Pregnancy is a life-changing event for women. The nine months in preparation for a new life is fascinating. It full of memorable moments such as visiting the doctor to get the first ultrasound or documenting the entire journey of motherhood in a journal or a blog. These moments become memories that are cherished forever by moms.
While the baby’s health is the ultimate priority for expecting mothers, they also need to take care of themselves for nine months. Here are some of the ways to take care of yourself when you are expecting.
- 1. Learn the A-Z of pregnancy – It is not uncommon for pregnant women to get a lot of unsolicited advice from literally everyone they meet on the streets. More often than not, the advice that they get are old wives’ tales with no scientific evidence. Don’t go by what others say with the exception of your physician.
Alternatively, you can also refer to books written by experts and visit a counselor to get all your questions about pregnancy answered. This will help you understand the changes going on in your body during pregnancy in a better way.
- 2. Get rid of all the stress and anxiety – A lot of mothers, especially the ones who are expecting their first child, are a bunch of nerves. What they don’t know is that their stress and anxiety is not only bad for them, but also bad for their baby’s health and well-being. For instance, high levels of stress during pregnancy leads to the release of the hormone cortisol, which can penetrate the placenta and adversely influence the baby’s emotional development.
Say goodbye to all the stress and anxiety by getting ample rest, sleeping well, eating on time and indulging in physical activities that refreshes you. This takes us to the next point.
- 3. Take up a new hobby – Pregnancy is the best time to pamper yourself. Apart from indulging in food of your choice and going for a relaxing spa, utilize the nine-months long period to do something that you always wanted to do or take up a long lost hobby such as writing a diary, baking, reading or crafting. If you are taking a sabbatical from work to focus on the baby right from the first trimester itself, then you can even plan your hobbies and join a hobby class if needed. This will refresh you, help you while away your time productively and give you something to look forward to each day.
- 4. Don’t let the stretch marks get you down – A lot of moms get conscious about their body image post pregnancy. More often than not, it is due to unsightly stretch marks. Sadly, they are a part and parcel of pregnancy and there is little that you can do about them, once they are there! However, you can use a stretch marks prevention lotion (that is safe for the baby and you) and start using it at the right time to prevent the formation of stretch marks to an extent. This should help you.
- 5. Make sure that you eat healthy – Eating nutrient-rich food is a must during pregnancy. However, it is not necessary that you have to “eat for two”. Just make sure that you have your fill and avoid food that can cause any discomfort to you/adversely the baby. For instance, the most common things that you need to avoid are – alcohol, caffeine and smoking.
Prepare a diet chart with the assistance of your physician or a dietician and stick to it for the nine-months. At the same time, keep a watch over your fluid intake to avoid dehydration and other issues.
- 6. Don’t skip the exercise – There are a number of benefits that exercising during pregnancy brings to the table. For example, exercising enhances the mood, improves sleeping pattern, increases stamina, strength and endurance, stress, eases the aches and pains, improves blood circulation and so on and so forth.
However, some would-be-mothers may think that exercising may be risky for both them and the baby. On the contrary, working out during pregnancy is absolutely safe, provided that you know all the rules in the book (and follow them to the T). Deep-breathing exercises, pilates, yoga, walking, swimming and stretching are your safest bets when it comes to pregnancy work outs.
- 7. Take extra care when you commute/travel – Commuting or traveling is not something to fret over. However, it is safe to take a bit of extra care when you are heavily pregnant and need to commute or travel. Here is what you can do:
- Start your day early and leave early from work to avoid the peak hour traffic.
- Opt for carpooling if you take the public transport to work.
- Wear comfortable outfits and shoes that are travel-friendly.
- Carry a lightweight bag and don’t pack it with anything you won’t need.
- Keep stretching a bit at regular intervals when you are commuting or traveling.
- Make sure you have all the medical records and other information with you, when you travel.
- Read all the do’s and don’ts of traveling while pregnant. For instance, the safest time to travel is between 14-28 weeks of pregnancy. However, try to limit the traveling duration and make it a point to discuss the plans with the physician beforehand.
- 8. Join a support group – Exchanging notes on pregnancy with others who are sailing on the same boat can be a rewarding and a comforting experience. Apart from meeting and discussing motherhood tips and anecdotes, you’ll also make new friends. If there are no support groups for pregnant women in your area, you can even start one yourself!
- 9. Be careful about the medicines you take – It goes without saying that you shouldn’t take any over-the-counter medications during pregnancy apart from the ones prescribed by your physician. You may be tempted to reach out for medicines to cure a common cold, headache or heartburn for instance, but the best option is to store these prescribed medicines (for common ailments) beforehand only after consulting your physician. Additionally, you may be prescribed prenatal medicines and supplements that you’ll need to take on time.
These are some points that will help you take care of yourself during nine long months of pregnancy and have a smooth sailing. Have any more tips for us to include in the list? Bring them on!
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