12 Great Tips for a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy
Anytime the subject of pregnancy comes up in conversation, it is often linked to the uncomfortable parts of being pregnant, such as morning sickness, back pain and stretch marks. Having a healthy pregnancy is possible, however. These 12 tips will help pregnant women have a healthy and happy pregnancy.
1. Take Prenatal Vitamins
During pregnancy, the growing baby needs vitamins and minerals to grow properly. Unfortunately, if these vitamins and minerals aren’t a regular part of a pregnant woman’s diet, the body will pull them from the woman’s body in order to provide for the baby. Taking a prenatal vitamin regularly will ensure that iron, calcium and folic acid levels remain steady in both mom and baby.
2. Exercise Regularly
Most women can continue to exercise at the same intensity and frequency as before they were pregnant, and women who did not exercise prior to getting pregnant should begin. Exercising regularly during pregnancy keeps blood pressure and blood sugar levels steady, makes labor easier and can prevent unnecessary weight gain. Swimming, walking and yoga are all great, low-impact options.
3. Drink Plenty of Water
Swelling is a common symptom during pregnancy that can be extremely uncomfortable. Drinking plenty of water will help the kidneys flush out the retained water and reduce swelling.
4. Get Plenty of Sleep
It’s common for women to tire more easily during pregnancy. This is due to hormonal changes and the extra work that the body is required to do in order to grow a baby. Pregnant women should aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
5. Eat Healthy
Both the growing baby and pregnant mom need a balanced diet of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats for optimal health. While it’s okay to occasionally give in to unhealthy cravings, women who eat healthily have a reduced risk of developing gestational diabetes, a condition that can complicate pregnancy.
6. Stop Smoking
Women who smoke should stop smoking before conceiving or as soon as a pregnancy is confirmed. Smoking puts a baby at greater risk of developing birth defects and can cause complications in a woman’s pregnancy.
7. Check Out Soaps, Lotions and Cosmetics
Everything that a woman puts on her skin during pregnancy can be absorbed by the body and affect the growing baby. Check labels to avoid products that contain retinoids, hydroxy acids, salicylic acid and steroids.
8. Take a Pregnancy Class
No matter if it’s a woman’s first or fifth pregnancy, it’s always a good idea to take a pregnancy class. Pregnancy classes can reduce any stress and anxiety a woman feels as labor approaches.
9. Try Using Natural Remedies
Because everything that a pregnant woman consumes will affect the growing baby, many medications are discouraged during pregnancy. Trying natural remedies, such as peppermint for nausea or milk for heartburn, can help promote a healthy pregnancy.
10. Make a Birth Plan
Having a birth plan in place will help ensure that a woman gets the birth that she desires. It’s also important to remember, however, that the doctor’s priority is keeping both mom and baby healthy, which may mean that a birth plan must be adjusted during labor and delivery.
11. Ask for Help
Many women try to do it all but asking for help can mean less stress and a healthier pregnancy. Don’t be afraid to take friends or family up on offers to watch other children or provide meals during pregnancy.
12. Call the Doctor Immediately with Any Concerns
Bleeding, sudden headaches, pain in the side or severe cramping can indicate more serious conditions that can harm both mom and baby. If anything feels off, it’s best to call the doctor in order to ensure that further action doesn’t need to be taken.
Pregnancy doesn’t need to be a time of anxiety and feeling uncomfortable. Take these steps in order to ensure a healthy pregnancy and a happy mom-to-be.