When pregnant, it is important to stick to healthier routines as you are now responsible for the well-being of two – yourself and the little human inside you. During this period, your body is much more delicate and the changes that occur may be harder to keep up with than you realize. These things are normal and nothing to worry about. Getting all the help you may need at this time is relevant and I am here to lend a helping hand.
There are few things and tips that may help your pregnancy easy and run smoothly. A few of them should be adapted once you decide you want to have a child before the onset of the pregnancy. Fear not however, if you didn’t do so before getting pregnant, it is never too late to start doing them now. as they say, ‘better late than never’!
- Go for healthier organic options: try to use more natural products and food to reduce your exposure to toxins and other products that may be harmful for you or your baby.
– Make up and cosmetics: what you put on your body is very important as it can affect both you and your baby. Choose only that which will be healthy for you. Use natural cosmetic and makeup products or mineral only makeup lines. Ask your doctor for the list of products that may be harmful to you during your pregnancy and be sure that they are not included in your cosmetics.
– Food: the best way to avoid toxins is to eat real and organic food. Avoid manufactured food such as canned food as much as possible . Stay away from food that isn’t well cooked like under cooked meat or fish as some of them may contain bacteria. Eat more fiber containing food such as brown rice, oatmeal, whole grains, fruit, vegetables, beans, etc. Avoid caffeine and artificial flavoring. Snack on healthier options like yogurt, fruits and wholegrain crackers. Eat lots of fish but avoid the mercury containing ones. The best options are salmon and shrimp.
– Use natural remedies for any minor discomfort: avoid using drugs for minor problems that could be solved by organic home-made products. Nausea, heart burn, and constipation are common to some pregnant ladies. Ginger, sour or peppermint candies may help with nausea. Sugarless gum and warm milk help alleviate heart burn, exercises and a warm tub may help treat constipation.
- Exercise: regular exercise is good for not only you but your baby as well. It helps you stay in shape and makes it easier to get back in shape after child birth. It also helps your body cope with changes its going through, reducing high blood pressure and other complications. Consistency is key to this. Some studies show that women who exercise consistently during pregnancy have larger placentas than does who do not. This is important as the size of the placenta determines how much oxygen and nutrient your baby gets. Exercising during pregnancy is also good for the mother and child’s heart. During pregnancy, you can continue doing the exercises you like, as long as it feels right and isn’t too strenuous or stressful. The best exercises are yoga, walking, Pilates, swimming and light cardio exercises. Remember, this isn’t the time to try setting records or running marathons!
- Stay hydrated: it is important to stay hydrated during pregnancy. Drink at least 10 glasses of water a day and always carry a bottle of water with you. Asides from the normal benefits of drinking water, it helps keep your nausea in check and ensures that the amniotic fluid remains at a constant, healthy volume. Reduce your water intake at night however because it is much more difficult to hold in urine during pregnancy and you may wake up all night visiting the toilet.
- Use sun screen: when pregnant, your skin is more sensitive to sunlight and this could lead to sun burns. Use sun screens when going out and wear sun shades and hats. Avoid sun bathing.
- Go shopping: you are likely to put on a few pounds during pregnancy and some of your old clothes may no longer fit. Also, you have a bigger, rounder stomach and you will be needing freer dresses to keep you comfortable. Your center of gravity would also shift and you will need more comfortable foot wears. Go for more flat shoes and avoid heels and wedges as these could cause your legs to cramps or disrupt your standing position. You should also get shoes at least a size more than your normal size in case of swollen feet. Shopping is also a great stress reliever for some people and it gives you the chance to get some fresh air and do some brisk walking.
- Be more cautious with your spa treatments: spas and massages are great for the body during pregnancy. However, you have to be careful and cautious of the spa procedures you do. Avoid saunas and hot baths as heat isn’t good for the baby. Avoid using some essential oils as well because they cause uterine contraction. Always make them aware that you are pregnant at the spa or salon before performing any procedures.
- Relieving muscle cramps: muscle cramps are quite common during pregnancy. Massage the spots or apply ice packs to help with it. Also, remember to stretch before and after your workout as well as before going to bed to prevent cramping. Staying hydrated and eating healthy will also help prevent cramps.
- Safe flights: there have been events of women going into labor on the plane and some women have narrated stories of being morning sick while flying. Neither of these were pretty. You definitely don’t want this to happen. The best time to travel by air is during the 14 – 28 weeks of pregnancy as the risks of miscarriage, morning sickness and early delivery are low. Nevertheless, be sure to consult your doctor before flying. Also let the alert the air craft crew of your condition. An aisle seat is the best for you. Be sure to drink lots of water on the plane and take short walks every half hour if you can.
- The right sleeping positions: well, sleeping on your stomach is nearly impossible. Avoid sleeping on your back as your uterus presses down on your spine, disrupting blood flow. Sleeping on your side with your knees bent seems to be the best position to sleep. Some people believe sleeping on your left side is best as it maximizes blood flow and nutrients to your placenta, although it has not been scientifically proven.
- Supplement your diet: there are some nutrients you will need to have lots of and you may not be able to keep up by eating alone. Ask your doctor to recommend healthy options for you. Omega-3s play an important role in fetal growth and development. Take high quality, purified fish oil supplements and eat food containing omega-3. Another important nutrient is vitamin D. it reduces the risk of gestational diabetes and other pregnancy related complications. It supports your immune system during pregnancy and is important for the muscle, bone and hormone development of your baby. Probiotics are also very important. It helps ensure your baby gets a good dose of beneficial bacteria, which would help reduce risks of illness in the first few years.
- Self-confidence: you can do this! Lots of fear and insecurities come up during pregnancies. Learn to trust your body’s capability for this great feat. Child birth is a natural process. Understand that it isn’t an illness or disease. Trust in yourself. You will get a hang of it.
I hope these tips help you bring that awesome little human into this world safely.