Have you just found out that a new life is growing inside your womb? Amid all the celebration and preparation for the arrival of your new family guest, it can get a little daunting to take account of what to do during pregnancy. With free and contrasting advice flowing from different directions, are you wondering which way you should lean?
If you are a first-time mother and are constantly researching the do's and don’ts of pregnancy, this blog is for you. While it is impossible to be 100% ready for what’s in the future, read this blog to get a detailed idea of how you can best prepare for the little bundle of joy that is about to enter your life.
5 pregnancy do’s
The journey of motherhood is beautiful and difficult at the same time. However, certain things can help make the journey more comfortable for you. If you are wondering what to do during pregnancy, here are some tips:
- Balanced diet: What you eat during your pregnancy has a long-lasting impact on the foetus. Ensure that you include all the necessary nutrients in your diet. A healthy diet is not only essential for the unborn baby’s growth and development but also for you to have a smooth and comfortable pregnancy.
- Prenatal vitamins: While a healthy diet is extremely important during pregnancy, it is not enough to ensure a safe pregnancy. Apart from consuming nutritious foods, mothers-to-be also need prenatal vitamins, which are a primary source of iron, folic acid and calcium. These nutrients aid the proper development of the foetus while at the same time ensuring that the unborn baby does not have any birth defects. Multivitamins or prenatal vitamins must be taken on the advice of your doctor to help you with the right set of vitamins and dosage.
- Workout: It is a common myth that pregnant women should not exercise. However, staying active and exercising regularly is a BIG YES for mamas-to-be. Regular workout not only prepares you for a comparatively easier delivery but also helps you fight common discomforts during pregnancy such as insomnia, mood swings, excessive weight gain and muscle soreness. While it is not advisable to exert yourself excessively, you can consult your doctor to understand the types of exercises that can help you during pregnancy and integrate a fitness routine into your daily schedule.
- Consume seafood: The amount of nutrients you can derive from seafood is unfathomable. Seafood is a powerhouse of Omega-3 fatty acids, iron and zinc, all of which are beneficial for the mother and the unborn child. However, due to the high levels of mercury, seafood must be eaten in moderation. Uncooked or raw seafood is a strict no-no during pregnancy, especially since they contain bacterias and viruses that can harm the growth of the foetus.
- Have sex: While it might seem like a bad idea, having intercourse during pregnancy is fine as long as you don’t have a high-risk pregnancy. Some women vouch that having sex during pregnancy works wonders on their mood swings and helps them feel more positive. That said, having sex during pregnancy is an individual choice. If it causes you discomfort or if you are unable to find convenient positions, you can speak to your doctor and weigh in whether it is a safe choice for you.
5 pregnancy don’ts
Mothers-to-be are often shrouded with a list of things to do after the baby is born, leading the focus to shift from the precautions to be taken during the pregnancy. To help you maintain a balance, here is a list of five things to avoid during pregnancy:
- Caffeine consumption: While the potential problems caused by caffeine-consumption are not as elaborate as that caused by alcohol, it is still not a healthy choice. Some of us, however, enjoy our daily coffee or tea and a solution can be derived with a different approach to the problem. Instead of shunning caffeine altogether, expectant mothers can choose to consume it in moderation. The health hazards that caffeine causes during pregnancy include dehydration for the mom-to-be and can also affect the healthy growth of the foetus. High intake of caffeine is a strict no-no during pregnancy. However, if you do decide to consume one cup of coffee a day, ensure that your water intake is high and that you have discussed the caffeine consumption bit with your doctor.
- Consuming unpasteurised dairy products: Dairy products have a beneficial effect on the growth of the unborn baby. However, consuming unpasteurised or raw milk can prove harmful to the foetus. Raw milk contains a bacteria called listeria which can cause illness and in some cases, even miscarriage. Hence, mamas-to-be must consume only pasteurised milk.
- NO Smoking: Smoking is, generally, injurious to health. However, the health hazards of smoking during pregnancy are far more grave. Babies born to smoking women are at a higher risk of being born with learning disabilities, low birth weight and other birth defects.
- No hot baths or saunas: While a hot bath or sauna seems like a great option to blow off steam and relax, it is not advisable for pregnant women. The high heat environment is unsafe for expectant mothers and can sometimes cause miscarriage. Furthermore, it can also lead to the baby being born with birth defects. It can also cause mothers-to-be to feel nauseous.
- NO to alcohol: Consuming alcohol during pregnancy can lead to the baby being born with the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), which in turn can cause stagnation in growth and development of the baby, low birth weight, learning disabilities and also behavioural problems in some cases. As per studies, there’s no amount of alcohol which is considered safe during pregnancy. If you are facing issues in shunning alcohol from your daily lifestyle, speak to your doctor to help you through it. Remember that it is essential that you give up alcohol to ensure you have a safe pregnancy and give birth to a healthy child.
Honorary mention (Good sleep!)
During pregnancy, your body is going through a myriad of hormonal and physical changes. In this event, it becomes paramount that your body and mind receive ample amounts of rest. Many expectant mothers tend to struggle with an errant sleep pattern and problems related to insomnia. If you too have issues with sleep, you must speak to a doctor immediately.
If you are a pregnant woman, you are bound to be levied with worries of a thousand shades. However, stress does not go well with pregnancy. Take this time to pamper yourself and prepare for the forthcoming bundle of joy. Instil positive vibes and integrate positive activities into your daily schedule. Apart from researching things to avoid during pregnancy, invest time in other activities such as walks, watching feel-good movies, reading good books, eating wholesome food and enjoying the journey. If you have more questions, we are here to help you. Keep checking this space for more such tips and important information.