Your pregnancy test kit shows positive…Congrats, you are pregnant! While you are excited about the news, so many thoughts are racing through your mind! You have this sudden urge to know healthy tips for your pregnancy and almost everything about pregnancy. Remember, as you step into this incredible journey, there’s more to learn every single day.
It is very important to stay healthy during pregnancy. There are many precautions and activities you might want to limit doing or stop during the times of pregnancy. A healthy mother-to-be and healthy pregnancy go hand-in-hand. In addition to the proper growth and development of the foetus, a healthy pregnancy also includes various factors.
These include factors such as a healthy weight, nutritious food, regular exercises, adequate rest, and emotional well-being. It also involves maintaining a normal blood pressure, normal blood sugar level and a big no to drugs, alcohol and smoking.
You can increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy if you take good care of your health. Not only does a healthy lifestyle ensure a smooth pregnancy, but it also adds to your overall well-being. A healthy pregnancy will help you have a healthy baby and also go through the process easily. It will also lead to a healthy and happy family. Which is what everybody wants.
But even if you’ve gone through pregnancy and childbirth before, there is always something new to learn.
Dependable Healthy Pregnancy Tips
It is very good to plan your pregnancy. This does not happen most of the time but it helps prepare the body and mind for the process. Some people just find out they are pregnant after some weeks. This is also perfectly normal. The moment you realize you are pregnant, you need to start taking the necessary steps to help you go through it easily.
Let us now look at quick tips that can come in handy for a healthy and safe pregnancy.
1. Regular Antenatal Visits
As soon as you find out you’re pregnant, get yourself registered for antenatal care (ANC). Planning your care early means you’ll get good advice for a healthy pregnancy right from the start. Ensure that you choose a qualified, easily approachable doctor who can provide you with adequate guidance.
You’ll also have enough time to organise your diary for ultrasound scans and tests that you may need. You can also begin by visiting the hospital for regular checks and pregnancy tips before getting pregnant.
2. Drink Enough Water
Drinking enough water does not only help the body function well but also helps get rid of some toxins in the body. Keeping yourself hydrated also helps in maintaining the amniotic fluid levels. Ensure that you drink at least 10 full glasses of water every day.
Less water can cause morning sickness, tiredness, cramps and also contractions during the second and third trimesters. Water plays an important role in keeping the body temperature balanced. Do not forget your body is now providing for two. Often drink enough clean and safe water everyday to help maintain a healthy body.
3. Eat a Healthy And a Well Balanced Diet
Eating healthy foods is more important now than ever! You need more protein, iron, calcium, and folic acid than you did before pregnancy. You also need more calories. Eat foods that are the main source of nutrients for your baby. Sensible, balanced meals combined with regular physical fitness is still the best recipe for good health during your pregnancy.
Eat foods containing the right amount of nutrient needed for the growth of the body and the embryo. Eat more vegetables and foods containing calcium to help build stronger bones. Avoid too much salt, sugar, caffeine or soda. This is important for the development of the baby. Eat fruits and cereals to help provide vitamins and other nutrients necessary for the development of the embryo.
4. Do Not Smoke and Also Avoid Second-hand Smoke
Once you plan to carry a child, you will have to quit smoking if you ever did. It is advised to stop smoking even months before pregnancy. This is because smoking can do a lot of harm to the child. Smoking is unhealthy for you and your unborn child. It increases the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), premature births, miscarriages, and several other unhealthy outcomes.
5. Take a Prenatal Vitamin
Even when you’re still trying to conceive, it’s smart to start taking prenatal vitamins. Your baby’s neural cord, which becomes the brain and spinal cord, develops within the first month of pregnancy. Therefore, it’s important you get essential nutrients – like folic acid, calcium, and iron – from the very start.
Prenatal vitamins are available over the counter at most drug stores. You can also get them by prescription from your doctor. If taking them makes you feel queasy, try taking them at night or with a light snack. Chewing gum or sucking on hard candy afterward can help, too.
6. Check Your Medications
Check with your doctor or midwife before taking any over-the-counter medications, supplements, or “natural” remedies. Even non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen should be avoided—studies suggest they increase the risk of miscarriage and damage to fetal blood vessels.
7. Keep Your Sugar Level Normal
One thing to do in order to have it a little easy during pregnancy periods is to make sure you maintain your sugar level. This is because pregnancy brings a lot of complications due to the hormonal and physical changes that occur. Reducing the amount of sugar, salt or caffeine intake takes a lot of work from the kidney to process all that. This can be very helpful because too much pressure on the organs and systems might be a problem that can hinder the development of the child.
8. Work Out Your Pelvic Floor (Kegel exercises)
Your pelvic floor muscles support the rectum, vagina, and urethra in the pelvis. Toning these muscles with Kegel exercises will help you push during delivery and recover from birth. It also will help control bladder leakage and lower your chance of getting hemorrhoids.
