First and foremost, congratulations on your pregnancy! Being pregnant is an experience, to say the least. It’s one filled with love, but one that will also drive you a bit crazy. After all, no one likes morning sickness and stomach contractions! During your pregnancy, it’s so important to stay healthy. You have a little one to think of now. With that in mind, read on to discover the essential steps to take for a healthy pregnancy.
- Get some rest – Let’s start with the most enjoyable tip of them all; getting more sleep! You’re going to need it. One of the earliest signs of pregnancy is fatigue. You can find out about some of the other early signs here. You will feel fatigued in the first few months because of the high levels of pregnancy hormones in your body. Later on in your pregnancy, you will be feeling fatigued because your sleep will be disturbed. This is because you will be getting up a lot in the middle of the night to go to the toilet. This is why it is so important to get more rest.
- Cut back on caffeine – You should definitely cut back on caffeine while you are pregnant. Caffeine is found in energy drinks, chocolate, cola, tea, and coffee. Drinking too much caffeine while you are carrying can increase your risk of having a miscarriage. So, how much is too much? Well, guidelines available at the moment state that drinking up to 200 mg of caffeine a day won’t have a negative impact on your developing baby.
- Start doing pelvic floor exercises – Your pelvic floor consists of numerous muscles at your pelvis’ base. These muscles support your back passage, vagina, and bladder. When you are pregnant, these muscles will feel weaker because there is more pressure on them. Not only this, but your pelvic floor muscles can slacken slightly due to pregnancy hormones. This is why you should do pelvic floor exercises to strengthen your muscles. Otherwise, you could develop stress incontinence. This is when you leak urine whenever you exercise, laugh or sneeze.
- Exercise regularly – While pelvic floor exercises are important, you should still make sure you are engaging in other forms of regular exercise. This will have many benefits for not only you, but your baby too. Needless to say, exercise should not be intensive. Good options include brisk walking, swimming, yoga, Pilates, and aquanatal classes. If you are struggling to decide on the best exercise for you, read fitness reviews online for a helping hand. So, what exactly are the benefits of exercising during pregnancy? Exercising will boost your mood when you are feeling down, it will make it easier for you to get into shape once your baby is born, and it boosts your chance of a straightforward labour and birth. Other benefits include helping to protect you against pregnancy complications, helping you maintain a healthy weight, and helping you to cope with the strains and posture on your joints while you are pregnant.
- Be cautious when it comes to food hygiene – Needless to say, it’s important to be careful about food hygiene at all times, but this is even more so the case during pregnancy. You need to thoroughly wash your hands, boards, and utensils after handling raw meat. Also, there are some foods you should stay away from while you are pregnant. This is because they can harbour parasites or bacteria that could pose a health risk to your baby. The following foods are advisable to avoid because they may contain listeria, which can actually lead to a miscarriage: undercooked ready meals, soft, mould-ripened cheeses, unpasteurised milk, any type of pate, and blue-veined cheeses. You should also avoid raw shellfish and raw or undercooked meat, as salmonella bacteria can lead to food poisoning, which can cause numerous problems.
- See your midwife or doctor at the earliest possibility – Last but not least, once you know that you are pregnant, it is important to register for antenatal care. Make an appointment with a midwife or a GP at your nearby surgery at the earliest opportunity. By doing this, you can make sure that you are getting expert care from the very start. It also means that you will have a lot of time to schedule your tests and ultrasound scans that you may require.
Follow the tips above for a healthy pregnancy. Make sure you are cautious about food hygiene, exercise regularly, and get the rest you need! It’s so important to take good care of yourself and, therefore, your baby too.