Pregnant women are bombarded with dos and don’ts constantly. Whether it’s your first time or you are becoming a mother once again, there is plenty of advice for expectant mothers online. One of the biggest concerns during pregnancy is to keep yourself healthy.
It can be hard to keep track of what you are eating regular body is going through so many changes. You also need to be aware of the seasons and the associated problems. Winter means you have to beware of the flu and avoid people who might have a cold. Summer is the time to stay hydrated and out of the sun as much as possible. In fact, pregnancies in the winter can have a whole bunch of other factors to consider too.
So what can you do to stay healthy?
See your doctor
The first thing to do after finding out you are pregnant is to make an appointment with your doctor or midwife. The earlier you see the doctor, the better it is for you and the baby. It means you are getting good advice right from the beginning and you have not wasted any time. Even if this is not your first pregnancy, getting care early on is crucial.
Your doctor will be able to tell you what to eat, supplements to take, and design a care program tailored for your health and needs.
This one can be hard to do, what with pregnancy cravings and morning sickness. But those cravings are also a way for you to tell what your body needs. It’s important to get enough iron, calcium, and vitamins during pregnancy. If you’re not getting these nutrients through your diet, your doctor may prescribe supplements.
Ask your doctor about what is a healthy weight for you and the baby at every stage of the pregnancy. The old adage that you are eating for two is not completely true and some women may gain excess weight that can affect their health.
Drinking enough water is important for everyone. However, when you are pregnant you need even more water than normal. If you already track your water intake, try to increase the amount by one or two cups every day. For women who don’t track it, now may be the perfect time to start. If you are not sure about how much water to drink, always consult your doctor.
Staying hydrated is crucial, whatever the season but especially in summer. Always keep a bottle of water within reach even when you are traveling. It’s easy to forget to drink water in winter when you don’t feel thirsty but remember that you always need water.
One of the most popular myths of pregnancy is that you should not engage in physical activity. Even women who exercise regularly may stop going to the gym when they find out they are pregnant. The truth is that you need to stay active and fit throughout the pregnancy. While you should avoid vigorous workouts, there are many exercises that are beneficial for expectant mothers.
Moderate-intensity exercise like swimming or walking will boost your immune system. It’s particularly helpful for the baby as well. Exercise helps you cope with posture and joint strains. In fact, it can also protect you against complications during pregnancy such as high blood pressure. Women who exercise during pregnancy are more likely to have straightforward labor and it can also improve your mood when you’re feeling low.
Change your habits
During pregnancy, everything you eat and drink will have some effect on your baby. This is why doctors advise women to stop drinking coffee and alcohol.
While research says that you can have up to 2 cups of coffee a day, it may be best to avoid it completely. It’s especially helpful if coffee makes you tired or otherwise affects your mood. The same goes for alcohol, although there is no safe limit here. Most doctors will tell you to stop drinking from the moment you start planning to get pregnant.
You might also have to change your eating and sleeping patterns. Some women find it easier to eat several smaller meals throughout the day to combat morning sickness. If you feel more tired than usual, it’s a sign to get more rest and sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep during the night, try to catch a nap in the afternoon. Simply putting your feet up for 30 minutes can refresh you. You may need multiple pillows to get comfortable in bed but avoid sleeping on your back as much as possible.
Remember that every pregnancy is different, even if you have been through it before. You may not have the exact same symptoms or experience as someone else out there. Pay attention to your body and your doctor’s advice for a healthy and stress-free pregnancy!