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Take good care of yourself through pregnancy to increase your chances of natural childbirth






Written by Tanya Wylde, Naturopathic Doctor

*It’s so important to take care of yourself through pregnancy to support an easier childbirth.

*To avoid complications of pregnancy (gestational diabetes & hypertension) and to encourage a natural birth (with limited medical intervention), avoid excess weight gain and ensure your baby gains a healthy weight!!

*Eat healthy, get enough exercise, supplement with the right nutrients, take a hypnobirthing course and you will have an easier pregnancy, labour; and you won’t suffer post partum trying to lose unnecessary weight!


This is what I want pregnant moms to do:

1.*Exercise daily

=> Do some kind of cardiovascular exercise for 1 hour, once daily, even if it’s just walking) to be fit through pregnancy and to encourage natural childbirth

=> The more fit you are the easier childbirth will be

=> Do yoga a few days per week to keep your hips flexible to make natural childbirth easier and reduce back pain associated with pregnancy (Go to a studio or do it from home with this DVD:

=> Bottom line, find some kind of exercise you enjoy and stick to it, make a commitment to yourself and your baby
I personally walked daily for 1 hour through my first pregnancy with my puppy and then did spin classes 3 times per week through my second pregnancy. Finding what makes you happy and committed is essential!

2.*Avoid processed foods and eat the following whole foods (organic ideally):

pregnancy tips=> Dark green veggies (to get your calcium, phytonutrients, folic acid, iron and fiber) for dinner AND lunch are ideal

=> Fruits (a variety, make sure to include the berries to get your antioxidants) make a healthy snack

=> Nuts&Seeds (for healthy fats and protein) make a healthy snack

=> Fish (avoid albacore tuna because of mercury content; but eat salmon, tilapia, sardines and other small fish) once to twice weekly for healthy protein and omega 3 fats

=> Meats (aim for chicken, turkey & bison)—if you have aversions to meats, then make a protein shake to ensure you get enough protein and take an iron supplement to get enough iron

=> Eggs (high in choline, good for babies brain)—have at least 4 weekly!

=> Low dairy; fat cheese, yogurt, milk (almond milk to substitute if you have lactose intolerance)

=> Avoid SUGAR!!! To avoid gestational diabetes and excess weight gain!


3. When you have cravings for unhealthy foods, or aversions for healthy foods here are some solutions:

=> When you are crave chocolate, make an “Almond-coconut “Resse’s-pieces”; mix together 1 part almond butter-1 part coconut oil; put in mini- silicone cup cake tray; freeze, and voila, delicious; if you really need, add a bit of agave nectar (no more than 1 Tablespoon for the whole tray) or use Lucuma powder

=> When you crave chips: Have healthy alternatives with crunch factor: Nuts/seeds, crunchy veggies like snap peas, cherry tomatoes, dill cucumbers, carrots, celery, KALE chips, dehydrated snap peas, rice crackers (all way less bad fats and high in nutrients!!)

=> When you crave juice or pop: Have fruit infused water (cut up a lemon or lime and add to 1 litre of water and then add 2 ginger tea bags—to prevent nausea) –really helpful to stay hydrated since your demands for water are so much more when pregnant and you want to avoid juice and pop to prevent gestational diabetes

=> When you have aversions to red meat/veggies/fruit or eating in general: Make a smoothie to get sufficient protein and other nutrients—protein powder (to get a lean protein)+kale/spinach (to get additional iron, folic acid, fiber, calcium)+milk (almond or cow or goat milk)+ berries (to get your anti-oxidants), or have brown rice mixed with beans or quinoa with beans and add tahini or almond butter melted with miso as the healthy delicious dressing.

=> If you are used to eating sweetened yogurt: Purchase PLAIN, low fat yogurt, not the sweetened one or the one with fruit on the bottom! Cook some frozen berries, puree them, mix them with low fat greek yogurt (leave the puréed fruit in the fridge and add to your yogurt every time you feel like a healthy snack).

4. Take your prenatal vitamins since they are high in:

– Folic acid (to prevent neural tube defect)-Folate (ie. tetrahydrafolate form of folic acid found in Thorne or Metagenics products is easier to absorb)

– Iron (important since you make an additional 2 litres of blood when pregnant and you have higher demand for iron!)

