Pregnancy is one of life’s greatest miracles. The ability to create another human being is utterly amazing. During 9 months of pregnancy, a woman’s body goes through a long list of changes – physically, emotionally, hormonally, and mentally. From the early stages of morning sickness and fatigue to nights of restless sleep, swelling, and cravings, life isn’t always easy for a pregnant woman. But there are ways to ensure that you have a healthy and happy pregnancy. Check out these tips for keeping both mommy and baby stress free and healthy during all stages of pregnancy.
Even when you’re feeling rundown and tired, exercise is one of the best things for pregnant women. In fact, exercising will help keep you feeling energized and positive. Exercise will also help keep your body in optimal shape for the birthing process and for carrying your baby full-term. Often times, pregnancy causes low back pain and other body aches. Exercise can help prevent and ease this discomfort. Other added benefits include a decreased risk of developing gestational diabetes. Be sure to check with your physician before undertaking any type of exercise regime while pregnant. Some safe exercises include yoga, light walking, and swimming.
See Your Doctor
Checking with your doctor regarding your exercise regime is just the beginning when it comes to your relationship and communication. You’ll see your doctor frequently throughout the duration of your pregnancy. The basic outline of prenatal visits are as follows:
- Weeks 1 through 28 – monthly visits
- Weeks 28 through 36 – bi-weekly visits
- Weeks 36 through 40 – weekly visits
This schedule can change depending on any conditions or complications you may be experiencing. During these visits, the doctor will check both yours and the baby’s heartbeat. They will manually feel your stomach and determine whether or not the baby is breech. You and your doctor will discuss how you’re feeling, the baby’s movements, your energy level, appetite and any other issues you may be experiencing. The doctor will also closely monitor your weight to ensure that you and baby are gaining weight at a healthy rate. Your doctor may also order routine tests which are done through blood work. These tests check for certain abnormalities in the fetus.
Stop All Unhealthy Behaviors
The moment you discover you’re pregnant, your health is no longer just about you. Everything you consume, breathe, and do effects not only your but your unborn child. This means you need to eliminate all negative habits and behaviors. These include consuming alcohol, tobacco or any and all recreational drugs. If you live with a smoker, it’s important to avoid being around them while they smoke and make sure they don’t smoke in your shared space. Second hand smoke is extremely dangerous and can negatively affect both you and your baby. If you are suffering from drug or alcohol addiction or are addicted to smoking cigarettes, try quitting or getting help prior to becoming pregnant. Other dangerous behaviors include performing strenuous work, taking risks with your body or safety, and engaging in irresponsible behaviors that may cause you harm or death. During these 40 weeks of pregnancy, you need to say goodbye to the adrenaline junkie inside you.
Take Prenatal Vitamins
Even if you eat a healthy, well-balanced diet as a pregnant woman, there are essential vitamins and nutrients that your body needs in addition to the ones you’re getting from food. Prenatal vitamins can be taken even prior to becoming pregnant. They offer high doses of iron, calcium, and folic acid, which are all essential in the growth and development of your infant’s neural cord. This cord will later develop into the baby’s spinal cord and brain. Check with your physician about which prenatal vitamins are best for you and your current health needs. Like most other vitamins, it’s recommended you take your prenatal vitamins with food. They can sometimes cause nausea or upset stomach.
All new moms need a little education. It’s impossible to know and understand everything there is to know about pregnancy. Your body is undergoing massive changed at every turn. With a little education, you’ll know how to handle these changes and what to expect. Try purchasing some literature before or as soon as you become pregnant. There are countless books available for new moms that cover not only the growth and development of your infant but also the changes you are experiencing. You should also educate yourself on your family’s medical history and any preexisting conditions that may be genetically linked to you and your infant. A birthing class is another great way to prepare for labor and meet other moms-to-be.
Listen to Your Body
The human body is a pretty wonderous thing. Believe it or not, our brain and body are designed for survival, which means if you’re pushing yourself too far or aren’t feeling well, your body will signal you to stop and take it easy. It’s especially important to listen to your body while pregnant. All too often women don’t know when to sit down and rest. They believe they can push through their discomfort or mistake their need for help as a weakness. The opposite is true. It takes a special, strong woman to admit when they need help. If you’re feet are swelling or you’re feeling short of breath, you probably need to stop what you’re doing and sit down. Try elevating your feet and taking slow, deep breaths. You may also need to switch up your cleaning regime at home. Bending over, heavy lifting, and extended time on your feet isn’t good for you. You also shouldn’t be inhaling the chemicals used in most cleaning supplies. If you feel tired, take a nap. If you’re hungry, have a snack. It’s okay to indulge in your cravings while pregnant but it’s important to do so in moderation. Excessive weight gain or not enough isn’t healthy for you or your unborn child.
The most important thing to keep in mind during your pregnancy is that it’s not just about you anymore. Everything you do, eat, and encounter affects your child as well. So be mindful of your activities and what you consume. If you’re unsure, consult with your physician. By being aware of the health risks that accompany pregnancy and how to properly nourish your body, you’ll experience a joyous and memorable 9 months.
Article Submitted By Community Writer