40+ Rules for Pregnancy & the Childbearing Years



I love the book “Food Rules,” which helped me years ago to simplify how I grow, buy, and prepare foods to be healthier and more wholesome.  Sometimes, these simple rules help us to integrate these choices into our life more easily. I thought I would share a list of simple “rules” that can help support a balanced experience in the childbearing years.  Consider adding one new rule into your routine each week.  Starting before conception is ideal to optimize health when it can make a difference for pregnancy and to change habits that improve wellness.

 

  1. Pay attention to your morning cervical fluid which gives you the best information about fertility balance
  2. Chart your nightly Basal Body Temperature to confirm ovulation
  3. Chart the first day of your period and your ovulation day to help get an idea of cycle health and hormonal balance
  4. Drink 8 oz of water at the top of each hour during the times you’re awake
  5. Eat within 30 minutes of waking
  6. Add cucumber slices and berries to your water to support electrolyte balance
  7. Eat bitter sprouts or bitter veggies while preparing meals to improve digestion and reduce acid reflux
  8. Eat a fist-size portion of protein-rich food with every meal or snack
  9. Eat skin/bone broth multiple times weekly
  10. Eat a rainbow of fresh vegetable and fruits, making each plate colorful for maximum nutrition and immune support
  11. Eat protein in the morning, and with each meal, to build blood volume and reduce blood sugar spikes and crashes
  12. Get most of your nutrients from real, fresh, whole foods (not supplements)
  13. Learn to read the Nutrition Labels on all foods (including recipes) and eat only nourishing foods 80% of the time
  14. Enjoy 2 hours of moving in the sunshine daily for mood and hormonal balance
  15. Eat healthy fats with your protein with each meal to balance hormones
  16. Be in a restful and joyful state when eating to improve digestion
  17. Enjoy lactofermented foods daily
  18. Drink water until your pee is almost clear
  19. Drink water until you have a BM daily
  20. Get rid of regular sweets and added sugar
  21. Rely mostly on nutrients from vegetables, fruit, and meat, not flour or grains
  22. Eat liver and organ meats once a week
  23. Optimize health 1 year before conception for mom AND for dad
  24. Walk briskly for 10 minutes, 30 minutes after every meal for blood sugar balance
  25. Cross one foot over to your other knee when sitting for sacral stretching
  26. Squat when getting anything out of a lower cabinet. Push out your bottom, keep an arch in your back, and keep your knees over your ankles to stretch your sacrum
  27. Sit cross-legged on the floor, instead of a sofa or chair, to open your pelvis
  28. Change positions every 15 minutes to avoid muscle imbalances and reduce varicose veins
  29. Stretch your hamstrings for 15 min. daily
  30. Reach up and touch the top of the door frame for 3 seconds when passing through to stretching your core tissues
  31. Sit up on your sitz bones
  32. Don’t lean back on sofas or chairs
  33. Sit with your legs stretched on the floor
  34. Alternate legs up on a chair when standing for long periods to reduce varicose veins
  35. Practice “piston breathing” to improve abdominal and pelvic floor strength (especially in the weeks postpartum)
  36. Ask, “how do I need to grow spiritually?” in this moment
  37. Reduce fear and anxiety and learn relaxation techniques to use when stressed (and they’ll become habits for relaxation in labor)
  38. Use a simple piece of cloth to give support to your belly before and after birth to improve balance and healing
  39. Rock your pelvis in hands and knees daily during pregnancy
  40. Breathe deep and full through your nose

I’m sure you could add so many more nourishing and nurturing rules to this list for balance in the childbearing years!  These habits not only influence our pregnancies but teach our children and communities the habits they will live by during their hormonal changes of adolescence and carry into their reproductive years as well, so they’re important for the whole family in all life stages!  And remember one of the most important rules we can integrate is to prayerfully Serve, Love, & Find Joy.