Healthy Pregnancy Information

Being pregnant and giving birth are natural life experiences for which a woman's body is well designed. A woman's body is innately prepared with the strength, stamina, and ability to nourish a safe and natural pregnancy and childbirth. Natural parenthood starts with a healthy pregnancy, a positive outlook and supporting information. Here is some helpful information if you are expected.

Pregnancy is based on 280 days which is 10 lunar months = Ten 28 day periods, or 40 weeks. Most babies are born between 38 and 42 weeks.

- Avoid all drugs, medications, herbs and spices during pregnancy. Do not take any medications which are not prescribed by the gynecologist.
- Do not climb stairs, it puts a lot of pressure on the lower abdomen.
- Do not lift any heavy weights and do not do heavy work.
- Avoid standing for long duration.
- Do not drive vehicles.
- Do not use harmful chemical beauty products that may penetrate the skin.
- Stay away from cat litter as cat litter may contain a particular kind of bacteria, which can cause miscarriage.

- Alcohol & Smoking is a strict no-no. The results of their consumption during pregnancy can be disastrous, leading to birth deformations and even miscarriages.
- Stay away from caffeinated products, carbonated drinks, junk food, street food, refined sugar, artificial sweeteners and preservatives.
- Do not consume excessive amounts of salty food because it can raise your blood pressure, which is not good for the baby.
- Avoid foods that may contain parasites or bacteria especially E. coli, Campylobacter, Vibrio, Listeria and Salmonella which may be present in raw, fermented, uncooked foods and unpasteurized milk and juices. Make sure to cook your food thoroughly.
- Red Meats have high amount of saturated fat and cholesterol which may cause a significant negative effect on your blood lipid levels, which is undesirable during pregnancy.
- Fish which may contain levels of mercury and Shell-fish are a no no.
- Garlic in high doses may ‘thin’ your blood, which may cause uterine bleeding in pregnancy.
- Some studies have claimed that ginger consumption may cause uterine contractions, which may cause uterine bleeding in pregnancy.
- Parsley has been used as an abortifacient in older ages and is capable of inducing miscarriage or preterm labor since it is a strong muscle stimulant.
- Turmeric is capable of causing stimulation in the uterus which may lead to abortion. Over consumption of turmeric in pregnant women, may cause birth defects in new-borns.
- The uterine and menstrual flow stimulant action of rosemary may lead to abortion, deplete the fluid in fetal sac and also cause miscarriage in pregnant women.
- Papaya is particularly dangerous to developing embryos, since its compounds trigger powerful uterine contractions.
- Pineapple contains the protease enzyme bromelain-- which is chemically similar to papain in papaya. Because of this, it's likely that pineapple could exert an abortifacient effect similar to that associated with papaya.
- Foods including mango and fresh dates are believed to cause contractions. Hence, they are avoided or restricted during the early pregnancy months.
- Irregular menstrual bleeding caused by Chasteberry/vitex is considered to be highly risky during pregnancy. It is also capable of causing hormonal imbalances which is highly undesirable during pregnancy.
- Treating a whole pomegranate and swallowing the seeds may be the most hazardous to a pregnancy. A Contraction-stimulating toxin is found in high concentrations in pomegranate seeds and skin.
- Seed of Apple and Lemon are also toxic as these contain cyanogens, precursors to cyanide.
- Since ages, miscarriage is a very popular risk which is linked with sesame seed & fenugreek seeds consumption since it is considered as a food with great thermogenic effect. Therefore it is advised to cut down all seed foods during this time.
- American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that women with potential risk of allergy should avoid peanuts during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
- According to a study in the American Journal Of Epidemiology, It was made clear that when expectant mothers had eaten a lot of liquorice during their pregnancy, it resulted in poor performance in cognitive tests in the offspring.
- It has been proved that tofus are capable of causing menstrual cramps and digestion problems which is undesirable when pregnant.
- In several cultures, eggplant is linked with miscarriage and is considered to induce labor.
- Vicine content of the seeds of bitter melon can trigger symptoms of favism in susceptible individuals. The red arils of the seeds are found to be toxic to children, and so bitter gourd is contraindicated during pregnancy.

