Proactive Preconception Sets the Scene
Preconception support is something I love to help guide my clients with. Women (and couples) are beginning to realise the importance of starting their journey to pregnancy well in advance. From my own personal journey to motherhood, and my experience with clients, giving ourselves that extra time and space allows us to become more nourished, less stressed, and work on any underlying issues that we may have discovered along the way.
Whilst I can acknowledge that the preconception journey for some women can be a long and physically and emotionally taxing journey, I’m focusing today’s article on what happens when we find out we are pregnant. You’ve put in the work, you’re feeling good and to top it off, you see those two lines appear on your pregnancy test. So many emotions. Joy. Elation. Eager anticipation. Nervousness. Perhaps some anxiety too.
An Empowered First Trimester
The first trimester can be such a roller coaster of emotions and physical sensations, and after all the effort you have put in to get here, I’m sure it’s reassuring to know that there are more steps you can take in those precious first 12 weeks to nurture and support your growing tiny human.
That’s why I’ve put together my First Trimester Support Plan to help you continue to feel proactive and empowered in your journey. In those early weeks our main aims are to promote a strong implantation, nurture the growing embryo, and encourage blood flow and circulation to our womb space, as much as possible.
At The Natural Nutritionist you know that we place a big emphasis on quality nutrition and supporting our body’s requirements through real food. This is part of the approach I’ve taken here too. Progesterone promoting foods which include nutrients like magnesium, vitamin E and vitamin B6 promote a healthy implantation. Our kidney essence or vitality is what nourishes our eggs as they develop before implantation, and help grow our embryo during and after implantation. Foods like bone marrow and nuts and seeds (amongst others) can help support this process.
A developing embryo requires an abundant supply of blood to the uterus and uterine lining to help support blood flow and oxygen flow, as well as supporting the epic amount of replicating cells. Foods like ethically sourced grass-fed meats, berries and dark leafy greens are some of my go-to recommendations here. I also encourage early-preggy mammas to park their frozen berry/fruit smoothies in the first trimester as it can dampen the womb space and down-regulate that beautiful warming energy we want to cultivate.
Every pregnant lady’s experience is so unique and different but some level of nausea is extremely common.. This can sometimes derail our hopes and efforts of giving ourselves and our growing baby’s the most nourished start to life. The most common aversions include animal protein, cooked vegetables, fats, and strong odours like garlic and onions.
My top tips:
- Eat within 30 minutes of waking – delaying it can cause blood sugar dips which can exacerbate nausea.
- If you cannot stomach animal protein earlier in the day, opt for a protein smoothie with added collagen powder (use fresh fruit instead of frozen to keep the internal environment from becoming cold and damp).
- If cooked vegetables seem tough, opt for fresh salad with crunch and lighter smelling proteins like chicken and some fish such as blue grenadier.
- Do not try to aim for perfection, just be sure to incorporate as much of the above mentioned foods as possible until things begin to level out in the second trimester.
- Make sure your prenatal is methylated and contains zinc and B6 as these have both been shown to reduce bouts of pregnancy-related nausea.. A couple of our faves include Eagle Tresos Natal and Foraged for You.
- If and when the cravings hit, still focus on good quality products and gluten free options as much as you can to help mitigate inflammation.
Food Safety In Pregnancy
Another hot topic is the sometimes confusing information surrounding which foods are safe to eat during pregnancy, especially the first trimester. Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Check out my article “Is the Pregnancy Foods to Avoid List Robbing You of Important Nutrients. Looking at the research, using common sense and always opting for quality are great ways to stay nourished and still include the foods you love!
Circles of Influence
One of the great mentors in the empowered pregnancy and birth space Rhea Dempsey articulates it very well when she talks about our circles of influence and how they can impact our thoughts and feelings of pregnancy, birth and beyond. Once we get clear on the type of experience we’d like to have, we need to make sure that who and what we are exposing ourselves to, including social media and our birth care providers, align with our values and deepest desires. Our wider cultural circle all the way through to the birthing woman’s deepest beliefs around the pregnancy experience, comfort, discomfort and pain zones are all very relevant.
So, why am I highlighting this and how it relates to a successful and enjoyable first trimester? One word: stress. Some of it is inevitable, but a lot of it is within our control and the more that we can take a proactive approach to managing our stress whilst all of those epic hormonal and biological changes are happening, the better off we’ll be. Take some extra rest, reduce your screen time, finish work a little earlier, nourish yourself with the right foods, and manage those circles of influence to mitigate stress!
All the above mentioned topics, plus more are included in my First Trimester Support Plan. We also cover things like caffeine intake, reducing your toxic load, pregnancy specific mindfulness practices, and tailoring your supplement plan based on your blood test results. There are so many things we can be doing on our pregnancy journey to feel empowered, in control and excited for what’s to come.
If you are keen to learn more about how we can support you through this amazing journey, please reach out or book in your 15 minute complimentary chat today. We love hearing from you.