Holistic Therapies for a Healthy Pregnancy

October 07, 2019

Holistic Therapies for a Healthy Pregnancy

Pregnancy brings forth emotional ups and downs along with physical shifts that take place within a woman's body. It's a time that is equally 
exciting and exhausting, which makes it so important for a woman to focus on self-care for her mind and body. The following activities support 
a healthy, active pregnancy while helping to reduce stress and anxiety that can often comes with bringing a new life into the world.

Keep Moving.  Aerobic exercise enhances circulation, facilitates bowel motility, reduces stress, supports restful sleep, and strengthens the 
cardiovascular and muscular systems. Taking moderately-paced 30-minute walks, twice a day is a good start for most women. If it's been a while 
since you've engaged in daily exercise, check with your physician about the best way to start. If you've been exercising regularly or are an 
athlete, you may need to modify your usual routine to prevent injury and reduce the risk of strain on the pelvic muscles that support the uterus. 
Whatever your routine, it's good for both mind and body to spend time outdoors in nature, 

Strengthen Body and Mind with Yoga. Yoga, which is meditation in motion, can be practiced throughout your pregnancy, with modifications made 
as your belly grows. Yoga strengthens and stretches the muscles, including those that support the pelvis. Specific breathing patterns used in 
yoga help strengthen the respiratory muscles needed when the time comes for delivering the baby. Be sure your instructor is certified to teach 
yoga for pregnancy.

Sleep Well. There will be lots of sleepless nights as you get closer to delivery and once the baby arrives, so make sure you are getting adequate
 rest during pregnancy. Restful sleep supports immunity, enhances resilience to daily stressors, and supports the development of the fetus. Try to 
keep routine times for lights-out each night and wake-up each morning. Sleeping on the left-side seems to improve sleep in pregnant women. If you 
have difficulty sleeping through the night, try taking a brief nap at least once during the day.

Get "Ah" Massage.  Prenatal and pregnancy massage helps nourish the muscles and organs, lowers stress, and reduces swelling that occurs during pregnancy. 
It can also help reduce back and foot pain, improve sleep, reduce emotional angst that can arise as the due date approaches. Look for a licensed 
massage therapist who has been trained in therapeutic massage for pregnancy.

While all of these modalities are considered safe during pregnancy, every woman is different. Please check with your physician before starting or 
changing your exercise or self-care routine to make sure the modality is appropriate for you and baby.

Resources

PBMCHealth.org "Benefits of Prenatal Massage." Accessed 12 July 2019. https://www.pbmchealth.org/blog/benefits-prenatal-massage/  

American Massage Therapy Association. "Pregnancy and Massage."  Accessed 12 July 2019. https://www.amtamassage.org/articles/3/MTJ/detail/2419/
pregnancy-massage 

YogaJournal.com  "Study finds Yoga Safe During Pregnancy."  Posted 17 Nov 2015. Accessed 12 July 2019. https://www.yogajournal.com/yoga-101/
new-research-shows-yoga-poses-safe-pregnancy  

Curtis, Kathryn et al. "Systematic review of yoga for pregnant women: current status and future directions." Evidence-based complementary and 
alternative medicine: eCAM vol. 2012 (2012): 715942. doi:10.1155/2012/715942  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3424788/  

National Sleep Foundation. "Sleep and Pregnancy." https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/pregnancy-and-sleep  

JohnsHopkinsMedicine. "Get a Good Night's Sleep During Pregnancy." Accessed 12 July 2019. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-
and-diseases/staying-healthy-during-pregnancy/get-a-good-nights-sleep-during-pregnancy  

AJOG.org "Exercise in Pregnancy!" Accessed 11 July 2019.  https://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(17)30130-8/pdf  

Hinman, Sally K et al. "Exercise in Pregnancy: A Clinical Review." Sports health (2015) 7:6, 527-31. doi:10.1177/1941738115599358  Accessed 12 
July 2019.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4622376/pdf/10.1177_1941738115599358.pdf  


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