The placenta acts as a transport for the infant’s nutritional and oxygen needs. Sometimes a baby can get by okay if the placenta is not functioning well during pregnancy.
However, during labor, a dysfunctional placenta can cause problems that may decrease a mother’s options. While we can’t prevent every problem that may arise, there are some things a woman can do to help increase her chances of helping to increase blood flow to baby and having a healthy placenta.
For more information on how to have a healthy pregnancy, watch some of our exercise videos we’ve compiled.
Steps to Increase Blood Flow to Baby
- Make the choice to stop smoking. Some research has shown that smoking may impair the exchange of oxygen in the placenta. This could lead to more difficulties with the placenta and baby. For help in quitting, we’ve started an annual facebook event to help provide support. Go on over and check it out.
- Do your best to control any medical conditions related to oxygenation. These may include things such as asthma, allergies, diabetes, or infections.
- Make sure that a routine is in place to help reduce anxiety and stress.
- Natural movement exercises will help to increase blood flow to the placenta, specifically exercises to release the psoas and walking. These help to increase the uterine blood flow, which helps keep the placenta functioning well.
- Spend some time deep breathing to help with relaxation. Stress and anxiety decrease the blood flow to the uterus and uteroplacental blood flow.
- Stay hydrated. Dehydration can affect the oxygenation through the placenta.
- Stay off your back in later pregnancy. The larger uterus may press on the vena cava that provides blood supply to the lower half of the body, including the uterus. This in turn can decrease the blood flow to the uterus and through the placenta.
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References: Maternal cigarette smoking: the effects on umbilical and uterine blood flow velocity. The Influence of Maternal Cigarette Smoking on Placental Pathology in Pregnancies Complicated by Abruption Alterations of Placental Vascular Function in Asthmatic Pregnancies Asthma and Pregnancy: A Review Physiology of the Placent-Gas Exchange The Effects of Decreasing Maternal Anxiety on Fetal Oxygenation and Nucleated Red Blood Cells Count in the Cord Blood