| OWL Venice
5 Tips for Self-Care When You’re Expecting
Either you’ve just found out you’re pregnant (let us first say congratulations! - cue the happy tears) or you’re planning to become pregnant and you’re doing a little research first - a superb idea. As a hopeful or expecting, health-conscious mother you don’t need to be told that taking care of your body is the first priority during this delicate time. You are growing a whole human being after all.
Your health, and by default your baby’s health is widely dependent on how you adapt your lifestyle for the next few months to a year. But never fear! We have plenty of tips and suggestions for you to easily integrate into your daily routine as you make your way through your pregnancy.
1. Nail Your Nutrition
Healthy eating while expecting is at the top of our list because stellar nutrition from mom will help your baby get the best start to life. Not to mention, this will help your body feel its best while it’s doing extra work.
The biggest point to note is variety and balance. You don’t need to “eat for two” as they say. In fact, experts recommended an additional 300 calories a day for the first trimester, about 350 calories for the second trimester, and roughly 450 calories in the third trimester.
Keeping a balanced nutrition plan can even help ease the unpleasant side effects of being pregnant like fatigue and morning sickness. Pregnant women are also more at risk of developing anemia, and a balanced diet can lower that risk. Of course, your doctor will give you a more individualized plan based on your body’s specific needs.
The actual food you eat should be as nutrient dense as possible, incorporating plenty of protein, veggies, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. These are some of our suggestions:
- Seeds, nuts, nut butters
- Chicken, turkey, lean beef, lean pork, tofu
- Pasteurized cheese, Greek yogurt
- Whole grains & oats
- A wide variety of veggies
- Olive oil
- Flax Seeds & Chia seeds
2. Get Your Vitamins & Minerals
While you’ll receive a large helping of healthy, pro-pregnancy vitamins from the above-mentioned foods, it’s important to understand that most expecting moms will be lacking in certain vital nutrients that both she and the baby need. Also, there are specific vitamins that unborn babies need for proper development.
Your doctor should be able to recommend a prenatal multivitamin that includes the following:
- Choline - for baby’s brain development. RDI for pregnant women: 930 mg.
- Folic Acid - for red blood cell formation, nervous system development, and production of DNA. RDI during pregnancy: 600 mg and 400 mg as a prenatal.
- B Vitamins - mostly for baby’s development but also for mom’s health. Ask your doctor for dosage recommendations through different stages of your pregnancy.
- Vitamin A - for baby’s skin, eye, blood cell, and immune development. RDI: 770 mg for pregnant women.
- Vitamin C - for mom and baby because this essential vitamin flushes out of the system frequently. RDI: 85 mg.
- Vitamin D - both mom and baby need this vitamin for growth, immunity, and other tissue functions. RDI: 15 mg.
You’ll want to talk to your doctor about ensuring you consume the right amount of the trace minerals you and your baby need to stay healthy both during and after pregnancy. This includes calcium - which you’ll both need a lot of - potassium, iodine, iron, magnesium, chromium, copper, zinc, and phosphorus. All of these are critical to a baby’s development, but mom needs to make sure she has plenty for herself as well.
3. OWL Broth Elixirs
Let’s talk about the ingredients in our Broth Elixirs and how it ties into the nutritional needs of pregnant women.
One of the main ingredients in our broths laden with a boatload of nutrients moms-to-be need is Swiss chard. This leafy green includes vitamins A, C, and K, copper, calcium, magnesium, iron, choline, phosphorus, and potassium.
Another ingredient in our broths is cilantro which knocks out a helping of the above-mentioned vitamins, namely A, C, and K, along with the minerals potassium and folate.
Fennel is another big player in our bone broths. It contains high amounts of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.
And finally, parsley contributes a high amount of vitamin A, along with vitamin C and K, folate, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium to our special broth brew.
