GUIDE TO A HEALTHY PREGNANCY

When you’re pregnant, you’re not just taking care of yourself but you’re precious baby as well. What you put into your body directly affects your baby; this is a time for you to be at your healthiest. Moreover, it helps inculcate some good habits that you can carry on to stay healthy!

  1. Talk to your doctor or midwife:Obviously, this goes without saying. Make sure to register yourself for prenatal care as soon as possible. Doing so will ensure that you receive advice for a healthy pregnancy from the very beginning. Though the visits are short and often seem pointless, they’re scheduled for a reason. These visits are important as the doctors need to make sure that you’re gaining enough weight, your pressure is okay, and that the baby’s measure is on track.
  2. Stay Hydrated:It’s important for both you and your baby that you drink enough water and stay hydrated. Your uterus is a muscle, and like any of the other ones, it needs water. During pregnancy your body requires some extra hydration; make sure to drink enough liquids to avoid cramps!
  3. Keep a healthy diet:This goes without saying. You will need to make sure you’re getting the important nutrients in your body to keep you and your baby healthy. It’s okay to give in to the junk food cravings every once in a while (being pregnant doesn’t have to be a punishment!) but make sure it is balanced by a healthy diet. You will only need an extra 200 calories a day during the last three months of your pregnancy; you can maintain your normal (healthy) diet for the first six months. Make sure to check with your daily required nutrient count and prepare a diet plan.
  4. Stay active: Your immune system will benefit from exercising regularly, and therefore, so does your baby. If you play sports, you can continue to do so if it doesn’t involve the risk of falling, being knocked down or put extra stress on your joints. Some exercises that are good for pregnancy are brisk walking, swimming, yoga, Pilates, and aquanatal classes. Make sure your instructor knows your pregnant or join classes that are tailored for pregnant women. Exercise may also help in relieving sleep problems (as long as you’re not exercising too close to bedtime) and backache.

Cut out alcohol, caffeine and smoking:Many experts’ advice on avoiding alcohol completely as there is no way to know how much alcohol is safe during pregnancy. During the first trimester, it is advised that you avoid alcohol completely, and stick to one or two (at most) units of alcohol once or twice a week at a later stage. Cola, tea, coffee, energy drinks and chocolate contain caffeine. According to current guidelines, up to 200mg of coffee a day won’t harm your developing baby, though it is best to avoid it altogether.  If you smoke it’s better to stop for your baby’s health as well as your own. It’s better to stop sooner rather than later, but it’s never too late.