We all hope to do our very best for our unborn child during pregnancy. For some of us it means changing our lifestyle and being more conscious of our behaviors. For others it is simply an extension of an already healthy existence.
Whatever category to fall into, it is important not to be too hard on yourself when things do not necessarily go according to plan.
A lot of women will start taking a prenatal vitamin well before they fall pregnant.
Folic acid helps in the development of the neural cord, which later becomes the brain and spinal cord in your baby. The neural cord starts to develop in the first month of pregnancy, so it is important to begin taking folic acid early on.
Other prenatal vitamins to consider are calcium and iron supplements.
TIP: It is always recommended to consult with your health care provider first before taking any form of vitamin or health supplement.
Healthcare check ups
Keeping regular health care check ups is essential. Your health care provider will keep a track of your weight gain, blood pressure, baby’s heartbeat and growth.
Regular visits are also a wonderful opportunity to ask any questions and discuss any concerns you might have.
The average age of pregnant women is rising and with age comes risk.
Most women will have a series of prenatal tests early on in their pregnancy to help determine the well-being and development of the growing child.
Morning sickness affects a large number of pregnant women. Fortunately for most morning sickness only lasts for a few months and consists of nausea and some vomiting.
For others it can be a traumatic experience that lasts throughout the entire pregnancy.
TIP: Whilst mild morning sickness can be unpleasant, there are some things you can do to help ease the discomfort.
- Eat regularly
- Eat small portions
- Keep hydrated and drink plenty of water
- Rest when necessary
- Chew gum or suck lollies
- Don’t over exhaust yourself
- Keep cool and avoid hot stuffy places
Eating well not only benefits you but also helps to aid in a healthy development of your unborn child.
Eat plenty of protein for iron, fruit and vegetables for vitamins and minerals, whole grain foods for fibre and healthy fats for a healthy heart.
Avoid unpasteurized cheese, milk and juices. Also avoid uncooked meat, deli foods and Seafood’s, as they can contain listeria and/or salmonella, which can be harmful to you and your unborn child.
Most women will experience some type of food craving during pregnancy. Sometimes this is nature’s way of telling us that we are lacking something in our diet.
Give in to your cravings and allow yourself to indulge once in a while. Keep portion sizes small to avoid putting on excess weight.
Regular exercise helps to promote good health, keeps your muscles strong and helps to build endurance. A fit healthy body helps to aid in a complication free pregnancy and an easier labor.
It is important to listen to your body throughout your pregnancy. When you feel tired take the time to rest or sit down. Avoid over exhausting yourself, as this will not do you or your baby any good.
Engaging in meditative practices such as yoga and palates are wonderful ways to help center your self. The breathing techniques adopted in these practices helps to lower the heart rate and reduce stress.
Listen to your body and understand the differences between aches and pains in a normal pregnancy and ailments that might be of concern.
TIP: Should you be experiencing any of the below it is advised to consult your health care provider immediately.
- Unusual cramps
- Bleeding or spotting
- Short of breath
Flat shoes and comfortable clothing
Carrying a growing baby around in your tummy can be uncomfortable, particularly as they continue to grow in size.
Wearing sensible shoes (flat), loose non-restrictive clothing and a supportive maternity bra will help to ensure greater comfort.
Educating yourself and understanding your pregnancy is empowering.
The Internet is a wonderful resource full of personal real life stories and professional advice. Knowledge is power!
Preparing a birth plan is a wonderful way to finalise details.
TIP: It is important to remember that not all birth plans go according to plan! Unexpected complications during labor can mean that the birth plan is ignored and that the well-being of the mother and child become paramount.
However long you decide to take off is determined by your family situation and your work place expectations.
TIP: Sit down with your employer early on in your pregnancy to discuss your & their expectations. This way you both have a clear understanding and an agreed strategy for returning back to work.
About the Author
Like many women out there, Tracey Montford is an exceptional multi-tasker! Apart from steering a global business, managing 2 young boys & keeping the clan clean and fed, Tracey still finds time to provide creative inspiration and direction to the exceptional designs of Cake Maternity. From the branding, presentation and delivery, creativity is a big part of what Tracey does so naturally and effectively. Find out more at https://au.cakematernity.com or catch up with her on social @cakematernity