With such a gold mine of vitamins and minerals why would you not incorporate our broths into your daily routine? On top of that, one serving of each is only 20 calories. So whether you choose to sip on a warm mug or cook with it in your dishes, you’re still consuming a bundle of nutrients while maintaining a healthy pregnancy weight.
4. Stay Active
Your energy might very well be pretty low during pregnancy. Your body is putting all of its energy into growing your bundle of joy, but this can leave you feeling zapped all the time. While it can be difficult to find the motivation to exercise during this time, you should consider promising yourself to move at least once a day.
This doesn’t have to include the same intensity or impact as your pre-pregnancy workouts - no one would ever expect that from you, so why should you? A morning walk, a midday swim, or light doctor-approved bodyweight movements are all you need to boost your energy during the day and sleep better at night - something that tends to elude mommies-to-be .
On top of those benefits, staying active will prepare you for the actual birth of your baby. It’s an athletic endeavor, bringing a child into this world, and anyone who tells you differently is kidding themselves. You could think of exercise during pregnancy as conditioning for labor.
Additionally, moving throughout your pregnancy can help the healing process after giving birth. After the trauma of labor, your body will immediately begin to heal itself. Staying active keeps healthy circulation going throughout your body which will help this process along, allowing you to feel in tip-top shape much faster. That way you can really soak up every moment of those early days with your little nugget.
5. Mind Your Mental Health
Pregnancy can come with many stressors like: putting together the nursery, creating a birth plan, finding the safest car seat, the best developmental toys, the most effective bib, zip-up jammies not the snap-ups, do we have plenty of diapers?!
Hopefully your partner knows that thinking about these things nonstop is not good for you or your baby, and they volunteer to take on some of these research topics. However, as a mom you’re naturally going to worry about these things regardless and want to weigh in.
We want you to do you, but we also want you to keep in mind that stressing over these things is not worth the issues it can cause with your pregnancy.
Meditation should continue to be a staple in your daily rituals during pregnancy. Make the time to live in the present and enjoy the experience of being pregnant. Connect with the life force growing inside you and surround her/him with peace and unconditional love. Keep your mind clear when you get overwhelmed and remind yourself that you will be a loving mother, no matter how you choose to prepare for your little one.
Connecting with a community of other moms is another valuable way to take care of your mental health when pregnant. You might feel alone, or even terrified if this is your first pregnancy, and it helps to have a wealth of knowledge, experience, and mom tips from which to draw. This will help ease your mind over all the unknowns and what if’s you might be going through right now. Having in-the-flesh resources to compare notes with can be a huge blessing and a great support system.
Every Body Is Different...
...and every pregnancy will be its own unique journey. As always, listen to what your body is trying to tell you, especially during this special time. Take the nap, lounge on the couch, go to bed early. Give your body a break when it needs it so that you have energy for tomorrow, and so that your little one can continue to grow.
Mama, you are so ready to rock this parenting thing!
Pregnant & considering an OWL Reset?
Julie is a self-made writer on a forever journey of fitness and health. As a high school music teacher, she has seen and experienced the challenges of maintaining good health while simultaneously balancing a career and healthy relationships.
Julie has always lived a healthy and active lifestyle. She loves the outdoors, hiking, and camping. Over the years she has continued to learn smarter and better ways to take care of her body while continuing to do the things that make her smile. Naturally, all of her teacher friends wanted to know how she did it - what was her secret?
Julie found herself explaining over and over everything she'd learned in her research, and sharing her experiences through trial and error. Her friends would take her advice, try some new things, and then come back to ask how to take it to the next level.
"You should charge for this kind of information!" Became a constant phrase, and so began her career of writing to share her knowledge with the world through health and wellness companies looking to spread healing and healthy habits within their communities. Now Julie gets to combine two of the things she enjoys most - writing and wellness - and use them to affect change in a real way.
When not making music with her kiddos, or writing wellness tips for a higher quality of life, you can find her reading, hiking, drumming, and fitnessing