And you are pregnant! Or you may be trying to or is this presently the farthest thing in your list but surely in the back of your mind! Whatever current state you are in, the news of being pregnant always brings forth a plethora of emotions, ranging from sheer joy to sheer terror as the reality of being a mom sets in! While a miracle unfolds inside you, you experience a change of unknown hormones. Mood swings are totally normal and you better get used to them since they’ll be hanging around for the next nine months or so.
As we know, with great power comes greater responsibility! And well yes pregnancy is indeed a great power cause you are nurturing a baby inside you and it does come with lots of responsibilities! Don’t be scared, instead treat this as an opportunity to pamper yourself and take good care of your health with these healthy pregnancy tips. You are now not only responsible for yourself but also for your growing nugget.
Along with all the mood swings and nausea – thanks to the PMS on overdrive! there’s a lot which needs to be taken care of. But there a few things you can do to make this journey as safe and enjoyable as possible. These healthy pregnancy tips will come handy while taking care of your baby and yourself.
Doctors- Obstetrician/ Gynecologist
This one goes without saying but finding a good doctor is the most important thing to do. Do a through research about the best Obstetrician/ Gynecologist around; preferably someone who is not too far, has good ratings and most importantly accepts your insurance!
Save yourself the trouble and find a good doctor at the earliest.
While your doctor is surely going to give you all the consultation you need, it’s always great to have your own personal tracker. There are numerous paid and free apps to help you keep track of your pregnancy, the changes that you might be experiencing on a weekly basis and your baby’s growth.
Some great pregnancy apps you can use are:
- ‘babycenter – my pregnancy today’
- ‘What to expect’
- ‘Sprout’- It is a paid app.
Book recommendation -“what to expect when you are expecting”
We all may not have the luxury of having our parents around during our pregnancy to address our trivial doubts. A common problem that can turn you into a nervous wreck!
Believe me, joining pregnancy clubs, communities or forums is a great way to tackle this problem. These forums have numerous topics, which are discussed everyday, and you can get answers to your own personal questions with suggestions and recommendations from moms all over the world!
Usually signing up with an app automatically lets you join your due date club and also delivers daily ‘baby digest’ to your email.
Some great forums-
- What to expect community
- babycentre.com and babycenter.in
- Indusladies community (catering to Indian ladies all over the world)
Healthy Pregnancy Diet
Well, now is the time to take extra care of your eating habits. Eliminate junk food and surround yourself with healthy food options. You can however occasionally indulge yourself. Making healthy eating choices is the key for a healthy mother and her baby. Include food rich in proteins like legumes, eggs (fully cooked), fish (check with your doctor regarding the recommended fish during pregnancy), chicken( fully cooked) tofu etc.
Calcium is very important for a healthy pregnancy. Include low fat curd – Greek yogurt, milk and almonds in your diet.
Include a healthy mix of fruits and vegetables in your diet. They provide you with the essential nutrition required by your body. Avoid papayas though as they are believed to cause early labor.
Including whole-grains and fiber rich foods in your diet is equally important.
Include healthy fats like nuts (walnuts and almonds) and avocados.
Along with these do check with your doctor for prenatal vitamins, which is a must during pregnancy. You should ideally be taking a prenatal multivitamin with folic acid daily.
Avoid all foods containing partially cooked eggs or meats, soft unpasteurized cheese or dairy products, food high in sodium, MSG, food containing herbs (few herbs have an adverse effect on pregnancy). Avoid all kinds of sodas and deep fried foods. You should be eating the healthiest diet possible during the next nine months.
Maintain proper hygiene by washing fruits and veggies before cooking and your hands before eating.
Pregnancy is the time, when you do not need to worry about gaining weight. But that also means you need to gain steady weight.
Eating for two is not completely true when you are pregnant as blindly just increasing your diet twice the regular amount is not at all required.
Understanding your calorie needs and do some mild exercises for a healthy pregnancy.
For woman with normal BMI total weight gain should be between 25 to 35 pounds, obese and overweight should gain between 11-20 and 15 -25 respectively and those who are underweight should check with their practitioner and learn how they should gain weight.
Gaining weight for a normal and overweight BMI is not required during first trimester as much as it is needed during the second and last trimester.
Include nutrient dense foods in your diet, eat at regular intervals and incorporate mild to moderate exercise like walking and prenatal yoga are the best healthy pregnancy tips. They are a great way to keep blood circulation going and to avoid complications like gestational diabetes. So stay active and eat well and healthy is the only key!
But exercises must be done only after you get a green signal from your practitioner!
For a healthy pregnancy our beauty products requires a renovation too!
As not all that is available in the market is safe for your skin during pregnancy. With the raging hormones in our body, we may suffer from irritation, acne or pigmentation, hence it is imperative to understand and cater to the delicate needs of our skin during pregnancy.
Choose products specially designed to protect baby from birth defects caused by harsh chemicals. Use natural products over synthetic creams, lotions that are loaded with chemicals.
Steer clear from products, which contain parabens, dyes and phthalates. These are the ingredients that are commonly found in most of the beauty products these days, so read the label before buying.
Choose products that do not contain any artificial fragrances, as the skin is quite sensitive during pregnancy and anything too harsh can cause irritation.
During pregnancy we are more prone to pigmentation or sun damage so choosing a good sunscreen is equally important. Look for sunblock without PABA and free of oils.
Acne is more prevalent during pregnancy and over the counter acne medication contains salicylic acid, which are not considered safe. Hence sticking to oil free cleanser, moisturizer and include some home remedies for treating acne.
Brightening creams and anti aging serums: not all brightening serums and creams are safe due to high content of hydroquinone and harmful bleaching agents present in them. Steer clear of any products with retinoids during pregnancy. Look for products with Vitamin C, cucumber and lactic acid or face packs made at home, are a great way of maintaining the complexion.
Taking good care of yourself is one of the best healthy pregnancy tips to take care of your baby during pregnancy.