Top Five Health Tips for Pregnant Women
Pregnancy is a life-changing experience, emotionally and physically. Your body changes inside and out to accommodate the baby growing inside you. During this crucial time, your choices and lifestyle impact your pregnancy outcomes.
A healthy lifestyle and exceptional prenatal care ensure a safe pregnancy and childbirth. Therefore, many pregnant women make a 180-degree change in habits to keep themselves and their unborn child healthy- or at least are expected to. Here are the top five tips to help you attain a healthy lifestyle and pregnancy.
Choose a healthcare provider carefully
Choosing the right medical practitioner for your pregnancy is essential for your health. An experienced healthcare provider can counsel and provide you with the best advice to ensure a smooth pregnancy. Your doctor ensures you stay fit during the span of your pregnancy by providing a pregnancy plan according to your condition and previous medical history.
In addition, they carry out numerous tests to ensure your blood pressure and sugar levels are healthy and you are free from complications. Your doctor will also monitor the growth of the baby. This will help to warn you of any possible complications during pregnancy or labor and if you will need a C-section.
However, if you or your baby suffers an injury due to a lack of proper care or an improper medical procedure, you must contact help centers. Centers like Birth Injury Justice Center can provide the help you need to fight for the health and future of your child. Choosing an experienced doctor will minimize this risk.
Focus on your diet
Pregnancy will increase your bodily needs. You’ll require more calories and nutrition for yourself and the growing baby. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a woman’s calorie demand increases by 300 during pregnancy. A well-balanced diet ensures you receive all the necessary nutrients. In addition, it lessens the chances of miscarriage, stillbirth, and other complications. Therefore, you must eat a well-balanced diet during pregnancy.
Your diet should include foods that boost your health and fetal development. Vegetables, fruits, and proteins are a must. They provide essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that keep you energized and replenish your nutrient stores. In addition, enriched grains, dairy, and seafood are also beneficial for expecting mothers.
Try to stay away from processed food and artificial sugars. Try to keep your sugar and saturated fat intake minimum to ensure a healthy pregnancy, and opt for yogurt, nuts, cheese, and fruits as your go-to snacks. Moreover, keep track of your vitamins and mineral supplements, especially those for iron, calcium, and folic acid.
Maintain a healthy weight
Whether you are trying to conceive or are already pregnant, weight plays a significant role in pregnancy. Being overweight or underweight can increase your chances of complications and a tough pregnancy. Changes in hormone levels, expansion of body tissues, increased blood volume, and the growing fetus all contribute to changes in weight. Most women with a normal BMI gain 25-35 lbs. during pregnancy, most of which is fat. However, if you are underweight or overweight, then the amount of weight you gain changes.
A healthy weight is a sign of a healthy body and a healthy baby. Therefore, check in with your doctor to know what is an appropriate weight for you. You should see a doctor if you are gaining weight too fast, as the chances of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and a C-section increase. On the other hand, with weight loss, you might face a preterm delivery and a weaker baby.
Your diet and physical activity determine changes in your weight. Generally, experts advise taking 2-3 cups of fruits and vegetables, 6-8 ounces of grains, 5-6 ounces of proteins, and 3 cups of low-fat dairy throughout the pregnancy for a healthy weight. In addition, light to moderate exercise is also encouraged.
Exercise is a must for a healthy pregnancy. Studies confirm the benefits of staying active during pregnancy. Exercising helps in a safe and easy delivery alongside a positive post-natal outcome. In addition, exercise helps lower back pain, alleviates mood, reduces cramps, and lessens the chances of gestational diabetes. According to WHO, most women require light to moderate exercise 30 mins a day or 150 minutes per week. However, it is best to consult your doctor first to avoid complications.
There are a variety of exercises you can do during pregnancy. Low-impact aerobics activities are the best. For women that were already active before pregnancy, exercising is easy. Otherwise, start slow with low-impact exercise if you have a sedentary lifestyle. Try yoga, Pilates, or Kegels, as these exercises relax the mind and prepare the body for labor contractions. Similarly, opt for swimming or walking to boost your energy and enhance blood circulation. Keep in mind that you should stay properly hydrated during exercise and drinking water from a reverse osmosis water filter is a more healthier option during pregnancy.
All these exercises help strengthen the pelvic muscles, increasing the chances of normal birth and lessening the chances of postpartum incontinence. But do not try to overburden your body and take rest between rounds. Avoid strenuous exercises that compress your abdomen and pelvis, activities that can result in a fall, or workouts that can lead to increased body temperatures.
Get plenty of rest
As your body prepares for birth, it undergoes numerous changes. Raging hormones, nausea, back pain, and fatigue can leave you feeling exhausted. In addition, the stress of bringing a new life into this world only adds to the mix. Not to forget insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and GERD, which further reduce the quality and quantity of sleep.
The lack of sleep is detrimental to maternal and fetus health. According to research published by the University of California, women who sleep less than six hours have a higher chance of lengthy labor and c- section deliveries. Similarly, another study shows that women with fewer sleeping hours suffer from preeclampsia, diabetes, and postpartum depression.
Try to get 8-10 hours at night to maintain a healthy sleep. If that is difficult, take short naps throughout the day. Create an environment that relaxes your mind, and get comfortable with a pregnancy pillow. Avoid electronics before bed and consult a doctor if your insomnia worsens.
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As you get pregnant, your focus should be on maternal and fetal health. You should set yourself on a path to improving your lifestyle. Whether it is sleeping early or eating healthy, try healthier choices. In addition, keep track of your appointments and take supplements to ensure you stay free from complications and deliver a healthy baby.