Every woman’s journey to pregnancy is different. For some women, the simple act between a man and woman is all it takes. For others, they need a little more help, and that’s okay.
Things like a surrogate an in vitro fertilization clinic have given women all over the world a chance at motherhood when natural conception didn’t seem to work. But regardless of how you get pregnant, the biggest concern is making sure you stay healthy during your pregnancy.
The hardest part to come to grips with in becoming pregnant is the fact that your life is no longer about you… Now, you’re not only responsible for yourself but you’re responsible for a helpless little person that is completely dependent on you.
Everything you do, from the foods you eat to the habits you pick up, directly affects your child from inside your womb. And because of that, it’s your responsibility to keep yourself in tip-top condition. Take a look at the different ways to ensure you have a healthy pregnancy.
Ways to Ensure You Have a Healthy Pregnancy
Have Regular Checkups
Prenatal visits are important to prevent complications and other risks associated with pregnancy. A typical pregnancy checkup includes a physical examination, breast exam, pelvic screening weight check, urine sample, and consultation. These measures can identify any potential problems that may arise during your pregnancy. It’s during these checkups that you’ll be given vital information on how to stay healthy throughout your pregnancy.
Eating Healthy Food
Eating healthy can sometimes be a bit difficult for pregnant women to understand, simply because they have taken the saying “eating for two” way out of context. Pregnant women tend to think that eating for two means that you can just eat whatever you want and as much as you want.
Sure, pregnant women have weird cravings but that doesn’t give you the green light to eat badly. You have to remember that everything you eat is going to affect your baby as well. Not only that, but pregnant women are also at a higher risk of getting gestational diabetes. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are no true signs of gestational diabetes except for frequent urination and increased thirst, but that can also be confused with general symptoms of pregnancy.
So to prevent gestational diabetes from even appearing on your radar, it’s in you and your baby’s best interest to eat a well-balanced diet. You want to look for foods with specific nutrients essential for your baby’s development like fruits and vegetables, as well as folate-rich foods.
Folate or folic acid, a form of vitamin B, is an essential nutrient that is responsible for the formation of your child’s brain and spinal cord, as well as the production of new red blood cells. Having sufficient intake of folate also aids in the prevention of birth defects.
Because you are eating and drinking for two, that means that you need to increase your intake of water. According to the Institute of Medicine, a pregnant woman will need to increase her water intake by around 50%. If you are usually drinking water six to eight glasses of water a day, now you need to drink at least 10 to 12 glasses every day for the next nine months.
Exercise is beneficial for us, no matter what stage of life we are in, but it is extremely helpful when you are pregnant. Staying active will keep you in great shape, help to reduce stress, boost your mood, and promote healthy blood circulation. The US Department of Health and Human Services suggests that pregnant women need to do moderate aerobic activity every week for at least 2.5 hours.
The other added benefit of regular exercise is that it can also help prepare your body for labor, reduce the recovery period after giving birth, and improve your sleep.
Sleep is a luxury for most adults simply because it’s so hard to come by sometimes, but it’s absolutely essential when carrying a child. Pregnant women feel more tired and sleepy as they progress through their pregnancy. As you grow more and more tired, you have to listen to your body because ultimately, that’s your body telling you to slow down and rest.
Most OBGYNs suggest for pregnant women to get around seven to nine hours of sleep. But they also understand that it can be hard to get that amount of sleep simply because as you progress with your pregnancy, your baby increases in size and weight, so do you, making it very difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position.
Get Rid of Your Vices
Alcohol consumption, smoking cigarettes, or taking recreational drugs are all vices that need to end the moment you find out you’re pregnant. You are well aware of the harm that it can do your body without a baby but just imagine the harm it can cause with a baby.
By engaging in these vices, you’re putting your baby at risk for premature birth, low birth weight, development of asthma, and even sudden death. So, in your journey to motherhood, just remember it’s no longer just about you and get rid of those unhealthy habits, for the sake of your baby.