Pelvic muscles are the same ones used to stop the flow of urine. Still, it can be hard to find the right muscles to squeeze. You can be sure you are exercising the right muscles if when you squeeze them you stop urinating. Or you can put a finger into the vagina and squeeze. If you feel pressure around the finger, you’ve found the pelvic floor muscles. Try not to tighten your stomach, legs, or other muscles.
- Tighten the pelvic floor muscles for a count of three, then relax for a count of three.
- Repeat 10 to 15 times, three times a day.
- Start Kegel exercises lying down. This is the easiest position. When your muscles get stronger, you can do Kegel exercises sitting or standing as you like.
9. Reduce The Intake of Alcohol
If you drink too much alcohol, you might have to stop drinking any form of alcohol for the sake of your baby. Women should not drink alcohol before and during their pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of having a baby with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). FASD can cause abnormal facial features, severe learning disabilities, and behavioral issues.
Alcohol can impact a baby’s health in the earliest stages of pregnancy, before a woman may be aware she is pregnant. Therefore, women who may become pregnant also should not drink alcohol. Yes, it is true that the body needs some alcohol in the system but most of the alcohol we need is produced by the body.
10. Cut Back on Caffeine
Too much caffeine may increase your risk of miscarriage. Caffeine is in coffee, tea, cola, chocolate and energy drinks. Some experts have suggested that too much caffeine may contribute to your risk of having a low-birth-weight baby, although more research is needed to be sure.
Current guidelines state that up to 200mg of caffeine a day won’t cause harm to your developing baby. That’s the equivalent of two mugs of instant coffee. As with alcohol, you may prefer to cut out caffeine altogether, particularly in the first trimester. Decaffeinated tea and coffee, fruit teas and fruit juices are all safe alternatives.
11. Rest and Sleep
It’s important to get enough sleep during your pregnancy. You’ll probably feel more tired than usual. And as your baby gets bigger, it will be harder to find a comfortable position when you’re trying to sleep.
Lying on your side with your knees bent is likely to be the most comfortable position as your pregnancy progresses. It also makes your heart’s job easier because it keeps the baby’s weight from putting pressure on the large blood vessels that carry blood to and from your heart and your feet and legs. Lying on your side can also help prevent or reduce varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and swelling in your legs.
Some doctors specifically recommend that pregnant women sleep on the left side. Because one of those big blood vessels is on the right side of your abdomen, lying on your left side helps keep the uterus off of it. Lying on your left side helps blood flow to the placenta and, therefore, your baby.
Ask what your health care provider recommends. In most cases, lying on either side should do the trick and help take some pressure off your back. For a more comfortable resting position either way, prop pillows between your legs, behind your back, and underneath your belly.
12. Do Some Light Exercises
Unless you have issues during pregnancy, you should get regular exercise. Exercise promotes a healthy lifestyle and can help ease discomfort. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Talk to your doctor about any conditions that may prevent exercise.
Some women say exercising while you are pregnant makes labor and delivery easier. Walking and swimming are great choices. If you were not active before pregnancy, start slowly. Listen to your body and do not overdo it.
Drink plenty of water to prevent overheating or dehydration. It is best to avoid exercises that may cause you to fall. This includes skiing and rock climbing. You also should avoid contact sports, such as soccer or basketball. If you were active before pregnancy, it is probably safe to continue. Ask your doctor if you have any concerns.
13. Maintain Proper Personal Hygiene
Frequent hand washing can protect you from infections such as Group B streptococcus and chickenpox. Because, all these can cause birth defects and other severe complications for your baby. Ethyl alcohol-based hand sanitizers are a great option for those times when you can’t get to a sink. They protect you from most of the communicable infections.
14. Wear Appropriate Clothing
Ensure that you get yourself comfortable clothing. As your weight and shape will be changing rapidly, fitting yourself in tight clothing can suffocate you and the baby. Keep yourself neat and dress nicely. I found this to lift your mood and feel more confident about yourself. This is because it is important to stay positive and mentally strong during this time.
15. Educate Yourself
Even if this isn’t your first baby, attending a childbirth class will help you feel more prepared for delivery. Not only will you have the chance to learn more about childbirth and infant care, but you can ask specific questions and voice any concerns. You’ll also become more acquainted with the facility and its staff.
Now is also a good time to brush up on your family’s medical history. Talk to your doctor about problems with past pregnancies, and report any family incidences of birth defects.
16. Know When to Call the Doctor
Being pregnant can be confusing, especially if it’s your first time. How do you know which twinge is normal and which one isn’t?According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:
- Pain of any kind
- Strong cramps
- Contractions at 20-minute intervals
- Vaginal bleeding or leaking of fluid
- Dizziness or fainting
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
- Constant nausea and vomiting
- Trouble walking, edema (swelling of joints)
- Decreased activity by the baby