Today, everyone aims towards a balanced and healthy lifestyle. This focus on good health which is even more pronounced when it comes to lifestyle choices for your baby and you.
A healthy mother-to-be and healthy pregnancy go hand-in-hand. In addition to the proper growth and development of the fetus, a healthy pregnancy also includes various factors such as a healthy weight, balanced diet, nutritious food, regular exercises, adequate rest, and emotional well-being.
It also involves maintaining a normal blood pressure, normal blood sugar level and a big no to drugs, alcohol and smoking.
Things to Take Care of During Pregnancy
As the pregnancy progresses, your needs change too. Here are some important things that you must be cautious about throughout pregnancy:
1. Taking A Prenatal Vitamin
Even when you're still trying to conceive, it's smart to start taking prenatal vitamins. Your baby's neural cord, which becomes the brain and spinal cord, develops within the first month of pregnancy, so it's important you get essential nutrients – like folic acid, calcium, and iron – from the very start.
Prenatal vitamins are available over the counter at most drug stores, or you can get them by prescription from your doctor. If taking them makes you feel queasy, try taking them at night or with a light snack. Chewing gum or sucking on hard candy afterward can help, too.
2. Organizing Early Prenatal Care
Your first step would be to find a good doctor and a birthing center during the early stages of your pregnancy so that you get the required prenatal care. Ensure that you choose a qualified, easily approachable doctor who can provide you with adequate guidance. It is advisable to plan the required ultrasound scans and tests in advance, so that you are aware of them and are well-prepared.
Staying active is important for your general health and can help you reduce stress, control your weight, improve circulation, boost your mood, and sleep better. Take a pregnancy exercise class or walk at least 15-20 minutes every day at a moderate pace, in cool, shaded areas or indoors in order to prevent overheating.
Pilates, yoga, swimming, and walking are also great activities for most pregnant women, but be sure to check with your doctor first before starting any exercise program. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Listen to your body, though, and don't overdo it.
4. Eat Wholesome and Nutritious Food
Your body requires energy. Eating healthy and nutritious food is vital for the baby and to ensure optimal mother care during pregnancy. Eating whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits, eggs, organic meats and dairy products ensure that you are getting the adequate nutrients.
These foods contain minerals, vitamins, essential fatty acids, amino acids and other nutrients. Although you need food to keep you moving, you also need to watch what you eat. Avoid junk food.
5. Educate Yourself
Even if this isn't your first baby, attending a childbirth class will help you feel more prepared for delivery. Not only will you have the chance to learn more about childbirth and infant care, but you can ask specific questions and voice any concerns. You'll also become more acquainted with the facility and its staff.
Now is also a good time to brush up on your family's medical history. Talk to your doctor about problems with past pregnancies, and report any family incidences of birth defects.
6. Drink Plenty of Water
Keeping yourself hydrated helps in maintaining the amniotic fluid levels. Ensure that you drink at least 8-10 full glasses of water every day. Less water can cause morning sickness, tiredness, cramps and also contractions during the second and third trimesters. Carry a water bottle and drink from a glass, stainless steel or BPA-free container so that estrogen mimicking toxins are not transferred to your baby.
7. Get Some Rest
Adequate sleep and relaxation are required during pregnancy. Ensure that you sleep well and rest your feet as much as possible. Yoga and deep breathing can help you relax and calm down.
8. Reduce Caffeine and Recharge With Fruits
Recharging yourself with fruits is more beneficial than caffeine. Research proves that caffeine increases the chances of miscarriage. Pregnant women are low on iron, and caffeine makes it difficult for your body to absorb iron. So, it is advisable to avoid caffeine. Eating good amounts of fruits provides you important antioxidants, vitamins & minerals which helps to keep you & your baby healthy.