How will you ensure your emotional, physical and mental well being in pregnancy? Pregnancy is a phase where a lot of changes happen to your mind and body, owing to the pregnancy hormones and it is very essential to know that you need to take extra care of yourself so that you and your baby feel safe and sound for the entire gestational period1.
1. Eat Well
It is true that eating for two in pregnancy is a myth but it is also undeniable that eating well is really important. While you will only need 300 additional calories to support a pregnancy, you will need to ensure that your nutrition is coming from a variety of sources and you are including all the vitamins, proteins, minerals and calcium that your body needs for the development of a healthy baby. While your regular protein needs are 45 mg, your pregnancy protein needs are almost 70-75 mg per day so always remember to stock up on lean meat, lentils and well-sourced dairy products. Iron stores tend to get depleted in pregnancy so include more iron-rich food like leafy greens, nuts, meat, and fish in your diet. Your calcium levels may fluctuate in pregnancy and this is the time to add cheese, yogurt, milk and spinach to your meals.
2. Rest Well
With pregnancy hormones taking over, you are bound to feel drowsy and lethargic through the day, especially in your first trimester. Do not deny your body this rest that it demands. Taking short breaks in between prolonged hours of work, sleeping well at night and taking power naps in the day will help you to feel relaxed and your body will thank you for it. Moreover, once the baby is here, you will thank yourself for sleeping well and for preparing your body to go through sleepless nights in a row. A well-rested mind and body are much better at enduring sleeplessness.
3. Stay Active
It is a myth that you will need to lie down all day as soon as you get to know that you are pregnant. Staying active from the beginning to the fag end of pregnancy, helps to avoid problems like lower backaches, leg cramps, varicose veins, and Gestational Diabetes. It also helps in preserving general well-being. Walking at a moderate pace everyday will keep those sudden cramps away. You might also have an easier labour and childbirth if your keep your body up and going through this phase. From simple stretching to prenatal yoga, the choice of exercise is your own to make.
4. Doctor Visits
Ensure that you don’t miss any prenatal visit so as to keep your health closely monitored. The doctor will be in a better position to identify if you need any medical assistance beforehand. Do not forget your dentist visits. Pregnancy often leads to swollen gums and other dental problems that can be dealt with more easily if a doctor assists you in looking after your oral hygiene.
Pregnancy is not just about your baby but also about you. If you keep well, you will end up delivering a healthy baby so start with yourself today!