You can make this phase even more fulfilling by planning in advance a healthier passage for both you and your baby.
How to plan.
Attaining and maintaining good health is most important for a healthy pregnancy. The key to good health is simple. First, consult a practitioner who can provide you proper guidance throughout the progressive stages of pregnancy. That aside, you can also try a number of other measures on your own. For example:
Attain a healthy weight. An appropriate weight can reduce the risk of complications arising due to obesity.
Disease history. Record the medical history of yourself, your partner, and both the families. If you find anything that raises concerns, consult your doctor.
Avoid health issues. If you find any current or potential health issue, immediately consult your doctor if you find any.
Manage your diet.
The idea of ‘you are what you eat’ holds particularly true in case of pregnancy. Proper nutrition is vital for sustaining the optimum growth and development of both you and your baby. During pregnancy, when your requirements increase, a balanced diet helps you fulfill your needs as well as the needs of your baby. Nutritional inadequacies can expose you to various risks and complications during pregnancy.
The steps you can take towards correcting this measure are:
Adequate nutrition: Consult a good dietician/doctor to define and prescribe a nutritionally adequate and well balanced diet regimen for yourself. Special attention should be given to the consumption of protein, calcium, folic acid, iron, vitamins like A, E, C and B-group as they play an important role during pregnancy.
Food supplements: Your doctor may prescribe you pre-natal supplements of folic acid, iron, calcium and B group vitamins. Try to follow the prescribed schedule and intake quantities for these supplements regularly.
Fluid intake: Intake of optimum levels of fluid is very essential during pregnancy as this aids digestion transportation of nutrients and growth. Also, having fluids in good quantity prevents dehydration and related risks.
Avoid excess sugar and salt: Avoid taking too much of sugar or salt. This may put you at the risk for gestational diabetes and hypertension.
Reduce your caffeine intake: Caffeine is diuretic and tends to dehydrate your system. Opt for healthier options like green tea which gives you the benefits of antioxidants.
Be sober: Avoid alcohol totally as it adversely affects your body and may even put your foetus at risk. As a result, your baby might encounter birth defects and learning disabilities. Read a detailed description about the food that should be avoided when you are pregnant, here.
Increase fibre intake: Increase your fibre intake steadily and slowly so as to keep away from pregnancy induced constipation.
Taking care of your personal hygiene, keeping your surroundings clean and developing healthy food hygiene are very important as they can prevent infections such as toxoplasmosis and solmonella and other potential risks.
Dental Hygiene: Dental care is very important. The dentist should be consulted at the earliest. This will facilitate extraction or filling of carious tooth if required comfortably in the second trimester, the best time for such a procedure.
Bathing: You should take daily bath but be careful against slipping in the bathroom due to imbalance.
Food hygiene: Itinvolves choosing your food judiciously. Always select pasteurized products. Also avoid items like soft cheese. Have only freshly expressed or pasteurized juice. If you crave for salads or sprouts, prepare them fresh at home. Avoid road side eateries as food from there may cause infections.
Stay away from environmental hazards. For instance, things like strong-smelling cleaning supplies, solvents, insect killers, and paint should be avoided. If you are in a situation where they are unavoidable, wear rubber gloves and be sure that your room is well ventilated.
Prepare yourself to become a parent. Your understanding of the course of your baby’s growth and development significantly affects your parenting style. So, know healthy behaviours during pregnancy and discuss them with your partner and your doctor. You can also attend antenatal classes on child development, child birth and parenting.
Staying away from stress and anxiety is very important for an expecting mother. Stress puts you at the risk of gestational hypertension or vaginal bleeding which may be dangerous for both you and your baby.
How to avoid stress?
Avoid practices and habits that stress you out. For instance, if you have negative feelings about some people, avoid them now. Also, if physical exertion or cooking in haste is not exactly up your alley, restrain from doing them now.
Try relaxation techniques. Consult your doctor for some relaxation techniques.
Light workouts are proven stress busters. Go out for walks. Perform some light exercises. However, consult your doctor or exercise under a certified trainer.
Positive vibes build up your confidence. Involve yourself in activities that create positive vibes in and around you and build your confidence. For instance, this could be a great time to pursue your hobbies.
Communicate. Communications with your partner as well with other near and dear ones take a significant amount of your stress out of your body.
Rest and Sleep: You should be in bed for about 10 hours ( 2 hrs. at noon and 8 hrs. at night)
Exercising has multiple benefits. Performing mild exercises under proper guidance not only helps you to maintain the desired weight but also boosts your confidence, reduce discomforts like constipation and backache, and improve digestion and blood circulation.
What type of exercise?
Performing proper pelvic floor exercises strengthens your pelvic muscles and joints while facilitating good support to the growing uterus. Exercising also makes the process of childbirth smoother. Consult your doctor and exercise under a certified trainer.
Make some positive lifestyle changes.
If you have been smoking, it’s time to give it up. That is because smoking harms not only your lungs but also your developing foetus. Even passive smoking can be harmful. Be in a smoke free environment, give up on alcohol and get into distress therapy.
In short, health is wealth. The age-old adage might sound clichéd, but it is as true as ever. And the good news is, it is quite easy