Pregnancy is often a time of joy and excitement; yet with so much information to consider, moms-to-be can feel very overwhelmed! Use these tips to stay calm and healthy throughout your pregnancy. Always remember to stay rested!
Take Care of Yourself More Than you’ve ever had Before
It’s vital to start taking prenatal vitamins, with folic acid. Your baby’s neural cord turns into the brain and spinal cord developing quickly in the first month of your pregnancy.
Vitamins are essential from day one, to keep you and your baby as healthy as possible. Try to stay away from second-hand smoke and don’t drink alcohol. Focus on resting as much as possible, because you will need it!
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What to Avoid Eating, Drinking or Doing when you are Pregnant
There aren’t too many hard rules about what to not do during your pregnancy, beyond abstaining from alcohol and drugs, of course. But because the health of your growing baby is essential, here are some DO NOT’s:
- Don’t eat raw meat, shellfish, deli meat, smoked seafood, raw eggs and soft cheeses.
- Don’t overdo it on the caffeine.
- Don’t take certain medications. Always speak to your doctor prior to taking any medications or even health supplements.
- Don’t change the kitty litter. Cat feces can carry toxoplasmosis, a rare parasitic disease.
- Don’t hang in the hot tub or sauna. Elevated body temperature during the first trimester can lead to certain birth defects.
- Don’t paint the nursery. Paint toxicity is something you shouldn’t be around.
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Get Plenty of Exercise. But don’t overdo it.
Exercise is a great way to help reduce stress, control weight, help circulation and keep your mood stable. Thirty (30) minutes a day will make all the difference. Not to mention, it would help you sleep better and longer. Swimming or even taking a walk outside is highly recommended.
We all get different cravings, whether it may be fruits’ and veggies or a McDonald’s Big Mac.
Start off by trying to drink about 8-10 glasses of water a day. Also, try eating foods that are richened with folate. These foods include cereals, lentils, oranges, asparagus and more. Folic acids create red blood cells and are extremely important in the development of your baby’s neural tube.
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Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support your bladder, bowels and uterus. This simple exercise can help make your delivery easier and prevent problems later with incontinence. You can easily practice kegel’s in the car, while you’re sitting at your desk, or even standing in line at the grocery store.
Here’s how to do them:
-Practice squeezing as though you’re stopping the flow of urine.
-Hold for three seconds, then relax for three
-Repeat 10 times
Drink more water
During pregnancy, your blood is supplying oxygen and essential nutrients to your baby through your placenta and carrying waste away. Which means your blood volume increases up to 50 percent to handle all this extra activity. Meaning you must drink more to support that gain. Drinking water also can prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, UTI’s, headaches, swelling and other pregnancy symptoms. We recommend aiming for 8-10 glasses a day.
Get Enough Sleep
The reason for increasing need of sleep, especially in the first three months, is because there is an increased secretion of progesterone during sleep. Lack of sleep can affect health and it also has a critical impact on pregnant women, potentially leading to maternal complications.
Check your medications
Check with your doctor or midwife before taking any over-the-counter medications, supplements or natural remedies. Even Advil and Tylenol may sometimes be avoided due to side effects.
Write a Birth Plan
Creating a birth plan ahead of time helps you make decisions on how you want your delivery and labour to be and let others know as well.
Some things to consider when writing a birth plan are:
- who you want as your birth partner.
- where you want to give birth.
- what positions you’d like to use during labour.
- what type of pain relief you want to use during labour.
Stretching can keep your muscles loose and ease pregnancy aches and pains. Avoid abdominal stretches, your baby is already doing that for you. Also, abdominal stretches can cause a widening of the gap that occurs between your rectus abdominis muscles during pregnancy. Stretching is a great way to relieve stress naturally.
Manage Morning Sickness
Pregnancy is an amazing experience but the morning sickness that often comes with it? Not so amazing. Some tips to control morning sickness are; eat many small meals instead of eating three big ones to avoid having an empty stomach. Keep snacks on hand at all times (especially at work). Don’t forget to take your multivitamins regularly and avoid spicy/fatty foods. If you’re having troubles eating in the morning, try smoothies!
Last and Most Important Tip: Know When to Call your Doctor.
Don’t ever be afraid to reach out and call your doctor or nurse when you have any questions or any pain whatsoever. A few reasons to call your doctor would be:
- Strong cramps
- Vaginal bleeding
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea and vomiting
- Leaking fluid
- Baby not moving or showing activity
Congratulations! Enjoy the unique pregnancy experience. Take care of yourself more than you’ve ever had before. You have to remember that you are carrying a precious part of your family!
Written by: Melissa Ureten