For the first few months of pregnancy, the visible changes are small. Yes, you feel a little different. And yes, you can get bouts of morning sickness. But, for the most part, you’re able to carry on with your life as normal.
However, that can all change once you move into the third trimester. Once the baby grows to about five pounds, exercising becomes increasingly difficult. And so taking care of your body by giving it plenty of physical activity becomes harder.
Fortunately, there are many other ways you can take care of your pregnant body, even if you can’t move as much as before. Here’s our advice:
Work On Stress Reduction
Being pregnant and working a nine-to-five job can be a stressful experience. You have so much you need to get done during the day, plus you’re worrying about your baby and whether they are okay too.
For that reason, stress reduction techniques are a critical aspect of pregnancy. By becoming less stressed, you increase your odds of a healthy birth.
So what can you do? Here are some of the most common methods moms-to-be use to fight stress:
- Indulge in aromatherapy sessions. Research shows that smelling certain natural herbal scents reduces stress and increases your wellbeing.
- Take breaks. Taking regular breaks can also help you reset your mind and body, preparing you to take on the next challenge. You don’t need to go all-out every day. Taking it slow and steady helps you win the race.
- Try mommy yoga. This stretching and exercise style is great for pregnant women looking to remain flexible even when they can’t get to the gym.
- Get your loved ones to help. Raising a child isn’t something that you have to do by yourself. Ask your loved ones whether they can help you in any way.
Go To Your Prenatal Checkups
It’s also important for pregnant women to go for regular prenatal checkups. Having a baby has a massive effect on the body, causing it to go through profound changes. Plus, it is also a challenge for the child. Moms who don’t go to the doctor’s office are much more likely to have a baby with complications, such as low birth weight.
Avoid Foods That Are Potentially Harmful To Pregnant Women
Looking after your pregnant body also requires avoiding certain potentially harmful foods. While pregnant women can eat most items on the menu, any foods that harbor lots of bacteria are a big no-no.
Avoid eating any rare meats, raw meats, liver, sushi or raw eggs. Don’t eat mayonnaise either, as this can contain bacteria that harm your child.
In addition, avoid any unpasteurized milk (sometimes marketed as raw milk). Again, this can contain bacteria that might damage your developing child. Finally, do not eat any soft cheese, like brie or feta.
It’s worth pointing out that some animal products, including fish, are harmful to growing babies even when cooked because of their high heavy metal content. Concerned mothers, therefore, should seek to minimize animal product consumption where possible.
Get Plenty Of Sleep
This piece of advice is especially important when preparing for your second pregnancy. Raising children is tiring. So when you have a second child, make sure that you’re giving yourself the recovery time you need at night. Getting plenty of sleep is good for both you and the baby since it provides ample time for resources to go to where you and your child need them most.
If you can, try to sleep on your side. This way, you can improve blood flow to your baby.
Get Pregnant When You Are At Your Healthiest
If possible, try to get pregnant when you are at your healthiest. When you are in good physical shape, it increases your chances of having a healthy birth and pregnancy.
If possible, try to get pregnant when you are younger as opposed to older. Young mothers tend to experience fewer complications from childbirth than older ones – those over forty.
Smoking is bad for you and, as you might have guessed, also bad for your child. Researchers believe that lighting up causes sudden infant death syndrome, a condition where children stop breathing for no apparent reason. Smoking also increases the risk of birth defects, miscarriages and premature births.
If you are struggling to kick the habit, try using a combination of nicotine patches and meditation. Even if your cravings are strong, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to light up and put your child at risk. There are plenty of other options open to you.
Get Your Flu Jab
Getting the flu while pregnant increases the chances of complications at birth. So it’s crucial that pregnant women take precautions.
One of the best ways to avoid the flu is to get a flu jab. It’s something that can help you stay healthy during pregnancy and avoid you getting sick around the time of the birth.
Flu shots are safe for babies. But if you are worried, you can always speak to your doctor about the risks.
Stop Drinking Alcohol
Here’s another thing you can do to stay healthy when pregnant even if you can’t exercise: stop drinking alcohol.
You shouldn’t drink during either pregnancy or breastfeeding. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder – a condition that can cause behavioral issues, severe learning disabilities and facial abnormalities.
Most women do not take any alcohol at all, either when breastfeeding or pregnant.
Keep Eating Healthy Foods
Gyms and fitness professionals like to sell the idea that physical activity is what keeps you healthy. But that’s not entirely true. Yes, it plays a role. But when it comes to overall day-to-day health, your diet determines 80 percent of your outcomes.
Unfortunately, when it comes to diet, we’ve somewhat lost our way in the modern world. Not only are we eating all the wrong things, but society also gives us conflicting messages about what to eat.
The best approach here is to go back to basics and really think about what evolution adapted your body to eat. When you do this, you soon realize that the only things that should be in your diet are whole, natural and unprocessed foods. What does that mean in practice? Well, ideally, pregnant women should avoid anything that comes out of a brightly-colored packet. Mostly, your diet should be fruit, veggies, beans and whole grains. Eating lots of fat, meat and sugar will lead to excessive baby weight gain that you might find difficult to lose in the future.
Take A Vitamin Supplement
Most physicians recommend that women take a prenatal vitamin supplement in the months running up to the birth. Doing this ensures that the child is getting all the nutrients that they need from you.
The most important prenatal nutrients are folic acid – one of the B vitamins – and calcium. Children who lack these can go on to suffer severe developmental issues.
Keep Your Body Hydrated
Lastly, you’ll want to focus on keeping your body as hydrated as you can. When you become pregnant, your hydration needs tend to rise and you need more water than you did before. Try to get around eight cups of liquid per day to support the health of you and your child.
If you are struggling to drink that much water, you may be able to get some of it from your food. Remember, fruits and veggies have a high water content – more than 95 percent. So eating salads and fruit bowls every day can bring you closer to the quota.