An ND Shares Which Supplements are Safe for Common Pregnancy Concerns
Whether you’re in your first trimester or about ready to deliver, making sure you have safe, natural solutions to common pregnancy concerns can be a life saver. Many women are confused about what’s actually safe for their growing fetus and what should be avoided. Here are the top pregnancy complaints I’m asked about, and natural remedies that you can count on for each.
Over 50% of women will experience nausea and/or vomiting during their pregnancy (most symptoms will subside after the first trimester), so it’s important to know that there are natural solutions that can effectively improve your quality of life without harming the fetus.
Vitamin B6 has been shown in research to reduce nausea during the first trimester when taking 50mg, 1-2 times per day. Always opt for the activated form of vitamin B6, also known as P-5-P (pyridoxal-5′-phosphate) for better absorption and effects.
For relief on-the-go, using a liquid homeopathic remedy can be the perfect solution. Homeopathic formulas contain minute doses of ingredients to help your body naturally shift back into balance. They do not interact with any medication and therefore can be an excellent choice for everyone!
If you’re taking a high quality prenatal vitamin and are still feeling fatigued, you may wish to talk to your doctor or naturopath about testing your B12 and iron levels. Not all prenatal vitamins have enough if you are already deficient, so a small add-on amount may provide the energy boost you need. Vitamin B12 is best taken as a lozenge under the tongue, and iron should be combined in a formula with vitamin C and other B vitamins for maximum absorption.
As you approach your third trimester and towards your due date, there is more pressure on the abdomen which can cause indigestion after meals. Always aim to eat small meals with ½ cup or less of fluid (so that you don’t dilute your digestive enzymes). After a meal, sipping on some ginger tea is a great way to safely improve symptoms (and it’s tasty too!).
Swelling of the ankles and feet is a common concern during the warmer months of summer as the baby continues to grow. Since this is often due to rising estrogen levels in the body, finding safe solutions involves balancing water and electrolytes naturally. Staying hydrated with at least 6-8 glasses of pure water daily is the first step.
However, some women might also be low in sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium, which can cause swelling. Try using a water filter that adds minerals back into your water for an easy fix. You can also try a homeopathic remedy made specifically for swollen legs & feet.
In the last few weeks leading up to giving birth, sleeping throughout the night can be a challenge. To ensure the best possible sleep, start by making sure your bedroom is completely dark (use an eye mask if necessary) and cool. Additionally, making sure you have a body pillow to support your hips and abdomen can help you stay asleep longer and reduce shifting during the night. If you’re still having trouble, try a bedtime tea that contains lemon balm for calming effect on the nervous system to help you get to sleep.
Breastfeeding & Beyond
After delivery, you may still require some additional support for your energy, sleep & mood. All products that are safe during pregnancy are safe to continue while breastfeeding (and don’t forget to keep taking your prenatal vitamin every day while you’re breastfeeding!).
Do you have a product or remedy to ease the body during pregnancy? If so, feel free to share it in the comments below!
Dr. Laura Belus is a Naturopathic Doctor that focuses on detoxification and hormone balance for weight loss, stress management, and greater energy. She believes in making simple, yet powerful, changes to diet & lifestyle habits that create lasting results. She practices in Mississauga and Toronto.