One of the most important things to keep in mind during your pregnancy is your health. You are now living for two, which means that your lifestyle choices are more important now than ever. This is a great motivator to start healthy habits, and take time just for yourself. A healthy lifestyle encompasses more than a good diet and activity – you need to monitor sleep patterns, emotions, and most importantly, the environment you’re giving your baby in which to develop. A happy mom makes for a healthy baby.
Maintain a regular sleep and rest cycle
Your body is working extra hard to provide for your baby. The digestive system is feeding two people, the nervous system is taking in extrasensory information to keep your body in-check with the environment, and your muscular and skeletal systems are adapting to the shift in movement and body shape. The change in body function is very similar to lifting weights, except you’re doing it all day! Therefore, it’s crucial to give yourself plenty of breaks throughout the day, and to create a nighttime environment that encourages deep sleep. Stay away from electronics an hour or so before bed, and allow yourself to relax in the evenings so you get the most out of your sleep cycle.
Choose your healthy diet
A healthy diet really depends on your body chemistry, and what stage of pregnancy you’re in. As a general rule of thumb, stick to eating ample portions of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, plenty of proteins from fresh meat, nuts, and legumes, as well as your healthy fats from natural oils and dairy. Pregnancy cravings will likely occur sporadically, so don’t limit yourself too much. If you maintain a diet of mostly natural, whole foods, with a mix of treats and comfort foods, you will feel great both physically and mentally. Ask your doctor for a recommended meal plan, but feel free to accommodate it to your needs. You’ll know what’s best based on the signals your body gives you.
Deal with fatigue, pain, and mood swings through activity
Many women become frustrated because they cannot do some of the things they used to do before pregnancy. Physical restriction can leave you feeling tired, sore, and grumpy. While resting is essential to your body’s daily recovery, don’t feel like you can’t maintain an active lifestyle. Fatigue can be caused by boredom, so make an effort to keep up your hobbies (those that are not physically strenuous, of course). Muscle pain and weakness can often be cured by taking a short walk, or going through a sequence of restorative stretches. Mood swings are also attributed to mental frustration as well as hormones. Put that negative energy towards something productive, like a simple hand craft or diving into a new book. Mental activity alleviates these symptoms as effectively as physical activity.
Take your recommended vitamins
Your doctor will prescribe or at least recommend some multivitamins specialized for women’s health and pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins include supplementation of your daily requirements for folic acid (prevents birth defects), calcium (for your bone density and your baby’s skeletal development), and iron (for thyroid health and fetal growth). Depending on how much omega-3, vitamins and electrolytes you typically absorb through food, your doctor may advise for additional supplements. There are plenty of options to choose from and buy the right vitamins for your body and budget. For your vitamins to be most effective, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, and have substantial fiber intake in your regular diet.
Aside from these four elements of your health, just treat yourself to the little things. A happy and contented mental disposition will do wonders for your physical health. While pregnancy can be stressful, it can be managed as long as you remember that you come