I received compensation for this postThere is nothing on earth that feels the same as that moment, when you get a positive on a pregnancy test. Whether it’s the result of five years of desperate trying, or a happy accident, finding out you are pregnant for the first time or the fifth time is a life-altering event.
When the shock has passed, one of the most important things to think about is how to take care of yourself and your baby in these precious few months that you are carrying your child.
We have compiled a list of five things to do to do for the healthiest pregnancy and to give you and your baby the best start in life.
Stop Drinking and Smoking
Mums who drinking a lot during their pregnancy are at very high risk of giving birth to a baby with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). FASD can lead to serious birth defects, learning disorders, and according to the FASD Trust can grossly affect your unborn child’s future life.
If you can’t go without your glass of Sauvignon on a Friday night, then try to limit it to one or two glasses a week—with none in the first trimester. It’s hard, but why take the risk?
Smoking during pregnancy can also cause serious complications including miscarriage, low birth weight, premature birth and cot death. That’s aside from adding to some unpleasant pregnancy symptoms for you, such as nausea, vomiting and placental abruption.
You know all those healthy-eating diets your promised yourself you would go on? Now is the time to really clean up your dietary habits. If you make sure you eat a healthy, balanced diet then you will create a better pregnancy for yourself, make sure your baby is as healthy as possible and not have to spend months trying to lose baby weight at the other end.
Healthy eating includes:
· 5 portions of fresh fruit and vegetables
· Lean meats and fish
· Plenty of healthy wholegrain carbohydrates
· Lots of protein such as nuts and eggs
Remember that you don’t actually need to eat for two until the last trimester of your pregnancy; even then it’s only a few hundred extra calories a day. For more information on healthy eating, check out the NHS website for a wealth of information.
Even if you are following the healthiest of eating plans, taking a supplement is a great idea. Make sure your supplement contains folic acid, which will help prevent your baby from developing a neural tube defect such as spina bifida, and Vitamin D which will help with your baby's bone health. All supplements aren’t created equal, so look for a good prenatal vitamin from a trusted source like The HonestCompany. You’ll want one that contains natural ingredients and is free of contaminants.
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In the first trimester you feel sick and tired, in the last you feel like a whale, and even in the second trimester in which you are supposed to be filled with energy and pregnancy glow, the idea of getting off the sofa is a nearly unbearable. It’s proven though, that exercise will help to blow away the cobwebs and make give you more energy. Exercising during pregnancy will also help you avoid gaining too much weight, another factor that will add to the bloated and tired feeling.
We aren’t talking running a marathon or a Soul Cycle class, exercise can be as simple as making sure you factor a walk into each day, Swimming can be blissful, the buoyancy taking the strain off your body. Check out WorkoutTrends.com; many pros highly advocate yoga, and pilates is always popular, helping to keep you flexible, fit and strong.
Get Some Rest
It’s obvious that you probably won’t be getting much sleep in a few months’ time, so indulge in sleeping a lot and napping as much as you need to. If you are having trouble sleeping, then try other forms of relaxation such as meditation, yoga or massage. Trying to relax and unwind is essential for your state of mind in a body running rampant with hormones, but it can also to help alleviate some of the aches and strains of pregnancy.
Having a child is a wondrous thing, but it’s undeniably a life changer. This is the last chance you have to do some of those things you love to do but it might be harder to do in the coming years. So, even if you are exhausted, visit your beloved art galleries and museums, because the next time you go back you wont have the luxury of spending hours gazing at the art. Now’s the time to go on that holiday, because it’ll be a long time before you can spend a day on the beach reading a book uninterrupted. Enjoy a night out at the cinema, soon you wont be able to do that without organizing a babysitter and worrying that your kids are okay the entire evening. Making time for the things that you enjoy will make you happier, less stressed and ultimately healthier mom—and remember, a healthier mom means a healthier baby!