You’ve made it through the first few months of your pregnancy – congrats. But there’s so much work to be done and preparations to be made.
Pregnancy is one of the most amazing times in a person’s life. But it can be one of the most challenging times too. It’s important to remember that you aren’t the pre-pregnancy self anymore and that you must take care of yourself to have a healthy pregnancy.
When you become pregnant, your body undergoes massive changes – for the better. Pregnant women must take care of their bodies to have a healthy pregnancy.
As much as possible, make sure to take care of yourself mentally and physically so that you can have a healthy pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby. Let’s outline some of the things you can do to leave your healthiest prenatal journey.
Plan your pregnancy
Planning your pregnancy properly can lead to successful childbirth with fewer complications than an unplanned pregnancy. In 2019 – for instance – 45% of all pregnancies were unintended.
Simply put, when you intend to get pregnant at your healthiest, this pregnancy won’t compromise your well-being. Carefully planned pregnancies keep the person and the newborn healthy.
Hire a doula
Pregnancy-related complications affect marginalized communities disproportionately. Studies have shown that African-American birth-givers are four times more likely to expire during childbirth than white birth-givers. But birth doulas can make childbirth easier with their relevant expertise.
So, doulas for Black families reduce the childbirth-related problems facing people of color. The doula isn’t merely there as a handholding companion but also as a supportive educator. Doulas keep the mother well-rested while advocating on the mother’s behalf before and after childbirth.
Take your vitamins
Ingest some essential multivitamins if you plan on getting pregnant. Consuming these multivitamins before you try can prevent birth defects in the newborn. For instance, folic acid can save the child from spina bifida.
Similarly, your body needs iron, calcium, and vitamin D. These necessary supplements lead to a healthy pregnancy and ensure your child’s well-being.
Get regular checkups
Don’t neglect your prenatal healthcare checkups, and visit the doctor regularly. Pregnant individuals suffer from different health-related issues. For instance, one-half of pregnant women face annoying hemorrhoids.
In addition, skipping regular checkups may lead to developmental issues in the newborn. So, a healthy pregnancy shall demand regular prenatal care for both the person and their child.
Eat healthy stuff
You will get crazy cravings during pregnancy, and there’s nothing wrong with giving in to them a few times. But mostly, you must focus on consuming healthy things to maintain a healthy pregnancy.
Some women believe they should eat for two while carrying a child, but that’s a myth. You need 300 extra calories daily, and this amount can come from a variety of sources. You should eat:
- Dairy products
- Fruits and vegetables
- Salmon (i.e., low-mercury fish)
Avoid certain foods
Some foods are dangerous for the fetus. For instance, some fish contain minute amounts of mercury which don’t go away even if you cook it. Stop consuming the following:
- Sushi, soft cheese, caffeine, or junk food
- Raw meat, rare meat, raw eggs, or animal liver
- Any raw animal products (e.g., non-pasteurized milk)
Drink enough water
Drinking plenty of water can save you from pregnancy-related complications, e.g., constipation and UTIs. Some experts recommend pregnant people drink 10 cups of water each day.
Stay properly hydrated and refrain from alcoholic or caffeinated beverages. But you don’t need to drink just plain water. Instead, you can fulfill your daily quota by imbibing OJ, smoothies, milkshakes, and numerous other healthy beverages.
We suggested drinking dairy products, and soup is also a good alternative. But refrain from drinking too much water as overconsumption isn’t something healthy.
Refrain from drinking
It’s a no-brainer that smoking and drinking are a big no-no for pregnant individuals. You should give up alcohol before and after childbirth (breastfeeding moms mustn’t drink, too).
Alcohol doesn’t just affect your well-being but may also lead to disorders such as FASD. It happens when you drink while pregnant.
Moreover, even drinking at the earliest stages of pregnancy can harm the fetus.
Manage your weight
Because of increased muscle mass, pregnant women have an increased resting metabolic rate (RMR). This means that they burn more calories even when at rest. Why should you watch your weight? It’s important because pregnancy-related weight gain can lead to the following complications:
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Gestational diabetes
- Higher chances of a C-section
Minimize domestic chores
It may be tough to get up early in the morning to take the dog for a walk or do the laundry by hand, but these simple tasks can quickly become consuming daily. So, minimize your workload as much as possible while maintaining an active lifestyle.
- Ask someone else to handle kitty litter, as the feline stool isn’t healthy for you.
- Stay away from chemical cleaning products, as these toxins can harm the fetus.
Successfully managing household responsibilities during pregnancy will make your life easier and set a good example for your unborn child.
Stay more active
A sedentary lifestyle isn’t even recommended for non-pregnant individuals. Getting pregnant is a good excuse to make you more active than before.
Consult your doctor to know exactly how much exercise you require. You may keep yourself moving by strolling and walking often.
Do Kegel exercises
One popular exercise is the pelvic-floor exercise, otherwise known as Kegel. First described by Arnold Kegel in 1948, this exercise strengthens a woman’s pelvic-floor muscles.
As pregnancy and childbirth weaken pelvic muscles, Kegel exercises can strengthen them.
Pregnancy changes everything as the miracle of birth happens; not only your lifestyle but your body is affected by this experience. You can ensure a healthy pregnancy by eating healthy meals, drinking lots of water, and exercising properly. Give your body the rest it needs, and avoid drinking/smoking.
Take your vitamins and visit your doctor regularly for medical checkups. Stay active while you’re pregnant, e.g., perform Kegel exercises. Exercising will manage your weight and prevent obesity. Another important tip is to hire a doula to assist in childbirth. Your well-being will lead to a healthy child.