Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful yet challenging phases in a woman’s life. The entire period is a series of highs and lows, making it emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausting, especially for first-time mothers. If you’re currently expecting, these 14 tips can help make your pregnancy journey healthier, safer, and more enjoyable.
Wear maternity clothes
Wearing comfortable clothing that can help minimize physical discomforts such as backaches, breast pains, and leg cramps are essential during this challenging period. You don’t need to replace your wardrobe, but make it a point to invest in pieces that can make your pregnancy journey and the transition to motherhood easier. Choose brands such as Dainty Jewells that offer high-quality maternity clothes.
Consistent and healthy self-care habits are essential during pregnancy. Remember that your overall well-being will directly influence the health of your unborn child, so you need to nourish yourself. Indulge in pampering and mindful activities such as:
- Getting a prenatal massage
- Trying aromatherapy
- Enjoying a luxurious bubble bath
- Getting a haircut or pedicure
- Spending time outdoors
- Reading a non-parenting book
- Doing yoga
- Traveling with your partner
- Watching a movie
Prepare for parenting
Parenting can be highly rewarding, especially for those who are well-prepared for its challenges. Educate yourself about motherhood by reading parenting books, spending time with expecting parents, taking parenting classes, and consulting with professionals. While there’s no true expert in parenting, the knowledge you will gain during this period will make you more confident in your future role as a parent.
Spend time with loved ones
Experiencing various emotions is normal while pregnant. Spending meaningful time with your loved ones can help reduce pregnancy stress and make you more mindful of the present. It can also help manage your mood swings caused by fluctuating pregnant hormones, metabolism changes, fatigue, and physical discomforts.
Reach out for emotional support
Aside from your loved ones, talking to other expecting parents can provide you with the necessary emotional support during this sensitive time. Thanks to technology, there are multiple groups on social media where you can connect with fellow moms-to-be. Remember to practice caution when sharing with others online and only digitally socialize with members from verified accounts.
Talk to a therapist
Pregnancy can bring about negative emotions that you otherwise won’t have to deal with, and not addressing them can lead to severe emotional and mental issues. If you’re hesitant to connect with other parents, consider speaking with a licensed therapist instead, as they are trained to help you handle anxiety and manage depression symptoms.
From managing weight gain, reducing stress, addressing insomnia to easing discomfort, promoting quality sleep, controlling blood pressure, and strengthening your body for labor, staying active while pregnant offers numerous benefits. Some of the best pregnancy exercises are walking, proper sitting, leaning, pelvic rocks, butterflies, and forward-leaning inversion. Make sure to discuss with your doctor first about integrating a fitness activity into your daily routine.
Eat a well-balanced diet
Eating healthy is critical during pregnancy. You and your baby need proper nutrients to stay strong and healthy. Strive to eat foods rich in calcium and fiber and low in saturated fat. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and cereals. Steer clear from fish with high mercury content, soft cheeses, uncooked meat, and unpasteurized milk products. Limit your sweets and avoid eating processed foods if possible.
Take your prenatal vitamins
Eating a well-balanced diet may not be enough to ensure a healthy pregnancy. You should also take prenatal vitamins as they contain higher levels of nutrients that most pregnant women require. Folic acid, iron, and calcium are essential nutrients you need to consume daily to support your growing baby. Remember to consult with your doctor and never take unprescribed medications as they may cause irreversible complications to your baby.
Get enough sleep
Expectant mothers need ample and quality sleep during this sleep-elusive period. Pregnancy can be highly-demanding, and lack of proper sleep can lead to depression, a weak immune system, weight gain, and a higher chance of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Strive to get at least seven to nine hours of shut-eye every night. Nap as often as you can and always rest whenever you feel tired. Turn your bedroom into a conducive haven and try to stick to a bedtime routine.
Experts advise pregnant women to consume eight to twelve glasses of water daily. Aside from keeping your amniotic fluid at a healthy level, staying hydrated can:
- Soften your skin
- Increase your energy
- Reduce constipation
- Decrease risk of preterm labor and urinary tract infections
- Keep your body temperature cool, especially during hot months
To further increase your fluid intake, consume foods with high-level water content, such as strawberries, watermelon, lettuce, cucumbers, and cantaloupe.
Go to your prenatal check-ups
Expectant mothers who tend to forego prenatal care are more likely to experience birth complications. Explore your practitioner options and choose someone that best suits your needs and preferences. Remember that they will be with you throughout your entire pregnancy journey, so make sure you are comfortable and confident with their abilities.
Stop drinking alcohol
Drinking alcohol while pregnant can lead to miscarriage and premature birth. Your baby can also develop Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Some of the symptoms of FASD include:
- Speech and language delays
- Difficulty with attention
- Poor memory
- Low body weight
- Small head size
- Learning disabilities
- Vision or hearing problems
- Heart, bones, and kidney problems
- Difficulty in school
- Hyperactive behavior
- Poor judgment and reasoning skills
- Poor coordination
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking while pregnant increases the risks of developing health problems such as low birth weight, preterm birth, and mouth and lip defects. Children born to pregnant smokers are also more prone to become smokers at an early age.
Staying healthy and happy while pregnant comes with certain challenges. With these tips and the right mindset, you can enjoy this wonderful life chapter and safely deliver your little one.