Feeling overloaded with all the pregnancy advice from doctors, family members, strangers, and the bottomless pit that is the internet?
Let’s get back to the basics.
Very simply, rule number one is to listen to yourself. Your internal wisdom is super smart and will tell you what’s okay and what’s not okay.
Connect with you and baby with these simple tips as you embark on your pregnancy journey:
Through the…interesting…cravings that can go along with pregnancy, there are a few simple things to keep in mind.
- Leave out caffeine
- Pay attention to artificial sweeteners and refined sugars
- Steer clear of prepackaged foods as much as possible
- Add a good prenatal vitamin with iron and omegas
- Manage your blood sugar (and morning sickness!) with regular snacks and meals
Your body will usually tell you the best way to sleep as you move through trimesters and your baby grows. Sleeping on your side with lots of pillow support is generally the way to go! Grab some pillows or a U-pillow to support your head, baby, and between-the-knees for your side sleeping.
Cortisol, your stress hormone, can impact all the other hormones in your body – and in baby’s body. What’s a mama to do? Regulate your nervous system with breath! Find a regular occurrence during your day – like going to the bathroom – and take 5 deep breaths just for you. Inhale silence, exhale racing thoughts.
Manage stress with outside support like massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, etc. At Body & Balance, we specialize in regulating your nervous system in addition to helping your body feel its best.
Should I keep lifting weights? Can I keep running while I’m pregnant? Generally, you can keep doing what you were doing before you got pregnant (as long as it feels ok), though now is not the time to push your limits or set PRs.
Whether you were a “walker” before your pregnancy or not, now is a great time for walking! Start small and build up your walking duration to about 45 minutes a day and include as a regular part of your day throughout your pregnancy.
In this episode you’ll hear about:
- The overload of pregnancy information
- Trusting your intuition
- Setting boundaries
- Foods to avoid or add
- How to sleep for a happy back (plus the Body & Balance fan favorite pregnancy pillow!)
- Managing your mindset and stress levels
- Exercise and movement basics
- The benefits of walking
- Feeling more at ease with your pregnancy
Resources in this Episode:
- Episode 2: Strength & Community in Pre- and Post-Natal Yoga
- Exercise During Pregnancy
- Prenatal and Pregnancy Nutritional Care
- Camouflaged Sugars
- Boulder Locals: Join our free, in-person Pain-Free Pregnancy community each quarter. Register here!
- Body & Balance: New patients start here
- About Dr Elyssa and Dr Katherine
- Connect with Body & Balance on Instagram
- Connect with Body & Balance on Facebook
- Enjoying the podcast? Be sure to subscribe and leave a review!
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers/listeners of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Elyssa Wright nor Body and Balance Chiropractic. LLC nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading, listening or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.
Full Episode Transcript
Dr Elyssa 0:00
Hi there. I’m Dr. Elyssa and welcome to The Trimester Bubble. I’m a chiropractor and Dynamic body Balancing facilitator at Body and Balance Chiropractic. We support mamas, mamas to be, and babies by helping them live their best lives. Here on the podcast, we bring you educational content for your pregnancy journey, and guess specialists to support that beautiful pregnancy. We know that this is often a confusing and lonely time. And all of us here at the trimester bubble want to support you on your journey, that is mama hood and raising little ones.
If you are local to the Boulder, Colorado area, I love to invite you to our quarterly pain free pregnancy class. It meets in person at the Community Roots Midwife Collective, and we discuss why pain is common but not normal and what you can do at home to have a pain free pregnancy. Plus, you’ll meet other moms and build your community. We’ll be meeting on the second Tuesday of October at 5pm for one hour, plus time for Q&A. For more information and to sign up, head over to our website www dot body and balance chiropractic.com and click on Schedule online and select classes or support groups. If you love this episode and feel like sharing it with a friend, send the link along. It means so much to us! Alright, let’s get into the episode.
Dr Elyssa 01:34
Hey, mamas. It is Dr. Elyssa and welcome back to another episode of The Trimester Bubble. This week, we’re going to talk about all things pregnancy. We see a lot of pregnant patients in the office and over the course of my years in practice, I’ve realized that there is a ton of information out there. It is completely and utterly overwhelming. What should I eat? How much should I eat? Which position should I sleep in? Is technology around me safe? What? What how do I be pregnant? We have our family members giving their opinions, we have our friends giving their opinions, we have the little old lady walking down the street trying to kiss your belly.
