Written by Liza John
Staying healthy during pregnancy can be an arduous and exhausting journey. Your peers, colleagues, or relatives suddenly spam you with unsolicited advice, urban myths, and more.
Quite naturally, you may find all of this very overwhelming or confusing. In an attempt to separate fact from fiction, here you are, reading this blog.
Staying healthy during pregnancy offers numerous benefits like easier labor, a healthy baby, and faster postpartum weight loss.
Even if you know these facts and want to do the best you can for your baby, staying healthy during pregnancy is a struggle.
The good news is we’re here to help you sort this out. In this blog, we have compiled some helpful tips to aid you in staying healthy during your pregnancy.
Prenatal Health Care
Prenatal health care includes regular check-ups by a midwife, doctor, or nurse throughout your pregnancy period. It plays a vital role in protecting your child’s health as well as yours.
Prenatal health care includes monitoring your child’s development and conducting routine tests to figure out and resolve any problems. It also allows you to ease any discomfort you have or clear any doubts you have.
If you have a healthy pregnancy with no significant risks, you may have to visit your healthcare provider:
- Once every 4-6 weeks for the first 32 weeks.
- Once every 2-3 weeks for weeks 32 to 37.
- Once every week from week 37 until delivery.
It is best to consult a doctor before you get pregnant or while planning to have a baby.
You’re pregnant now, which means you have a little hooman inside you. Now you’ll have to eat more to replenish your body and for your baby.
Healthcare providers and experts generally recommend that pregnant women consume at least 300 calories more than their daily requirements.
If you are carrying multiples or are underweight, you may have to consume more calories. However, if you are overweight, your doctor may instruct you to cut down some calories.
Understanding Your Cravings
You’re about 14 weeks into your pregnancy. Suddenly, you want a triple patty cheeseburger. As you get that cheeseburger, you realize nothing goes better with a cheeseburger than a tall cup of Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Yes, ma’am, your pregnancy cravings have arrived. It is common for pregnant women to crave weird combinations of food at odd hours. These cravings usually start in the second trimester and go away during the third.
It is okay to give in to these cravings once in a while. But be sure to keep a check on the portion size.
You can analyse your cravings and figure out the nutrients your body may be lacking. For example, if you’re craving a cheeseburger, the chances are that your body needs iron, fat, and protein. So instead of getting a cheeseburger all the time, try to add protein, iron, and healthy fats into your diet.
A Balanced Diet
Yeah, yeah, you’ve heard this a zillion times and, you probably know why maintaining a balanced diet is essential. In any case, here are some pointers for you to breeze through:
- Eat loads of veggies especially leafy greens.
- Focus on lean meat.
- Whole grain over refined flour.
- Healthy fats like nuts are *drum roll* healthy.
- Fruits to satisfy your sweet tooth.
When you are pregnant, you’ll need extra essential nutrients like calcium, iron, and folic acid. Your doctor may prescribe you supplements for these nutrients.
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate activity every day.
Walking or swimming are excellent choices to keep you healthy and active during pregnancy. However, avoid some exercises that may pose a risk of falling, such as skiing or soccer.
While exercising, take frequent breaks and stay hydrated. Slow down if you feel too tired or breathless. Discuss with your doctor before taking up any activity or new exercise regime.
Doing Kegel exercises will strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and help ease numerous problems that may develop later on.
Avoid Alcohol, Smoking, And Recreational Drugs.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no safe amount of alcohol to consume during pregnancy. Alcohol can cause severe mental and physical defects in your child. It is best to avoid that glass of wine or mug of beer for the duration of your pregnancy.
Smoking mothers pass on the smoke and nicotine into the fetus as well. Smoking during pregnancy poses several risks such as premature or stillbirth, low birth weight, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Recreational drugs should not be taken at all times, pregnant or not. Having recreational drugs during pregnancy, however, increases the odds at stake. The risks include premature birth, poor growth and many other complications that could affect your pregnancy and child’s development in the womb.
Good prenatal care, eating healthy, and a good amount of exercise will keep you healthy throughout your pregnancy. Additionally, get a good amount of sleep and stay hydrated.