Oh, the stress of being pregnant and having to do everything right. This is something that especially bothers new mothers who are trying to maintain perfect health. It might not seem easy to do so because there are just so many rules when it comes to pregnancy. But believe us when we say this, it is not that difficult. Some simple things can be followed to achieve a healthy pregnancy. Some of them might even seem rather obvious but they work!
1. Take your prenatal vitamins regularly including the folic acid supplement. Folic acid is best taken even before you are pregnant and trying to be.
2. Take note of what you eat. Avoid the foods that you must avoid but also keep track of the calories that you intake. They need to be roughly 20% higher during pregnancy.
3. Track your weight gain regularly, every month is optimal. You need to gain anywhere between 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. This range applies to single pregnancies and not if you have multiple children.
4. Make sure that you get enough exercise. It does not have to be anything strenuous. You can join a yoga class or take regular strolls around the street. Keep yourself active but also be careful about the type of exercise that you do.
5. Write down an elaborate birth plan. Make sure that you have everything covered. This will help you plan things. You will not be very stressed out as the date gets closer.
6. Make sure that you are generally aware of things. Read books, articles, etc from reliable sources. Keep yourself informed and steer clear of fads.
7. Make sure that you have comfortable walking shoes. It is OK to be dressy once in a while. But comfortable shoes keep you happy and safe as the pregnancy progresses.
8. Do your stretches. Before you go to bed, make sure that you stretch out enough. This will help you relieve the inevitable leg cramps that are part of the late stages of pregnancy.
9. Attend a prenatal class. It will be a fun experience for you and your partner. You will learn a lot more than you think. Moreover, you will get to meet other moms just like you.
10. Do not drink alc0hol. No, not even a sip. It is just a matter of 13-15 months including lactation. Try out creative milkshakes and other low-calorie drinks instead!
11. Avoid heavy chores. Do not lift heavy things from the ground. During all stages of pregnancy, it is best to avoid lifting heavy things. Make sure you take enough breaks between household chores.
12. Be wary of the medication that you are on. Keep a list of what the doctor has advised you to take and what you need to avoid. Consult your physician before you take any new medicine even if it is just a supplement.
13. Make sure that you focus on your mental health. This is very important. Practice stress relief techniques every day. Try exercises like deep breathing or meditation.
14. Know the place that you plan to give birth in. If it is a birth facility, tour the place and get to know it better. Discuss your birthing plan with your OBGYN and get their approval.
15. Visit your dentist regularly. Your dental health is just as important as the rest of your body. Pay attention to any cavities or plaques. This is very important because you will have no time once the baby arrives.
16. Offer to babysit children and babies. You will have the opportunity to practice everything that you have been studying and preparing for. Try to involve your partner as well so that they also know what to expect.
17. Be prepared with your bag. Make sure that everything is packed for your stay at the hospital well in hand. Have a couple of backups as well. One should be near the front door and one in the car. Do this well ahead of time.
18. Try and get enough sleep. It is difficult to fall asleep during pregnancy. With the stress and the hormones dancing around, this might be easier said than done. But try to practice techniques that will help you sleep better. It affects your physical and mental health.
19. Capture every moment if that makes you happy. To remember yourself before you became a mother, take a lot of pictures. Also, try to take a picture every other week to track how you look as your pregnancy progresses.
20. Don’t sm0ke. Also, don’t be around people who sm0ke. Passive sm0king is just as harmful as active sm0king and must be avoided strictly during pregnancy and lactation. Pregnancy is a great time to quit the habit as well.
21. Keep your doctors contact in hand. Do not panic and call them for everything. But trust your deepest instincts. If you feel that something is wrong, do not hesitate to reach out and ask for help.
22. Do not resist all your cravings. Sometimes, it is OK to gobble cheesecake and want some nachos to follow. Just try to eat healthy for the rest of the day. You might have weird cravings like wanting to eat sand or dirt. Get your iron levels checked if you feel that way.
23. Do not offer to change the cat litter. Toxoplasmosis is a disease that is transmitted through cats litter. Pregnancy is a condition when your immunity levels are generally low. This is one of the diseases that can prove fatal for your baby.
24. Limit your caffeine intake. Try to avoid coffee completely if possible or try the decaffeinated version. Limit your tea intake as well but you can have green tea and other infusions.
25. Avoid eating foods like raw meat, raw fish, fish high in mercury, soft cheeses like Brie or Feta. Eat your vegetables and maintain a balanced diet. Eat foods that are rich in folate and calcium.
Pregnancy is one of those periods where you get plenty of unsolicited advice from anyone and everyone. Many of them might be valuable. Do your research and try to avoid stressing out about whether you are doing everything right. The important thing to keep in mind is that you are not alone. Your individual pregnancy experience might be unique but every mother has similar concerns and worries. Trust your instincts and stay safe. Remember to take care of yourself and pamper yourself whenever you can before the baby arrives. Also, talk to your mother if she is around.