Four simple tips for a healthy pregnancy
When considering your healthy pregnancy, there are many resources that will offer differing opinions and the information can be overwhelming. Over nine months you will experience a whole host of hormones, changes to your body and inexplicable emotions. What may seem right in month three may not be right for your body and your bump in month eight. The key thing to remember is that everyone is different: What is right for you may not be right for someone else. After all of the many opinions and expert articles, here are my four favourite simple tips for a healthy pregnancy regardless of your trimester.
Take a prenatal vitamin
From day one, it is important to take a prenatal vitamin. Nutrients such as folic acid, calcium, and iron are all part of your baby’s neural cord development which will eventually become their brain and spine. You baby also needs additional vitamin A, B, C, and especially vitamin D. Most prenatal vitamins are available over the counter. Always take the suggested dosage and always check with your doctor before starting any sort of supplemental vitamin or nutrient.
Get some exercise
Regardless of your trimester, make sure that you exercise. It is important to your general health and reduces overall stress. This doesn’t mean that you need to start (or continue) high impact aerobics - quite the opposite. Look for low impact activities such as swimming, walking, or indoor cycling. A thirty-minute stroll or swim can be just what you and your baby need to stay active and alert. Talk to your doctor about what is safe for you.
Eat five to six well-balanced meals a day. Make sure you are upping your intake of protein, iron-rich foods, and folic acid. Choose foods that are high in fibre to avoid gas pain and constipation, and don’t forget your fruits and veggies! Try to cut down on your caffeine and avoid meat, eggs, and fish that are not fully cooked and/or have high levels of mercury. Make sure that you wash all fruit and vegetables, and keep cutting boards and dishes clean. While this sounds ideal, eating a balanced diet can be tricky if you are feeling nauseous or vomiting so try and make sure you are meeting your baby’s needs with vitamin and nutritional supplements. Always consult a doctor before starting any sort of supplemental regime.
Take time for you
Most importantly, look after yourself during pregnancy. You are growing a human and that is not an easy feat. If you feel nauseous, nibble on crackers; if you have a headache, take some quiet time in a dark space; nap; stretch to help tight and sore muscles; enjoy time with just you and your baby. Make sure that you keep your mental, emotional, and physical health in check at every stage through your pregnancy. A happy and healthy mother is the best gift you can give to your baby.