You just found out you’re pregnant. Congratulations! It’s such an exciting time. Some moms worry throughout their pregnancy if they are making healthy choices. It’s completely normal to worry - After all, you do have another life in your hands. From the food you put in your body, the products you put on your skin, and even the amount of sleep or emotions you feel can make you worry. Here are seven tips to a healthy pregnancy so you can put your mind at ease.
1. First Thing First - Your Prenatal
The healthiest thing you can do for your body and your developing baby is to take a prenatal vitamin regularly. During the first month of pregnancy, your baby’s neural cord, which will eventually become the spinal cord and brain, develops at this stage. Nutrients like iron, calcium, and folic acid are critical from the day you find out you’re pregnant. You can either ask your doctor for a prescription for prenatal vitamins or purchase them over the counter.
2. Eating Healthy
Sometimes it can be hard to eat while pregnant, especially in the beginning. You may experience severe nausea that takes away your appetite. It’s still important to strive for healthy food options. Try not to forget breakfast. Even if you eat a breakfast cereal that is fortified with added nutrients such as calcium. Even eating whole wheat toast will still provide your body with nutrients. Foods with fiber is ideal - Think of foods like melons, bananas, carrots, and fruits and vegetables. When you reach for the cupboard or fridge door, make sure you are grabbing a healthy snack such as fruit, yogurt, or even whole grain crackers.
3. Get Moving
Unless otherwise stated by your doctor, exercise is beneficial during pregnancy. Some benefits include sleeping better, natural mood boost, stress reduction, healthy weight, and improved circulation. Even if you just walk for 20 minutes per day or take a pregnancy exercise class, that is sufficient enough. Again, it’s always important to talk with your doctor about the exercise you want to try to make sure it’s safe as every pregnancy and woman’s body is different.
4. You Have a Legitimate Reason to Pass on Chores Now!
Okay, maybe not ALL chores but you can pass on some of the not-so-fun stuff. For example, if you are a cat owner, you will have to ask someone else in the household to scoop your furry friend’s litter box. It’s risky to scoop litter while pregnant because of toxoplasmosis, which is a disease by a parasite that cats can harbor. Additionally, you won’t be able to lift anything heavy or climb on ladders. If you need to clean the bathroom, kitchen, or any other part of your home with chemicals, you will get to pass on that (unless you switch to a natural cleaner, but why not let someone else help with the chores so you can relax.)
5. Good Excuse to Buy New Shoes
You may have several pairs of shoes in your closet, but you still will need to buy a new pair. As your baby bump grows, your feet may grow and swell. Natural weight gain will throw off your center of gravity and apply pressure on your feet. It’s common to retain water during pregnancy, causing your feet and ankles to swell. You will need a pair of comfortable shoes that are non-restricting. If you do happen to notice swelling, put your feet up as much as possible.
6. Lather on Sunscreen
If you’re pregnant during the summer months, your skin can become more sensitive to the sun. Use a sunscreen that is at least 30 SPF. Wearing sunglasses and a hat is also beneficial. The American Pregnancy Association recommends avoiding tanning beds while pregnant.
7. Do You Know When You Should Call Your Doctor?
“Should I call my doctor?”, “Is this cramp normal?”, “What if I call and they think I’m paranoid?”, or “Maybe I’ll just put it off ...I’m sure it’s nothing.” - Sound familiar? You’re not alone - Many women wonder when and if they should call their doctor while pregnant. It’s important to know that your doctor has heard every question and worry before. You’re not bothering them. It’s their job to make sure everything is okay. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Here are some symptoms you should never ignore at any point in your pregnancy. If you experience these, contact your doctor:
- Strong cramps
- Decreased fetal movement
- Fainting or dizziness
- Heart palpitations
- Edema or trouble walking
- Shortness of breath
- Leaking fluid
- Vaginal bleeding
- Any pain
Pregnancy is such a beautiful and precious time. Being healthy during this time is critical not only for you but your developing baby as well. Did we miss anything? Comment and let us know - We want to ensure all momma’s are experiencing a healthy pregnancy. Help us spread awareness.