If you’re trying to have a baby, being healthy before, during and after pregnancy encompasses so many different aspects of your life. A healthy momma-to-be and a healthy pregnancy go hand-in-hand. Here are some tips for having a healthy pregnancy that can come in handy when you’re expecting.
Early Prenatal Care
Make sure to find a good OBGYN and determine a place where you plan to deliver. during the early stages of your pregnancy so that you get the prenatal care that you need. It’s always best to plan the necessary ultrasound scans and tests ahead of time, so that you’re not only aware of them, but also well-prepared.
Eat Wholesome and Nutritious Food
Your body feeds off of energy. Eating whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, eggs, organic meats and dairy products will give you and your baby the right amount of nutrients. These foods are made up of minerals, vitamins, essential fatty acids, amino acids and other essential nutrients. Although you need food to keep you going, you also need to watch what you eat. By all means, avoid junk food!
Drink Plenty of Water
Staying hydrated helps with regulating your amniotic fluid levels. Try and make it your daily goal to drink at least 10 glasses of water. Dehydration can lead to morning sickness, drowsiness, and cramps, as well as contractions during the second and third trimesters. Drinking water also helps prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, UTIs, fatigue, headaches, swelling, and other uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms.
Take Prenatal Vitamins
During the time when you are trying to conceive, it’s wise to start taking prenatal vitamins. Your baby’s neural cord, which becomes the brain and spinal cord, develops during the first month of pregnancy It’s important you get nutrients such as folic acid, calcium, and iron from the very beginning.
Your body is going to go through many changes. One of the most prominent changes is your shape and weight. Fitting regular exercise into your schedule will help you stay healthy and flexible. Exercise helps to cope with stress and goes a long way in helping you in terms of labor and motherhood.
Staying active is important for your overall well-being and can help you control your weight, improve circulation, enhance your mood, and get better sleep.
Pilates, yoga, swimming, and walking are also great activities for most pregnant women, but be sure to check with your OBGYN beforehand. Try and devote 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Listen to your body, though, and don’t push your limit.
Get Some Rest
Getting enough sleep is important during pregnancy. Try and get as much sleep as you can, and rest your feet as much as possible. Some yoga and deep breathing can also help you relax and stay calm. You may feel like you’re busy now, but the moment the baby comes, you’ll have even less time for yourself.
Avoid Alcohol, Drugs and Smoking
Avoid alcohol because it reaches your baby through the blood and can cause birth defects. Drugs and smoking are also equally as dangerous because of their effect on the baby’s growth and health. Smoking cigarettes decreases oxygen flow to your baby and is associated with preterm birth and other complications.
Reduce Caffeine and Recharge with Fruits
It’s much healthier for you to recharge yourself with fruit instead of caffeine. Caffeine has been known to increase the chances of miscarriage. Pregnant women are low on iron, and caffeine makes it more challenging for your body to absorb iron. Most doctors advise limiting caffeine throughout pregnancy. If you’re used to your morning java, replace that urge with a quick pick-me-up by nibbling on some fruit.
Be environmentally aware
If you’re exposed to toxic chemicals, pesticides, radioactive elements, lead, or mercury at your workplace or home on the regular, you should reach out to your OBGYN for advice since these are hazardous to you and your baby.
See Your Dentist
See your dentist before you get pregnant and brush your teeth daily. Hormonal changes during pregnancy causes weaker gums. An increase in estrogen and progesterone levels can cause bleeding and tender gums. So, oral care is especially crucial throughout pregnancy.
Watch Your Emotional Health
Due to hormonal shifts during pregnancy, you’ll probably go through occasional mood swings and emotional ups and downs. If you think you’re depressed and it’s affecting you, don’t be afraid to ask for help to try and bounce back to normalcy.
Strengthening Pelvic Floor Muscles
Kegels strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that support your bladder, bowels, and uterus. If done properly, these simple exercises can help promise a smoother delivery and prevent future problems with incontinence. The best part about it is that nobody can tell you’re doing them, so if you wanted to, you could practice kegels whether you’re sitting in the car or standing in line at the grocery store. All you have to do is practice squeezing as if you’re stopping the flow of urine when you use the bathroom, hold it for three seconds, then relax for three, and then repeat this 10 times.
Track Your Weight Gain
A steady increase in your weight indicates your baby’s growth. Keeping track of your weight is important to ensure that you’re on the right track. Normal weight gain during pregnancy is 25 to 35 pounds, if you are at a normal weight at the beginning of your pregnancy. Your doctor’s recommendations will vary if you are above or below a normal BMI.
Go ahead and get yourself comfortable clothes. As your weight and shape will be changing rapidly, putting on tight clothing could be very uncomfortable and in some cases, even dangerous for you and your baby..
Wear Appropriate Footwear
As your pregnancy progresses, your weight gain shifts the center of gravity and applies a painful pressure on your feet. So, it’s beneficial to wear comfy, nonrestrictive shoes when you’re pregnant. Many expectant moms find they need a bigger shoe size even after they’ve given birth, so go a step up if you have to.
Take Care of Your Skin
Pregnancy makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so you’re more prone to sunburn and chloasma, those dark, blotchy spots that sometimes show up on the face. Remember to apply sunscreen, wear a hat, and put on your favorite pair of shades before heading outdoors!
Although you have to watch what you eat, listen to your body and give in to the cravings that pop up sometimes. Treat yourself with a lunch out, a manicure, a much-needed day out with your friends, or by going out for a quiet stroll. These activities relieve both you and the baby.
Even if this isn’t your first rodeo, going to a childbirth class will make you feel more prepared for delivery. Not only will you have the opportunity to learn more about childbirth and infant care, but you can ask questions and voice any concerns.
Now is also the time to review your family’s medical history. Go over things with your obgyn including issues with past pregnancies, and inform them about any family tendencies of birth defects.
Pregnancy-related lifestyle changes and hormonal changes can be stressful. Life during pregnancy is a rollercoaster ride and may be overwhelming. So, finding ways to control stress is important. You can manage stress by changing the way you respond to situations at home or at work. Meditation, yoga, and doing arts and crafts can help to de-stress.
Talk to Your Baby
Talking to your baby can be a remarkable and soul-soothing exercise. It helps you establish the bond and communicate with your little one. You can tell your baby how you feel about your family, the food you eat and activities that you enjoy. You could also sing and read to your baby!
If you’re looking to speak with an obstetrician in Fort Lauderdale for more pregnancy care tips or general women’s health tips, give Dr. Ghea, a top female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale, a call at 954-473-2011 to set up an appointment at Westside OB/GYN Group.