To promote a safe and healthy delivery, it’s important to take good care of yourself during your pregnancy. This means not only building and maintaining healthy physical habits, but also avoiding excess stress. To give your baby the best possible environment to develop and to support a safe birthing experience, try following the tips below.
Building Healthy Habits: Problem-Free Pregnancies and Deliveries
One, maintain good posture. The added belly weight during pregnancy can put strain on your back. Try to practice good posture – which, according to WebMD entails keeping your head neutral, pelvis tucked, and tummy and tush tight – as often as you think of it until it becomes a habit. Avoid staying in one position for long periods of time.
Two, make sure to get 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid per day per U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (DHHS) recommendations. This may lower the risk of birth defects.
Three, DHHS recommends exercising at least 2.5 hours every week, though you should first get approval from your doctor. Walking, working out, yoga; whatever you’re most likely to do daily.
Eating (the Right Way) for Two
You’ll need to eat a clean diet rich in whole foods in order to best feed your growing little one. Eating for two doesn’t actually mean doubling your calories, though. Throughout your pregnancy, you really only need about 300 extra calories a day, according to the DHHS WomensHealth.gov website.
Tip four, eat several small, healthy meals and stick to:
- lean protein sources – fish, cottage cheese, egg whites;
- fruits and vegetables; and
- healthy fats – avocado, nuts, peanut butter.
Tip five, take a multi-vitamin. Your doctor will likely advise you to take a prenatal vitamin. It’s a great way to get essential nutrients and fill dietary gaps, particularly if you’re having a hard time eating like a lot of women do during the first and third trimesters. When you take prenatal vitamins they help you get that glowing skin and long, luxurious hair that are the proud badges of pregnancy women everywhere.
Six, drink like a fish. Carry a water bottle with you everywhere and talk to your doctor about how much water you should drink each day.
- helps carry nutrients through your body to your baby;
- helps maintain healthy levels of amniotic fluid; and
- can even help prevent bladder infections, constipation, and swelling, which are common complaints during pregnancy,” according to Parents.
Tips Seven to Nine: Keep Stress Levels Down
Stress can be extremely harmful for both you and your baby. It can cause premature birth, low birth weight, increased chances of miscarriage, and increased risk of infection, according to Discovery Health.
Try keeping your stress levels in check with the following tips from UK pregnancy/children website, BabyCentre:
- make time to rest. Make regular, quite rest periods mandatory on your schedule.
- talk about your concerns with someone. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have about your baby’s health or your delivery. Vent to friends and family.
- try complementary therapies. Yoga, massage, meditation, breathing techniques, and aromatherapy are all good de-stressers.
As you become a new parent, you probably have lots of questions. We compiled our parent-focused articles in the Parents’ Corner. Head on over to read more about child safety and other issues important to South Florida parents.