For many women, starting a family is an impetus to move toward a healthier lifestyle. Discover where to begin with better choices for supplements, body care and aromatherapy. Malia Curran is a nutrition consultant, speaker and mother of 2 young children.
Nutritionist Malia Curran recommends the following supplements for pregnancy:
- If possible, a woman should start taking a prenatal vitamin three months prior to getting pregnant.
- DHA is an essential fatty acid found in fatty fish and fish oil that is vital for the growth of a baby’s brain and nervous system.
- Research shows that babies born to mothers with higher amounts of DHA scored better on attention and visual learning tests.
- For nausea, eat something—such as crackers—before you get out of bed, and ginger or ginger tea promotes a calm stomach.
Choose body care products carefully while pregnant:
- Remember that what you put on your body can be absorbed into your body.
- Skin, hair and oral care products can contain harsh ingredients, so choose body care with a high percentage of natural ingredients and avoid synthetic scents.
- Dilute products containing 100% pure essential oils in equal parts with unscented varieties.
- Look for the Whole Foods Market Premium Body Care™ label for the best choices available.
Aromatherapy can be beneficial throughout pregnancy:
- Only 100% pure essential oils provide benefits, and synthetic scents may be harmful.
- Before using essential oils, always consult your practitioner, and research varieties and usage specific to your stage of motherhood. During pregnancy, certain oils should be avoided.
- Essential oils are very concentrated and can be harmful if not used properly by diluting them with carrier oils.
- Never use essential oils directly on skin.
- Massage is an opportunity to pamper yourself and may also promote a positive mood and comfortable, relaxed muscles and joints.
Aromatherapy can also be used during labor:
- Candles with no petroleum wax or artificial scents can help create a warm, softly lit atmosphere.
- Aromatherapy can also be used by inhaling essential oils from a tissue, the pillow, an electric diffuser, mists or forehead compresses.
- During and following labor, inhaling 100% pure essential oils of rose or ylang ylang may inspire strength; grapefruit, sweet orange or peppermint may promote relaxation and focus; and mandarin, bergamot, lavender or clary sage may support a positive mood.