The time to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle has never been more pertinent than now, when you are pregnant.
Besides the fact that your body will require so much more nutrients and energy to get through the next 9 months with ease, you are now responsible for another living person.
While many newbie mothers take this as a time to relax, put up their feet and pamper their every need, it would be wise to consider doing this in a health conscious manner. Yes, you have been told that this period is the honeymoon phase, when you should be relaxing and not stressing. That is definitely true, especially considering that once the baby arrives, you will have your hands full with barely any time for yourself.
So to ensure that you come out the other side in one whole healthy piece, as well as your baby, you should be applying some basic Do’s and Don’ts along the way.
The 5 Do’s of Pregnancy
DO Eat Well
Regardless if you ate healthy before you fell pregnant or not, now is the time to be aware of what you consume.
While there are now two bodies to feed, you don’t need to be eating double what you would normally eat. A balanced, healthy eating plan of around 2000 calories is more than sufficient for the first 6 months of your pregnancy. Thereafter you can increase your calorie count by around 200 to necessitate the growing baby.
As a general guideline, ensure you incorporate the following into your daily meals and snacks:
- Fruit and vegetables.
- Wholegrain carbohydrates such as rice, pastas and breads.
- Low fat protein portions, such as eggs, nuts, lean meats, chicken and especially fish. (limit your fish intake to 2 portions a week and try to make it a fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, as this is vital for your baby’s growth and in particular their nervous system)
- Plenty of water and try avoid too much coffee or any caffeinated drinks.
If you exercised regularly or sported before your pregnancy, continue what you were doing, so long as your sport or exercise doesn’t involve any jarring movement that could cause issues with your joints or risk you falling.
Building your strength up and keeping toned will bode well for after baby is born. Getting rid of that excess baby weight will be much easier if you keep up regular exercise throughout your pregnancy.
DO Take a Pre-natal Supplement
Your body will need a little help in the nutrient department. Baby will take all it can for his or her growth and development whilst in your womb. So adding in some extra vitamins is paramount.
DO Prepare and Plan
Ensure you have a Birth Plan for the day of the birth. A Birth Plan is where you will decide how you will give birth, whether you will want an anesthetist, a midwife or whether you want your partner present or not.
These are just a few areas to consider on your Birth Plan. Other things to keep note of are the following:
1. Will you be breastfeeding, using the formula, or expressing with a breast pump?
- What will you name your baby?
- Write down a list and pack your hospital bag before the end of your third trimester.
Educate yourself on the birth process as well as start gathering tips on an easy transition from the hospital to your home with the baby.
DO Visit Your Doctor Regularly
Regular check ups are a must. Your doctor will be able to pick up any inconsistencies in your pregnancy process as well as irregularities with baby. Always seek advice and recommendations from your doctor, especially on important things like how much Vitamin D you should be taking.
The 5 Don’ts of Pregnancy
DON’T Drink Alcohol
Remember, what you feed your body will be received by your baby too. Alcohol can have serious after birth defects, such as fetal alcohol syndrome.
DON’T Overindulge on Caffeine
If at all possible, cut caffeine out completely. Because it is a stimulant, there is always the possibility of miscarriage by overindulging.
Cut smoking completely! Possible consequences of smoking during pregnancy are ectopic pregnancies, excessive nausea and/or vomiting and placenta abruption.
DON’T Over Do It
Rest is paramount when you are pregnant, especially in your first trimester, where you will feel extremely fatigued. Listen to your body and rest regularly. Stretching or practicing breathing exercises before bedtime are good ways to help your body and mind relax.
If you struggle with sleeping during this time, try a pregnancy pillow which will help support all those aching bits. Lying on your left side is also better for you.
DON’T Ignore Bacteria
Pay special attention to what you eat. Make sure your food is cooked 100% and that you don’t eat old or molding food. Salmonella and Listeria are types of bacteria that can be found in food. Making sure food is clean, cooked properly and kept away from dirt and feces will assist in keeping bacteria away.
Certain foods should be avoided during pregnancy like soft, molded cheeses, unpasteurized milk and pate.
Pregnancy is a beautiful period in your life and you should enjoy every moment of it. Being aware of your body, your surroundings, your diet and your baby will set you on the path to giving birth to a healthy and happy baby.