The placenta plays an important role in the growth and development of your baby! Acting as a bridge between you and your baby, this essential organ provides nutrients, oxygen, and hormones from the parent's blood supply to the fetus while also removing toxic byproducts. 

As you embark on your pregnancy journey, you may hear the term “placental insufficiency” associated with certain complications, such as preterm labor. While it's important to maintain a healthy flow of blood to the placenta to ensure that your baby is getting all the support they need to grow and thrive, it’s not always easy to figure out how to maintain this flow. Here we outlined seven natural and simple ways to improve blood flow to the placenta during pregnancy.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

You’ve heard it before, staying hydrated is essential for your health in general. Did you know it can also assist in increasing blood flow? The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that pregnant people drink between 8 to 12 cups (64 to 96 ounces) of water every day to promote digestion and help produce the amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus. 

Obstetrician gynecologist performing Doppler auscultation in expecting mother, checking blood flow in placenta and uterus

Exercise regularly

Exercise may not come as easily during pregnancy! But it’s an important addition to your routine for you and your baby’s overall health and well-being. And these exercise activities don’t need to be strenuous! ! Light exercises such as walking, yoga, or swimming can help improve circulation while keeping you healthy. Always discuss with your obstetrician before beginning any new exercise program while pregnant. 

Eat a balanced diet

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins provides essential nutrients that support placental health during pregnancy. Eating nutrient-dense foods also improves overall circulation, which helps increase blood flow throughout your body. Iron-rich foods such as red meat, poultry, fish, beans, and leafy greens can also help increase the blood volume in your body and improve blood flow to the placenta. These foods will also help prevent iron-deficiency anemia, a common condition during pregnancy. 

Get enough rest

Getting plenty of rest can help promote better circulation, and it’s also just as important during pregnancy as it is at any other time in life. Make sure that you get enough sleep each night by sticking to a regular nightly routine, not staying up late watching television or working on projects, and taking occasional naps during the day if needed.

Reduce stress through relaxation techniques 

Stress can wreak havoc on pregnant bodies and can lead to reduced blood supply to the placenta due to constricting veins. Help keep your stress levels down by avoiding stressful environments or situations whenever possible and practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness meditation when feeling overwhelmed or anxious.

Take supplements

Certain supplements have been shown to effectively improve placental health by increasing the oxygenation of tissues. Iron is particularly important during pregnancy to support the growth of your baby. Consult with your doctor about supplementing iron levels safely using either an oral form (such as ferrous gluconate) or a subcutaneous injection (Ferric Chloride). 

Pregnant woman lies in a cozy bed with elevated legs, and wearing loose-fitting clothes to increase blow flow to the placenta.

Get a massage

You deserve to treat yourself to a mommy massage! A massage performed by a prenatal therapist can help boost blood flow throughout your body and to your growing baby. This type of therapy can additionally promote relaxation and reduce your stress levels. Be sure to consult your doctor before scheduling a massage while pregnant!

Wear comfy clothing

Loose-fitting clothing allows your skin to breathe and the blood to circulate more freely. Too tight fits and shoes can constrict blood flow to your arms and legs, which can reduce blood flow to the placenta. Likewise, snug outfits around the belly or legs can reduce circulation and cause discomfort. Overall, when picking out your pregnancy clothes, just remember to wear what you feel comfortable and beautiful in!

Avoid laying on your back

In the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, laying flat on your back may compress the flow of blood to the lower part of the body and the uterus. Sloping gently toward one side, keeping your legs and knees bent, and putting a pillow between your legs may help relieve the stress on your back.

Maintaining a healthy blood flow to the placenta is essential for the well-being of both you and your baby during pregnancy. By following these seven tips, you can help ensure that your little one gets all the support they need to grow and thrive. Congratulations on your pregnancy, and take good care of yourself! 

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Please note: and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances. 

February 13, 2023 — Juno Diagnostics