Call it 9 months or 40 weeks, the entire period from conceiving your baby till the delivery, alters your life completely. Moreover, it can all take a toll on you physically as well as psychologically. Take the example of rapid weight gain, stretch marks, morning sickness, cravings and restlessness, which are quite common for pregnant women and can cause a lot of stress.
Because no one is born an expert, it always helps to rely upon the advice shared by the experienced instead of old wives’ tales.
Here are some pointers, which form the ‘ultimate health regimen’ for pregnant women.
EMBRACE GOOD HABITS
When you are expecting a baby, the first thing that you need to do is embrace some good habits. These include but are not limited to:
- Make It A Point To Floss Daily – When you are pregnant, you are more susceptible to plaque buildup and bacteria. This in turn, leads to a number of oral health issues like gingivitis. By flossing on a daily basis, you can keep several oral diseases at bay.
- Read All The Labels Thoroughly – Before using anything that has chemicals in it, do read the label on it. This holds true especially for cosmetics, medicines and housecleaning products. A better alternative is to make sure that you opt for products that are non-toxic and therefore, safe for both you and your baby. You can also make your own housecleaning products and use them to clean your home.
- Cut Down On Screen Time – In this age of technology, it is almost impossible to opt out of using your laptop, desktops, mobiles, tablets and the likes. What you can do instead, is take the middle path and cut down on your screen time as it can lead to dry eyes, weight gain (when you couple eating and staring at a screen) and change in the sleeping patterns.
- Use Gadgets Carefully – It is common knowledge that laptops heat up and this heat can be harmful for the baby. Always use a bed table, a cushion or a laptop table to avoid the laptop making any contact with your tummy or thighs. At the same time, ensure that you sit in the correct posture with your back well-supported and feet on a foot rest/stool. Also, take regular breaks while using the gadgets and increase the frequency of these breaks in the advanced stages of your pregnancy.
- Give Up Smoking, Caffeine And Alcohol – Apart from embracing good habits, you also need to get rid of some more personal habits such as smoking, intake of caffeine and alcohol. All these are harmful and dangerous for both mother and the baby.
- Get Some Sleep – If you haven’t been paying attention to your sleep, it is about time that you catch up on it. Get a good night’s sleep and don’t forget to take naps throughout the day to restore your energy levels and feel refreshed.
I am sure that most pregnant women have been advised to “eat for two” i.e. to eat her share of food and also eat for the baby. This old wives’ tale has nothing to do with the eating pattern that a pregnant woman has to follow. Here is how you can eat right when you are expecting a baby:
- Take Prenatal Vitamins – Prenatal vitamins are a must-have to make sure that you deliver a healthy baby. They are also important for the mother as well. However, they are no replacement for a healthy and nutritious diet. Know all about prenatal vitamins from this link and take the vitamins prescribed by your physician regularly.
- Satisfy Your Cravings – Cravings are quite natural when you are pregnant. But then, they often lead to weight gain. Additionally, the intake of unhealthy food that is not good for you or your baby. To satisfy your cravings, you can check out some yummy recipes and strike a balance between eating because you “feel like eating something” and “eating healthy”.
- Stock Up On Antioxidants – Food that are rich in antioxidants are immensely beneficial for everyone. But did you know that they are also great for would-be-mothers and their babies? According to a study, antioxidant-rich food can prevent obesity and glucose intolerance in babies. Because they are found in food rich in colors such as carrots, cherries, blueberries, tomatoes and spinach, you need to include lots of colorful food in your pregnancy diet.
- Eat Organic Produce – When you are pregnant, you are at a higher risk from pesticides, which are found in fruits and vegetables. The solution for this is to opt for organic produce, which you can get from the local farmer’s market or from stores that sell organic produce. If you have a backyard garden, then you can also grow and eat fresh produce every day!
- Keep Hydrated – Keeping yourself well-hydrated is another must-do, when you are expecting your baby. But then, how much water can one possibly drink in a day? The solution is to make sure that you include as much fluid as you possible can in other ways. This includes eating fresh fruits and vegetables with more water content in them (cucumbers and watermelons anyone?), increasing the intake of soup, milk, juices etc. You can also make DIY homemade popsicles. These tasty and healthy treats are great options to stay hydrated.
Pregnancy can be immensely stressful owing to all the changes that your body goes through. The best way to get rid of all the pregnancy related stress is to lead an active and busy lifestyle along with exercising. Here is how you can go about it:
- Do Prenatal Workouts – There are endless varieties of prenatal workouts, which you can opt for maintaining your health and keeping your weight under control. You can try different workouts every trimester to stay fit and stress-free. Even brisk walking in the morning can get you brownie points in terms of health and make you feel more energetic for the rest of the day.
- Socialize – Socializing is a must for reducing stress. Your social circle of friends and family members can help you with some of the chores and errands apart from keeping you company. Having them visiting you often during your pregnancy will eliminate the feeling of loneliness, help you manage everything perfectly and you’ll end up with a strong support system.
- Pamper Yourself – Getting a rejuvenating massage during pregnancy can be extremely helpful for eliminating stress. Similarly, you can also opt for aromatherapy, which can help you relax further. All you need to make sure is that you do these under the guidance of experts and with prior permission from your physician.
- Take Up A Hobby – Pregnancy is the best time to start a new hobby or to continue with your long-lost pastime(s). Maintaining a pregnancy journal can be one of the things that you can take up and so is gardening (don’t forget to wear gloves and take other precautions) or playing a musical instrument. All these activities are great stressbusters.
Calling it a day
These are some essential pointers for going through a healthy pregnancy and delivering a healthy baby. Have any other essential tips for new moms, which we missed out? Feel free to share them with us!