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Pregnancy is a ten months long period where you would be going through various new experiences, both emotionally and physically. The health and safety of you and your baby is important. And the way of how you live will have an impact on pregnancy experience and your little one’s development as well.
So, what should pregnant mommies do to ensure a smooth pregnancy experience?
Some common pregnancy symptoms that make all moms-to-be feel uncomfortable include the back pain, tiredness, swelling and mood changes. There is no way to completely get rid of them since your body is supporting the development of another new life. However, maintaining regular exercise may help to relieve the discomforts, and keep your mind and body healthy. Also, it helps to maintain a healthier emotional state as well as to build the stamina needed for labour and delivery.
Depending on your body condition and your doctor’s advice, some safe exercises for pregnancy include indoor cycling, low-impact aerobics, walking, yoga and swimming. These physical activities make your lungs, heart and blood vessel strong. Pilates and yoga help to manage the labour pain by practising breathing and helping you to calm down. However, some activities are not safe for pregnancy. These include hot yoga, scuba diving, and basketball. You should avoid doing activities that involve bouncing, high impact as well as high body temperature like a sauna.
A balanced diet during pregnancy contributes to healthy birth weight and helps reduce the risk of unpleasant pregnancy symptoms. Healthy and balanced eating during pregnancy means to consume a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, protein and dairy products.
Calcium is taken from your bones and teeth to your little one and that’s why you need to ensure calcium intake during pregnancy. It is also needed to keep your blood and muscle moving. At least 1000mg daily of calcium intake from foods and supplements are recommended. You can get calcium from milk, tofu, yogurt, salmon, cheese and cereal. On the other hand, iron is the mineral needed during pregnancy for your body to create red blood cells and move oxygen from the lungs to your body and your baby. Foods rich in iron include raisins, soybean, lentils and chicken liver. Meanwhile, folic acid is important to make new cells and organ development of your baby, you can get it from dark leafy green vegetables, oranges, avocado, broccoli and asparagus.
Sleeping is especially precious throughout the months of pregnancy where anticipation and anxiety come along the way. Getting enough sleep should be a high priority during pregnancy as it not only affects the mother’s immune system, but also the development of the fetus. If pregnant mums are not taking care of their sleeping quality, there might be risks of encountering pregnancy complications like high blood pressure or longer labour. Hence, you need to make sure you get at least 7 hours of sleeping daily. To avoid lack of sleep, you can schedule your time and your next day to-do-list to reduce any predictable stress.
As we all know, massage in general can promote relaxation and increase the blood flow, so how is it helpful for a pregnant woman? Prenatal massage can lower the stress hormone and lessen your muscle tension to help you relieve prepartum anxiety and followed by giving you more quality sleep. It also reduces your lower hip and back pain, which might already start since the first trimester so you can move more comfortably. It includes the head, body and foot massage pregnancy that relaxes and relieves water retention. However, you need to take note to avoid taking massages on your tummy area and also near your delivery date.
Other than maintaining a healthy lifestyle, here are some things not to do during pregnancy:
Alcohol is a no-no during pregnancy as it will be passed through your blood to the baby through the umbilical cord. There might be a risk of miscarriage or causing the central nervous system problem, also known as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) to your baby. Not only do they lead to low birth weight, but they might also cause your baby to have behaviour problems or learning disabilities.
Caffeine is much found in coffee and tea. Although it’s impact is not as serious as alcohol intake, caffeine is still not recommended for pregnant women as the intake of caffeine might pose risks during pregnancy. Caffeine passes through the placenta to your baby. Research suggests limiting caffeine consumption to 200mg per day to reduce the risk of miscarriage and low birth weight. Additionally, it might bring side effects like anxiety, abdominal pain and diarrhoea which double up the discomfort of a pregnant woman.
Food that pregnant women should avoid mainly include raw meat, raw egg, uncooked seafood and unpasteurized cheese. Undercooked meat like raw beef can be contaminated with bacteria like salmonella and toxoplasmosis, which may cause you to be infected and pass the infection to your baby. The same goes to deli meat and undercooked seafood, they could be contaminated with listeria. Many love to eat deli meat with sandwiches, but to protect your baby, you may opt for other safe options during pregnancy. And in terms of the raw eggs, you should also take note of foods like mayonnaise and some custard that contains raw eggs.
The health of mummy and baby are equally important, so it’s always better to think twice before you put anything into your stomach. Furthermore, you can choose to pamper yourself by booking a pregnancy massage. Another activity pregnant mommies tend to enjoy doing is shopping for baby items. You can get quality baby products from an online shop like MumChecked. However, remember not to stock up too many as your baby grows very fast! Enjoy your journey, mommies!