Pregnancy is a miraculous process – or so it seems. As anyone who’s ever been pregnant and given birth can tell you, there’s a lot that goes into ensuring the well-being of mother and child.
True, pregnancy practically runs on a kind of autopilot, but that doesn’t mean pregnant women have nothing to worry about. They have an obligation to themselves and their unborn child to look after their health and wellness.
Pregnant women must also deal with the natural stress and anxiety that comes with pregnancy, especially those who are pregnant for the first time. The uncertainty of the situation, coupled with the physical transformations involved, can be a lot to think about, to say the least!
The good news is most women don’t have to go through pregnancy alone. Their partners, physicians, friends, and family are there to provide love and support. Furthermore, they can seek advice from trusted sources found online!
With this in mind, let’s take a look at seven essentials for a safe and healthy pregnancy:
A balanced diet is essential for ensuring a safe and healthy pregnancy. Pregnant women should be eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean meats. While the occasional indulgence is okay, pregnant women should avoid foods high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats. The best way to do so is to avoid processed foods altogether. Pregnant women should also drink plenty of water throughout the day in order to stay hydrated.
While pregnancy is an encumbering condition, pregnant women can still find ways to exercise. But instead of exercising to lose weight, they’re doing so to reduce the risk of gestational diabetes and hypertension. Exercise can also help improve mood. With that said, it’s essential to speak to your healthcare provider about which types of exercise are safe for you during pregnancy, as the list changes from one trimester to the next.
As the name suggests, prenatal vitamins are formulated to meet the needs of a developing fetus. They contain essential nutrients like B12, calcium, and folic acid, which are critical for your baby’s development in the womb. Taking prenatal vitamins under your doctor’s direction may even reduce the risk of complications and birth defects.
Though it’s easier said than done – especially as you near the due date – quality sleep is essential for your health as well as your baby’s development. The good news is you don’t need any more or less sleep than usual: seven to eight hours each night should be plenty. As a result, pregnant women should limit their caffeine intake as well as avoiding large meals before bedtime. An ultra-comfy sleep environment doesn’t hurt, either.
To say pregnancy can be stressful is an understatement. Unfortunately, overwhelming stress and anxiety increase the risk of miscarriage. As a result, pregnant women often need all the help they can get to maintain their sanity over the course of nine months. With this in mind, consider experimenting with various stress management techniques to find one that works. Examples include yoga, meditation, and deep breathing techniques.
Regular prenatal checkups are essential for monitoring your unborn child’s growth and development. They also serve as a means to detect any potential complications. Lastly, checkups are critical for looking after your overall health and wellness; your doctor will check your blood pressure and perform other checks to ensure all signs point to a safe and healthy pregnancy.
Avoid alcohol and tobacco
It’s no secret that tobacco use and alcohol consumption during pregnancy is detrimental to fetal development. Those warnings you see on the sides of cartons and bottles are there to act as a deterrent, but the real deterrent should be the fear of causing avoidable harm to your unborn child. With this in mind, make a point to avoid alcohol and tobacco for the full duration of your pregnancy.
Pregnancy is wonderful, but it’s not without its potential hazards. The good news is that there are many things that can be done to ensure the healthiest and safest pregnancy possible.
Julie Steinbeck is a freelance writer from Florida. She enjoys writing about business, finance, health, and travel.