10 Dos and Don’ts to Stay Healthy During Pregnancy
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Your body will go through a myriad of changes during pregnancy. You might pretty much feel like a different person, which makes it even more important to take care of yourself the right way. A proper diet and proper posture are simply the tip of the iceberg. Pregnancy can end up being a bundle of surprises and unexpected moments might arise when you wonder what to do during pregnancy and what to avoid.
Here are a few things to do when pregnant, that you ought to definitely keep in mind and stick to.
1. Maintain Optimal Water Consumption
This might feel like the most obvious things to tell a mother but you will be surprised to know how often women end up being dehydrated during their pregnancy. 8-10 full glasses of water on a daily basis is the norm and the same should be followed, irrespective of whether you’re at home or travelling. If your urine is dark yellow, it is a strong sign of lack of water. By drinking enough water, you are not only preventing dehydration but reducing the risks of contracting any infections of the urinary tract as well.
2. Make Folic Acid Mandatory in Your Diet
You might be tired of hearing how important folate is in your baby’s development. Here’s repeating it one more time, simply because of its importance in your baby’s development. Preventing birth-related defects and behavioural disorders can be attained only when the neural and brain development of the baby proceeds without any hitches and gets the support it needs. Folic acid is absolutely necessary for it.
3. Maintain a Good Balance Between Eating and Exercising
Pregnant women can be easily tempted to let themselves go and gorge on every type of food to satisfy their cravings. But this can easily end up in added kilos to your body, making you unfit and causing trouble when delivering the baby. Yes, your diet needs to be nutritive and filling for you and the baby and some cravings can be satisfied. But that should be complemented with enough exercise that is not strenuous but also stimulates your metabolism, keeping you healthy, wealthy and wise.
4. Perform Kegel Exercises
Kegel’s muscles are muscles present in the vaginal region, which provide you with some degree of control over your urination and other movements, many of which are required during childbirth. When labour takes place and the delivery of the child proceeds through various stages, if your kegel muscles are not strong enough to bear the pressure and push the child, this can cause immense amounts of pain and other complications. Kegel is also suggested post-delivery to tighten the perineal muscles, which become loose during vaginal delivery.
5. Travelling Needs to Be Accompanied By More Precautions
When pregnant, you can no longer opt for the jump-and-run technique of an impromptu trip planned by your friends. Whether travelling for a short distance or taking a world tour. there are tons of factors to be accounted for even before you begin travelling. Make sure you have all the necessary medicines and gear to support yourself through the journey. The travelling vehicle should have adjustments for your body and you need to visit the loo repetitively. Choose a mode of transportation that is smooth and safe.
6. Research the Medical History of Your Own Family
The genes of your forefathers and your partner’s forefathers are all present in the new life that you’ve created together. Not only does this define how your child will look and be, but it also defines any physical characteristics or complications he might have. Any genetic or hereditary conditions or diseases can be passed down from either of the genetic lines to the child. Therefore, it is necessary to know the presence of any scenarios as such and let your doctor know about them so that preventive action and tests can be undertaken if deemed necessary.
7. Power Naps Are Your Best Friends
The change in physical and mental health, the constant tracking of various factors, and the number of activities that come with pregnancy can quite easily exhaust you. Putting undue stress on your body is not beneficial for your baby either. When you are at peace, your child is at peace, too. It is best to indulge in power naps in the afternoon so that you recover some energy and proceed with the rest of the day, without any trouble. If you are still working while pregnant, you can talk to your seniors about it and explain the necessity for the same.
8. Mental Health and Relaxation Go a Long Way
A major chunk of pregnancy is simply coming to terms with the multiple changes in your body and the incessant mood swings. At times, you might be in love with your child, and the next moment you might be frustrated. You may break into tears at the smallest reason or find yourself stressing about the child’s future. Try and adopt a few habits for mental calm and relaxation, primarily meditation and yoga. These have been proven to reduce stress even in the most intensely stressful conditions, and this will directly impact the betterment of your child.
