How to Stay Healthy During Pregnancy
Pregnancy can be a wonderful and exciting period of your life. This is especially true if you have been trying to get pregnant for a while. However, while it is an amazing experience, it also comes with its own unique set of challenges, not least of which is a total overhaul of your lifestyle along with the stress it puts on your body.
Putting on weight during your pregnancy is part of the process. You’ll likely shed most of the baby weight after you give birth, especially if you are going to be exclusively breastfeeding. However, this does not mean that you have to “eat for two” or lead an unhealthy lifestyle just because you are pregnant.
If you want to stay fit and healthy during your pregnancy, you can. Experts even recommend doing so as it is a great way to keep you and your little one healthy and happy during this period.
So how exactly can you do it? That’s where this guide comes in. Here is how to stay fit and healthy during pregnancy.
Pregnancy Health and Fitness Do’s and Don’ts
- Do consult your healthcare provider before starting or continuing any diet or exercise routine.
First of all, it's important to consult your doctor or midwife before starting or continuing any exercise or diet program during pregnancy. They can advise you on what is safe and suitable for you and your baby. They will also show you how to modify your routine as your pregnancy progresses. Remember, every pregnancy is different. Don't compare yourself to others. Instead, try to only follow the advice that has been tailored to your unique needs and conditions by your healthcare provider.
- Don’t “eat for two”
A lot of women think of pregnancy as a time to “eat for two.” While you do need some extra calories and nutrients to support your baby's growth and development, you don't need to double your intake or indulge in unhealthy foods. Try to aim to eat a balanced diet every day. Only eat until you are sated, and ensure your meals contain plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, healthy fats, and dairy products.
Avoid foods that are high in sugar, salt, and fat. Similarly, you want to limit your caffeine intake and cut out alcohol completely. Pregnant women should also limit their consumption of fish that may contain mercury, raw or undercooked meat or eggs, unpasteurized dairy products, and anything that may cause food poisoning or allergies.
Finally, you also want to ensure that you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. This will prevent constipation, swelling, and urinary tract infections. These are all common issues that occur during pregnancy, and proper hydration is an easy fix that will make you less likely to experience them.
- Do take care of your mental health
A lot of pregnant women forget to take care of their mental and emotional health during this period. Pregnancy is one of those experiences that can be quite stressful and overwhelming for many women. This gets even worse if you face any difficulties or complications along the way.
Remember, it is completely normal to have some worries or fears about the changes in your body and in your life. It is OK to be worried about the health and well-being of your baby or about labor and delivery. You and your partner may also be worried about what it means to become parents. However, if these feelings become too intense or persistent, or if they interfere with your daily life or your relationships, you may need to get some extra support and help.
Here are some of the things that you can do to help you cope with stress and negative emotions during pregnancy:
- Talk to someone you trust about how you feel. This could be your partner, a family member, your healthcare provider, or anyone else who can listen and offer advice or comfort.
- Join a support group online or in person where you can meet other pregnant women who are going through similar experiences.
- Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation, mindfulness, deep breathing, and so on to help you calm down.
- Engage in hobbies or activities that you enjoy and that make you happy. This could be anything that sparks your creativity or passion, such as painting, gardening, knitting, cooking, watching movies, and so on.
- Make some time for yourself and pamper yourself. Treat yourself to a spa day, get a new cute outfit, and just do things that make you feel good and beautiful.
- Spend quality time with your partner and strengthen your bond.
- Seek professional help if you feel that your stress or emotions are too much to handle on your own.
- Do enjoy the experience!
It is easy to forget to have fun and simply enjoy being pregnant. You won’t be pregnant forever. This is just a short period of your life that brings with it lots of different changes. If you focus on the negatives, it will quickly pass you by.
So try to enjoy this special period of your life. You are never going to forget it, so try to celebrate and be happy about the little miracle that is growing inside you. There is real beauty and wonder in that!
Wondering how to properly embrace your pregnancy journey? Well, here are a few ideas:
- Take lots of photos of your bump
- Start a gratitude journal
- Write about your fears, feelings, and experiences
- Start a mommy blog and share your experience with the world
- Shop for cute baby clothes and accessories
- Decorate your little one’s nursery
- Plan a baby shower
- Choose a name that you love with your partner for your baby
- Don’t stop moving
Pregnancy is not a time to stop exercising or being active. Unless you have any medical complications or restrictions, physical activity can benefit both you and your baby in many ways.
Exercise is a great way to maintain a healthy weight gain while also preventing many common pregnancy discomforts such as back pain, leg cramps, insomnia, and mood swings. It also improves your blood circulation, strengthens your muscles, and reduces the risk of gestational diabetes or preeclampsia. All these benefits prepare your body for labor and delivery and speed up your recovery after birth. So don’t stop moving!
Best Exercises for Pregnancy
The best types of exercise during pregnancy are those that are low-impact. You want to have a routine that is moderately intense and safe for you and your baby.
Some examples of the best exercises for pregnancy are:
- Strength training with light weights
Avoid activities that involve high-impact movements. Here is a list of some activities to avoid during pregnancy:
- Exercises that involve jumping, bouncing, twisting, or turning
- Exercises that increase your risk of falling or injury
- Activities that raise your body temperature too much
- Activities that put pressure on your abdomen or back.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week (or more if you were already active before pregnancy). However, you should also remember to listen to your body and don't overdo it. Stop if you feel any pain or discomfort.
Staying healthy during pregnancy is obviously crucial for both you and your little one. The most important thing is to follow a healthy diet and try to stay active. Also, avoid things like alcohol and too much caffeine. Finally, do not forget to consult your healthcare provider before making any drastic changes to your lifestyle or routine. As long as you follow their advice and give yourself the right amount of care and attention, you should be able to enjoy a happy and healthy pregnancy. Good luck!