Believe it or not, even functional nutritionists struggle to prioritize themselves each day and I thought the third trimester was a good time to get my butt in gear on supporting my body prior to birth AND preparing it for postpartum.

Though I can’t do any dedicated “detoxing” while pregnant, there are some drainage supports that I can include to help my body and baby with the toxins we encounter on a daily basis.

Below are the things I’m working on prioritizing each day/week to put myself first and get ready for baby (and are all good things even if you aren’t currently pregnant!)

Alllllll The Drinks

(Well, all the drinks minus the alcoholic one I’m looking forward to having again in a few short months 😝)

Water + Minerals

During the third trimester is when we are really building the “meatiness” of the baby in terms of size and blood volume- which translates to a higher need for both water and minerals (aka the building blocks of blood and enzymes).

Not only am I prioritizing water, but I’m equally prioritizing minerals. I use a 32oz. YETI to help me casually track my water intake each day as I try to refill it 3-4 times per day, each time adding in minerals to make sure I am truly hydrating (especially because we have a reverse osmosis water filter that can strip everything from water- both good and bad).

Here are some that I’m using:

Apple Cider Vinegar + Digestive Bitters

I guess these aren’t technically considered drinks on their own, but I do make sure to prioritize these daily, especially before meals. Both ACV and bitters are designed to help the body naturally increase stomach acid levels, which is CRUCIAL to our body’s digestion + absorption of both foods and supplements that we take (to learn more about stomach acid, check out my Instagram posts here, here and here).

Throughout pregnancy, a baby will take up to 10 lbs of minerals from their mom’s bodies, which can leave both us incredibly depleted in postpartum and possibly baby depleted if you didn’t have enough to begin with. 

Layer this with the not-so-healthy eating (or lack of eating) that can happen throughout the first trimester, I find it incredibly important to make sure that every food and supplement I take is well-absorbed…and this again requires healthy stomach acid levels.

Apple cider vinegar is a cheap way to support it, but I wouldn’t suggest taking it alone: 

  • I mix 1 TBSP- 1 oz. of organic apple cider vinegar with an ounce of water and shoot it back 10-15 min prior to your meals. 
  • If you can’t tolerate the taste of vinegar, PalleoValley makes a great ACV Complex supplement you could also take prior to your meals (I do take one of these per day as well as they help with healthy blood sugar balance, which is also important throughout pregnancy).

Digestive Bitters come from plants that are naturally bitter in taste but in general we don’t eat a lot on a daily basis- things like dandelion, chicory, artichoke, bitter greens, burdock, fennel and ginger. Bitters supports stomach acid levels but also bile flow, which is one way our body “detoxifies” daily. By supporting bile in pregnancy, I’m helping my body protect the baby from fat-soluble toxins that we use bile to excrete from the body.

King Coffee

Anyone who knows me knows I love coffee. It is simply one of those things that brings me joy and I’ve come to terms that it will likely be a long-term relationship. Because of this, I have always tried to get high quality, organic, mold-free tested coffee but even that wasn’t the best on my adrenal glands.

I was told about King Coffee over a year ago and I’ve never looked back. King Coffee is acid-reduced coffee mixed with organic reishi mushroom (known as the king of mushrooms), which is not only great for non-pregnant people but AMAZING for pregnancy as it helps support the immune system and build blood.

The way it is created also buffers the impact that the caffeine in traditional coffee can have on the adrenal glands, which is great for pregnancy when you should be reducing caffeine. Reishi also contains a ton of vitamin C, magnesium, iron, antioxidants, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. 

  • KING Coffee I always suggest trying one box to see if you like it and if you do, you can sign up for a wholesale account to get it cheaper!

Pregnancy Tea

Now that I’m in the third trimester I feel safe enough to start drinking raspberry tea and I love the pregnancy tea mix from Earthley which contains both dandelion and nettles, great gentle detox supports for the liver and kidneys. 

  • Because it’s still hot here, I’ve found that I have more success with brewing 4 cups at once and keeping it cold in the fridge. I’m more likely to drink it cold during the day vs. a hot drink mid-day!

Bone Broth

Bone broth is incredibly nutrient dense, filled with minerals from the bones and collagen/gelatin that are supportive of gut health, building collagen (hello literlaly building another human), skin health and so much more. 

