Preparing Your Body For Pregnancy: Proper Diet & Exercise

Here’s a toast to the best years of my life spent in the arms of another man’s wife—here’s to my mother! As we celebrate motherhood in May, remember the miracle of birth and the effort she made to bring you into this world and raise you to success. With recent announcements from the frontiers of longevity research declaring that babies born today could routinely live from 100–120 years, parents need to know how their lifestyle will affect their baby for a lifetime.

Common sense tells us that pregnant moms should reduce and avoid stress, but new research confirms how stress affects longevity of life by shortening one’s telomeres, the caps on your chromosomes considered the timekeepers of the cell, determining how long you’ll live and your susceptibility to future disease. Telomere shortening is not just confined to adults; recent studies show that when cord blood is drawn from newborns, the babies whose mothers had experienced more stress when pregnant showed shorter telomeres than those moms who experienced easier or less stressful pregnancies. Healthy telomere maintenance doesn’t just start when you’re born but before you’re born.

The good news? Even if your first pregnancy was not ideal, adopting a healthy lifestyle with good nutrition, exercise and a healthy spine and nervous system for you and your child can lengthen your telomeres, increasing longevity of life and reducing the incidence of future degenerative diseases. The new science of epigenetics empowers us with the knowledge that we have greater control over our own and our baby’s destiny. Only 5 to 30% of disease development is genetic, 70% or more being lifestyle induced.

Moms are the ones that most often take the lead in the health care of their family, raising up the next generation of healthy children. We now know that even before conception occurs, a healthy, less stressful lifestyle can set the stage for generational health. 

Preparation is power and actively preparing for a healthy pregnancy with the right Fitness is vital. Fitness includes: Nutrition, Endurance, Strength and Structure. Begin by eliminating exposure to toxins, pesticides and xenoestrogens that you can pass to your baby. Studies show you can reduce your pesticide exposure by 90% in one week by switching to organic foods. Other chemicals that mimic estrogen (xenoestrogen) can be reduced by avoiding plastics, insecticides, common cleaning agents and sunscreens that contain Oxybenzone. Begin quality prenatal vitamins several months before pregnancy with plenty of omega 3 fatty acids and other heathy fats and proteins so all the building blocks are available for healthy baby creation. Healthy fats found in olive,  coconut, flax and cold water fish are essential for mom and baby development since 50% of our brains are made up fat called DHA. A diet that includes these healthy fats reduces the incidence of post–partum depression dramatically. Listen to your cravings when pregnant, your innate intelligence is directing you to take in the vitamins and minerals you may need most.

Endurance achieved with regular exercise like walking, swimming and yoga prepares the body well for labor. Maintaining and building up your strength with supervised lightweight training and regular body squats will prepare you well for the endurance needed for natural delivery.

The structure of your pelvis determines your ability to carry and deliver a baby with less restriction, less intervention and less stress on mom and baby. If the pelvis and articularly the sacrum or tail bone are misaligned, it can put abnormal tension on the uterus, leading to unnecessary stress upon the baby with potential back pain and sciatica through pregnancy and severe back labor during delivery for mom. The sacrum is referred to as the “trap door” and if misaligned or subluxated it doesn’t open correctly, which slows labor, increases pain during labor or even halts labor, leading to unplanned interventions like epidurals, episiotomies, forceps, vacuum extraction or C–section. Well–adjusted and aligned moms report shorter labor times, less stress on baby, and less interventions. Likewise, proper alignment maintained before and during pregnancy provides the greatest opportunity for an efficient, natural and less stressful delivery, ushering in the best years of your life.

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