Discovering that you are pregnant is always a great feeling. You need to ensure that the life inside you blossoms and is taking great care. But just as it is essential to take care of the baby in your womb. Take Care of Yourself in Pregnancy is necessary to enhance the chances of having a problem-free pregnancy as well as a healthy baby. As a mother, you need to observe both your emotional and physical health. Thus, it is essential to get prenatal care as early as possible and watch what you eat.
In this article, we are going to share with you the best ways to take care of yourself in pregnancy to ensure good health for both you and your infant.
1: Seeking prenatal health early
As soon as you get the news of your pregnancy, register for antenatal care, and make an appointment with your general practitioner or a midwife. Alternatively, you can register with your local maternity service online.
Planning for your pregnancy care means you will be getting professional advice. That will help you have a healthy pregnancy from the beginning to the end. Starting early also means plenty of time to organize your schedules for ultrasound scans as well as other vital tests you may need. It will allow for the screening of specific conditions that could result in complications.
2: What to eat
You will be eating for two from now until when you give birth, so this means that you should increase your intake of certain foods while cutting off others that might be unhealthy. Start eating a balanced diet as much as you can. Eat at least five portions of vegetables and fruits each day, including fresh, canned, frozen, juice, or dried. You should also incorporate plenty of starchy foods such as bread, rice, and pasta. But you need to watch your intake quantity; the right amount of starch should make just a third of what you eat. However, the best foods you should go for should be whole grains while trying as much as you can to avoid being white. Wholegrains will give you plenty of fiber.
Eat protein daily, as well. But this shouldn’t be as hard as you can choose from any protein servings such as lean meat, fish, beans, eggs, pulses, or nuts. Also, I eat some dairy foods such as cheese, milk, and yogurt for pregnancy care.
As for fish, you should take just two portions a week and should at least include oily fish such as mackerel, salmon, or sardines. During your pregnancy, you should regularly eat fish as it has multiple benefits, including the main one protein as well as vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals. Which are the need for the development of the nervous systems of your baby.
Some people don’t eat fish completely, or too much, in which case, you can acquire omega-3 fatty acids from other foods like seeds, soy, nuts, and green leafy vegetables. You don’t need extra calories when you are pregnant, at least not for the first six months, but you will need to increase by 200 a day during the last three months.
Drink a lot of water to help you maintain the levels of blood pressure that are healthy. So, try to drink the standard eight glasses of water per day. However, this can include any fluid, including fruit tea, fresh fruit juice, or skimmed or semi-skimmed milk.
3: Incorporate supplements
It is recommended to take supplements during pregnancy to help bridge any nutritional gaps in your diet. During the first three months of your pregnancy, you should take folic acid as well as vitamin D during your entire pregnancy journey. Taking folic will curb the risks of your infant developing neural tube defects, including spina bifida. Consider checking with your GP before taking folic acid as some women may require taking a higher dose of up to 5mg per day.
You will also require a daily supplement of vitamin D, about 10mcg, to help with the development of the skeletons of your baby. As well as for future bone health. Folic acid and vitamin D can also be taken in a multivitamin. Especially if you are too sick to eat correctly or feel you are not eating well.
Supplements such as fish oil supplements can help a pregnant mother. Who doesn’t eat fish to supply her body with protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Therefore, when buying a fish oil supplement, you should go for the one with omega-3 oil instead of fish liver oil. The reason for this is that fish oils like cod liver oil sometimes contain vitamin A in retinol form. Which can damage your unborn baby.
But you need to get directions from your GP, a pharmacist, or a midwife before taking supplements that are not vitamin D or folic acid.
You can, however, avoid taking supplements if you eat a balanced diet.
4: Observe the hygiene of your food
Any food hygiene starts with washing your hands. Be sure to have hand detergents to keep your hands clean all the time. Especially if you have been to the toilet or handled your pet or any other animal.
Make sure your kitchen is thoroughly clean all the time, including your utensils, boards, sinks, vents, floor tiles, faucets. And even your stove grills.
Don’t mix your food in the kitchen cabinet or fridge, especially with those that are not safe for a pregnant woman to eat.
5: Food to avoid during pregnancy
There are hosts of food that an expectant mother you are not supposed to touch. THat’s why there are types of foods that contain parasites or bacteria that can harm your baby.
The most common infection is listeriosis, though it rarely affects pregnant women. Nevertheless, it can have serious implications as it can lead to miscarriage, baby being stillborn, or extremely ill after birth.
The following foods, therefore, should be avoided if you are expectant:
- Unpasteurized milk
- Any pate
- Blue-veined cheese including Roquefort
- Soft, mold-ripened cheeses I include brie
- Undercooked ready meals
6: Exercising regularly
Exercising will not only help you but will also boost the health of your baby significantly. So, be sure to do gentle exercises with the help of a fitness expert. The best practices for pregnant women include brisk walking, swimming, yoga, and Pilates.
7: Start doing pelvic floor exercises
Your pelvic muscles support your bladder, back passage, and vagina. During pregnancy, these pelvic muscles may feel weaker than usual because of the additional pressure on them. Working them out will help you reduce the risk of developing stress incontinence – leaking urine when you sneeze, exercise, or laugh, which is usually embarrassing.