It’s the season of love and whether you are expecting or trying I am sure you have a million questions about your little bundle of joy and how to give it a healthy start. Here’s the truth about pregnancy and all it’s glory.
Being healthy before, during and after pregnancy involves so many different aspects of your life. Living a healthy lifestyle before pregnancy is recommended but if anyone understands, I understand the occasional whopper from Burger King or the weeks of inactivity because you are just too tired after work, or the stress involved with keeping up with family, pets, work, and personal needs. However, trying to find a healthy balance is key! Make sure to attend your regular physicals and doctors appointments, and stay on top of your health and immune system. You can do this by taking daily vitamins, eating clean consistently even if you have the occasional cheat day or two. Be active when you can, take the stairs not the elevator, walk the dog rather than let them out in the back yard and do household chores rather than sit around. Simple changes make a huge difference in your energy, mood, and overall health.
During pregnancy it is important to have regular visits with your healthcare provider. These prenatal care visits are very important for your baby and yourself. It lowers the risk of your baby being born too early or the mother experiencing difficulties during the course of the pregnancy. Some things you might do when you are pregnant could hurt your baby, such as smoking or drinking. Your body will change as your baby grows during the nine months of your pregnancy. Lugging around extra belly weight, morning sickness, and aching muscles can all combine to make exercise sound incredibly unappealing. However, keeping active while you’re pregnant will ensure both you and your baby’s health. Regular exercise can make delivery less difficult, make losing your baby weight easier, aid in post birth physical recovery, and encourage healthy fetal growth. Maintain a healthy weight,but do not diet. On average you should only be consuming about 300 calories more per child, per day. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables high in Vitamin C, consume more protein, and get plenty of Calcium and Iron. You may also be tired and need more rest. Not only are you eating for two, you’re resting for two as well. Getting lots of good sleep while pregnant will give your body the time it needs to help your growing baby, making you feel better in the process. Aim for eight hours of sleep minimum a night, and try to catch an afternoon nap as well. Going to bed at a consistent time every night will also help to regulate your sleep schedule. Sleeping on your left side is recommended by doctors for pregnant women, as this relieves pressure from your back and prevents a major vein connected to your uterus from having the circulation cut off. From the beginning, women should consume prenatal vitamins each day after becoming pregnant. Prenatal vitamins contain a combination of high levels of folic acid and iron among other things, both of which are responsible for early development of the baby and reducing the risk of complications and defects such as spina bifida and premature birth.
After pregnancy, maintain a regular exercise routine, nutritious diet, and a good night’s sleep. With this trifecta you will bounce back in no time. When you find your balance, set a schedule and stick to it, it will be your relief in the most stressful and busiest of times. Most of all enjoy the ride and the experience. Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, and it should be enjoyed, so relax and kick those swollen feet up, life has only just begun.