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Four Super-Simple Tricks For A Healthy And Mindful Pregnancy

By Ash Stevens - 
We all want to be our best, and pregnancy takes this need to a whole other level. But when you’re living in a fast food nation and working a desk job for 40+ hours a week, health is HARD. The modern world offers all sorts of quick (and unhealthy) solutions for eating and cooking, but instant fixes for health and happiness are nowhere to be seen. But that’s exactly what today’s pregnant women need.
 
Well, I’ve put in time researching lab studies, reading up on traditional and holistic remedies, and I’ve clocked time with multiple pregnancies while working full-time. Each pregnancy, I’ve had the goal to be a healthier, happier, and more mindful woman in pregnancy and beyond. As a working mother, I also had the goal of making this as simple and doable as possible (because I’ve got butts to tend to and mouths to feed ya’ll). Thus, I’ve narrowed my prenatal journey down to four easy yet meaningful practices that support a healthy pregnancy while keeping life simple, beautiful, and magical.
 
 
Herbal Infusions
-- For Nutrients  And Prenatal Benefits

Herbs have been this huge scary thing for pregnant women, but there are tried-and-true plants that were daily staples for the pregnant women of times past. Herbs that come highly recommended by herbalists and natural practitioners include red raspberry leaf, alfalfa, nettle, and oatstraw or milky oat tops. All of these herbs pack vitamins and minerals, so you can meet the recommended five glasses of daily water while boosting levels of essential prenatal nutrients like calcium and iron, and vitamins like C and K.
 
Each herb offers its own own special benefits on top of its nutritional value. Red raspberry leaf helps to strengthen and revitalize the uterus. Nettle leaf can help reduce fluid retention, hemorrhoids, and postpartum bleeding. Alfalfa boosts reproductive health and milk production. Then there are nervine herbs oatstraw and milky oat tops that promote a calm and balanced nervous system. Run them by your birth providers for approval and extra info. Once you’ve got the thumbs up, you can buy your herbs of choice and use them to make a simple herbal infusion using Herbal Academy’s tutorial.
 
 
Safe Essential Oils
-- For Relief From That Thing Called “Pregnancy”

By the end of pregnancy, a woman has up to a 50 percent increase in blood volume, loose and achy joints, and a baby’s-worthy of pressure on nerves and blood vessels. No matter how healthy you eat, how much you exercise, or how much herbal tea you chug — pregnancy will get uncomfortable. Luckily, essential oils can offer assistance that’s nothing short of heavenly help.
 
There’s a whole list of pregnancy-safe essential oils approved by expert Robert Tisserand, but essential oils that I absolutely must have during pregnancy include lavender and frankincense (for skin, healing, pain, tension, and relaxation), cypress (for fluid retention and smooth thighs), peppermint (for muscle aches, gas, and congestion), and rosemary (for headaches and muscle pain). There are a number of companies from which you can buy your oils, but if you want quality results you’ll want to buy from reputable essential oil companies with high-quality oils. Plant Therapy, Eden’s Garden, Rocky Mountain Oils, Young Living, and doTerra all have a rep for offering potent essential oils.

 
Yoga
-- For Health, Mood, And Pain


Yeah, you knew this was coming. I mean, anybody who’s anybody will tell you that you need to be doing yoga, right? But if there’s ever a time to start practicing, it’s during pregnancy. The body changes of pregnancy naturally lead to a change in balance, a drop in circulation, and more muscle tension. Last but not least, there’s the nagging discomfort of stressed bones and joints. It sounds rough — and it is — but guess what? Yoga can help with ALL of that. And then some!

Recent studies suggest that yoga may reduce blood pressure (a red flag for preeclampsia). Two other studies demonstrate that yoga can have a huge impact on pelvic pain among pregnant women. (a major complaint for women in their third trimester). And the benefits don’t stop there. Another study showed that postpartum yoga reduced a woman’s rate of depression and anxiety. We could cite studies all day, but the real point to make here is that yoga can help a woman tune into her body. By doing this, she comes to understand her body’s needs. In understanding her body’s needs, mama can do things that give her body the care and consideration it requires. But don’t just take my word for it. Try Be More Yogic’s prenatal yoga videos and you can see what they do for you and your body.   
 
 
Yogic Breathing
-- For Health And Happiness

Starting the day with yoga is a sure way to add butt-kicking power to your lifestyle. However, when you work early in the morning, or you have young ones (or *gulp* you have both), sleep can be a VERY precious commodity. Throw in the exhausting process known as “being pregnant,” and you may be ready to defend your mattress territory to the death. If so, I’ve got great news for you. Many of yoga’s amazing mental, emotional, and physical benefits can be yours — without even leaving your bed!
 
Yogic breathing techniques — aka pranayama — have been put to the test in science labs. In studying the effects of these breathing techniques, scientists have found that yogic breathing reduced symptoms of anxiety and severe depression. In addition to mood, other studies on the benefits of yoga-based breathing techniques show that yogic breathing can enhance circulation and boost oxygen levels, and improve heart rate by 10 times. Yogic breathing also strengthens the vagal nerve of the nervous system — the key player in the body’s stress response. So, cozy into that mattress and pull up our tutorials on Nadi Shodhana Pranayama, Ujjayi breathing, or our guided breathing meditation. Whether you’re seated, lying down, or busting out some light yoga stretches — you and baby are sure to love your daily breathing practice.
 
Have you tried any of these pregnant or not pregnant? What did you think? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments down below.  
 

This post is published on July 24th, 2017 19:54

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Four Super-Simple Tricks For A Healthy And Mindful Pregnancy

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