Thursday, June 2, 2016

Supporting a Healthy Pregnancy (PT 2- What am I drinking?)

Throughout pregnancy it is extremely important to stay hydrated. This can be difficult at times. Forming a routine with your liquids and figuring out how you will consume them can be really helpful. Water in-take is integral to our lives. During pregnancy we are more susceptible urinary tract infections, constipation, and hemorrhoids. Drinking enough water and natural fluids can drastically reduce our risk of dealing with those issues. I'll share in this article the drinks that have allowed me to stay supported. I'll be honest, most of my liquid consumption has not changed. I've just been extra diligent to increase it.

Warm Lemon Water: Each morning I start the day with a jar of room temperature to warm lemon water. This is a wonderful way to safely and naturally encourage the body's organs like the liver, gallbladder, and digestive system to operate as intended. I squeeze one whole organic lemon into my jar. As mentioned it is my first drink of the day. That is the only water I mix with lemon so not to over do a good thing. 

I try to drink 96 ounces of water daily. Pre-pregnancy my goal was 64oz. Different variables affect how much water one should consume: body weight, fitness/activity level, pregnancy, caffeine and sugar consumption, as well as being healthy or sick. Talk with your health professional about how much water your body needs.

Apple Cider Vinegar: If you do not have a bottle of Braggs Raw Unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar then go our to grab one. Many grocery stores are carrying it now and without a doubt your local health food store will carry it. For the most economical buy, you can purchase it through Thrive Market. I recently wrote about the benefits here. I add a splash in one of my jars of water each day. 

Raw Organic Coconut Water: Have you tried coconut water? Harmless Harvest is my favorite brand. I like that it has not been heated so it has not lost any of it's nutrients. I like also that it's only sold refrigerated, so there are absolutely no preservatives. Did you know coconut water is full of natural electrolytes? When your kiddos are playing sports, this should be your go to drink, not Gatorade.  

Chia Seed Water: Some superfoods may come and go, but chia seeds are so beneficial that they are here to stay. They are rich in calcium, magnesium, fiber, and omega 3 fatty acids. They also contain some protein. When soaked in water they absorb the water and their texture reminds me of peeled grapes. I'll be honest, a little weird to get used to drinking. Chia seeds are so beneficial and worth it! I add 1 TBSP to my jar of water. For a delicious flavor I like to add one drop of Young Living Vitality Grapefruit Essential Oil.  

Kombucha: This amazing health promoting beverage actually can cause a lot of stir in the pregnant community. You will hear two point of views, stay away or drink every day. In case you aren't aware of what kombucha is altogether it is an organic black sweet tea that has been lacto-fermented with a special specific bacteria. The lacto refers to lactid acid, not dairy. I mention that because mant people ask if dairy is involved. Once the fermentation process takes place the bacteria has cultured the tea leaving you with an extremely low to no sugar and caffeine beverage with many beneficial pro-biotics. To learn more about making kombucha and it's benefits go here.

The major resistance is that in certain individuals kombucha can cause a detox reaction. While not pregnant, this would be a safe, natural occurrence. While pregnant we want to avoid detoxes, cleanses, and restrictive diets. During a detox toxins are released in the body and they could affect the baby. Another concern among some is possible alcohol content. When kombucha is fermented properly the alcohol content is minimal to none. 

Since my body is used to fermented foods and drinking kombucha, I make it weekly at home, I've felt very comfortable consuming it. If you have doubts or concerns, talk it over with your midwife, obstetrician, or nutritionist. Everyone is different and must consider their own body. 

Herbal Teas: First I must say how much I love tea! I was brought up drinking tea. Now my taste and choice in tea has certainly changed. Throughout my first, second, and now into my third trimester I've been enjoying different teas. Often in my first trimester my husband would make me ginger root tea. That consisted of him simply slicing and peeling a bit of organic ginger root and letting it steep in hot water.

Beginning in my second trimester I started drinking raspberry leaf and nettle leaf teas. Those herbs are very supportive to the uterus. Due to the stimulation of the uterus it is advised by herbal expert Susan Weed to use later on in pregnancy. Above in the picture is my favorite tea infuser by LibreTea. It is glass on the inside and plastic on the outside to prevent breakage along with a stainless steel filter. I used 1 tsp of raspberry leaf and 1 tsp of nettle leaf in my infuser. I like to drink them hot and cold.

 I much prefer loose tea leaves, but I always keep a good quality boxed tea around. I really like Traditional Medicinals. You can also get it here at Thrive Market. In the evenings I like to settle down with a blend of loose lemon balm leaves and lavender flowers.

Stay tuned for part 3 in the Pregnancy Support Series!

Helping you to be a good steward of your health!~Marie A. Brock, HHC

Health Disclaimer: No medical diagnoses, claims or promises of cures have been made. The information offered is simply for educational purposes. Any addition to diet or supplement routines should be discussed with your regular health professional.

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