9. Start Having Conversations With Your Baby
It might be a while before the baby’s presence is felt by you. But that does not mean that the baby cannot hear you. He can completely sense you and understand what you feel. Rather, spend all the time on activities to keep yourself engaged and take out some time each day to talk to your baby. Let him get used to the sound of your voice. Hum a few songs repeatedly, which can help him understand he is safe and secure, especially when he’s out in the real world.
10. Make Your Pregnancy Memorable
Start a small diary or take photos of your tummy every day and label them properly. Write down what you did each day, and what progress you felt. When your baby is born and you start falling into a routine, you can take a look at how your little one grew inside you and what you felt over the entire course of the pregnancy.
Here are a bunch of things not to do when pregnant so as to ensure your baby does not come to harm.
1. Eating Raw Meat and Foods
In the craze of satiating various cravings that you might have, you could possibly end up eating food items that are prepared using raw vegetables or raw meat. Since these items have not undergone the process of cooking and exposed to heat, they have a higher chance of containing bacteria and other micro-organisms that can bring about diseases or cause infections.
2. Consuming a Lot of Caffeinated Drinks
A nice hot cup of coffee or tea can be quite soothing to your body, which might end up in you consuming multiple of those throughout the day. Caffeine is primarily a stimulant which not only ends up in disturbing your sleep cycles but also brings about an increase in heart rate, leading to a rise in the blood pressure. Frequent fluid consumption also means repeated trips to the loo. Hence, try and avoid caffeine or limit your daily caffeine intake.
3. Opting for Fashionable Heels Over Flats
No, your social life doesn’t need to be shut down completely if you are pregnant. You can still go outside, shop around, meet your friends or enjoy at a party. But your body is already supporting a shift in its weight and your bone structure has undergone serious changes. Wearing heels or stilettos can put undue pressure on your spine and posture, causing you not just discomfort, but also increasing the risk of stumbling and falling down. Go for flats, especially if you have swollen feet.
4. Changing Your Cat’s Litter Boxes
This might be an activity that you do regularly but stay away from it once you have a nice little baby in your tummy. Firstly, a litter box contains the cat’s faeces, which is not hygienic. Second of all, cat faeces tends to have a parasite present, which is responsible for causing a dangerous disease called toxoplasmosis. In the absence of an alternative, make use of gloves and remember to disinfect your hands properly.
5. Falling Prey to Contradictory Advice in Magazines and Books
Relatives, books, magazines, doctors, the Internet, everyone seems to have an opinion on what you should do and should not do during pregnancy. The idiom “too many cooks spoil the broth” hasn’t found as much truth as it has in the life of a pregnant woman. The more you read, the more you might come across information that seems to contradict something you read earlier. To allay such confusion, always talk to your doctor and take his opinion.
6. Taking Vitamin A Supplements
As surprising as this might seem, Vitamin A supplements should not be taken unless your doctor recommends them himself. Excess of Vitamin A has been found to cause defects in the unborn child.
7. Interacting With Electronic Communication Equipment
In course of your job or where you stay, if you are surrounded by communication equipment that emits high powered radiations, it is best to change your location, since that radiation can affect the growth of your baby.
8. Having Unsafe Sex or Multiple Sexual Partners
The chances of contracting STDs are higher when you indulge in unprotected sex or have multiple partners. These diseases can affect the child and even cause complications later in delivery.
9. Sitting or Standing for Extended Durations
Avoid being present in the same position for a long time, since it puts undue stress on your ankles and the veins. Move around at regular intervals, and take frequent breaks so that your body stays in motion.
10. Taking Painkillers or Medicine for Fever
Not all medicines are right to be consumed during pregnancy. In case of any pain or ache or even fever, let your doctor be your first contact. Do not use any medication, even ointments or lotions, before talking to your doctor about them.
Pregnant mothers do tend to take a lot of care throughout their pregnancy. But you might often encounter situations when you wonder what to do and what not to do during pregnancy for the benefit of your baby. Keeping these major tips in mind can help alleviate a lot of problems. Never hesitate in reaching out to your doctor in case of any confusion.
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