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.
- 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.