A woman's body has to endure various changes during pregnancy in order to accommodate the unborn child. However, it doesn't have to be as discomforting as many are led to believe. Boosting your health not only allows you to enjoy the process of childbearing but, also promotes better health for the baby.
Changes in Diet
Because your body has to account for the fetus' nutrition, make sure you get sufficient sustenance by eating five or six smaller, well-balanced meals per day. Your diet should include fresh fruits and vegetables. Your choice of vegetables should include at least one portion of dark orange and two portions of dark green, leafy vegetables. Citrus fruits should also be implemented in the diet. Because you are eating for two, it is also important to know which food choices should be limited or completely removed from the menu. Sushi and some varieties of fish like swordfish and shark should be avoided. The latter food group often contains high levels of methyl-mercury that can affect the nervous system of your unborn child. Eating a healthy diet can make a difference in how you feel day-to-day.
Movement During Pregnancy
Regular exercise and range of motion is essential to avoid muscle atrophy. Maintaining an active lifestyle while pregnant also helps battle mood changes and improves posture. Studies have also found that physical activity also reduces the risk for gestational diabetes that develops during pregnancy. It does not have to be an intense workout, however. For example, taking leisure walks at least 15 minutes per day builds more stamina required during labor and delivery. A majority of physical activities are safe to engage in during pregnancy as long as it is taken in moderation. The safest yet most effective exercises for pregnant women include swimming, indoor stationary cycling, and yoga. These exercises are ideal due to their ability to target most muscle groups while presenting a low injury risk.
Talking to an OBGYN
An OBGYN can help you safely apply the changes in your lifestyle during pregnancy. They can recommend the most ideal food choices for both you and your unborn child, create a suitable fitness plan, and monitor your baby's progress inside the womb. For instance, some pregnant women are unable to engage in physical activities due to a pregnancy-related condition. An OBGYN may advise which exercises the patient can participate in without putting her or the baby at risk. An OBGYN or, for high-risk pregnancies, a maternal-fetal specialist like Dr. Gilbert Webb, can help take care of your health during pregnancy.
A majority of prenatal vitamins comprise of higher levels of folic acid and iron than what you will find in a regular multivitamin. It is essential to get the required amount of folic acid prior conception is achieved. Folic acid plays an essential role in pregnancy because of its ability to substantially reduce the baby's risk of developing birth defects like Spina Bifida. Many foods you eat contain the vitamins you need, but talk to your doctor about any additional supplements.
Keep hydrated during pregnancy by drinking at least eight glasses of water per day. Avoid any caffeinated and artificially colored liquids like energy drinks and pre-packaged coffee. Alcohol and smoking should also be avoided as these habits may cause serious conditions to your child including deformity and weak respiratory health.
When following these lifestyle changes, it's important to talk to your doctor. Staying healthy throughout your pregnancy is important to both you and your baby.