I posted this picture on Instagram and I had so many people asking about what I was taking and wanted a full post on this information. There are quite a few things I’ve learned in pregnancy so far. I love to look things up and research and incorporate healthy bits as much as I can. This is true in and out of pregnancy.
I want to give a disclaimer on this post. This is just my opinion and what I do for my body, this pregnancy and what works for me. It’s not medical advice, I always encourage you to talk with your healthcare provider and be your own advocate for your health and your pregnancy.
Here are my daily staples I’m doing to have the healthiest pregnancy.
Lemon and Apple Cider Vinegar Drink
Although the title of this may not seem the most appetizing, I have to say when you mix it all together and add a little sweetener it tastes amazing and refreshing. I drank this before I was pregnant and I’ve been continuing along in pregnancy too.
Here’s how you make it:
1-2 Tbs of Organic Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2-1 teaspoon Stevia stevia (to taste)
dash of salt (to taste, you can increase up to 1/2 teaspoon as you get used to the flavor)
1 scoop of Dynamic fruits and greens
Water to fill your glass
Here’s why I love it:
- Lemon Juice: helps your digestive system, immune system and supports your natural detox processes your body goes through. It supports your skin (which is especially helpful I though in the first trimester when I had more acne) and to balance the pH of the body.
- Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): Even though apple cider vinegar is acidic in nature, when you add it to water and consume it there are benefits to pH balance in your body and it actually can make your body more alkaline and balance your pH. It also helps support your stomach in digesting food. This can be huge in pregnancy when so many women experience heartburn. Luckily I haven’t had heartburn yet, but I’ve never struggled with it before pregnancy. Maybe it’s all the apple cider vinegar I drink? It’s sure worth a try. Some people even take a little before each meal to help the digestive process. Here’s my favorite brand.
- Stevia: This is for sweetening. You will definitely need some stevia because without it this drink is pretty bitter and sour. So much better with a dash of sweetener. You could also do a little honey, especially if you need a little immune boost. But I prefer stevia because it has no effect on your blood sugar levels. I use Stevia spoonable stevia.
- Salt: This is key in pregnancy. I will say it again. Pregnant women need salt. One of the hallmarks of a good pregnancy diet is consuming high quality salt on a daily basis. It helps support the increase in blood volume we experience in pregnancy (up to 50% more blood). There should be no salt restrictions in pregnancy. Salt away! The only thing is you need to have a good quality salt, like Himalayan Sea Salt or Celtic Sea Salt. Don’t use table salt, it’s just made in a laboratory anyways. (Read my article on the differences between salt to learn more). You don’t want to go overboard with salt, but salt your food to taste and don’t limit it. Getting good levels of salt actually help reduce welling and maintain a healthy blood pressure level. A bonus is it helps support adrenal health for everyone. Salt away pregnant friends!
- Dynamic Greens: This is my favorite greens drink from a company called Nutri-Dyn. There are a lot of good greens supplements on the market, this one is my favorite and they have 8 amazing flavors. This gives me over 20 servings of fruits and vegetables (and enzymes and a few probiotics too) in one scoop. I try and get my fruits and veggies in per day but never quite reach enough. And overall I limit my fruit intake to 1-2 servings per day to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Hydration is also key to a pregnant mom. We have a much higher need for water and hydration. I’ve noticed that even though I drink a lot of water, I still seem a little dehydrated some days and have a higher need for electrolytes. I started drinking about a cup (sometimes two cups) of coconut water per day in my second trimester. I feel more refreshed, hydrated and it tastes so good. I never used to love coconut water pre-pregnancy. But I can tell I need it now because I want to drink gallons and gallons of this stuff. I am also going to have a big stock of coconut water in our house for labor and birth. I will have the big sized one with a long straw so I can stay hydrated during labor. This is my personal favorite brand.
This was a suggestion by my midwives. They are big fans of chlorophyll and I have to admit I was a bit skeptical before trying it. It is a concentrated liquid of the chlorophyllins from the fresh alfalfa plant. It’s deep green in color (be careful, it will stain). It’s known as the green blood or plant blood. It is very similar to human blood in oxygen content so it increases the oxygen content in the blood. It goes in and surrounds a magnesium atom. It will support iron levels because it is high in iron and magnesium and the magnesium in the chlorophyll acts as iron and attracts oxygen.
It is also helpful in raising vitamin K naturally and will help improve baby’s vitamin K levels when born.
They recommend to take 1 teaspoon per day. It has a very earthy taste but it can easily be hidden in a dark berry or cranberry juice. You barely know it’s in there. My midwives said not to get the minty flavor because it’s not as good. Just a little tip there. This is the brand I purchased.
I will let you know the supplements that I’m currently taking, but realize these are specific to my body personally. These aren’t recommendations for you, but to give you some things to think about and do your research and as your provider about. We all have specific needs and the more you know what your body wants the better.
