Embracing motherhood is an extraordinary experience with new responsibilities, confusion, and worries. Everything you do – from the foods you eat to the activities you engage in – will affect your health and that of your baby-to-be. Because now you’re not just responsible for yourself, but also for another life – the one growing inside of you.
Navigating the Changes During Pregnancy
Whether it’s your first or fourth pregnancy, the change in your lifestyle can be overwhelming. The once-familiar body you had is going to metamorphose in ways that can be strange and disturbing. Your clothes will fit differently, and your energy level may constantly be in flux. You’ll find yourself dealing with various physical, emotional, and mental challenges along the way that nobody warned you about.
Acknowledging your feelings and letting yourself experience the emotions that come with being a soon-to-be parent is vital. It’s also essential for you to learn about prenatal care to provide your baby with the best possible start in life.
We’ve narrowed them down to seven healthy practices to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
1. Educate Yourself
Each phase of pregnancy may bring new experiences, developments, and complications. Therefore, it’s crucial to stay informed and prepared to understand the various aspects of childbirth, especially birth injuries.
Childbirth injuries may occur before, during, or after labor and most of the time due to medical negligence. These injuries may include minor scrapes or bruises to more severe conditions in babies, like nerve damage, fractures, cerebral palsy, and others.
Although childbirth injury is a heartbreaking reality for parents, they can reach out to organizations that offer assistance, guidance, and justice. They also ensure you understand the causes, signs, and treatment of childbirth injuries and can help you get support options that are right for you and your baby. With their help, you can ensure that your and your child’s rights are protected and that your baby gets the much-needed medical assistance and financial compensation.
Therefore, it is crucial for expecting mothers to educate themselves and be well aware of the causes and scenarios that may lead to childbirth injuries. It will help in taking preventive measures to ensure safe labor and delivery.
2. Plan for Your Baby’s Delivery
It may seem like a lifetime away, but it helps to start preparing for your baby’s delivery well in advance. Research the options available to you, including home births and birthing centers, as well as traditional hospital deliveries. Consider your preferences for the environment you want to be in during labor, such as the presence of family members.
Also, consult your doctor about the delivery methods that are best suited for you and your baby’s health. Knowing your options will give you the confidence to make an informed decision when the time comes. Plus, you can then plan to ensure you have all the supplies, preparations, and support you need for safe and successful delivery.
3. Pay Attention to Your Diet
What you eat during pregnancy matters a lot. Eating healthy ensures your body gets the nutrients it needs to support and nourish your growing baby. It also helps you maintain a healthy weight, which is essential for your and your baby’s health.
A healthy diet plan includes a variety of foods from all the food groups, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, dairy products, and healthy fats. Also, choose foods low in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats. You can also take prenatal multivitamins to get the essential minerals and vitamins during pregnancy.
It is also vital to stay hydrated throughout your pregnancy. Aim to drink at least eight glasses or 2 liters of water each day, and increase the intake when exercising or out in the heat.
4. Incorporate Physical Activity into Your Routine
Physical activity is essential to staying healthy and promoting a healthy pregnancy. It can help to reduce stress, build your strength and endurance for labor and delivery, improve sleep, and give you more energy.
Try to get at least 30 to 40 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity daily, such as walking or yoga. Choose a perfect, shaded space to do your workout and listen to your body if you feel tired or uncomfortable. Swimming, low-impact aerobics, and prenatal exercise classes are essential activities for most pregnant women; however, consult your doctor before beginning any new workout routine to ensure it’s safe for your stage of pregnancy.
5. Avoid Drinking Alcohol
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can affect a baby’s health and is, therefore, not recommended.
Alcohol can increase the risk of miscarriage and other adverse health effects for you and your baby. It also puts your baby at risk for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) and complicates your pregnancy and delivery.
For the healthiest pregnancy, abstain from alcohol completely. If you are surrounded by people drinking alcohol, you can still enjoy sipping mocktails or any other non-alcoholic beverage.
6. Track Your Weight Gain
The amount of weight you gain during pregnancy signifies the health and development of your baby. Your doctor will provide specific weight goals and guidelines for each stage of pregnancy and your body. You must monitor this information carefully to ensure you are within the healthy weight range specified by your doctor.
The best way to track your weight gain is to keep a food diary and regular weigh-ins. Keeping tabs on the type of food you’re eating and the number of calories you’re consuming will help you regulate your weight gain. Besides, weigh-ins once a week can be of great benefit, as it’ll allow you to monitor changes in your weight.
The joy of expecting a baby is unparalleled. Yet, while carrying this precious life inside you, it is also essential to ensure that you’re providing your baby with the best possible start by practicing healthy habits. Make sure to educate yourself about the different childbirth injuries and the resources that can help you in this regard, avoid drinking alcohol, eat a balanced diet, and stay hydrated throughout your pregnancy. Regular exercise, weight management, comfortable maternity wear, and advanced research and planning for your baby’s delivery can also go a long way in ensuring that you have an enjoyable, safe, and stress-free delivery.