Your role as a mother doesn’t start when you bring your child into the world; it starts the moment you conceive.
If you want to ensure that your baby gets the best possible start, living healthy should be one of your biggest priorities. Those nine months are crucial for your child’s bright future.
Here are Dr. Joseph Mercola’s simplest and most practical healthy pregnancy tips gathered from over three decades of experience in health care:
- Get healthy daily doses of omega-3 fats – Dr. Mercola believes that getting adequate levels of omega-3 fats are the single most important dietary influence on prenatal health. Omega-3 and its derivative, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), are critical to a child’s development. Deficiency of this essential fat can cause unexplained emotional, learning, and immune system disorders, and increases the risk of a child being born prematurely. Omega-3s also help mothers deal with depression during pregnancy.
- Optimize your vitamin D levels – Vitamin D has been shown to influence over 2,000 genes in your body. It is believed that about 85 percent of Americans are deficient of this important nutrient, and that getting enough vitamin D through healthy sun exposure can decrease your cancer risk by 50 percent.
- Get regular exercise – Unless your doctor has told you otherwise, exercise should be a part of your health routine while you’re pregnant. Studies show that exercise decreases the possibility of premature birth. Women who exercised at the same rate throughout their pregnancies were shown to have larger placentas than their more sedentary peers. The volume of the placenta is an indicator of its ability to transport oxygen and nutrients to your baby.
- Eat for vitality and health – “Eating for two” during pregnancy is a very misleading statement because obesity can wreak havoc on your health, cause complications throughout your pregnancy and affect your unborn child, Dr. Mercola warns. It’s important to your health and to your baby’s to keep your weight within reasonable parameters. Eat a well-balanced diet consisting of adequate protein, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables (preferably fresh and organic). Green leafy vegetables are rich in folic acid, which helps reduce the chance of your child being born with brain and spinal cord defects. Raw eggs are another important food for pregnancy because they are a rich source of protein, carotenoids and choline.
- Avoid vaccinations – You should avoid all vaccinations while you are pregnant, as well as having your baby get any shots after birth. Vaccines contain mercury, which, even in low concentrations, has been associated with impaired energy production, impaired brain cell function and increased free radical production in the brain.
- Remove your mercury amalgams – It would be best to remove your mercury amalgam “silver” fillings BEFORE you become pregnant, but if you’re already pregnant, it is probably best not to remove your fillings until after you deliver.
- Minimize your exposure to chemicals inside and outside your home – Studies show that pesticide exposure increases the risk of autism, reproductive abnormalities, childhood learning disabilities and miscarriages. Common household chemicals like aerosol, bleach, carpet cleaner, etc., can also harm you and your baby. Use only the safest cosmetics because over time, toxins in your personal care products can affect you and your child’s nervous and reproductive systems, and cause other health issues so it’s best to look for natural and organic products.
- Avoid exposure to phthalates and BPA – These two chemicals have been linked to birth defects, shortened pregnancy and for being “gender-benders” – substances which cause male humans and male animals to take on female characteristics. Phthalates are added to many products, including food containers, hair spray, insect repellent, moisturizers and nail polish while BPA is also used in food containers, baby bottles and soda can linings.
- Treat severe gum disease – Numerous studies reveal that pregnant women who suffer from gum disease are more likely to have premature birth. Animal studies also shown that periodontal infections impair fetal growth.
- Get enough sleep – Along with a healthy diet and regular exercise, sleep also plays an important role in your overall health. If you lack sleep, your baby’s wellbeing will also suffer.