Dr. Elyssa 02:33
Pregnancy has become this event that is so over whelming. I thought today, we would just bring it back to basics. First and foremost, remember your intuition. Remember your knowing. I always encourage our patients to really focus on trusting their gut. You’re the one who’s pregnant. Remembering to touch in and if it doesn’t feel right to you, then it’s probably not right for you. If it feels like something that would be okay, you’re probably going to be okay. Remember to listen to your gut and have that be part of your guiding sense of what should come and shouldn’t come on your pregnancy journey. Also remember, it’s okay to set your boundaries with your family, with your friends with the strangers on the street. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, and you don’t want more information, one, turn off this podcast because I’m about to give you more information. And two, you’re welcome to say to people around you, hey, you know what, I’m feeling overwhelmed and I need a little break for a second. Listen to that.
Dr. Elyssa 04:03
With that being said, if you want to skip this one, go for it. Otherwise, what I’m going to do today is cover just some of the basics. If you are in that state of overwhelm, and you don’t know where to start, we’re going to go over just a handful of things that will help lead you in the right direction. Such as what kinds of foods you should be avoiding and adding. What you can do from asleep perspective, how you can help manage your mindset and your stress levels. Then finally, some basics on exercise and movement. We’re going to go over those four things in little bite sized pieces to help you feel more at ease with your pregnancy.
Dr. Elyssa 04:54
Okay, so thing number one is food. And food is such an overwhelming topic. We’re hoping to have somebody come in and talk specifically pregnancy nutrition soon (so stay tuned). We will dive in a little bit deeper. For today, I just wanted to give you some general ideas of things you can do that shift how you’re eating while you’re pregnant. So first are things that you want to start avoiding. That will be things like caffeine.
Caffeine does travel to baby and can eat baby up. There is some research showing that it can lead to early labor and delivery, so that’s one of those things that you want to take off the list. You also want to take off any type of artificial sweeteners. Same thing, there’s research that that does go to baby and we want to make sure that we keep as many things that have effects on baby away from baby during pregnancy.
Dr. Elyssa 06:00
You’re also want to be really mindful of the sugars, and how many refined sugars you’re having. Anything with white sugar in it, cane sugar in it, you want to be really mindful. What this sugar does is it will affect your blood sugar levels and you’ll have high highs and low lows. As we’re working at helping you stay balanced throughout your pregnancy with pregnancy hormones, we also want to work on balancing that blood sugar.
When we balance the blood sugar, we helped to balance the hormones and keep your system in a state of homeostasis or balance. Making sure you’re mindful reading the ingredients on labels to see what kind of sweeteners that are being used. When you’re cooking at home, think about alternative sweeteners, whether that be honey, or agave, or can you do something without the sweetener. Just start using this as an opportunity to think outside of the box and see what things you can come up with that will help you.
Dr. Elyssa 07:12
We are avoiding caffeine, avoiding artificial sweeteners, paying attention to how much sugar is in what we’re eating. Then the last piece on things to avoid is pre-packaged food. You want to try your best to make your food at home from scratch. I always recommend looking at a grocery store and you want to go around the perimeter and get your things like your fruits, your vegetables, a little bit of breads, and then keep moving your way along through the dairy etc.
You want to avoid all those pre-packaged snack aisles, the prepackaged bakery items. The prepackaged just meal frozen meals in general, there are a lot of chemicals and preservatives in those. As much as we can keep you away from that. That is one other little step you can do to have a healthier pregnancy. So we’re avoiding those handful of things.
Then we’re going to add in some nutrients. There are two biggies that I always recommend. One is a prenatal to make sure that you are boosting up your vitamin load and your mineral load. As you’re going through pregnancy, we see things like anemia or your iron gets low or our Omegas are low, which helps with baby brain development. You want to make sure that your prenatal has iron in it and you also want to make sure that you’re getting a healthy dose of omega vitamins. I’ll link my favorites in the show notes, but those are two things that you want to check out.
The last thing on food is making sure that you’re eating small meals throughout the day. I usually recommend every few hours getting in a little bit of a snack. This once again helps to manage our blood sugar, which helps to manage the morning sickness. Small meals, add some vitamins and minerals and then avoid caffeine, sugar, artificial sweeteners and prepackaged foods. Those are a really nice baseline for food and nutrition during your pregnancy.
Dr. Elyssa 09:31
The second thing that I always get asked about is how do I sleep and not hurt my back. As baby grows, our posture shifts each and every day. Low back pain, sciatica, mid back pain are all really common complaints that we get at Body and Balance. These complaints add up over time and one of the big things we talk about is how to sleep. You are usually sleeping on your side, because sleeping on your stomach probably doesn’t feel good anymore. When sleeping on our back, we want to be really mindful, we have a big artery that runs down the center of our body, that gives blood to baby. As baby gets bigger, and we’re sleeping on the back, the weight of baby can compress that artery, which is why everyone recommends that you sleep on your sides.
