This is a collaborative post.
There are a lot of dos and don’ts during pregnancy — too many that you’ll see yourself stressed on which to follow. All of these might seem overwhelming and confusing at times, and they can take away your opportunity to enjoy your pregnancy journey.
During your pregnancy, staying healthy should be your priority as it impacts your baby’s health. The quality of your diet and frequency of your physical activities also influence the development of your baby, as well as their risk of birth defects.
To ensure that you and your baby remain safe throughout the pregnancy, take note of the following:
Experiencing chronic stress during your pregnancy can increase the chances of having a low-birthweight or premature baby. Stress can also cause behavioral issues as your baby grows.
You and your baby can stay healthy during pregnancy if you exert effort to relieve stress and anxiety. You can achieve this goal by getting plenty of rest (eight hours of sleep every night and taking a 20-minute nap during the day can do wonders), employing positive self-talk, and stretching your body.
Talking to someone you’re comfortable with about what’s bothering you can also help calm your mind and improve your mental health. You’ll be surprised how expressing your innermost thoughts can improve your mood.
Visit Your Doctor Regularly
Your body significantly changes when you get pregnant. For one, your hormones will make you feel tired during your first trimester. Symptoms can worsen as you go along with your pregnancy.
To make things easier for you and your little one, visit your doctor regularly. They will recommend tests, such as an early pregnancy scan and fetal ultrasound, to assess the development of your baby and monitor your pregnancy.
If your pregnancy is healthy, you’ll have to visit your doctor every month before the first 28 weeks and then bi-weekly when you’re 28 to 36-weeks pregnant. Around week 36 until you give birth, you’ll need to see your doctor every week to monitor contractions.
Pay Attention to Your Diet
Once you become pregnant, you need to be more careful about your diet because what you eat (or don’t eat) affects your baby’s development. For example, eating a nutritious diet is associated with your baby’s healthy brain development and birth weight.
Look into your existing diet and assess if it contains healthy foods for you and your baby. If it doesn’t, consider incorporating the following:
- Dairy products: You need to consume dairy products, such as cheese, milk, and yogurt during your pregnancy to meet the calcium and protein requirements of your baby. These foods also support your digestive health and help treat bloating and constipation.
- Sweet potatoes: Aside from being delicious, sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients, such as vitamin A. This vitamin is crucial for your baby’s development.
- Salmon: Salmon is a must in every pregnant woman’s diet because it helps build the eyes and brain of your baby and improve your gestational health. You can enjoy salmon slathered in pesto or grilled — you can prepare it in many ways!
Take a Prenatal Vitamin
You need more vitamins and minerals to adapt to your body’s changes during pregnancy. And while sticking to a healthy diet can help, it doesn’t guarantee that it can provide you and your baby’s daily nutritional needs.
Regularly take a prenatal vitamin during your pregnancy to ensure your own and your baby’s health. Prenatal vitamins contain key nutrients that can support your baby’s development and your own health and safety throughout the pregnancy.
Most prenatal vitamins contain iron that helps you and your baby’s blood to carry oxygen and folic acid that prevents birth defects of the spinal cord and brain. Prenatal vitamins also offer healthy levels of calcium that strengthen your baby’s teeth and bones and boost their muscle and nerve development.
Avoid Harmful Activities and Substances
You’ll need to change your lifestyle if you want you and your baby to stay healthy for the next nine months. This usually means avoiding alcohol, tobacco, and drugs to keep your baby safe from several health conditions. Smoking is dangerous for your unborn child because it can increase their risk of low birth weight and causes heart disease and cancer.
Drinking alcohol, on the other hand, it can cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, which can cause physical problems and issues in your baby’s learning and behavior. Babies born to women who use drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, are also likely to be born addicted.
Additionally, you should also avoid exposure to lead and mercury during your pregnancy. Check the labels of the cleaning materials you use and avoid using any that have alcohol, ammonia, terpenes, and acrylic polymers.
Drinking enough water is important even before you’re pregnant. But do you know that you need it more when you’re pregnant? You need more water during your pregnancy because you tend to lose a lot of fluids due to constipation, excessive sweating, and bladder infections.
Staying hydrated can also prevent common ailments during pregnancy, namely heartburn, indigestion, constipation, and morning sickness. You’ll also need water to produce extra blood, form amniotic fluid, carry nutrients, and flush out toxins and wastes.
Get Some Exercise
Aside from eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly is one of the oldest tricks in the book to stay healthy. And now that you’re carrying another human inside of you, you must stay physically active.
Get at least two hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activities every week during your pregnancy. These activities can include bicycling, dancing, swimming, and walking. Being physically active during your pregnancy can keep your mind, heart, and bones strong.
Avoid engaging in activities where your belly can get hit, or you could fall. Rock-climbing, gymnastics, kickboxing, and soccer are a big no-no when you’re pregnant.
Talk To Professionals
Before making changes to your diet and physical activities, reach out to your doctor first. Never change any aspect of your lifestyle without their approval, as this can only do more harm than good. Your doctor knows what’s best for you and your baby, so make sure to follow their pieces of advice throughout your pregnancy.