Remember those late night eats at Denny’s or McDonald’s? Those nights with 4 hours of sleep so that you can meet that work deadline? All those days that you bailed on the gym because you were ‘too busy’ or ‘too tired’? Not anymore.
It doesn’t matter if you are 20 or 45. If you are considering having a baby, you need to get yourself healthy. Healthy babies start in utero, and for many interested moms-to-be, getting yourself healthy enough for pregnancy means a lifestyle overhaul.
Balance Your Plate
Remember those nights when you ate a half gallon of ice cream for dinner or those days that you were so busy you couldn’t remember if you ate anything at all besides coffee? That kind of diet will readily set you up for pregnancy related diseases.
To insure that your pregnancy is as healthy as possible, you need to make sure that you are eating a balanced diet. A diet rich in fresh fruits, colourful veggies, and lean meats will help prevent excessive weight gain (anything over 20 to 30 pounds depending on your size), which could lead to preeclampsia or diabetes.
Sleep…and then Sleep Some More
Ditching the sleep will only wear you out, increase stress and food cravings, and leave you miserable. Extra stress and food cravings, in particular, can leave you susceptible to pregnancy related diseases such as diabetes. If you currently have poor sleeping patterns, consider consulting a sleep specialist. If a sleep specialist isn’t readily available, consider practicing better sleeping patterns by removing the TV and other unnecessary electronics from your room and lying down at the same time every night. If you are still struggling, consider taking a warm bath with lavender oil in it just before bedtime
Take Care of Your Mental Health
If you are constantly stressed out or struggling with personal issues, it will affect your pregnancy. Stress and personal struggles are typical to life, but they aren’t always easy to manage. If you find that meditation or regular de-stressing exercises aren’t working for you, consider visiting a counselor. A counselor will help guide you to a more stable way of combating stress and emotions, and will provide additional support when needed. And there’s nothing better than resolving your own mommy issues before you become a mother yourself.
Still hesitant to schedule annual physicals or women’s wellness exams? Getting yourself and your pregnancy checked out regularly is something that you need to do to make sure it is and stays a healthy pregnancy. Completing a prenatal DNA test is one of the first steps in family planning. A prenatal DNA test can let you know whether or not your child may have certain special needs.
Knowing ahead of time allows parents-to-be a chance to adjust their lives and find the resources and support necessary to increase positive parenting.
Ditch the Caffeine
That gallon of coffee a day you used to drink isn’t allowed anymore. Caffeine is a drug, whether we like it or not, and you don’t want to expose your child to drugs in utero. While a cup of coffee or two a week or the occasional soda is okay during the first trimester, it is best to just cut caffeine out of your diet altogether.
In order to help diminish the likelihood of health risks related to pregnancy, moms-to-be also need to have a regular workout routine. A regular routine can help you manage your weight, reduce stress, make it easier to shed pounds after giving birth, and even make delivery itself easier. So if you have struggled in the past with making it to the gym on a regular basis, hire yourself a personal trainer experienced with pregnant clientele.
A healthy pregnancy starts with you, and that often means rethinking our everyday strategies for getting through the day. Regular exercise, eating right, and consistent quality self-care can be highly beneficial, and help make sure that you have a healthy pregnancy. If you have additional questions about your pregnancy or your personal routines and how they might be affecting your pregnancy, consult with your OB/GYN.