I recommend going from side to side, you usually are up in the middle of the night going to the bathroom. Also, flipping from side to side. This helps keep your body straight and aligned and pillows become your best friend. You want your head balanced with your neck, then a pillow supporting baby, a pillow supporting your back, and a pillow in between your legs. You want to find that balance and that strength through your system to help keep you aligned, keep baby aligned, and to alleviate some of those aches and pains that can grow throughout the day. There are a ton of pregnancy pillows. Most of my patients find that the U pillow is super helpful, or just using little pillows that they have around the house. You can google those and find a plethora of them but those are fan favorites of Body and Balance. Check those out.
Dr. Elyssa 11:27
And the other thing is, is if you wake up on your back, or on your right side, it’s okay. Our bodies are really smart and they will tell you. If you need to move because that artery that goes to baby also goes to your legs, and your legs will go numb before baby doesn’t get blood. If you wake up and you’re on your back, it’s okay, you’re probably woke up because your body’s like, hey, you need to move. So, if you wake up like that, no problem, just roll over and you’re good to go. I know that’s a big fear of like, oh my gosh, I keep waking up on my back. It’s okay, your body’s waking you up on purpose. Remember that when you have those moments of just Okay, cool, I’m awake. Let’s go ahead and move. Alright, so there’s sleep.
Dr. Elyssa 12:27
Our third thing is the impact of stress during pregnancy. This one is a biggie. We really want to do our best to maintain as stress free of an environment as we can for you and for baby. Cortisol is our stress hormone and as that goes up, it can affect all the other hormones in our body. It can also affect babies. Our goal is what can we do to counteract that.
My favorite things to recommend, especially if you’re a mom, more than one and you have a toddler running around while you’re pregnant. Stress management can be a little tricky. When you are going to the bathroom, I want you to take that time and take five deep breaths. Inhale, silence, and exhale anything that’s racing through your mind. Inhale, silence, exhale, anything that’s racing through your mind. This is a really easy thing. You’re usually going to the bathroom and you usually will have those 15-20 seconds, somewhat to yourself. If you happen to have a toddler in there with you, then it’s time for everybody in the room to breathe. Just by taking these breaths, it’s going to start to regulate your nervous system, start to bring you back to that rest and digest place, and get you away from that go go go stressful piece of your nervous system. So, one is to breathe.
Dr. Elyssa 14:07
The other thing that you can do is get support for your body. Whether that is a prenatal massage, whether that is going to your chiropractor, acupuncturist, finding support is twofold. One, at least within a chiropractic office and within massage and acupuncture. We specialize in helping to regulate your nervous system. We’re going to naturally bring you down out of that stressful place. Two, you get some time to yourself, you get some quiet time, you get some time to connect to baby and to be away from your day in and day out. Look for support. I usually recommend at least once a month for some type of bodywork to help you find that peaceful time and to help you manage your stress. It’s also important to ask for help f you’re feeling overwhelmed at home, if you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, remembering that your energy might not be where it usually is, and it’s okay to call in that pinch hitter, and get a little bit of extra support as you’re going through this journey.
Dr. Elyssa 15:38
Last, but not least, the major questions I get asked are about activity and exercise. It’s Can I keep doing my CrossFit? Should I keep lifting weights? Can I keep running? What should I stop? What should I start? One, pregnancy is not a great time to start anything that you haven’t already been doing. Unless, I have one unless, unless that thing is walking. My number one exercise recommendation is to walk and start small, start five minutes a day and add five minutes on every other walk. Your goal is to walk 45 minutes three to five times a week. This is going to help you build some strength stability within your muscles, it also the walking motion moves your pelvis. It’s going to put flexibility, stretch and strength within those pelvic floor muscles, which is really important for delivering is to have the pelvic floor agile.
When it comes to strength, and yoga, all great, great ways to maintain your flexibility and to maintain the tone of your body. You just don’t want to go beyond where you were when you were pregnant. Your body is doing a lot of work making a baby, so you don’t want to add in that additional stress of having it learn some type of new activity. Keep it light, keep it gentle. Your goal is to build tone and resilience, not necessarily a ton of strength. That sums it up for today.
Dr. Elyssa 17:08
A quick reminder of pregnancy basics that will hopefully help you take some of the stress out of this time and really be able to focus in and connect with baby and connect with your pregnant self. We talked about food, sleep, stress management, and activity. Hopefully you grabbed a nugget or two of something that will help you find more ease during your pregnancy. As always, if you have any questions, please reach out. Alright, until next time.
Thank you so much for joining us on The Trimester Bubble. We so appreciate your support. If you know another mama or mama to be who could use the information in this episode, please send this link to them. We also love hearing from you. Please send us a message and let us know any thoughts or questions about this episode. I’m Dr. Elyssa with the Trimester Bubble and we’ll see you soon!