In the last week I’ve heard about two new of two people I know who are pregnant (NO, not me!!). Our guest blogger today, Bridget Sandorford, has some helpful hints for those lovelies who are expecting, but even those of us who aren’t can still benefit from her healthy tips!
Pregnancy is a wonderful and exciting time in many women’s lives. It is also a time when it becomes especially important to take proper care of your health and wellness. Though many women focus on things like taking prenatal vitamins and attending prenatal check-ups (which are important, of course), there are many more things you can do to take care of your health and wellness during pregnancy.
If you are expecting a little one, you must start making the necessary changes for your health now. Everything you do not only affects you but also affects your growing baby. Here are a few things you should do as a whole health approach to wellness during pregnancy:
Stress is toxic to you when you aren’t pregnant. Imagine what it can do to your body and your growing baby when you are. It is important to find ways to reduce your stress as much as possible when you are pregnant. Cut back on your responsibilities wherever possible. Leave the house work undone, or solicit your partner to help finish it. Don’t take on extra projects at work. Don’t plan major trips or events if you can help it.
In addition to cutting back on your to-do list, you can also find more ways to relax in order to reduce stress. Take a bubble bath at the end of the day. Lie down and read a good book. Snuggle up with your sweetie and watch a fun movie. Do whatever you enjoy doing that will allow you to just relax and take your mind off what’s worrying you.
Eat a Whole Foods Diet
You may be craving chocolate and ice cream all the time when you’re pregnant, but these foods won’t nourish your body. It is important for you to eat a whole foods diet whether you are pregnant or not, but when you are nurturing a growing baby, it takes on even more importance.
Eat what you like, but be sure that it is made with all-natural, whole ingredients. That means no processed foods and no foods with chemical additives. If you want cookies, go into your kitchen and make them with whole-wheat flour and honey. If you crave chocolate, choose raw cacao instead. You don’t have to deprive yourself — you just have to make better choices.
Drink Plenty of Water
Proper hydration is essential to every function in your body. It can help you to stay energized, it can help keep your blood sugar in check, and it can help to keep your hormones balanced. When you’re pregnant, your water needs increase dramatically. Make sure you are drinking enough water every day to meet your own needs, as well as those of your growing baby.
You may not feel like doing much more than sleeping on the sofa every day when you’re pregnant. However, getting regular exercise is important to keeping your body healthy and to encouraging healthy development in your baby. Exercise can help to relieve the symptoms of pregnancy, to make labor faster and less painful, and to return your body to its old shape faster following delivery.
You don’t have to go to the gym for an hour every day to get the proper exercise during pregnancy. You can simply go for a walk or take a swim for 20 to 30 minutes most days of the week. Regular exercise is the key, even if it is light exercise.
Get Enough Sleep
This one isn’t a problem for most pregnant women. The bigger issue might be figuring out how to stay awake past 3 in the afternoon. However, if you aren’t one of the women with this problem, and instead find yourself burning the midnight oil each night trying to get work done or staying up worrying about all that needs to get done to prepare for baby, you might want to scale back and get some extra zzzz’s.
Make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep per night. You may find that you need more when you are pregnant. If this is the case, make sure you get as much as you need. Your body will be more rested, stronger and better able to support your growing baby.
Managing your health during pregnancy is about much more than just avoiding fish and cutting out alcohol. You must take a whole health approach to your wellness in order to nurture a healthy pregnancy for the best outcome for you and for your baby.
About the Author:
Bridget Sandorford is a freelance writer and researcher for CulinarySchools.org, where recently she’s been researching Japanese delicacies. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook.