Congratulations! Your online pregnancy test confirmed that you’re expecting a little one and now it’s time to learn all you can on how to have a natural, healthy pregnancy. Motherhood doesn’t start in the delivery room the moment you hold your little one for the first time; it starts as soon as you’re pregnant, which is why you need to take care of yourself so that you have a healthy pregnancy.
The journey into motherhood is fairly straightforward – taking care of yourself and doing the right things to benefit the health of your unborn child. As you begin your journey into this new and exciting phase of your life and prepare yourself for your bundle of joy, here are some tips on how to have a natural, healthy pregnancy.
The first thing you will need to do is change your diet and eating habits. Some of your favorite foods might not be recommended while pregnant. Having a natural healthy pregnancy starts with a natural diet that ensures you are not only nourishing yourself, but your unborn baby, too.
You can eat nutrient rich, whole foods and try to avoid foods that are heavily processed. Cut out any junk foods and soda and try not to give into your cravings for sugar as much as you can. A healthy diet during pregnancy should also consist of eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, beans, lean meats and drinking lots of water. If possible, try to eat organic so that the foods you eat are not filled with pesticides and other additives. Organic fruits and vegetables may cost more, but they can be more beneficial to your unborn child.
To eat healthy for you and your baby, it’s advised to eat a minimum of five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, mix in plenty of carbohydrates (but when you can, switch out white with wholegrain carbohydrates so you get lots of fiber), and have daily servings of protein like lean meat and eggs. You can still have fish like tuna and salmon, but should stay away from eating raw fish like sushi and fish that are high in mercury. Fish is loaded with vitamin D, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and minerals, which are all important for your growing baby.
And that old saying where you can eat for two while you are pregnant is not true. You really don’t need any extra calories than what you used to take in before the first six months. However, in the last trimester, you’ll need to eat about 200 calories more a day, but you can easily do this by adding healthy snacks. This will help you gain the recommended pregnancy weight and help grow a healthy baby.
Foods you should stay away from include unpasteurized milk, undercooked meat (especially chicken) and soft cheeses like brie. Some doctors also advice pregnant women that they microwave deli meats, too.
Many doctors allow their patients to continue their normal fitness regime and just ask that they modify certain moves and the intensity of a workout when pregnant. But if a woman was physically active before she got pregnant, she is encouraged to keep it up. And those who were not active, should make an effort to go walking or take a prenatal yoga class to stay active.
A bit of physical activity balanced with rest is good for you and your baby. Even if you are not used to working out, do some other fun activities like dancing, hiking, walking – anything to get you moving. Swimming is also very beneficial to a new mom during pregnancy because it helps ease the added weight on a mom’s body, and many choose to take aquanatal classes to get ready for baby. When you’re physically active in your pregnancy, it can make it easier for you to get back into shape after you have your baby and it will boost your mood and help ward off depression.
It’s important to surround yourself with as much knowledge as you possibly can about pregnancy and infants to help lower your stress and anxiety of welcoming a new baby into the world. Many first time parents (especially mothers) are recommended to read up as much information as they can to help prepare themselves for what’s ahead in later trimesters, what happens in labor and how to care for a newborn and infant. When you’re mentally prepared and knowledgeable of what’s to come, your mind will be at ease and you won’t stress as much, which will be very beneficial to your unborn child.
If you’re expecting, remember to take extra care of yourself to ensure that the child growing inside of you is well taken care of. If you follow the aforementioned tips, you’re on the right path to a natural and healthy pregnancy.