Vitamin D: We all need vitamin D, but it’s really important in pregnancy. We get vitamin D when our skin is exposed to sun (without wearing sunscreen). If you’re in a location that doesn’t get warm sun and you can’t be outside for 20 minutes per day with 40% of your body exposed you most likely need to supplement.
Studies show that women who have adequate vitamin D levels and supplement have lower risk for premature births, higher birth weights in their babies, less infections, and normal blood pressure and blood sugar levels. The best way to know your vitamin D needs is to have your Vitamin D (25-hydroxy) levels checked. I always say it needs to be somewhere around 60-85. I take my vitamin D supplement daily and it’s the little red capsule in the picture.
Activated Folic Acid Supplement: I could write a novel on methylation and the importance of taking an active form of folate both in and out of pregnancy. But I’m going to keep it short. Most traditional multivitamins and prenatal vitamins have folic acid in them. We all know we need folic acid in pregnancy to help with the development of the nervous system.
What studies have shown in the last few years is that folic acid can be very dangerous (almost toxic) in people with a genetic gene snip called MTHFR. It is a methylation issue where the body can’t convert folic acid appropriately. What is needed is an activated form of folic acid called 5-methyl-tetrahydrofolate. Methylation happens over a billion times a second in our bodies so it’s not something to be taken lightly or dismissed.
Finding a prenatal with 5mthf or purchasing a high quality supplement with this active form of folate is very important. This is important to start months before pregnancy and continue throughout pregnancy. Improper methylation has been linked to frequent miscarriages, autism, down syndrome, and neural tube defects (like spina bifida). I don’t say this to scare you, trust me I don’t. I’m typing this pregnant now and am glad someone told me this information so I could supplement before pregnancy. I have been taking a methylation supplement for about 3 years now.
Magnesium: The majority of us are deficient in magnesium. It is very important in pregnancy too. It helps tissues recover faster, supports those achy muscles and can significantly reduce muscle cramping in pregnancy. I take a supplement right now but I have used the magnesium oil spray and love that too. I also get more magnesium by adding 1 cup of epsom salts into my bath water each time I take a bath. I get the most muscle tightness in my calves and hips so a good soak is so great for my body. Magnesium is also shown to help fertility so can also be used preconception.
Iron Supplement: This one is very specific to my body personally. I don’t recommend anyone to take an iron supplement unless directed to take one and you know your body needs it. Mine does and it did pre-pregnancy (it is something that helped us get pregnant again after our miscarriage), throughout the first trimester and again in the third trimester. I have gotten my hemoglobin and ferritin levels checked and also had my brother (who’s my doctor) muscle test my body for this supplement often and the dose I need. It keeps my energy up and adds more oxygen to my blood which me and and baby need.
Probiotic: I have taken a good probiotic daily for the last few years and it keeps my tummy feeling well. This is also important for overall good bacteria and (hopefully) preventing Group B Strep (GBS). Our microbiome in our guts are crucial to overall health and did you know that a mom passes her microbiome over to baby? The better your microbiome the better your baby’s. I had over 8 years of gut problems in my late teens and early twenties so I’m going to boost my gut as much as I can so this baby gets the best gut flora I can give him or her.
Prenatal Vitamin: I take a multivitamin a few times per week. Finding a high quality prenatal vitamin is so important. I would rather have you take no prenatal vs a low quality cheap one. The ingredients are synthesized poorly in a lab and don’t work well with your body. A prenatal with methyl folate and from a whole food source is going to be a good one.
Omega-3 Supplement: Mine isn’t in the picture but I take one daily. More omega 3’s mom has will boost brain health and IQ levels in baby. It also guards against inflammation and help mom’s recovery after birth. Quality is king when it comes to Omega-3 supplements so make sure to purchase something that is very high quality.
There are definitely more supplements you could take and some of you may need to take. But those are my main ones I use in my pregnancy.
I love my pregnancy tea. I drank this preconception and after I was through my first trimester. There’s different opinions on drinking it during your first trimester or not. I decided to avoid it during that time and start drinking my tea around week 14. It is formulated to strengthen your uterus and condition it for growing, labor, birth and recovery postpartum. It also contains a lot of good minerals your body needs in pregnancy.
My midwives recommend 2 quarts per day. I try and get that much in, but some days I just forget. You can make it hot or iced and it’s really good mixed with a bit of lemon juice too.
I love the flavor of it now, but I used to have to add a bit of stevia to it. It was a little too earthy for me. But I’ve got used to it and grown to love it.
You should increase your amount of tea the farther you get along in pregnancy, especially towards your “guess” date. It helps to lessen contraction intensity and can even start contractions when the time is right. Research has shown that it won’t put you into early term labor or start contractions early. It will help when your body is ready to go into labor.
Here’s the recipe I used. I ordered my bulk herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs.
- 8 parts Red Raspberry leaf – cut
- 3 parts Alfalfa herb – cut
- 3 parts Peppermint leaf – cut
- 2 parts Nettle leaf – cut