The Ultimate Guide for Staying Healthy During Pregnancy
Feeling nervous, and excited, and thrilled, and whatnot at the same time, since the amazing news has hit your ears? We totally get you. Or, are you expecting to hear such news soon? Good news coming your way, huh? Well, congratulations in advance dear mommy.
You are going to embark on a new journey - a journey filled with happiness, fulfillment, immense joy, sadness, tears, and whatnot - a journey named 'Motherhood'. And, trust us, being healthy is the first and foremost need for expecting moms. The healthier you are, the healthier your baby will be. And we understand that you may take a little time to figure things out. Understanding what's good for you and your baby and what's not, what to do and what not to, what to eat and what not to, and so on can be challenging. And this, here we are to support you like your trustworthy friend as you navigate through this amazing journey of motherhood. When it comes to you and your baby's health, having the right information is of utmost importance and hence, we provide you the ultimate guide to stay healthy during your pregnancy.
1. Importance of Nutrition and Supplements
Proper nutrition tops our chart of factors responsible to keep you healthy during pregnancy. Nothing can beat a healthy, balanced diet with the right proportions of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Try to include lean meats, fruits and veggies, low-fat dairy products, whole-grain bread, almonds, tofu, eggs, green leafy vegetables, and so on in your diet. The food you eat is the only source of nutrition for your baby and thus there's no way you can ignore your nutrition needs. If you avoid a wholesome diet, it will hamper your baby's proper development. Supplements for prenatal vitamins, iron, folate, magnesium, and vitamin D are generally recommended by doctors to pregnant women. Only take the supplements prescribed by your doctor, but they definitely should not be taken as a means to substitute the regular diet.
2. Limited Support from Your Medicines
Several over-the-counter medicines are restricted during the pregnancy, including dental treatments, etc. Hence falling sick is not an option. The one rule that you must diligently adhere to while pregnant is consulting your doctor before consuming any over-the-counter drug or medicine.
Prevention is better than cure, and prevention becomes even more inevitable when the support from medicines certainly shrinks. Certain medicines should be absolutely avoided keeping exceptions aside, whereas others should get a go-ahead sign from your doctor. Even if the medications are for dealing with regular issues like a common cold, cough, constipation, nausea, or diarrhea, you must take them only after consulting your doctor. The first trimester is the time when your baby is at the highest risk. Several drugs like Isotretinoin, Ibuprofen, Thalidomide, and Aspirin (unless prescribed by the doctor) should be avoided during pregnancy.
So dear moms, please consult your doctor before consuming any OTC drug. It is also recommended that you schedule your prenatal dental checkup if you are planning to get pregnant. X-rays which are a part of dental checkups are harmful during pregnancy. Additionally, there will be limitations in the usage of antibiotics, and there also prevail the chances of transmissible tooth decay from mother to child and Gingivitis in mothers, which might lead to low birth weight, pre-term deliveries, and predisposition to preeclampsia. Thus, a prenatal dental checkup is essential. Your dentist can check the condition of your mouth, take the X-rays if needed, and do the required fillings. Know more about
3. Importance of Prenatal Health Checkups
Prenatal care is the way to keep a check on the development of your baby. Schedule your first prenatal appointment with your doctor if you feel you are expecting. Your doctor may do a pregnancy test at first and determine for how many weeks you have been pregnant based on the date of your last period and other physical examinations. They may also predict the date of your delivery based on this information. Prenatal healthcare is inevitable and depending upon your health condition, your doctor will tell you how often they would like to visit you. Your prenatal checkups will include weight and blood pressure checks. Your doctor will also keep a check on the development of your child by measuring your belly, or listening to its heartbeat during the second trimester. Prenatal healthcare may even involve certain prenatal tests such as urine tests, blood tests, cervical tests, and ultrasound exams.
This might seem too much for you now, and we understand that you are new to it. But don’t worry moms, we got you. Prenatal care is the only way to ensure that your baby is safe and growing properly, and thus, you can’t avoid it.
4. Importance of Exercises to Stay Healthy
Exercising during pregnancy can be hugely beneficial for your body. It keeps you healthy, boosting up your mood at the same time. It alleviates fatigue, backaches, constipation, and swelling, and builds stamina preparing your body for labor. It boosts energy, reduces stress, and thus improves sleep. It also speeds up the post-birth recovery.
It’s important that you stick to activities and exercises that are safe during pregnancy. For instance, high-impact aerobics should be avoided during pregnancy. You can practice yoga or low intensity pilates. Or, even taking a brief walk around your home helps.
Here are a few tips to boost your romance/bonding with your partner during exercise:
- Hold your partner's hand and walk
- Hold hands and skip the elevator (not if you stay on the higher floors)
- Say hello to Couple exercises
Whatever you plan to start, Just consult your doctor before diving into anything. Anything in moderation depending on your health condition should be fine.
5. Importance of Sound Sleep
Sleep is another essential element that determines your well-being during pregnancy. You may end up experiencing fatigue if you are not sleeping well. And your sleep has a direct role to play in the cognitive development of the baby. Sleep deprivation also harms the immune system. Some doctors recommend women sleep on their left side. However, consult your doctor regarding sleeping positions. Most of the time, resting on either side relieves some of the pressure on your back. Prop pillows between your knees, behind your back, and underneath your belly for a more comfortable resting position in either case.
Here are a few tips that will help you to sleep better:
- Limit your caffeine intake.
- Keep all the gadgets, including your phone(s) aside at least one hour before sleep, or reduce the screen brightness if avoiding the phone seems impossible.
- Listen to calming tunes.
- Try practicing yoga and meditation to help calm your mind, and relieve stress, eventually improving your sleep.
6. Unhealthy Habits to Avoid
It’s high time to discard all of your unhealthy habits if you haven’t already. If you are still smoking or drinking, you are causing harm to your own child. While according to several studies, alcohol is known to cause miscarriages, and physical, intellectual, and behavioral disabilities; smoking may lead to issues like low birth weight, preterm birth, and birth defects of the lip and mouth. Smoking during pregnancy and after birth can even increase the chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Caffeine is another thing that you need to start ditching now. We know, coffee keeps some of you going, and you can’t just function without cups of coffee. And, we get this. But keeping the well-being of your little munchkin in mind, you have to sacrifice your love for caffeine, because too much caffeine consumption poses the threat of low birth weight and even miscarriage. Sorry moms!
Apart from this, you must avoid super fatty foods with lots of sugars and uncooked food. If you are having any medical condition, adhere to what your doctor recommends, because only your doctor knows and understands what’s best for you.
7. Positive thinking
Positive thinking promotes the production of endorphins in your body which helps you to stay calm. It reduces stress and pressure and enhances pleasure. A high level of endorphins also helps in relieving labor pain, regulating blood pressure, and calming the nervous system and cardiovascular reactivity. Thus, dear moms, embrace positivity which will invite good health for you and your dear baby.
As much as pregnancy gives joy, it also gives a lot of stress and nervousness. And, it might get tough at times for you to handle. Despite taking care of yourself, you still may face a few issues like allergies or rashes, and so on. But mommies, you have to stay calm and be strong. You are strong, and everything is going to be fine. It’s important that you don’t neglect your emotional well-being as being too busy taking care of your physical health. Emotional well-being is just as important as your physical well-being because both have an impact on the baby. Try meditating to calm your mind. Keep pampering yourself and do whatever your heart desires. You need to be happy at the end of the day. And, when the mother is happy, the baby will be healthy. We can’t wait for you to be a healthy mom of a healthy baby.