There is a lot of information that the Internet, books, and family and friends want to share with you about pregnancy. This can be overwhelming, to say the least. How can you know what is best for you and your baby? For pregnancy awareness week we have made it slightly less difficult by compiling 10 tips for a healthy pregnancy.
1- Take prenatal vitamins
Prenatal vitamins ensure your baby is getting the right vitamins and nutrients it needs. Vitamins such as folic acid, iron, calcium and DHA, which play an important role in bone, vision, and brain development. Find out from your doctor which one will work best for you.
2- Exercise regularly
Daily exercise can help you manage the common discomforts of pregnancy, as well as aid in postpartum recovery. However, if you did not exercise regularly before becoming pregnant, check with your doctor before starting an exercise regimen.
3- Educate yourself
Attending a childbirth class will help you feel more prepared for your labour and delivery. You have the chance to learn more about childbirth and infant care, and you can ask specific questions and voice any concerns. Find out if your hospital allows tours of the maternity ward so you can become more acquainted with the facility and its staff.
4- Listen to your body
The first and third trimesters come with fatigue, which is your body’s way of telling you to take it easy. So, listen to your body and relax when you need to, clean and nest when you have the energy, or take a nap when you are feeling tired.
5- Eat well-balanced meals
A healthy diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, especially while pregnant. Respond to hunger by feeding your body when you feel hungry. Remember, as long as you’re eating healthy balanced meals, it’s okay to give in to your cravings. Know which foods are best to stay clear of and eat according to your needs.
6- Get enough sleep
Once your baby arrives, you’ll have very few moments to yourself. Be sure to get enough hours of sleep a night. If you’re suffering from sleep disturbances, take naps during the day.
7- Write a birth plan
Do you want a doula, or a midwife? Who is allowed in the birthing room with you? Will you take an epidural? All questions that need to be answered before the day you give birth. Here are some things to consider when writing your birth plan:
- Who you want present
- Procedures you want to avoid
- What positions you prefer for labour and delivery
- Special clothing you’d like to wear
- Whether you want music or a special focal point
- Whether you want pain medications, and what kind
- What to do if complications arise
8- Learn about postpartum depression
After giving birth, about 80 percent of new mothers experience sadness and mood swings known as the “baby blues”. If you’re feeling uncharacteristically sad, angry, or guilty, if you lose interest in activities you usually enjoy, or sleep too much, tell your doctor. These symptoms usually last days or weeks after birth, but can occasionally develop into more severe postpartum depression (PPD).
9- Know when to call your doctor
Your doctor is there to help you and your baby on this journey. If you have any concerns, big or small or if you have any of the following symptoms, don’t be afraid to call your doctor:
- Vaginal bleeding or leaking of fluid
- Contractions that are 20 minutes apart or less
- Pain of any kind
- Strong cramps
- Heart palpitations
- Dizziness or fainting
- Decreased activity of the baby
- Shortness of breath
10- Practice relaxation techniques daily
Reducing stress is crucial for improving birth outcomes. During your pregnancy consider learning more about yoga, stretching, deep breathing, or go for regular massages. This will help thorough-out your pregnancy as well as prepare your body for the delivery.
Whether it’s physical, mental, or emotional, your health is important! Book a consultation with us today. We can help you and your baby on this beautiful journey.