First pregnancy self-care tips
Being able to give birth to a healthy baby is one of life’s greatest blessings. Here are our top tips for new mums to maximise their own health during pregnancy.
Sleep is the best medicine!
Proper rest is essential. Pregnancy can be very tiring, particularly in the first and last trimesters. There is a catalogue of hormonal changes that can really have an effect on your physical and mental energy. Be sure to get a full, proper night’s sleep every night. Afternoon naps can also be a restorative addition to the day if you feel low on energy.
Do not feel guilty for taking extra rest – your body is incredibly busy growing a new life! Sometimes the baby bump gets in the way of comfortable sleep, so consider a pregnancy pillow if you need some extra support.
Pregnancy is a unique, strange, exciting, and often wonderful journey in a woman’s life. However, like many of life’s bigger adventures, this one comes with a certain level of seriousness and responsibility. This refers not only to nutrients, but also to the attention, patience and tenderness needed from a mum-to-be to support the health of her baby. So, with that in mind, here are some helpful tips to keep you at your best throughout your pregnancy!
Exercise and yoga
Pregnancy brings its own specific stresses, along with the physical and mental pressures that can build up over the course of daily life. Having a regular routine for working out and doing yoga can be excellent for counter balancing stress. Pick low impact exercise if you need to relax any niggling back pain, boost your blood circulation or just want to move your body to improve your moods.
Yoga is another great option for pregnant ladies as it keeps your body supple and flexible as it changes over the 9 months. However, heavy weightlifting and intense cardio exercises are not allowed while pregnant – for more information, consult your doctor.
During pregnancy, women are advised to drink plenty of water each day. This is for the duration of the nine months. Proper hydration boosts almost every function in your body, promoting healthy tissues and organ function. It also plays an important role in relieving swollen joints and helping the body get rid of any toxins it accumulates. Additionally, drinking water helps preserve a normal amount of amniotic fluid and supports foetal kidney function.
Cut the caffeine
Caffeine is bad for a growing baby. It enters their bloodstream through the placenta and causes high heart rate and blood pressure, affecting both the mother and child. It is also linked to complications such as low birth weight. When trying to cut out caffeinated drinks, herbal tea can be a tasty option that keeps the feeling of a nice, comforting, warm drink – but consult the doctor before drinking as certain herbal teas can have an adverse effect.
A balanced diet
A healthy balanced diet contains many vitamins and minerals, enough fibre, protein, carbohydrates and fats. Stick to whole grain foods, legumes and some meat and make fresh fruits and veggies a big focus every day. It’s important to eat well while pregnant, primarily so that the baby is healthy and develops properly but also because a good diet strengthens the mum-to-be and helps overcome any weakness or exhaustion in the weeks after birth.
It’s essential to regularly visit your various doctors while pregnant to have frequent check-ups and tests. This is essentially to monitor the development of the baby and keep an eye on all aspects of pregnancy. It can even show up certain vitamin or mineral deficiencies so that they can be addressed through supplements or other treatments.
Alcoholic drinks, cigarettes, tobacco and other drugs should be strictly avoided while pregnant. They can lead to a high chance of miscarriage. Smoking also reduces blood flow to the baby’s body which can mean growth and developmental problems. Drinking alcohol is detrimental to a baby’s health and if taken in enough quantities, it causes an issue known as foetal alcohol syndrome which gives rise to a range of problems in the baby.
If you are pregnant for the first time, make sure to go to childbirth classes to demystify delivery! It’s also good to read pregnancy books to gather information about birth and how to look after the baby and also talk to trusted friends and family so that you feel as prepared as possible.
For more information, talk to your healthcare provider or doctors, look up online forums or even join a new mum’s support group in your local area.