Being pregnant can often be a fun and exciting time in a woman’s life, but it can also come with its fair share of challenges. From nausea and acid reflux to trouble sleeping, back and hip pain and swelling ankles and feet, pregnant women often have to deal with a slew of uncomfortable things as their bodies grow and change.
Thankfully, there are many safe and effective things you can do to ease your discomfort as you go through pregnancy and that can help prepare you to have a healthy birth. Here are 7 tips from our practitioners that can help you have an easier pregnancy.
1. Try Webster Technique
The Webster Technique is a very low-force, gentle type of chiropractic manipulation that is designed to optimize the nervous system’s input into the muscles, ligaments, and bones in the pelvis area. This helps treat and prevent joint dysfunction, which is linked to an unideal position of the baby in the mother’s womb, as well as a more difficult pregnancy and labor. Webster technique is fantastic at reducing the pressure on a woman’s back and pelvic organs, and it allows the baby more room to grow.
Dr. Kelsie Lazzell, DC, ND, a chiropractor and naturopathic practitioner at the Center for Holistic Medicine, has a drop table that is specifically designed to use with pregnant women to do the Webster Technique, and she says this type of chiropractic adjustment can work wonders for helping ease pregnancy-related issues such as acid reflux, low back pain and sciatica pain. “It’s all about finding the specific ligaments and tendons that are tight and releasing those to help restore movement,” she says. “And it’s also fantastic to avoid a breached position for a baby and to adjust the baby’s position to make birth easier.”
2. Try Craniosacral Therapy
Like Naprapathy, craniosacral therapy is a gentle type of bodywork that treats the emotional and physical body and can also be beneficial for reducing pregnancy-related issues. Mary Ellen Boyte, DN, a doctor of Naprapathy at the Center for Holistic Medicine, explains that when she uses craniosacral therapy on a patient, she places her hand under the patient’s head and spine to examine the movement of fluids in and around his or her central nervous system, and then applies gentle pressure to release any restrictions in the fascial system to help release muscle tensions and allow the body’s organs to work properly. Boyte says craniosacral therapy can be especially helpful in pregnant women to free up any restrictions to the spine, which can help relieve low back pain, sciatica pain, and headaches, as well as to relieve nausea and improve sleep. “Also, craniosacral therapy can be used closer to someone’s due date to help their pelvis prepare for delivery,” Boyte says.
2. Get Acupuncture Treatments
Suffering from nausea or acid reflux in your pregnancy? Feeling anxious and having a hard time sleeping? If so, you may want to book an appointment with an acupuncturist. In fact, a scientific review that was published in 2021 looked at 16 previous studies and determined that acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for nausea, and other studies have found that acupuncture is an effective treatment for low back pain and depression.
Dr. Lazzell, who is also a licensed acupuncturist, says acupuncture can also be used close to the end of your pregnancy to induce labor. “If you’re getting to week 35, we’ll do cervical ripening to help prepare the tissues and use induction points as well to prepare for labor,” she says.
4. Take a Prenatal Vitamin
When you are pregnant, it is more important than ever to make sure you are getting all of the nutrients you need. To do that, Patricia DeAngelis, a functional nurse practitioner at the Center for Holistic Medicine, suggests taking a prenatal vitamin, which usually contains three nutrients essential for a baby’s development: folic acid, DHA and iodine. “Folic acid is an important nutrient to reduce the risk of neural tube defects in the growing fetus,” DeAngelis says. “DHA is an omega 3 fatty acid that supports the baby’s brain, eyes, and nervous system. It also has been shown to prevent pre-term labor, increase birth weight and support postpartum mood in new mothers. And iodine is an essential component of thyroid hormones, which is important because untreated thyroid problems during pregnancy are linked to premature birth, miscarriages and stillbirths,” she says.
5. Get Your Micronutrients Tested
However, prenatal vitamins may not include all of the nutrients that you need for optimum health. That’s why DeAngelis and Dr. Lazzell recommend getting a micronutrient test (which we offer at the Center), to see what nutrients you have enough of and what you need to take more of.
Dr. Lazzell says two vitamins that pregnant mothers are often deficient in that aren’t included in prenatal vitamins is vitamin D and choline, which is a type of B vitamin. “Low levels of vitamin D in pregnant mothers has been shown to cause cavities in children’s teeth when they get older,” Dr. Lazzell says. “And choline is really fantastic at supporting the placenta, which serves as the baby’s liver while it’s in the womb.” Lazzell says you can get choline in a supplement form or you can get it by eating high-quality eggs or butter.
6. Drink Enough Water
We all know that pregnant women need more calories per day than non-pregnant women, but did you know that they need to drink more water, too? You need more water to support your increased metabolism, and your higher blood volume. Dehydration can cause your feet, ankles and feet to swell (fluid retention actually gets better when you drink more, despite what you may think). And, according to Jennifer Eisenstein, DNP, a board certified family nurse practitioner who specializes in children’s and women’s health at the Center for Holistic Medicine, “It’s important to increase your fluids as dehydration causes a lot of false labor scares especially in the last trimester.”
7. Try Homeopathy
Dr. Jerry Gore, MD, the clinical director of the Center for Holistic Medicine, suggests using homeopathy to relieve pregnancy-related issues. “Under the supervision of a qualified practitioner, homeopathic remedies may help with nausea of pregnancy, fatigue during pregnancy, depression during pregnancy as well as postpartum depression,” he says. More information about homeopathy.
More Nausea Reducing Tips
If you’re suffering from a lot of nausea during your pregnancy, here are a few things you can try:
- Ginger – Ginger has long been known to help relieve morning sickness. Try buying some ginger flavored tea, ginger ale, ginger-flavored candies or ginger supplements.
- Maintain a stable blood sugar level – Dr. Lazzell says most nausea occurs when your blood sugar drops, which is pregnant women usually feel the sick in the morning when they haven’t eaten for a long time. Try keeping some crackers or snacks by your bed and eating meals that are high in fiber and protein throughout the day to keep you feeling full.
- Use an acupressure trigger point on your hand – Pressing on the spot about three fingers’ width below your wrist on the underside of your arm may help relieve feelings of nausea. Hold your hand up with your palm facing you and press or massage on the spot for a few seconds.