Pregnancy can be an overwhelming time for any woman, first time moms especially. As women we tend to worry about all of the little details trying our best to do everything right, and often times feel guilty if we think we are not. There are a few simple things you can do to give your body the best chance of having a healthy pregnancy. Remember, a woman’s body was built to do this, so it does not require much of the over thinking and worrying that you might be doing. Trust your body and give it the healthiest environment possible, then let go and let it do it’s thing!
Seek medical care early – visit an obstetrician/gynecologist to see how far along you are and if everything seems to be normal with your pregnancy.
Avoid unhealthy habits — if you are a smoker this is the perfect excuse to quit! Also, avoid secondhand smoke, paint fumes, and other chemicals. Skip the caffeine, or consume it in moderation. And, make sure that the products you are using are as natural and pregnancy-safe as possible.
Eliminate alcohol – If you are a drinker this is the time to take break. That is easier said than done for some. If your body is used to a daily drink or alcohol has become a coping mechanism it may be a good idea to get outside help. There are many effective programs available such as Alcoholics Anonymous, or treatment facilities like Ohio Alcohol Rehab. There is no shame in asking for help.
Evaluate your diet — do not believe the saying “eating for two”, the average pregnant woman only needs an extra 300 calories during pregnancy. What you do need is a lot of nutrients from a well-rounded, balanced diet! It is best to eat 4-6 small meals each day with a balance of complex carbs, protein, fat, and a wide variety of fruits and veggies.
Water is your new best friend — get a reusable water bottle that you like and keep it with you everywhere! It is very important to stay hydrated. It will help you feel better, increase energy, and help your body do what it needs to do. Do not wait until you are thirsty. Sip throughout the day.
Exercise consistently — pregnancy is not the time to train for a triathlon, but it is extremely important to stay active. Research has proven that women who exercise throughout their pregnancies are healthier mothers who have healthier babies. The list of benefits are too long to list in this short post! Remember that consistency is more important than intensity, so do something everyday no matter how big or small. It can be an hour at the gym or a 10 minute walk. Just move!
Last, but not least…
Sleep! — one of the most common side effects of pregnancy is extreme fatigue. If you feel like sleeping and can squeeze in a power nap let your body rest. It is doing a lot of work that you may not be able to see, so give it a break. Sleeping at night can be difficult as your belly grows and you have to wake up to pee 8 times a night. So, when you can sleep, do!
Try not to stress about weight gain or worry about all of the details. Trust your body, take care of yourself, and await your new arrival!