Health is everything when you are pregnant. For both your and your baby’s health, it is important to take care of yourself physically and emotionally; because healthy pregnancy is what you need for having a healthy baby. So, you should know some basics about taking care of yourself and the baby, because people who eat well and exercise regularly along with regular prenatal care are less likely to have complications during pregnancy.
Let’s have look at our useful tips for a healthy pregnancy.
Get prepared for pregnancy
Health during pregnancy starts with preparing for pregnancy. Getting prepared around three to six months before conception means a lot for a healthy pregnancy. You can spend this period to become healthier and to learn more about getting pregnant, being pregnant.
We have already mentioned about preparing for pregnancy in our previous blog post in detail. Have a look at it!
Get early prenatal care
A really good prenatal care is one of the determinants of a successful birth and healthy pregnancy. Prenatal care is when you have checkups from your caregiver, who can be a doctor, a nurse or a midwife throughout your pregnancy. It is important for being and staying healthy during the period. Monitoring your baby’s development along with doing routine testing helps you find and prevent any probable problems.
Your first prenatal care can be as soon as you know you are pregnant. It is always the best to do seeing a doctor before getting pregnant; but it may be impossible in your case. This is why you have better begin prenatal visits before long for healthy pregnancy. So you can get helpful advise right from the beginning, which provides you healthy pregnancy.
Eat healthy food
Eating a nutritious diet during pregnancy is totally related to healthy pregnancy both for you and your baby. Healthy food helps fetal brain development, a healthy birth weight; and it also keeps many birth defects away from your baby. Not only your baby, you benefit pretty much from healthy food, too. With a balanced diet, your risks of anemia decrease and you can get rid of unpleasant pregnancy symptoms such as fatigue and morning sickness, and also mood swings.
Never miss having breakfast. If you feel bad in the morning, try to start with fortified cereals and fruits or just a whole-wheat toast. Healthy food for healthy pregnancy must include protein, vitamin C, calcium, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, iron, adequate and healthy fat and folic acid.
You must prefer milk, cheese and juice that are pasteurized. Hot dogs, refrigerated, smoked seafood, undercooked meat and poultry are not suitable to eat during pregnancy. Eat vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free yoghurt, fish with fruit etc. Fish is full of protein, vitamin D, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for the development of your baby’s nervous system.
If your intention is to have a healthy pregnancy, stay well hydrated, too. The increased amount of water in your body during pregnancy helps you maintain healthy blood pressure levels. Try to have about eight glasses of fluid, such as water, fruit teas, skimmed or semi-skimmed milk or fresh fruit juice every day. But, do not forget that nothing can be as healthy as water.
Take prenatal vitamins
Food is a great source for most nutrients needed for healthy pregnancy whereas prenatal vitamin supplements are necessary. The reason for this necessity is that vitamin supplement provides extra nutrition helping fetus develop. Folic acid, also known as folate is B vitamin that decreases the risk of having a child with a neural tube defect such as spina bifida. On the hand you have better talk to you doctor before choosing the best prenatal vitamin for you.
You also need a daily supplement of vitamin D, which is important for the development of your baby’s skeleton and future bone health. If you’re worried you’re not eating well, or you’re too sick to eat much, you may want to take your folic acid and vitamin D in a multivitamin.
Exercise regularly and practice Kegels
Exercising regularly is known for being and staying fit, however it helps you with many more things. Healthy pregnancy requires regular exercise. 30 minutes of exercise provides you better circulation, strong muscles, higher sleep quality, less backaches, higher energy levels and stress-free life.
Taking the advice of your doctor before starting a regular exercise, you can get closer to healthy pregnancy. If you are already exercising before getting pregnant, you can need to revise your program. Walking, swimming, aquanatal classes, yoga and pilates are among the commonest exercises that are advised by doctors.
Squatting and Kegel exercises should be added to the exercise routine. Kegel exercises focus on the vaginal and perineal muscles for healthy pregnancy. The exercise is done in the same way a woman stops and starts the flow of urine. The perineal muscle is tightened for a count of three and then the muscle is slowly relaxed.
The period of time the muscle is contracted can be increased over time as muscle control becomes easier. Relaxing the perineal muscles can help during the birth of the baby. Kegel exercises help women maintain good muscle tone and control in the perineal area, which can aid in delivery and recovery after birth.
Track your weight gain
Women usually feel uncomfortable considering weight gain during pregnancy. How much weight should they gain for a healthy pregnancy? How much is less or more than necessary? What happens if they gain too much weight? There are too much to concern about. First, eating for two does not mean eating twice more that you eat before pregnancy. And, you can find out the answers for your questions below:
If your weight before pregnancy in the normal range, you should to gain 25 or 35 pounds for a healthy pregnancy. The amount of the weight you should get depends on your weight before conceiving. There can be a general idea but; only monitoring your body can tell you the unique weight for your healthy pregnancy. This is why you should track your weight gain, and also apply your doctor for monitoring your weight and nutritional needs.
