Lunch & Learn Webinar

How to Optimize Your Health in Pregnancy with Dr. Shelly Ordon, ND

Guest Speaker:
Dr. Shelly Ordon, ND

Dr. Jenna Priestap, ND

Webinar Date and Time:
14/06/2023 12:00 pm

Dr Shelly is a Naturopathic Doctor, Naturopathic Doula, creator of the DIY Doula Program and co-founder of the Naturopathic Doula Group. Her clinical focus is fertility, pregnancy postpartum and pediatric health.


Q. What is the most common dietary recommendation you make for people during pregnancy?

A. In terms of caloric intake, a person only needs an extra 300 or 400 calories a day. My biggest thing when it comes to diet is to try to minimise prepackaged and processed foods. You’re only a human, so when you do eat something like that, acknowledge, accept and move on.

If you can adopt a Mediterranean diet, that’s the best because the Mediterranean diet is really well-studied. We know what’s really effective and great for fertility. It’s also great at maintaining and supporting pregnancy. With the Mediterranean diet, we’re not talking about removing and restricting anything. It’s centred around healthy fats and proteins, complex carbohydrates, and lots of fruits and vegetables.

When I work with my patients, I’ll tell them to do the plate method where one half is fruits and veggies; a quarter is a protein, and usually, where there is protein, there is healthy fat; and another quarter is complex carbs like quinoa, brown rice, sweet potato, etc.

In terms of diet, keep it really simple. Remove stuff like additives, preservatives, and food colouring dyes and eat whole foods as much as you can.

When it comes to liquids, make sure your urine looks pale yellow or clear. Then you know you’re drinking enough fluids. You don’t have to worry about getting eight cups in. Your body gives you the signs needed to know whether or not you’re getting enough. It’s really about becoming in tune with your body and fueling and nourishing it. Small changes make big differences.


Q. What are some strategies that can be used to prevent gestational diabetes? Or, if you’ve already been diagnosed with it, how would you recommend managing it?

A. A lot of people are concerned about gestational diabetes, especially if they want to have like a home birth. When you hear gestational diabetes, they often also talking about induction and for some people, that’s a big deal.

Going back to diet, I find that when eating more whole foods and following Mediterranean diet is great for blood sugar and cardiovascular health. Apart from what you eat, when you eat is also important. Consuming regularly spaced out meals, making sure you’re combining proteins with a carb or a fibre. Because proteins and fibre can reduce the overall glycemic load of a particular food which help stabilise blood sugar.

Exercise, even if it’s just walking can help stabilise blood sugar. Supplements are great, especially for patients that have had PCOS pre pregnancy. I might supplement with something like inositol or chromium. It’s important to get an assessment before you start off with supplements so you understand exactly whats going on. Managing stress is important too. When cortisol increases, it plays with blood sugar.


Q. Apart from the specific supplements, are there any generally recommended ones?

A. A prenatal is obvious. With prenatals, we want to look at medicinal ingredients and non medicinal ingredients. Today you can go to a health food store or online and lots of different products will come up. Learn how to read the ingredient list if you’re not working with a naturopath. It’s important to understand the different forms of vitamin and minerals, because they’re not all viable. They may be equally bioavailable but not equally absorbed. Make sure that there are no additives or dyes.

I love a good prenatal, a DHA like fish oil and a probiotic. Those are my most three commonly recommended supplements. Other supplements like magnesium, choline, akinesia are also common, but case dependant.

About Dr. Shelly

Dr. Shelly Ordon is a Naturopathic Doctor, Naturopathic Birth Doula, the creator of The DIY Doula Program and a co-founder of Naturopathic Doula Group. While her clinical focus is fertility, pregnancy, postpartum and pediatric health, she sees and treats a wide range of conditions, especially related to digestive and hormone health. Her goal is to educate, motivate and empower people to become active participants in their own health care journey.

It is Dr. Shelly’s belief that optimal health is more than simply the absence of disease. We are all a work in progress! Nutrition, nutritional supplements, botanical herbs, acupuncture, homeopathy and lifestyle counselling can help the body restore balance, help it function more efficiently and treat both underlying and obvious conditions.

When she is not seeing patients, Dr. Shelly spends countless hours taking continuing education courses, baking with her 3 young daughters and writing articles and blogs educating others about different ways they can optimize their health. She is a big believer that small changes can make BIG differences! She prides herself on her commitment to serving growing families regardless of what stage they are at in life.

Dr. Shelly graduated from The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in 2010 and is in good standing with the College of Naturopaths in Ontario. She is a member of the OAND and CAND, The Pedand is an Evidence Based Birth Professional. She has been working as a Birth Doula since 2018.

Dr. Jenna Priestap, ND

About Our Host

Dr. Jenna Priestap, ND

Dr. Jenna Priestap is a licensed naturopathic doctor who is extremely passionate about women’s health and has a special interest in maternal health. She thrives on helping women regain confidence, energy, and self-love after pregnancy (even years after). Dr. Jenna believes that every woman should have a health expert to confidently turn to with any issue and receive unlimited support…  About Jenna Priestap