Pregnancy presents a multitude of challenges for soon-to-be mothers. You are faced with a changing body, changing health and huge impending life changes. Facing motherhood can not only take a toll on your mental health, but also on your physical health. While a loving support system can help ease the stress and worry, you can take steps to make your daily physical transition easier; not to mention, many of these tips have been said to make labor easier. Included here are a few tips for staying healthy during your pregnancy.
Walk It Out
Studies have shown that walking daily is important for everyone to maintain good health. It is low-stress on the joints but still provides good cardiovascular exercise and muscle gain. Staying fit throughout your pregnancy can help build your endurance and strength which can help you through labor. So take a daily walk or two to ease stress and strengthen muscles.
With the growing popularity of yoga, it is easy to dismiss this as a new fitness fad. However, yoga teaches many healthy practices that encourage flexibility, relaxation and stress relief. Learning to breathe deeply and lean into a stretch can greatly help you with pregnancy aches and pains as well as labor and delivery. Consider joining a prenatal yoga class locally or find an online video series to follow at home.
Eating for two does not mean doubling up on your meal volume. Your growing baby needs every bit of nutrition it can glean from your diet, so eat nutritionally-dense foods that are high in vitamins and minerals. Many doctors recommend a diet high in lean protein, dark green vegetables and calcium. Consult your doctor about a meal plan that works for you and remember that every bite you eat is sent down to baby.
With all of that pressure from a growing baby, it is not surprising that you find yourself peeing a bit more frequently. Your body needs additional fluids to maintain the amniotic sac and keep your body cleansed from toxins. Be sure you are consuming the appropriate amount of water each day and steer clear of caffeine. While a daily cup of coffee is not prohibited, it is wise to limit those diuretic beverages.
Taking a prenatal vitamin is a given in this day and age during pregnancy. Surprisingly, recent studies have shown that starting a prenatal supplement up to three months before you conceive can greatly help your baby’s overall health while reducing the risk of neural tube defects. Be sure any prenatal vitamin you take contains at least 400 mg of folic acid or folate each day. Vitamin D is also important to help your baby’s bone health.