-Iodine (Helpful for your thyroid)

There is research to show that taking a prenatal in pregnancy is
-Protective against certain pediatric cancers (Click HERE for research)

There is research to show that taking a prenatal in pregnancy is protective against congenital anomalies beyond neural tube defects Click HERE for research

THIS GUIDELINE (CLICK HERE) includes recommendations for a prenatal-multi-vitamin-mineral and folic acid combined and was prepared by the Genetics Committee of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and The Motherisk Program, The Hospital for Sick Children Toronto, and approved by the Executive and Council of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.


In additional to a prenatal I also recommend you take the following when you are pregnant:

Omega 3 fish oils—for babies brain, nervous system and eye health

Probiotics to prevent yeast infections, to promote a healthy immune system in mom and baby, to set up a healthy gut flora and vaginal flora to prepare for childbirth and to inoculate baby with a healthy flora when he/she passes through the vaginal canal

Additional Vitamin D to ensure healthy bone growth, and for mom’s and babies immune system

Additional iron if you are low in iron stores (ferritin)

Additional Calcium if you aren’t getting enough after a nutritional evaluation


5. Consider some of the other factors that will promote a natural childbirth with limited intervention:

– Once labour starts delay your time to going to the hospital until your contractions are lasting a full 1 minute and happening every 5 minutes for at least 1 hour to reduce your chances of medical intervention. Speak with your ObGyn or Midwife to confirm they agree. Distract yourself with walking in the mall, shopping, hanging out with friends during the early phases of labour until you feel you really need to focus on breathing through each surge and can’t handle having too many people around.

– Acupuncture starting week 36 of pregnancy will help to ripen the cervix, and prevent post dates (delayed labour)[1],[2]

Take a hypnobirthing course if you would like to avoid an epidural in labour since it has been found to be effective for pain management in labour and to increase your chance of a spontaneous vaginal birth (rather than needing oxytocin)[3]

Sitting upright or standing rather than laying down (supine) during labour and having freedom to move can reduce discomfort and encourage a healthy, easier delivery[4]

Daily perineal stretching starting week 34 can make birthing easier, reduce perineal trauma and need for episiotomy.[5]

Continuous support (as in having a doula present) and continuous support from a partner or husband improves healthy childbirth outcomes[6]

DON’T focus on time! There is no such thing as a time. Don’t worry about how long it has been or how long it is taking to dilate. Once you are in your second stage of labour, go into your hypnotic state through your surges and trust in your baby and your body. You can do it naturally! It is all for a purpose. Baby will be with you soon!

Relax your muscles! While in your hypnotic state you will be at one with the table, completely relaxed and no tension in your muscles. Relaxing all of your muscles will allow for increased circulation to your uterus so it can do it’s job. So avoid clenching your partner’s hand tightly. Instead, have him remind you to breathe into your shoulders and gently stroke your shoulders and arms to remind you to relax any area that is tight.

Pregnancy and birthing can be beautiful but challenging.  Get all the support you can through this wonderful but challenging time!  Contact me if you would like support through this amazing time of your life!

To see me on Breakfast television talking about optimizing your pregnancy and labour click HERE


Click HERE for Tanya’s Bio

For Tanya’s Facebook page: Dr.TanyaWylde, Naturopathic Doctor or instagram page:


[1]Gribel, Gisèle PC, Luis Guillermo Coca-Velarde, and Renato A. Moreira de Sá. “Electroacupuncture for cervical ripening prior to labor induction: a randomized clinical trial.” Archives of gynecology and obstetrics 283.6 (2011): 1233-1238.

[2]Smith, Caroline Anne, and Caroline Anne Crowther. “Acupuncture for induction of labour.” Cochrane Database Syst Rev 1 (2004).

[3]Smith, Caroline A., et al. “Complementary and alternative therapies for pain management in labour.” Cochrane Database Syst Rev 4 (2006).

[4]Chalmers, Beverley, et al. “Use of routine interventions in vaginal labor and birth: findings from the Maternity Experiences Survey.” Birth 36.1 (2009): 13-25.

[5]Beckmann, Michael M., and Andrea J. Garrett. “Antenatal perineal massage for reducing perineal trauma.” Cochrane Database Syst Rev 1 (2006).

[6]Rosen, Patricia. “Supporting women in labor: analysis of different types of caregivers.” Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health 49.1 (2004): 24-31.

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