How to Maintain Your Health during Pregnancy
I was pregnant twice, with Jenny and Meredith. Both pregnancies went well, and I have two beautiful daughters. During my pregnancies, I’ve had lots of ups and downs, and I remember how upset I was, and how tough it was to maintain my health.
That’s what I’m sharing with you today, the important stuff you should always watch during pregnancy.
Everything you do while pregnant it can reflect on your child, especially when it comes to food. It’s very important to stay healthy by consuming enough crucial nutrients needed to stay in peak form.
This is not the time when you should let yourself go and not pay attention to your nutrition and physical form. Nutritious diet during pregnancy results in good fetal brain development, a healthy birth weight and in reducing the risk of many birth defects.
A well-balanced diet also reduces the risks of anemia and many other pregnancy symptoms such as fatigue and morning sickness. Good nutrition can help in a big way in balancing mood swings and in improving labor and delivery.
To get your body to its peak of health, you should cover certain activities and make them a norm. I will show you how I got to maintain my health in perfect condition during pregnancy, and I did it twice.
To make your diet as healthy as possible for pregnancy it should include protein, vitamin C, Calcium, a lot of fruits and vegetables, whole grain foods, iron-rich foods, adequate fat (include omega-3 fats and avoid trans fats) and folic acid.
I’ve had issues with whole grain foods at the beginning, and removed them, only to introduce them later in my diet gradually.
To protect yourself and the baby from bacteria or infection caused by parasites, such as Listeriosis, make sure that all dairy products are pasteurized. Don’t eat meat or processed food unless they are thoroughly heated.
Also avoid refrigerated, smoked seafood, undercooked meat, and poultry. If you or anyone in your close family has had a history of allergies, talk to your doctor about which foods you should avoid.
Relax and get enough of sleep
Restless nights are common during pregnancy. You just have to accept that. Having enough rest and sleep during my pregnancy was an issue especially during the second trimester.
The rest is crucial during whole pregnancy, your body works for two now, and it will require much more rest than usual. The most comfortable position as the baby gets bigger will probably be to lay on your side with your knees bent. This position will reduce the pressure on your heart and blood vessels from the weight of the baby.
Many doctors advise that pregnant women should sleep on the left side. One of the big blood vessels is on the right side of the abdomen, and lying on the opposite side of it helps blood flow to the placenta and the baby.
To make the sleep even more comfortable prop pillows between your legs, behind your back, and underneath your belly.
Exercise and get enough sun exposure
Moderate exercise is very encouraged for pregnant women, it benefits both mom and the baby. About 30min a day of exercise is enough to help circulation, strengthen muscles and decrease stress. But, before making any moves on your own, talk to your doctor first, especially if you weren’t physically active before pregnancy.
I haven’t exercised during my first trimester with first child, and that was a mistake which I didn’t repeat during my second pregnancy. The difference in energy and overall well-being was substantial. It is noted that for the majority of normal pregnancies exercise can increase energy, improve endurance, strengthen muscles, reduce backaches and relieve constipation.
Simple exercises like aerobics, walking, jogging and swimming can stimulate the heart and lungs as well as joint and muscle activity. There are many classes designed specifically for pregnant women that help to build strength, improve alignment and posture and promote better circulation and respiration.
Try any of the relaxation techniques such as yoga, stretching, deep breathing, and massage. Also, be sure to get enough of sunbathing or any exposure to the sun while jogging or walking. Your skin produces vitamin D which is crucial to the health while it’s exposed to the sun. It’s hard to supplement it, and it’s easy to make your body produce it on its own.
To have a healthy body weight and to satisfy your nutritional needs during pregnancy, be sure to eat a variety of foods from each of food groups every day. Many women have concerns about how much weight they will gain during pregnancy; I remember worrying about this with my first daughter.
If your weight was in the normal range before pregnancy, a recommended weight gain is 25 to 35 pounds. Check with your doctor and monitor your weight throughout the pregnancy. Weight gain recommendations vary based on the weight before pregnancy and the type of the pregnancy.
To reduce the risk of a series of birth defects, take supplements and vitamins daily. For a start, all women should take prenatal vitamins after becoming pregnant, in doses of 600 micrograms per day. Prenatal vitamins contain a combination of high levels of folic acid and iron among other things beneficial for reducing the risk of complications and defects.
Consult your doctor about what supplements to take, but most pregnant women take Folic acid (400-600 micrograms per day), Iron (30 milligrams per day), Calcium (1200 milligrams per day) and DHA (omega-3 fatty acid) 200 milligrams per day.
Go to the doctor regularly
The first thing you should do in your pregnancy is to choose a prenatal care physician and to check with him on a regular basis. Frequent and regular appointments can ensure the safety of you and your growing child. Begin prenatal care as soon as you know that you’re pregnant. As long as you’re undergoing a healthy pregnancy, your scheduled prenatal appointments should look like this:
Throughout your pregnancy your doctor will check your weight, blood pressure, growth and development of your baby and you’ll also have some prenatal tests, including blood, urine, cervical test, and ultrasound.
I remember this, it was a big taboo during my first pregnancy. As long as your pregnancy is normally undergoing, you can have sex as often as you like, and it’s usually safe. It can still be comfortable if you try some different positions. Don’t get freaked out if you experience bleeding, it’s normal, and it usually can happen in the first trimester. Everything will in order if you have a normal low-risk pregnancy.
Improper hygiene can put your baby at an increased risk of developing infections. It may also result in severe health problems in the baby. Personal hygiene is extremely important factor that you must pay attention to. Make sure you clean yourself properly after visiting the washroom. I remember I was immaculate on hygiene on both of my pregnancies.
Have a bath every day, wash your hands each time you get back home, especially before you have your meals. Carry a sanitizer with you if you’re eating out. To prevent any genital infections, keep your pubic area clean and hair-free. To maintain the pH levels, use plain and unperfumed soaps to clean your private parts.
Your skin tends to be more active during the pregnancy period so that it may require some extra care. Avoid soaking in the bathtub, instead, use a bucket and a mug or simply use a shower. Use natural bath products and shampoo your hair regularly. Pay attention to the hygiene of your surroundings as well, make your house clean and the room you spend the most time in.
Hang in there
Keep a positive attitude of living, take care of yourself and remember that everything you do to yourself, you do to your baby as well.