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Navigating Pregnancy: Embrace Wellness with These Four Pillars

pregnancy wellness Jun 27, 2024

Navigating Pregnancy: Embrace Wellness with These Four Pillars

Pregnancy can be a roller coaster of emotions, physical symptoms, relationship challenges, and questions about whether you're doing it right. First and foremost, I want to start this blog by telling you to TRUST yourself if you are pregnant. The more connection you find to your body and baby, the more you will know what is right and wrong for you. You were made for this.

That being said, if you are looking for a guidepost to simplify your wellness during this transformative journey, I will outline the four pillars of prenatal wellness and share how to implement them over the next nine months.

Pillar #1: Nutrition

Nutrition is crucial during pregnancy. My partner is a dietitian and has helped me understand the key things to focus on during pregnancy to keep you strong and nourished while offering your baby the best nutrients for brain and body development. Here are the main points to consider:

1. Eating enough calories: Ensure you are consuming enough calories throughout the day. Tracking your food in an app like MyFitnessPal can help you see if you're getting enough carbs, protein, and fat. You can also schedule a session with a dietitian to understand your caloric needs during pregnancy.

2. Prioritize these foods daily:
- Eggs: Packed with choline, crucial for baby's brain and spinal cord development. Eggs also contain iron, zinc, B12, D, and folate. Aim to eat at least two eggs a day.
-Foods rich in iron, folate, and calcium**: These nutrients are vital for both baby and mother. Include foods like red meats, poultry, organ meats (in moderation), legumes, seeds, dark leafy greens, whole grains, dried fruits, broccoli, asparagus, avocado, beets, dairy products, tofu, and nuts.

3. Prenatal vitamins: Look for prenatal vitamins that use 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF). This form is often listed on supplement labels as L-methylfolate or methylfolate, which is more easily digested by about 50% of women compared to folic acid.

Pillar #2: Movement

While I advocate for strength and endurance training during pregnancy, it's even more important to find a type of movement you enjoy and can commit to. Movement and exercise during pregnancy are essential for:

- Reducing pregnancy-related pain during all three trimesters.
- Potentially shortening labor.
- Speeding up and supporting postpartum recovery.
- Aiding in baby's development and encouraging an active child.

Strength and Endurance Training

As the baby and belly grow, your body undergoes many changes. Focusing on strength training can help alleviate issues like back pain, sciatica, and sore hips. Key areas to focus on include:

  • Glutes: Supporting your back and reducing low back pain.

  • Core (TVA)**: Training your transverse abdominis supports your spine and aids in postpartum recovery.

  • Hips and Pelvis**: Strengthening the pelvic floor, adductors, and abductors.

  • Paraspinals and Back**: Counteracting the forward pull of the shoulders as the baby grows.

You can train these areas with or without weights. Check out my prenatal program focusing on these areas with Steel Mace, Kettlebells, and resistance bands. Other prenatal programs focus on gym equipment and other modalities, so find what works for you!


Aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio daily. Activities like brisk walking, elliptical, swimming, and dancing are excellent options. Your heart rate should increase, but you should still be able to maintain a conversation without becoming breathless. Benefits include:

- Lower glucose levels, reducing the risk of gestational diabetes.
- Increased energy levels.
- Improved sleep.
- Enhanced endurance for labor.
- Better mood.

Pillar #3: Stress Reduction and Nervous System Regulation

Stress signals can affect your baby's nervous system. While life stressors are often beyond our control, finding ways to manage stress and regulate your nervous system is crucial. Movement helps, but here are other tools to consider:

- Journaling
- Mindfulness/meditation/breathwork
- Time in nature
- Spa days with friends (even at home)
- Therapy/healing sessions
- Float tanks
- Acupuncture
- Massage
- Tea time
- Prayer

Prioritize these activities weekly. Schedule them, make plans with friends, or ask your partner to help ensure they happen. You and your baby need this—it’s not selfish but beneficial for everyone around you.

Pillar #4: Education/Preparation and Community Support

The saying "It takes a village" is not cliché; it's a biological fact. Our modern times and lack of community make this more important than ever. You are not meant to do this alone. Even with an amazing partner and close family, additional support is crucial. Here’s what to consider:

Mother/Peer Support: Having a community of mothers who have been through similar experiences is invaluable. This can be a group of friends, a mother meetup group, pregnancy groups at birth centers, or online forums.
Educational Support: This can come from your medical team, a doula, your midwife, childbirth education courses, breastfeeding courses, baby care courses, books, and podcasts.
Physical Support: Access programs like WIC or EBT food stamps for high-quality food. Chiropractic support can be beneficial. Ensure you choose the right medical team for your needs.
Spiritual Support: Your role, identity, and values will change. Maintaining a developed relationship with your faith or spiritual beliefs can be important.
Postpartum Support: Plan for postpartum support, including community help with cooking, cleaning, and errands, body care through postpartum bodywork, emotional support, and lactation support if needed.

Planning for your postpartum experience is crucial. This subject needs its own post, so stay tuned for more information.

I hope you find the support and resources you need during this significant time in your life. I am a prenatal yoga, fitness, and wellness coach and also a birth doula in Seattle, WA. If you need any support, feel free to reach out to me or check out my resources for pregnancy at you can also find more movement and educational videos of mine on my YOU-TUBE page. 

Sending Love,

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