This is on my mind because I just gave birth at the end of my longest (and healthiest) pregnancy yet. Being healthy during pregnancy means better outcomes for you and your baby — which impacts your baby’s long-term health (and, frankly, yours — pregnancy is a huge drain on your nutrient stores).
In my most recent pregnancy, my baby was well over a pound heavier than my other babies, and much more alert. His placenta was also perfect and healthy at 40 weeks, no signs of deterioration at all. Placentas shouldn’t deteriorate unless you are nutrient-deficient. (This happened in my second pregnancy and my son was born 10 days early.)
But a healthy pregnancy is a different animal all together. Your symptoms may be different, you’ll be healthier, and your baby will be too! I have noted that my bleeding is minimal this time, already slowing significantly by 12 hours or so after the birth. That is, I heal faster and more easily!
A healthy diet in the months leading up to conception (if planned) and during pregnancy is crucial. This is the single biggest thing you can do to ensure your own health and the health of your baby. See my previous posts on healthy pregnancy diet and diet revisited to get an idea of what I ate. Basically — lots of pastured animal foods (grass-fed beef, eggs, chicken, raw milk), plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and lots of fermented foods too. I also consumed herbal teas off and on throughout pregnancy.
I don’t recommend prenatal vitamins, in general. Most are synthetically-derived, meaning that the nutrients aren’t able to be absorbed by your body. What little is absorbed isn’t easily used because vitamins and minerals are meant to be absorbed in particular combinations and synergistically with other compounds in food. Therefore, the vitamins aren’t really worth it.
The one supplement I do recommend is fermented cod liver oil/butter oil blend! It is excellent for health. I took it throughout pregnancy until the final weeks — some say it can increase the risk of hemorrhage and should be stopped in the last weeks. I’ll go back to it soon.
Other than this, focusing on a healthy diet is the best way to get the nutrients you need.
Detox (should you? when?)