If you are expecting a child months from now, it’s important to practice self-care, starting with your physical health. The development of your child will rely on your condition throughout your nine-month experience as a pregnant mother.
There’s a lot that can happen throughout this period and there’s a good chance you will do things that will compromise your baby’s health and yours. By spending time on keeping yourself healthy, you will be able to avoid complications during delivery. Your child also gets to develop properly as they grow.
For that, here’s a guide to keeping yourself in the best condition as you prepare for your child’s arrival.
1. Never skip prenatal checkups
Let’s start with the basics. A visit to a prenatal practitioner is crucial since you will need to get the right advice on everything, from your eating habits down to specific preexisting conditions that could affect the development of your child. With the help of your OB-GYN, you can learn about the status of your pregnancy and receive a prescription for vitamins and medicines that can ease the experience.
You just need to take note of your schedules and try not to skip an appointment. The first round of visits should occur once every four weeks up to the 28th week of your pregnancy. From weeks 28 to 36, you should be able to visit every two weeks. Weekly visits are required once you enter the 36th week of your pregnancy. It helps if you can set schedule reminders using pregnancy apps like Totally Pregnant or Pregnancy Tracker.
2. Adopt a proper diet
During pregnancy, it’s normal to develop cravings for certain food. As your baby grows inside the womb, they will need all the nutrients they can get to come out healthy. However, you still need to limit the kinds of food you consume since not all meals can provide the vitamins and minerals you and your baby need.
Your doctor may advise avoiding caffeine and food that’s rich in sugar. Instead, you should opt for a meal that contains a healthy balance of calories and essential nutrients like iron, vitamin C, and omega-3 fatty acids. Aside from whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables, your meals should also include protein-rich foods such as eggs and lean meat. Make sure not to go over the number of calories required by your doctor.
3. Check your weight
As your pregnancy progresses, you will notice that your appetite is also increasing. It’s easy to find yourself eating over the recommended amount of food advised by your doctor. While this is expected in the first trimester, you still need to check on your weight and stay in shape. You should be able to gain a few pounds incrementally each trimester, but if you notice your weight is packing up faster than expected, then try to lessen the amount of fat, carbohydrates, and sugar you consume. In case you are underweight before your pregnancy, you may need to increase the portions you consume during each meal.
4. Take the right supplements
If you think you are not getting the right amount of nutrients, your doctor may suggest dietary supplements to bridge the gaps. Taking supplements is crucial if you have underlying conditions, such as an iron deficiency or genetic mutations.
It’s recommended for mothers who follow strict diets for personal or religious reasons. A food supplement should provide ample amounts of iron and iodine, two minerals your body critically needs as your pregnancy increases.
5. Steer clear of certain habits
During your pregnancy, you will need to sacrifice certain habits that can interfere with your baby’s development. One thing’s for sure, your doctor will advise you to stop smoking and drinking alcohol.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, these habits can cause complications during delivery and cause birth defects and abnormalities. Consuming cannabis based products isn’t recommended, so you need to know how to quit weed or stop using CBD oil in the first month.
6. Get moving
Adopting a fit and active lifestyle is still important during your pregnancy, so you need to look for a workout routine that strengthens the muscles and bones, eases discomfort, and prepares your body for when you go into labor.
Apart from brisk walks, you can go swimming, attend yoga classes, or undergo strength training. These exercises can boost your mood, enhance your immunity, and increase your tolerance to pain.
Pregnancy is a beautiful process but the changes it causes to your body can catch you off guard. Keep this guide in mind as you prepare to bring your little one into the world.