The fear of pain and complications while carrying your child is perfectly normal. However, did you know that you could decrease the chances of complications by simply taking care of yourself? This entails adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle in order to maintain your own good health and strength, as well as giving your baby the best start to a great future.
For starters, a healthy diet is beneficial to both mother and child. Healthy diets are much easier to accommodate than people want to believe. Adopting a nutritional diet is easily affordable and you can consider it an investment in your child’s future as well as yours.
Usually, the word diet sounds restrictive. It’s a word with an extremely negative stigma. However, eating a balanced diet and going on a diet are not the same thing; eating well is simply meant to help you lead a healthier life. For an expecting mother, eating five or six well-balanced meals a day is the ideal meal plan. Such meals should include fiber and nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, whole-grain breads and cereals as well as extra-lean meats or other protein. If you’re not used to eating this way, you will soon see and feel the difference. Eating well gives you more energy and makes you more alert. It also helps other systems work better too, like your digestive system.
You may be worried about putting on excess weight during your pregnancy, but keep in mind that often times if an expecting mother doesn’t put on weight, neither can her child. This can often lead to children with disabilities. The ideal range of weight-gain for pregnant women is anywhere from 25 to 35 pounds. This will increase the likeliness of giving birth to a healthy-sized baby.
Consider how important it is to stay hydrated for any given human being. Now imagine how much more crucial it is for a woman expecting and how much more water they must drink on a daily basis. As an expecting mother, you should be drinking at least eight to ten glasses of water a day. Despite the tiresome routine that comes with being pregnant, fight the urge to reach for that iced vanilla latte, or any other caffeinated beverage for that matter.
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An expecting mother should also make the effort to take a prenatal vitamin every day as recommended by a doctor. Folic acids are a must for pregnant women. Folic acids can be obtained through a recommended diet, but often doctors will recommend supplementing that with vitamins. Studies conducted by several universities concluded that women who intake a healthy amount of folic acids at the time of their pregnancy often face significantly lower risks for giving birth to children with birth defects, such as neural tube defects. Such defects can severely harm a child and may take years of surgery to recover.
Just like a healthy diet, exercise continues to be an important part of your everyday life. Exercise is extremely beneficial if practiced safely and appropriately. Many pregnant women combine cardio with more relaxing workouts to stay healthy and strong and to help alleviate some of the discomfort of pregnancy.
Why is exercise so important? A consistent workout routine can help boost your mood. Participating in physical activity can also ensure an improvement in sleep patterns. Furthermore, it reduces pregnancy aches and pains. Working out also helps prevent as well as treat gestational diabetes.
To help you attain the recommended amount of physical activity consider taking pregnancy exercise classes. You could also simply go for a 15 to 20 minute walk at a suitable pace, but be sure to limit yourself to shaded areas in order to avoid overheating. Aside from walking, moms-to-be can also consider swimming, low-impact aerobics or dancing for cardiovascular exercise.
Swimming is deemed as the best and safest exercise for pregnant women according to several healthcare providers. It’s considered ideal because it’s an excellent form of cardio exercise and works out the entire body, but it’s much lower impact than running or biking. Expecting mothers may feel deterred from exercising with the extra weight that’s been gained throughout the pregnancy. Swimming is a good alternative because the extra weight doesn’t really come into play in the pool.
Expecting mothers should also consider looking into flexibility and strength training exercises such as yoga, stretching and weight training. Yoga typically assists with maintaining a healthy muscular tone without putting too much pressure and impact on your joints. Stretching is great for any and all women, but pregnant women specifically benefit from keeping their limbs relaxed and limber. This prevents muscle strain. Stretching should be done before and after any form of exercise. Finally, for women who already weight lift, it may be possible to continue that same workout routine. By taking rightful safety precautions and practicing good form and technique, it’s an equally effective way to tone and strengthen muscles. Before adopting a new workout routine, be sure to talk to your doctor first.
Ultimately, prenatal care is incredibly important. It’s the best way to ensure the health of your unborn child. With millions of women giving birth every year, it’s important to consider the fact that almost a third of those women face complications throughout their pregnancy. Often times it is the women who didn’t receive the proper prenatal care doctors recommend who face challenges later. Never refrain from looking to your doctor for help. One of their biggest obligations is to provide birth mother support and guidance.
Whether you have to completely overhaul your diet and exercise routines, or just make some small changes, become proactive in your pregnancy. Make the right choices for you and your child, so you can both enjoy happy, healthy futures.