Get enough rest
Usually first and third trimesters are when you feel fatigue; this is how your baby reminds you of itself. You need to slow down and get some rest for a healthy pregnancy. Listen to your baby and take it easy when you need. Without doubt, pregnancy is not a time for staying away from life, but for taking much better care of yourself.
Leave your other responsibilities aside and give a break for a midday nap. If you are not very sleepy, enjoy some relaxing time with getting a load off your feet and read your book or watch a movie or just watch around. You can also try yoga, stretching, breath exercises and massage for a relaxed and healthy pregnancy.
Quit alcohol totally
Alcohol is not a friend of yours, neither of your baby. When you drink alcoholic drinks when your baby is inside, the alcohol reaches out your baby so fast through your bloodstream that you cannot even control the results. Your baby has a higher level of blood alcohol than you, which sounds pretty scary, right?
And we have to share some interesting results of research: expectant moms who have as little as one drink a week are more likely than nondrinkers to have children who later exhibit aggressive and delinquent behavior. Make your choice.
There’s no evidence that cigarette smoking before a pregnancy has started will harm a developing baby. However, there is plenty of proof that smoking during pregnancy is really dangerous. Smoking affects blood flow and oxygen delivery to a baby, and therefore their growth.
What happens in the end: low birth-weight babies, vaginal bleeding, ectopic pregnancy, premature placental detachment and premature labor and delivery. On the other hand every cigarette you don’t light gives your baby a better chance of being healthy.
Take less caffeine
Pregnant women seeking for healthy pregnancy are advised to limit their caffeine consumption intake to less than 200 mg per day. This advise is based on a research in 2008; showing that women who consume 200 mg per day doubled their risk of miscarriage compared to those who had no caffeine.
So, setting a limit for caffeine consumption is good and having no caffeine at all is the best. Also, iron is what is already low on your body when you are pregnant and caffeine makes it harder for your body to absorb iron. Taking caffeine obviously means giving up a healthy pregnancy. Take less caffeine and have better night sleep and a healthy pregnancy.
Stay away from environmental dangers
Your everyday environment before pregnancy can be really dangerous for you and the development of the baby during pregnancy. If you’re routinely exposed to chemicals, heavy metals, certain biologic agents, or radiation, you’ll need to make some changes as soon as possible.
On the other hand, some cleaning products, pesticides, solvents, and lead in drinking water from old pipes can also be an enemy of your healthy pregnancy plan. Try to use natural and ecological products instead.
Visit your dentist
Oral health becomes more and more important during pregnancy because hormonal shifts during pregnancy can increase the risk of gum disease. Visiting your dentist for a checkup and cleaning will be great for having healthy pregnancy.
Buy comfortable shoes
When you are carrying you baby, you will need more comfort than usual. Healthy pregnancy includes having comfortable shoes, as your feet will grow a little bit. Try to choose shoes that will relax the extra pressure on your feet. It is pretty common complain during pregnancy that your body retain fluid making your feet and ankles. This is not a small detail considering your overall comfort and healthy pregnancy.
Take care of your emotional health
Mood swings are very common during pregnancy, mostly as a result of hormonal changes. Also, you are getting ready for parenting and it can be hard to deal with from time to time. I know it is not good, but it is common. So know that you are not alone. Try to learn ways to relax yourself when you feel overwhelmed. Seeing a therapist is also a great way to handle this process if you feel you cannot do it on your own.
Learn about healthy pregnancy and baby
Pregnancy is a different stage in your life. Your general knowledge about it may not be enough for healthy pregnancy and you have better learn about it. Internet can be a great chance for reaching useful and true information. Pregnancy classes can help you with being a more confident and safe pregnant. These classes when prepared professionally will lead you While choosing a pregnancy class, try to find one covering all the process focusing on the details you need to know.
Good package of information will let you know which signals are something serious, what to expect during the pregnancy and how to maintain a healthy pregnancy.
Write down a birth plan
Prepare a list including your wishes and expectations about birth. When you are trying to find out what to have in this list, you fill explore many things that have never come to your mind before. Think about the procedure you want to avoid, special clothing you prefer to wear, people you want with you during the big day etc. The more you learn about giving birth, the better you will notice your preferences.
Final: Take your time and enjoy pregnancy
Pregnancy might be overwhelming and difficult to deal with at the beginning. As you feel some pain or other physical and emotional changes in your body, you may feel bad. But, there are many things to lessen all these negative signals. Just do your best, do not blame yourself for not sticking to everything you have decided. Try to enjoy these 9 months and take your time before meeting your baby.