What a Pregnant Woman Really Needs


{Image by Amy Swagman, the Mandala Journey}

Every cell of the body – including a pregnant woman’s body and that of her baby growing inside – is nourished by the food she consumes, the fluid she drinks and the air she breathes. But her physiologic needs are only the beginning.


See this pyramid? These needs are as true for a pregnant woman as they are for anyone else, except the needs of a pregnant woman are even LOUDER – and more undeniable. Pregnancy and birth is like normal speed film on super fast motion. Just as a woman’s belly gets bigger and bigger and bigger …


{Photos by Sophie Starzenski}

… her needs (all of them – not just the bottom rung) become more and more URGENT. The upside – if all of these needs are met, she flourishes, and so does her baby. While a healthy birth is a miracle, the recipe for a healthy birth is far from a mystery.


  • DRINK: Healthy clean water, 8-12 glasses a day or even more as much as you can drink.
  • REST: 8 hours a day if possible, naps whenever possible, and rest when you are tired.
  • BREATH: Don’t forget to breathe mama. Slow, deep breaths. Your lungs carry oxygen which will nourish your baby’s little body. Breathe to your baby.
  • SUNLIGHT (aka Vitamin D): a little sunlight on your skin every day … it’s like medicine.
  • MOVEMENT: Regular movement of the body, like yoga, swimming, or a good old-fashioned walk in the sunshine (see above).


  • GOOD FOOD, real food:
    • Tons of veggies and fruits, nutrient-dense foods, whole grains, healthy fats (olive oil, coconut oil, healthy animal meats, bone broths, eggs and good dairy – grass-fed butters, yogurt and milk).
    • Few processed or fast food. Few foods with large amounts of refined sugars.
    • Iron & Protein: from healthy animal sources, or if vegetarian, from complimentary proteins (and possibly B-6 and B-12 supplements ~ consult with a nutritionist as needed).


  • A clean(ish), safe place to live. A place to nest and prepare for your little baby.
  • Relative peace about your financial stability during the pregnancy and planning ahead after the birth.
  • Health insurance and funds for the pregnancy and birth.
  • Relative peace about how much you are working, if you would like to (or have to) continue, and/or making arrangements if you would not.
  • A SUPPORTIVE CARE PROVIDER for your pregnancy and birth, who hears your concerns and empowers you to make your own informed decisions.


  • Relative peace in your marriage, romantic relationship, partnership or relationship with the father (or circumstances of the baby’s conception).
  • Peace in the dominant relationships in your life – supportive family and friend relationships, including your relationship with your mother or mother-in-law, your husband’s/boyfriend’s/partner’s family, and the female role models in your life (friends, sisters, aunts, mentors).
  • A village of support: a “tribe” of other mamas to share / confess / celebrate / ruminate with.
  • The planned support of a doula for labor and birth.
  • The ability to set healthy boundaries: knowing when to ask for help, while feeling confident in your own judgment and ability to make decisions for yourself, your baby and your family.
  • A healthy sexuality ~ love, sweet love, or whatever that might look like for you.


{Image by ERJ Baby}


  • Knowing you are strong, and beautiful, and perfect in your imperfections.
  • Believing that your body is a safe and healthy place for your baby to grow.
  • Knowing your body is capable of giving birth to your baby in the healthiest possible way.


An empowered, beautiful and rewarding birth of a healthy baby.

Don’t ever forget ~


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