Pregnancy is the time when women must understand that self-care is more important than ever. It is the thumb rule of taking care of the bundle of joy in their belly. You will probably have everyone around you, your doctor, friends, family, and co-workers, offering advice on what you should be doing to stay healthy, stress-free, and happy during the next nine months.
But, it entirely depends on you on how you can stay healthy when you are pregnant. Thus, it becomes paramount that you know everything about how you can keep yourself and your baby healthy. Here are some tips to make your work easier on how to stay healthy during pregnancy.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Your aim during pregnancy should be to bid goodbye to junks and only munch on a healthy and balanced diet whenever you can.
- Try to have at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day
- Include sure servings of protein – eggs, nuts or pulses, milk and other dairy foods daily
- Have plenty of carbohydrates. Add bread, pasta, and rice in your meals. Focus on whole grain carbs rather than white, as you will get plenty of fiber.
- At least two portions of fish per week with one being oily. Fish is a rich source of protein, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids, which assist in the growth of the baby’s nervous system.
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Many suggest that expecting mothers should start eating for two during pregnancy. Don’t indulge in overeating just because people say that your unborn baby needs food. In fact, you do not require extra calories for almost the first six months of pregnancy. In is only during the last three months that you need extra 200-300 calories every day as your baby requires nutrients during the development stage. Moreover, healthy snacks will ensure your energy levels are always high.
Take Note of Food Hygiene
Not every food available in the market is fit to be eaten during pregnancy because some of the food items carry certain health risk for the baby.
For instance, items like unpasteurized milk, under cooked ready meals, or soft, mold-ripened cheeses, such as brie contain listeria bacteria and consuming these may cause Listerine infection. Even though it is a rare disease and doesn’t pose much threat to your health, it is known to cause pregnancy or birth complications and can even lead to miscarriage. Thus, it is best to avoid consuming such food items.
Don’t be so alarmed; there’s a way to get over the infection. Heat can destroy the listeria bacteria, so you must consume heat ready meals thoroughly to avoid any interaction with the bacteria.
Also, you can catch salmonella which leads to food poisoning by eating under cooked poultry. Moreover, you can catch toxoplasmosis infection that is caused by a parasite. This rare infection can affect your still-to-be-born baby. So, to cut down the risk of catching it, you must
- Cook meat and ready meals thoroughly
- Thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables to remove soil or dirt covering them
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Make Sure You Exercise Every Day
Regular exercise is a must for mums-to-be as it had many benefits including
- Builds strength and endurance which is helpful in coping with the extra weight of pregnancy
- Make it easier to get your body shape back post-delivery
- Boosts spirits and also wards off depression
Helps in overcoming backaches
Some exercises during pregnancy include:
- Brisk Walking
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Keep Away from Alcohol and Substance Abuse
If you are into drinking alcohol and taking illegal drugs, you habits may harm your unborn baby’s health during pregnancy. The chemicals contained in the alcohols or drugs cross the placenta and enter your baby; thereby, putting the baby at risk for conditions such as low birth weight, birth defects, stillbirth, developmental delays, and behavioural problems. Hence, if you smoke, drink or take drugs regularly it is imperative for you to quit it to give your baby a healthy start to life. In case, you are finding it difficult to get over the urge of taking drugs, you can indulge in treatment programs that help pregnant women with addiction and abuse to get over these things.
Take Proper Rest
It is a common feeling among pregnant women that they feel fatigue during the first few months. It is mainly because of high levels of pregnancy hormones that circulate in the body. However, after a given period, these hormones work to send signals to your body to slow down.
In case, you find it difficult to sleep at night; you must catch up on the lost sleep by taking a nap in the middle of the day. If you are not able to do that as well, it is advisable to at least put your feet up and relax for some time to get over the fatigue.
You can indulge in some exercise as it can help you overcome sleep problems. Just make sure you do not exercise too close to bedtime. Moreover, you can try some relaxation techniques like stretching, yoga, massage, deep breathing, and visualization to wind down before going to bed.
Pregnancy requires you to take excellent care of yourself both physically and emotionally. These are a few ways of staying healthy during pregnancy and ensuring that you have a problem-free pregnancy and a healthy baby.