Everything gets so vulnerable during pregnancy. With all the hormone rush, mood swings, weird appetite, growing body, and whatnot, it becomes so much more difficult to keep the mind on the right track and think ahead of how we should take care of ourselves during pregnancy.
Everything gets so vulnerable during pregnancy. Although it is an amazing journey but a lot changes during and after expecting a baby. The hormonal rush, mood swings, weird appetite, growing body, and whatnot, make pregnancy a tad trickier. Therefore, it is important to be mentally prepared, keep your mind on the right track, and think ahead about how you should take care of yourselves for this amazing experience.
This article highlights some of the major dos you have to keep in mind to have a safer and healthy pregnancy.
Things To Do During Pregnancy
Following rules in pregnancy can be particularly hard, I know. But, you see, when you look at the bigger picture these recommendations will not only help you have a healthy pregnancy but will also be essential for your post-pregnancy life. Adhering to these simple but effective rules can be essential if you want to bounce back to the normalities of life after the baby.
1. Eat right
Pregnancy completely changes your body in and out. The healthy development and proper formation of your baby depend on what you eat as your baby receives the nutrition from you. Hence, healthy eating is not just important for your baby but it holds equal, if not more, the importance for your baby. A well-balanced diet reduces the risk of several fatal problems including anemia and other pregnancy symptoms.
Firstly, eating for two is one of pregnancy’s biggest myths. Your baby does not need nutrients equivalent to an adult. So erase that thought from your mind instantly. Instead, eat like you normally would without splurging. Secondly, don’t give in to your temptation every time. Your diet should include a mix of:
- Bread and cereals
- Pasteurized dairy like milk, cheese, and yogurt
- Cooked meat, poultry, and fish
- Fresh Veggies and Fruits
It is always a good idea to consult your OBGYN about your diet.
2. Stay active
Unless the doctor asks you to rest most of the time, you shouldn’t be just sitting and doing nothing throughout your day. Yes, there will days when you just want to lay on the couch, eat buckets of ice cream, and binge on your favorite Netflix shows. But don’t make it a habit.
Staying active doesn’t mean that you have to be running a mile on the treadmill daily. While that can be good too but staying active implies just going about your day like you normally did in your pre-pregnancy life.
If you did follow an exercise routine before your pregnancy, you should continue and follow some prenatal exercise routines.
If you did not follow any exercise routine, then try walking, light swimming, and easy prenatal exercise routines. A 30-minute simple workout 3-4 times a week should be good enough.
But do not rush into any sort of severe exertion that may harm you or your baby. Listening to your body and resting when you want to is the key. It is also important to consult your doctor first before starting any form of exercise.
Staying active would increase the blood circulation in your body and will keep the ligaments working. A sedentary pregnant woman may increase the risk of gestational diabetes, varicose veins, Pre-eclampsia, severe backaches, and excess weight gain.
3. Take your folic acid and vitamin D
The two most important supplements you need during pregnancy. Folic acid reduces any risks of neural tube defects and vitamin D works wonders for the development of your baby’s bones, teeth, and muscles.
It’s always a good idea to consume prenatal vitamins. They not only help you in bridging the nutrient gap in your diet but the good stuff is also passed on to your baby through the placenta. This means, the baby also receives additional nutrients for better development.
4. Sleeping positions
Falling asleep peacefully during the pregnancy is somewhat like a dream whose chances of coming true are quite slim. But you have to try and aim for the impossible for a healthier pregnancy. Simple right?
For what it’s worth, there are a few tips that I can offer to improve the quality of sleep you get.
- Always try to sleep on your side, preferably on your left side as it increases the blood flow to the placenta and keeps the weight of the placenta off of the liver.
- Keep your legs a little raised with a help of a pillow underneath your feet.
- OR, keep your knees bent and put a pillow between your legs. There are so many maternity pillows that you can get. They are amazing!
- If you experience shortness of breath or heartburn, try propping some pillows under your upper body.
- Try keeping a pillow under your belly when you are lying on your side. It supports the bump and relaxes your abdomen muscles
- Avoid sleeping on your back or your stomach as it decreases blood circulation and can cause stillbirth and other complications
5. Traveling before 36 weeks
The time of your second trimester (week 13 – week 28) or months four, five, and six is the perfect time to travel be it domestically or overseas. The second trimester is often considered the golden period. You and the baby are in a good state to enjoy the traveling. As the pregnancy progresses into the final trimester, traveling may become difficult and uncomfortable. Moreover, the baby is technically ready at 36 weeks and can pop out any time now.
Most airlines might not even allow you to travel after week 28 without a doctor’s clearance letter and will surely restrict your travel post week 36. Nobody wants to deliver a baby in the sky.
Traveling for long hours can cause vaginal blood clots and severe backache. So, plan your babymoon and if you are traveling after 28 weeks, don’t forget to ask your insurance provider if your pregnancy is covered in case of an accident occurs during your travel.
6. Consider getting vaccinated for flu and whooping cough
Your doctor may offer you these vaccines during your pregnancy period. If not, you can also ask for it. Both of the vaccines are safe during pregnancy and will not cause any complications. Next time you visit your OBGYN discuss this with them for a better understanding and clarification.
The flu vaccine is a seasonal one and is offered around the flu season which is September and February.
The whooping cough vaccine activates protective antibodies. These antibodies will also be transferred to the baby through the placenta. The best time to get vaccinated for whooping cough is around 16 weeks to 32 weeks.
7. Invest in self-care
Pregnancy can be a rollercoaster of emotions you might not even expect. While it brings happiness, and joy, and promotes the emotional well-being of everybody in the family. It can also be emotionally taxing on you and your mental health. Therefore, don’t hold back on self-care.
Recent studies show that around 15-20 percent of pregnant women experience severe mood swings and anxiety disorder. Women who have been through anxiety before their pregnancy are more inclined towards getting anxiety during pregnancy and especially during the time of the delivery.
If you are experiencing any severe mood swings, anxiety, or depression, talk it out. It is quite common for women to keep it all in for the sake of others. It’s so important to let it out of your system. If talking doesn’t help then get help from your doctor or healthcare provider.
Some tips to take care of your mental health are:
- Eat healthily
- Stay active
- Talk to your partner
- Do things that you like
- Discuss your concerns with your doctor
- Try relaxing yoga
Pregnancy is a beautiful journey. It may seem the longest and most difficult but it will be over before you know it. Pregnancy is not the havoc it is projected to be. Just be careful about a couple of things and you will be good to go. Once you are aware of how you should take care of yourself, the rest is all breezy. Learn about the process to enjoy your pregnancy rather than stressing about each and everything.
Read more about the foods to avoid during pregnancy.
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