Pregnancy Complications: 5 Common Triggers (And What To Do About Them!)
Pregnancy is a stressful time of life, both in positive and negative ways. With so much to celebrate it’s unfortunate that the negative stresses can get in the way of enjoying the moment. These stresses can cause complications in each phase of pregnancy, labor and delivery. Fortunately, for over 10 years we’ve helped many women overcome these stresses and enjoy a more positive outcome for both mother and baby. Here are the top 5 triggers that we’ve seen cause problems and solutions to each.
- You’re Not Squatting Enough. Sitting, old injuries and lack of movement inhibits pelvic function, diminishes your ability to squat and can impair labor and delivery. Midwife Ina May Gaskin recommends that all pregnant women squat about 300 times a day to improve birth outcomes. If you’re having trouble squatting, try these versions of modified squats. Also, taking a class in The Bradley Method will show you additional stretches and exercises to optimize pregnancy, labor and delivery.
- You’re exposed to too many toxins and radiation. Mercury from fish and flu shots can cause negative effects to both mom and baby. Tylenol also adds a major chemical insult that can cause neurological damage to the baby and also diminishes glutathione (important antioxidant) levels. Finally, each ultrasound puts some stress on the unborn child. It’s important to talk to your birth provider about which, if any of these, are necessary or can be omitted from your prenatal plan.
- You’re missing crucial nutrients. Poor diet can lead to low birth weight in the baby, inhibit pelvic ligament stretch during labor, cause the mom to be dehydrated and increases the likelihood of postpartum bleeding. The Brewer Pregnancy Diet is a great starting point for nutritional needs during pregnancy (additional article on Brewer Diet). Magnesium (and also Natural Calm) is a great supplement during pregnancy because it helps with constipation and muscle tension. Both Bradley Method and Hypnobirthing classes also discuss dietary needs during pregnancy.
- You Don’t Have A Plan. If you’ve ever ran a marathon, or thought about running one, you put together a plan first. Same goes for driving across the country or traveling abroad. Well, labor and delivery is harder than all of those yet few sit down to plan it out. Do you want to deliver upright (which is easier) or while laying on your back (much harder)? Who is allowed in the room? Is water birth an option? Vit K shot? Hep B? Circumcision? Sit down with your significant other and make decisions on these when you have a clear mind and not in the thick of things. Here’s a Sample birth plan to get you started.
- You’re Stressed Out. Emotional stress can cause undue muscle tension that may inhibit baby positioning, not to mention cause discomfort and pain. Try listening to relaxing music while taking an Epsom salt bath each night, download a stress management app (here’s another option and more relaxation methods) or even consider taking a hypnobirthing class.
*Bonus Tip! Get Adjusted. Misalignments of the pelvis, sacrum and lumbar spine can affect supporting muscles and ligaments. In turn, these can prevent the baby from dropping into proper position, not to mention causing pain and discomfort for mom. Chiropractors trained in the Webster technique can help these alignment issues through gentle adjustments and improve birth outcomes. One published study found that pregnant women under regular chiropractic care had 25-31% shorter labors (Cara L. Borggren, 2007)!