetic, and feeling your best, while your body supports the growth of a new human.
4. Keeping Your Nutrient Levels Optimal
During pregnancy, your body shifts massive amounts of energy to the development and growth of the fetus.
That doesn’t always leave a lot for you.
A pregnant person’s caloric and nutrient needs increase significantly during pregnancy, and supplements can be a great way to meet those needs.
However, not all supplements have the best dosage, form, and balance of nutrients for your particular case, and many also contain non-medicinal ingredients like colours and binders that your body just doesn’t need.
With the help of a naturopathic doctor, you can choose high quality supplements, vitamins, and minerals that meet your specific needs without any unnecessary filler.
Your naturopathic doctor can also help you adjust your diet to ensure you’re eating enough nutritious food, taking in enough calories, vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients to satisfy both you and your growing baby.
5. Preparing You For Labour
At 35 weeks gestation, you’re on the home stretch.
You may be spending a lot of time getting your home and family ready for your baby’s arrival, and making plans for how you’d like your delivery to proceed – but how much have you prepared your body?
Taking the time to ready your body for the process of labour and delivery can help shorten the duration of labour, reduce the need for pain medication, and decrease the risk of an unplanned C-section.
Starting at 35 weeks, a naturopathic doctor may recommend herbs such as evening primrose oil and red raspberry leaf, as well as acupuncture treatment, to encourage a smooth labour and delivery.
Specific acupuncture points can be used to promote hormone release, encourage dilation and softening of the cervix, and help your baby find its optimal position in the pelvis.
Acupuncture has also been shown to shorten the first stage of labour by an average of two hours.
Even if you end up past your due date, your naturopathic doctor can help with strategies to avoid a medical induction.
Book An Appointment With Annex Naturopathic
Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it can also come with many questions, hopes, and fears, and the number of answers and options is overwhelming.
The naturopathic doctors at Annex Naturopathic are here to empower you on this journey with knowledge and support.
We can answer your questions and find specific recommendations to meet the unique needs of you and your pregnancy.
Contact us today to book an appointment and get started.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Marnie Luck, N.D
Annex Naturopathic Clinic is a clinic in Toronto that offers integrative healthcare solutions from Drs. Marnie Luck, ND, and Tanya Lee, ND