Cheeses to AVOID in pregnancy
Mould-ripened soft cheeses: Brie, Blue Brie, Cambozola, Camembert, Chaumes, chèvre (goats cheese with a white rind), Pont L'Eveque, Taleggio, Vacherin-Fribourgeois
Blue-veined cheeses: Bergader, Bleu d'Auvergne, Blue Wensleydale, Shropshire Blue, Danish Blue, Dolcelatte, Gorgonzola, Roncal, Roquefort, Stilton, tomme, Wensleydale (blue).
Soft, unpasteurised cheese, including goat and sheep's cheeses: Chabichou, Pyramide, Torta del Cesar, Queso blanco and Panela

Abortifacient Herbs That Can Cause Miscarriage
Anise Seed (Pimpinella anisum)
Asafoetida root (Ferula asafoetida)
Ashwagandha root (Withania somnifera)
Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia)
Blue Cohosh Root (Caulophyllum thalictroides)
Calamus root (Acorus calamus)
Carrot, Wild (Daucus carota L.)
Dill (Anethum graveolens)
Goji Berries (Lycium barbarum)
Mugwort - St. John's Plant (Artemisia vulgaris)
Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)
PennyRoyal (Mentha pulegium)
Rue (Ruta graveolens L.)
Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
Thuja oil (Thuja occidentalis)
Tribulus terrestris L (Tribulus terrestris)
Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium L.)

In Traditional Chinese & Indian theology all foods are categorized into temperature, from hot to cold. Different temperatures of food influence the body in specific ways. One should try to include all flavours and a balance of temperatures in every meal. If too much of one type of food is consumed it can create an imbalance with in the body. In first two tri-semester of pregnancy it is strongly advised to minimize foods which have a hot nature. 
If your diet is poor to begin with, making the transition to eating nutritious meals is one of the best things you can do for you and your baby's health. However eating better doesn't mean eating excessively. If you start off at a healthy weight, you need no extra calories during the first trimester, about 300 extra calories a day in the second trimester, and about 450 extra calories a day in the third trimester. If you're overweight or underweight, you'll need more or less than this, depending on your weight gain goal.

Good To Eat Foods during pregnancy
Whole grains - whole-grain breads and cereals have folic acid, iron and more fiber than white bread and rice.
Beans - Lentils, kidney beans, soy beans, black beans, white beans, black-eyed peas and pinto beans are good sources of key nutrients, such as iron, folate, calcium, and zinc. The also provide protein and fiber.
Berries - Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are packed with vitamin C, potassium, folate, and fiber.
Plain Low-fat yogurt - It has more calcium than milk, is high in protein, and doesn’t have the added sugar or artificial sweetners of flavored yogurts.
Eggs - Eggs are versatile and a good source of protein that provides amino acids you and your baby need. They contain more than a dozen vitamins and minerals, including choline, which is good for baby's brain development. However, be sure not to eat undercooked or raw eggs.
Good Fish - Fish which is relatively low in mercury compared to other fish. You can safely eat up to 12 ounces of low-mercury fish, such as salmon, per week. Omega-3 fatty acids are good for your baby's brain and eyes. Plus it provides protein and B vitamins. Other good fish are Pollock, Catfish, Cod and Tilapia. It is advisable not to eat shell fish during pregnancy.
Consume almonds after you have soaked them overnight in water or milk. It seems the outer skin of almonds is hard to digest and therefore heat-producing. Nuts are easier to digest and their nutrients are more readily available if they are first soaked overnight.
Drink plenty and plenty of fluids like water and fresh fruit juices because the excessive peeing can drain you of water. Fluids do not include carbonated drinks and colas because they only provide empty calories and do nothing to keep the body hydrated.

It's especially important that pregnant woman eat an adequate supply of protein, iron, calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12 through informed natural diet.
Folic acid — 400 to 800 micrograms
Calcium — 250 milligrams
Iron — 30 milligrams
Vitamin C — 50 milligrams
Zinc — 15 milligrams
Copper — 2 milligrams
Vitamin B-6 — 2 milligrams
Vitamin D — 400 international units

Take folic acid in the first trimester of pregnancy. Folic acid is an absolute necessity in the first trimester because it protects the baby from developing neural tube deformities, spina bifida, and cleft lip. Do also consult your doctor if you require additional supplimentation of other important vitamins.

Other Tips
- Get plenty of rest because your body is really working hard to keep the baby alive and kicking, don’t give it extra stress by doing strenuous work.
- Listen to music which calms you down. Studies have shown that the babies respond to pleasant music, it calms you and your baby down.
- Talk you your baby, read out a book to him/her, and sing lullabies while it is still in your womb. Your voice does reach your baby and remember that your voice comforts your baby.
- Touch your tummy often. The soothing heat from your hand does give comfort to your baby and he/she will often swim towards where you have kept your hand.
- If you're desperate for a good night's sleep, you're not alone. A growing belly and other effects of pregnancy keep even the best sleepers awake. When you do sleep and have dreams, don't worry, it's normal for your dream life to get a bit wild when you're pregnant.
- Morning sickness is also common during pregnancy. It's related mostly due to a change in the balance of hormones. Many doctors and midwives believe that nausea and vomiting is more common in women carrying twins.
- Love your growing body and know that you are blessed with the ability to nourish a new life.
- Be sure to make your activities fun and full of joy – anything that keeps you moving and makes you smile.
- Lastly conduct a mock drill with your partner for the trip to your local hospital or a Nursing home, calculate the time and the things you may require.