If you are pregnant, or planning to become pregnant, then it’s important to know some useful tips on keeping healthy during your pregnancy. This will not only help you, but will help your baby too, and in some instances, can even make labor quicker, which is always a good thing! So here are our tips on how to achieve a healthy pregnancy.
Taking vitamins and supplements can really help during pregnancy. Your baby’s neural cord, which will eventually develop into the brain and spinal cord, grows during the first month of pregnancy, so supplements are great to start before you’re even pregnant, as it gives your baby a great environment to grow in. Topping up on your folic acid, iron, and calcium levels will help you and your baby. Supplements can also be useful if you are suffering from pregnancy related issues such as IBS. Check out the ibguard ingredients here to find out more.
You may not feel like exercising, particularly the further along you progress with the pregnancy, but exercise is a great thing to do when you’re expecting. Regular exercise helps you to keep control of your weight, improves your circulation, makes you feel happier and healthier, and can even help you to sleep better, all of which are important ingredients for a mom to be to have a healthy pregnancy. The best kinds of exercises to get involved with during pregnancy are low impact ones such as yoga, swimming, walking, and Pilates. Half an hour a day should be plenty, but listen to your body, and don’t overdo it.
Practice Your Kegels
Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, and that’s useful because, done right and regularly throughout your pregnancy will make your delivery much easier (plus it can also help to reduce the risk of postpartum incontinence). The great thing about this exercise is that no one will know you’re doing it, and you can do it at any time, any place. The way to do it: squeeze as though you’re stopping the flow of urine. Hold for three seconds. Relax for three seconds. Repeat 10 times. How easy is that!
Household chores still need to be done even when you’re pregnant, but some of them are no good for a mom to be. Exposure to toxic chemicals, coming into contact with bad bacteria, and lifting heavy items is not a good idea when you have a baby growing inside you. You shouldn’t climb up onto surfaces either, or stand for long periods, and changing cat litter is a definite no no (it can cause toxoplasmosis). So, if you can swap these chores with someone else in the household, that’s an excellent idea. If not, you might want to ask friends and family to help you out, or employ someone to do the housework for you.
Keep an Eye on Your Weight
It’s natural – and obvious – to gain weight during pregnancy, but don’t use that as an excuse to eat anything and everything because it doesn’t matter. It still does. Keep an eye on your weight and try to keep within healthy limits. Packing on too many extra pounds during pregnancy can make them extremely difficult to shift later. On the flip side, not gaining enough weight during pregnancy can cause your baby to have a low birth weight, and even have developmental problems. If you were considered underweight before pregnancy, you should expect to gain between 28 and 40 pounds. Normal weight, you’ll gain between 25 and 35 pounds. Overweight will see a raise of between 15 to 25 pounds, and if you are obese you should gain between 11 and 20 pounds to keep on a healthy track.
Look After Your Feet
Pregnancy is the perfect time to buy shoes because your bump isn’t the only thing that is growing – many women find that their feet do too. For some they grow; for others, it’s more the feeling of growth. That comes from the center of gravity being thrown off course thanks to the baby’s additional weight being carried all at the front, and that puts extra pressure on your feet, and they flatten out. Plus, you might experience fluid retention, which makes your feet and ankles swell. Wearing shoes that fit properly and have the right support will make you a lot more comfortable.
Add Folates to Your Diet
Folic acid helps your baby to develop, so eating foods that are rich in it is the ideal way to help out. Food that includes a lot of folic acid are fortified cereals, oranges, lentils, asparagus, wheat germ, and more.
Cut Out the Caffeine
Consuming too much caffeine during pregnancy can be harmful to your baby (plus it’s not entirely great for you either, even if you’re not pregnant). Cutting down – or cutting it out – is a great option. That can be hard, though, as many coffee and tea drinkers do so out of habit. If that’s the case, try eating some fruit when you’re itching for a caffeinated beverage – the natural sugars in foods like apples and bananas can really quench the thirst. Check labels on other drinks too; caffeine can be found in plenty of surprising places, and soft drinks are one of the culprits.
When you’re pregnant, your skin is more sensitive to sunlight, so you can burn a lot more easily than you might otherwise. Ensure you apply a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more for the best protection – you can even find chemical free formulas if that works best for you. Wear sunglasses and a hat too, and although there’s no conclusive evidence that says tanning beds can harm your baby, it’s probably best to steer clear of them just in case.
Listen to Your Cravings
No one really knows why some women get cravings for certain foods during their pregnancy, but it could be that your body is telling you that it needs something, that it’s lacking some nutrients. It’s fine to give into your cravings, but limit how much you have (assuming it’s something unhealthy, of course). You’ll feel better if you just have a small amount; too much and that ‘morning’ sickness can strike.