This is however one I’ve struggled with all summer, again back to the hot drink thing during hot summer months. I do, however, cook with it as much as possible, basically replacing it in any recipe that would call for water (rice, beans, soups, stews, casseroles, etc.). As it cools off I think drinking it daily will become easier!

Pelvic Floor PT-Based Workouts + Walking

Now that I don’t teach fitness classes anymore and also don’t live anywhere near a studio, I have struggled to find consistency with my workouts. We have a ton of equipment in our basement and I have a ton of workouts in my head that I could do, but I have always just liked following a plan.

I was so excited mid-second trimester to find Dr. Mae Hughes’ Movement through Pregnancy program which gives you four pelvic-floor supportive workouts each week of pregnancy.

After my first pregnancy I learned about pelvic floor physical therapy and wished I had been more focused on it during pregnancy. This program is a great mix of strength training and core work and its pretty easy to get in the workouts each week.

Aside from strength workouts, most days I try to get in a walk or movement outdoors if I have been sitting a lot. Walking is a great form of exercise especially this late in pregnancy as it is a natural way to move your lymphatic system (aka gentle detox). 

Dry Brushing, Epsom Salt Foot Soaks + Red Light Therapy

Though I dearly miss my castor oil packs, sauna and coffee enemas, I have chosen to take a pause on those while pregnant. I do still want to support my detox organs so I have focused on dry brushing, epsom salt foot soaks and red light therapy a few times a week.  

Dry Brushing is gentle support for your lymphatic system. This is connected to our immune system but doesn’t have a “pump” like the circulatory system has to move stagnant fluid around the body. This is why movement throughout the day is important, but dry brushing can help to take it a step further.

Epsom Salt Foot Soaks are also a gentle detoxifier through the skin. I’m not at a point yet where I want to fully lay in a bath (and honestly don’t have time for that) so I choose to soak my feet vs. whole body while I’m working, watching TV, etc. I also add in magnesium flakes which support magnesium levels (great for sleep and for baby).

Red Light Therapy isn’t a necessity, but it does support our cell’s energy centers (mitochondria) and collagen, skin and hair quality. I am doing this a couple times a week as maintenance support but will do more postpartum.

Water Flossing & Good Oral Care

Many don’t know this, but the mouth is the gateway to the gut when it comes to bacteria. In pregnancy, the gums also can be more prone to plaque buildup, bleeding, etc. so good oral care during pregnancy is essential:

  • Flossing tends to aggravate my gums so I have found that using a water flosser (we got one through our dentist) is a lifesaver to support my gums
  • I also use RiseWell toothpaste to help remineralize my teeth without fluoride
    • use MWFITWELL10 for 10% off

Bi-Weekly Chiropractic

This really isn’t anything new to the third trimester as I’ve been seeing a chiropractor at least monthly for probably the last 12+ years. However, I see one that specializes in pregnancy, infants and breastfeeding (something I struggled with last time and am so grateful to have the help this time around).

Chiropractic helps keep the baby in optimal position for birth and get out all the weird kinks in the body that pregnancy throws at you. It’s also so, so important for the baby after birth- they are squished and squeezed through small places and usually need an adjustment post-birth. 

Food & Supplements based on Recent Lab Results

I’m not going to go into what I’m specifically eating and taking, but I did want to mention this as I find it really important to test both my bloodwork and HTMA (minerals + heavy metals) at least 2-3x throughout the pregnancy to know how to best support my body and baby.

I do this work to determine what foods or supplements need to be added or removed. I am not a fan of prenatal vitamins as they can give you more of things you don’t need and less of things your body does need, which is why I choose to test my minerals and blood to see exactly what my body is in need of. On top of this, most prenatals include crappy versions of the vitamins and minerals which your body has a hard time absorbing…aka it’s basically expensive pee in the end and your body may not be getting the nourishment you think it is!

I’m still waiting on some markers for my most recent blood work, but I do know so far that my adrenals and thyroid need support, along with iron. I however will do this through minerals, vitamins and beef organs (liver is going to be incorporated a lot more often) vs. harsh iron supplements or medications.

If this interests you: I do this for pregnant women and would be happy to support you when I return from leave in early 2023.

Get on the waitlist here!

Next Up: Planning for Postpartum

Over the next few weeks as I get into the flow of supporting this last trimester, my efforts and focus will turn towards getting life and my body ready for postpartum healing. Stay tuned for next month’s article on what that will look like!