Pre natal care, pregnancy care and post natal care for you.
Planning for pregnancy is an important event in your life. Ideally, a healthy pregnancy begins with planning before you become pregnant. Pregnancy can be a time of uncertainty, but also a time of great joy, knowing that you are doing your best for your and your baby’s health.
Women can often rely on friends and relatives for advice when they become pregnant. However, there are many factors and changes today that influence what we do and what we should eat.
For example, due to changes in the way we store, handle and consume foods, listeria has become a greater concern. Listeria is a food poisoning bacteria that causes few or no symptoms in most people but can be very dangerous if you are pregnant for your unborn child or newborn baby.
While many women realise that they should avoid soft cheeses and paté during pregnancy, it is also important to be aware there are a range of other high risk foods such as cold cooked meat and chicken and salads.
Regardless of the fact that in Australia now additional folic acid and iodised salt (for iodine requirements) is added to bread as a legal requirement (except for organic flour) pregnancy requires more specialised and careful planning for best results.
It is best to start before you become pregnant, for example starting to take folic acid supplements one month before conception and for the first three months of pregnancy to reduce the risk of spina bifida.
If you think you might be pregnant – start following this advice as soon as you can. If you are thinking about having a baby it’s a good idea to visit your Naturopath and discuss what you may need to do to prepare.
Eat a healthy balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, cereals including bread, rice, pasta and noodles (preferably wholegrain); lean meat, poultry and fish; yoghurts and some cheeses; and plenty of water.
Fresh is best and use organic where possible, especially broccoli, chicken and eggs, which should also be free range. If organic is not possible, wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly in several changes of water and peel root vegetables or use a vegetable wash to remove chemicals.
Eat a large variety of fresh vegetables including lots of yellow and green vegetables which are a good source of folic acid.
Oils and fats are essential but they need to be the right type and it is important not to have too much. Avocados, nuts, seeds and olives are all excellent sources of good quality unsaturated oils. Use extra virgin olive oil in salad dressings.
Ensure you get enough folic acid – in addition to eating foods with added folic acid (such as bread) and naturally rich in folate, health professionals recommend taking a supplement of at least 400 micrograms every day one month before and three months after conception to reduce the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida
Ensure you get enough iodine – in addition to eating foods with added iodine (such as bread) and naturally rich in iodine, health professionals recommend taking iodine supplements every day during pregnancy and breastfeeding because mild to moderate iodine deficiency can result in learning difficulties and affect your baby’s development of motor skills and hearing Folic acid and iodine can be taken as part of a multi vitamin B complex supplement, as well as a fish oil supplement containing Omega 3, rich in DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid). This is great for the development of the intelligence, memory and eyesight of your baby. Iron is also important during pregnancy, make sure you talk to your Naturopath to ensure you take the right iron supplement to avoid constipation that can accompany some iron supplements.
In addition to iron, calcium is another important nutrient during pregnancy. Calcium can be found in hard cheeses, dairy products, sardines with bones, broccoli and sesame seeds, particularly unhulled. Iron rich foods include red meat, eggs, dried apricots, lentils, white beans, whole-grain rice and wheat.
Avoid foods that could contain listeria such as soft and semi soft cheeses like brie, camembert, ricotta, blue, feta; soft serve ice cream; paté; chilled seafood; salads and fruit/vegetable that are prepared, pre-packaged or served from smorgasbords or salad bars and cold cooked meats from sandwich bars, and packaged ready-to-eat meats.
Don’t drink alcohol during pregnancy (or while breastfeeding).
Don’t drink caffeinated drinks such as coffee or cola drinks. Actually no soft drinks at all.
Have some regular gentle exercise such walking, swimming or yoga.
If you eat dried fruits be sure to buy fruit that has been dried naturally rather than sulphur dried. Don’t eat too much dried fruit because it has a high concentration of natural sugars and can contribute to weight gain if eaten in excess.
For your vitamin D requirements, get some sun exposure during mild weather and at the times the sun is not very strong, which is at about 10.00 am – 3.00 pm. About 20 minutes should suffice. Don’t forget that this is an accumulative amount we are talking about, so when you walk to the local shops, hang out the clothes to dry and such activities form part of the sun exposure. Otherwise some Vitamin supplement may be a good idea. Again discuss with your Naturopath.
Do not smoke. This is not only during pregnancy of course but at any time for good health. Also avoid exposure close to people who may be smoking.
Enjoy your pregnancy and try to be calm. Don’t push yourself when you feel tired. You will feel more tired more quickly when you are pregnant.
Avoid exposure to chemicals including harsh cleaning products and toxic garden products.
Talking with your Naturopath before and during your pregnancy is important to ensure health lifestyle, proper eating habits, efficient supplementation and as much as possible prevention of health issues that have a higher incidence during pregnancy such as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, too much weight gain and more. In addition, there are herbs and supplements that contribute to a healthier and easier childbirth. Look after yourself and baby before, during and after this exciting time in your life!
At Centre of Health, we help you to explore your options and we focus on your individual needs. We assist you prior to, during and after pregnancy
Pre natal care supports you and your baby with appropriate best quality supplements, good nutrition, stress reduction and whatever else is required for a healthy pregnancy.
During the time that you are pregnant, we provide you with nutrients to prevent problems and to assist with issues such as morning sickness, bloating, sleeplessness. We follow through with you to prepare your body and make childbirth as easy as possible. The development of the baby is also important so we provide you with the essential nutrient you and your baby require as mentioned above.
Once you have had the baby, our post natal care addresses any issues such as lactation problems, sore nipples, mastitis and any other issues that need to be dealt with.
In addition, we assist you with your baby with conditions such as colic, teething, sleeping issues, nappy rash and anything else that the baby may require – see relevant section on our website for more details.
At our clinic we have an extensive dispensary where we keep only the best quality products, be it herbs, homeopathic preparations, vitamins, minerals or any other type of natural medicines and nutrients. We pride ourselves in selecting the absolute best quality after extensive research on every product we decide to stock. We will not stock and refuse to provide products that are inferior in quality, so you can be assured that what you are provided is the best there is.
We wish you all the best throughout your exciting journey of pregnancy and childbirth.