Pregnancy during a pandemic

Being pregnant during the Covid-19 pandemic can be stressful and present unique challenges.  You may have less face-to-face time with your obstetrician or midwife and be missing out on bonding with pregnant friends.  You may have had to cancel your baby shower and babymoon or change your birth plan due to new hospital regulations.  Our thoughts are with all pregnant women during this uncertain time.  Our team of acupuncturists is available to provide emotional and physical support.  Acupuncture treatments can help relieve stress and anxiety as well as the physical symptoms of pregnancy including nausea, fatigue, aches and pains.  At the Acupuncture Center, your health and safety is always paramount.  We are utilizing optimal personal protective equipment and cleaning procedures, as well as limiting person-to-person contact.

Below are five tips to help you to love your pregnancy, during a pandemic and beyond!

 Keep moving & strength training

Pregnancy can be tough on the body, with so much change going on and a growing bump.  Working on our muscular strength (glute and backs especially) is important. As a general rule, if you were doing it before pregnancy, you can still do it while pregnant. However, some adjustments may be necessary and certain exercises may be too difficult and strenuous when heavily pregnant (e.g. running). Prenatal yoga and walking are highly recommended for all pregnant women; it is great for strength, stretching, cardiovascular and mental health.  Swimming is also recommended in late pregnancy; it is great for your joints and it helps to promote the ideal fetal positioning for labor.

During Covid-19, many yoga and fitness studios are offering online classes.  Look for prenatal classes to ensure that the exercises are suitable for pregnancy.  Always consult your obstetrician or midwife before you begin a physical exercise program.

Nutritious food…and listening to your body

For those women suffering from morning sickness (or all-day sickness!), eating healthy can be particularly challenging. This phase usually passes by the end of the first trimester. Do not beat yourself up if you live on saltines during weeks of nausea because you have plenty more months to indulge in healthy and nutritious food. Some general food tips- eat lots of colored vegetables, fruit, foods high in essential fatty acids such as nuts, olive oil, avocado, eggs, dark green leafy vegetables, protein from grass-fed organic meat and wild-caught fish.  Vegetarians should eat protein from various sources.  Drink plenty of water and limit caffeine.  If you are suffering from fatigue, nausea, bloating, or other digestive complaints please contact us to discuss personalized dietary recommendations.

Good quality supplements

Some women have difficulty getting all the required nutrients from food if they’re sick during some or most of pregnancy. It may be a good idea to check blood levels at the start of pregnancy to determine whether you have any nutrient deficiencies.  Checking your Iron and Vitamin D levels are particularly important. We recommend are a high-quality prenatal multivitamin with folate (methyl-folate ideally), a fish oil supplement (EPA and DHA), probiotics for gut health and immune system and vitamin D.  If you have questions about supplements or concerns about possible deficiencies, your acupuncturist can help with personalized recommendations.

Meditation and time to connect with baby

Some women, usually early in their pregnancy, say they don’t really feel pregnant, are too busy working or caring for other children at home to connect with their new little one. Meditation or even just some quiet time alone can be a good opportunity to connect with the baby. An acupuncture session is also a perfect time-out to focus on yourself and your pregnancy. If meditation is not your thing, your acupuncturist can give you some simple breathing exercises to help relax your body and mind.

Treat yourself!

Probably the most important point of all, treat yourself! Book an acupuncture session, ask your partner for a foot rub, take a long bath, cook a special meal, and be spontaneous while you still can! This is an incredibly important time in your life, be kind to yourself, and do things that perhaps won’t be as easy when you have a newborn!

Hannah Ciraco L.Ac