If you’re a first-time expectant mother, you may understandably be feeling a little nervous about the whole thing. Pregnancy is a completely new and unusual experience for you. Your body undergoes a drastic transformation, your mood and appetites are subject to the whims of your unborn baby, and the whole time you may be filled with worry and uncertainty for the wellbeing of the tiny life living inside you.
It’s of paramount importance that you look after yourself throughout the nine months of your pregnancy, not only for the sake of your child but also to keep on top of your own physical and mental health. By following these four tips you can help your child’s prenatal development while ensuring you are fit and healthy when the time comes to give birth.
You are now eating for two, so you need to be extra careful so you are providing your baby with all the nutrients it needs to grow big and strong. Try to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day, as well as moderate amounts of carbohydrate, protein and healthy fats. You are likely to experience unusual cravings during pregnancy, and while it’s OK to give into temptation sometimes, you should be careful to limit the amounts of junk food you consume. Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated, and it goes without saying that alcohol and large quantities of caffeine are out of the question.
Visit the doctor
The only surefire way to know if your pregnancy is going smoothly is to see a professional. Your schedule will be packed with obstetrician appointments, gynaecologist visits and other medical checkups. Your doctor will be able to assess the health of your child and advise you on further steps you should be taking to stay healthy and rested.
Carrying a baby for nine months is stressful enough, you don’t need to add even more anxiety to the situation. The more relaxed and worry-free you are during pregnancy, the greater your chances of having a healthy, happy baby. Try to eliminate any sources of stress in your life by whatever means necessary. You may need to take time off work or reduce your hours in the early stages, and prepare for parenthood as much as possible to prevent unnecessary worrying. Having a partner or other support system around you is a huge advantage for an expectant mother, so make sure your loved ones are chipping in to help out and take the strain away from you.
Do gentle exercise
If you’re usually a fitness fanatic, you might be frustrated that you can’t maintain the same level of physical activity while pregnant. But even though you won’t be running a marathon in the next nine months, that doesn’t mean you can’t still exercise. As long as you are careful, medical professionals advise gentle exercise to keep you healthy and prepare your body for the trials of pregnancy. Low intensity activities like walking, pilates, and swimming are great options.