A woman goes through a life-changing phase while harmonizing her physique and psychology with a budding life inside her. The journey is not easy to surmount, and their challenges continue after they give birth. Even insignificant actions and habits like what you eat and how much you drink can also affect you or your child.
Expecting women’s immunity also decreases during pregnancy, and it takes time to regain strength after giving birth. As a result, you are vulnerable to health risks, and negligence can endanger you and your baby. Hence, observe precautions during and after pregnancy to minimize health problems. The following sections discuss how you can ensure your fitness and health during and after pregnancy.
Do not skip parental health checkups
Parental health checkups are essential before and after childbirth, even if your pregnancy tenure is smooth. Some pregnancy and birth-related complications do not surface straight away or appear discernible. The same is true for your baby. Since the unborn baby undergoes an extensive transformation during nine months, you cannot tell if the growth is healthy without screenings and tests. Thus, doctors recommend regular follow-up during pregnancy and hospital stays, even for deliveries without complications or a surgical procedure.
Parental checkups can minimize the risks of childbirth injuries, as doctors can evaluate complications and prepare well in advance. Their preparation will also reduce the likelihood of mishaps and preventive errors. So, stay in touch with your gynecologist to smoothly get through this challenging period. But if you or your child sustains birth injuries even after a thorough health profile, consult a birth injury lawyer for help against deliberate negligence. It will help you cover up care expenditures and facilitate the recovery process.
Eat a wholesome and nutritious diet
Women often experience nutritional deficiency during and after pregnancy due to gestation and breastfeeding demands. Pregnancy complications and blood loss during childbirth further increase their nutritional deficiency. Mostly, they are deficient in iron, zinc, folic acid, vitamin B complex, and other micronutrients and minerals. And their nutritional deficiency continues even after childbirth as they utilize their reserves while breastfeeding. Hence, look after your body’s daily needs. And remember that you do not have to satiate your bodily requirements alone.
Your child also depends upon your energy supply. So make sure you eat more than your dietary needs, and your diet should contain all the necessary vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein. Take multivitamin supplements before and after delivery to restock your body’s needs and deficiencies. But ask your doctor for recommendations before consuming any supplements, as some medications can exacerbate pregnancy complications or affect your child’s health.
Careful food selection is as essential as a healthy and nutritious diet for you and your baby. Since women undergo several physiological changes during and after childbirth, they can develop sensitivity to certain foods. It means some choices can undermine your fetus or newborn’s well-being. For instance, using unpasteurized dairy products during pregnancy can be risky. There is a risk of miscarriage and stillbirth if you acquire listeriosis infection from unprocessed dairy products.
Some women also undergo hypertension during pregnancy, so excessive eating of fatty and salty foods can increase your blood pressure. Eating raw or undercooked eggs is also unhealthy for you and your child. Raw eggs can contain salmonella bacteria, which leads to infection and increases the chances of miscarriage. In addition, some nuts, seeds, and other protein-rich foods can trigger allergic reactions during pregnancy. Some foods can also affect babies and trigger their allergies while they breastfeed. So, be cautious of your dietary choices.
Exercise is an inescapable preventive measure to maintain your health during and after pregnancy. Exercise enhances muscular strength and flexibility and helps expecting women adjust to a new life in their wombs. Your chances of giving a natural birth also improve with a regular workout. Exercise also contributes to better cognitive health and helps pregnant women stay calm and composed during the emotional ups and downs of their pregnancy and the postnatal period. Hence, take exercise as an inevitable part of your childbearing journey.
But do not be reckless and careless while practicing any workout regime. You can harm yourself or the baby if you overexert in intensive exercises during pregnancy. Physically challenging exercises are also risky right after childbirth as your body is still in the healing process, and exertion can rupture your wounds. Hence, go for safe and light exercises like yoga, Pilates, stretching, walking, swimming, and stationary cycling. You can also go for a less exhausting aerobic workout and strength training under professional guidance.
Sleep is an effective remedy to withstand the challenges of pregnancy and childbirth. And sleep deficiency is equally unhealthy. It can increase pregnancy-related risks. For instance, expecting women suffer from emotional and psychological irregularities as their bodies undergo drastic transformations and hormonal imbalances. Lack of sleep further lowers your resilience, stamina, and morale. You will feel more tired, disheartened, isolated, and sick with sleep deprivation.
Hence, allow yourself to rest well. Minimize other distractions and prioritize your rest to deal with childbearing challenges. And if you are already experiencing gestational insomnia, talk to your doctor and sort out your sleep disturbances. Better sleep will help you recover from delivery-related injuries and get into a healthy shape and routine. It will help you stay calm and attend to your newborn’s needs more effectively.
Sun exposure is essential during and after pregnancy. It fulfills your vitamin D intake and restocks your deficiency level. Otherwise, vitamin D deficiency is not solely unhealthy for you but also affects the buildup and health of the fetus. Vitamin D sufficiency also minimizes the risks of preterm birth, underweight birth, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia. In addition, sunlight also has an elevating effect on your mood. It minimizes your chances of developing postnatal depression.
But be cautious of over-exposing yourself, as extensive sun exposure is not safe for you and your fetus or newborn. The most immediate side effect can be skin burn or heat rashes if you have sensitive skin and expose yourself without sun protection. Higher exposure to scorching sunlight and UV rays can also minimize the effectiveness of folic acid supplements. Harmful sun rays like ultraviolet can also pass through your belly skin and damage the delicate fetus. Hence, do not go out without sun protection. And utilize morning sunlight than other times of the day.
Do not take your pregnancy lightly. It is a highly susceptible period for you and your child. Minor incidents of carelessness can create unmanageable complications. And situations can go out of control at any time. But it does not mean you should live in fear during pregnancy or the postnatal period. Just be vigilant of your health and unusual signs. Observe precaution and safety measures to keep the pregnancy and postnatal complications at bay.