Written By Dr. Shannon Vander Doelen, Naturopathic Doctor At Yoga Mamas
Naturopathic Doctors are medically trained and naturally focused. Working with an ND during your pregnancy can give you all the research-backed information you need to have as natural and healthy of a pregnancy as possible. A Naturopathic Doctor with a focus in pregnancy care creates individualized health plans to help mamas feel their best during their pregnancy and beyond. Still not sure why to see an ND? Here are 5 reasons you might.
1. To deal with early pregnancy symptoms naturally
Though the first trimester is exciting, it can also be pretty rough for some pregnant mamas - nausea, exhaustion and aches - there is a lot to battle through! If you’re feeling like these symptoms are negatively impacting your quality of life, know that we can use strategic supplementation of nutrients, and tools like acupuncture and lifestyle medicine to improve how you feel. Stay the course, mama - the second trimester is usually a huge relief!
2. To assess your current health status
Naturopathic Doctors can order the same tests that your midwife or OB/GYN can - but sometimes we interpret them differently. As an ND, I want to makes sure that your levels aren’t just sufficient, but that they are optimal! The baby will steal whatever it needs from you, and if you don’t have enough of some particular vitamins and minerals, that can leave you quite deficient (and that comes with it’s own set of issues!) Let’s test instead of guess.
3. To know with certainty what natural health products are safe to take while you’re pregnant
One thing you’ll hear me say often is that “just because something is natural, doesn’t mean it’s safe” and this couldn’t be more true when you are pregnant. Many natural health products have not been tested for safety in pregnancy, and as a result many healthcare practitioners give a blanket statement to not take any herbs or supplements other than a prenatal vitamin. This is taking it from one extreme to another! There are many herbs, vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are not just safe in pregnancy, but can be very helpful to manage symptoms, support mama’s health, and even support baby’s health. But, you should be getting your recommendations from a practitioner who is well trained in pregnancy to make sure the product, the brand, and the dose are safe for you and your babe.
4. To ask all of your questions.
Many mamas feel rushed through their prenatal appointments, or they feel embarrassed to ask questions that might seem silly. I promise that there is no question too silly to ask me. It’s incredibly important that you are informed and feel empowered in the choices you make. While I’m not trained to deliver your baby, I am well versed to help you understand your health and your body during this time, and to help guide you to resources that will help you make the big decisions about your pregnancy and birth.
5. To manage more serious pregnancy complications if they come up.
Some pregnant mamas will end up being diagnosed with more serious conditions during their pregnancy that might leave them with special requirements, or in a situation that may change their birth plan. Conditions such as pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes may require conventional medical management, but your Naturopathic Doctor can also support you by making appropriate recommendations that are safe to combine with your other treatments, and to improve birth outcomes.
If you want to discuss your pregnancy journey, find out what prenatal vitamin is right for you, or get support in making dietary and lifestyle changes, reach out to a Naturopathic Doctor who focuses on pregnancy and postpartum health. I am currently accepting new patients at Toronto Yoga Mamas and invite you in for a complimentary meet and greet consult to chat further!