Aside from a healthy baby pretty much every mother wants a normal healthy pregnancy. You know the one I’m talking about with that elusive mystical pregnancy glow you hear about?
In the times of our grandparents this was easy to achieve but as our diet and fitness levels have changed we, sometimes, need to be very aware of ourselves. I can write a book about pregnancy tips, but today I’m just going to list the basics.
Vitamins, Iron, and Water
It’s commonly suggested that a woman start taking a prenatal vitamin as soon as she starts to try for a new baby. This is primarily for the extra folic acid that our diets lack. Folic acid is important for extremely early pregnancy as in that time when you don’t even know you are pregnant yet. It helps prevent neural tube defects (the neural tube is the extremely early baby) and early miscarriage.
As your pregnancy progresses your blood volume increases some 18-50%! Iron is vital to the red blood cells which carry the oxygenated blood around your body and to your baby. Sometimes your care provider may suggest an iron pill in addition to your prenatal if your levels are found to be low.
Pregnant or not, bodies need and crave water. Our bodies survive on water and that’s even more true when you are pregnant. There is a reason those larger than large water bottles are made, for you pregnant ladies! There have been many studies done that prove that being well-hydrated can keep preterm labor from happening and keep your amniotic fluid levels where they should be. Water also aids in good digestion and can prevent bladder infections, something you do not want to experience while pregnant!
Good Prenatal Care
Choosing a care provider is important to your pregnancy. You need to find one who shares your beliefs about labor/pregnancy/emergencies as well as your overall care. Whether that be a midwife, OB/GYN, or family doctor, don’t be afraid to interview several care providers armed with questions to ask each one until you find your best fit. Having a loving supportive care provider will make your pregnancy so much easier on you!
Eating for Two and Staying Active
Eating for two is a myth! Sorry to break it to you but while indulging those cravings makes food seem magical, in reality you only need an extra 300 calories a day. You might need a little more during the later stages and more than that if you are blessed with more than one at a time! Eating healthy, nutrient rich foods during your pregnancy is important for your baby to get the proper balance of nutrients to grow and develop healthy. There is a pregnancy “diet” called the Brewer Diet, if followed they say it can reduce, if not prevent, some severe complications with pregnancy. Though it isn’t what I would call a diet, it’s more like a great guideline of healthy eating. More information here: www.drbrewerpregnancydiet.com.
There was once a mentality that pregnancy was an illness and pregnant women should act as such. Well that’s utter nonsense we know now! (But who doesn’t sometimes dream of a whole day or two to just rest?) Staying active is as important as ever as our own lives tend to be more slow paced and a lot less active in general. Staying active helps ease the pregnancy related discomforts, shorter labor times, and ease labor pains. All in all being active the whole time makes for an easier 10 months! Staying active reduces excessive weight gain, helps with digestion (again!!). Staying active is super easy these days, go walking, take a swim class (and trust me weightless water feeling at the end is amazing). There are also tons and tons of pregnancy geared work out home programs out there. Low impact moderate activity is suggested for a normal pregnancy. To be safe talk with your care provider if you had not been active before hand and want to start now.