Having a bun in the oven is an exciting time. During this special time, expectant mothers should take care of themselves to ensure a safe, healthy pregnancy. In today’s post, we are giving practical and effective lifestyle and nutrition tips for would-be mommies:
Two things that expectant mothers should avoid are excessive weight gain and gestational diabetes. Although you are eating for two, make sure you stick to healthy foods and cut back on overly sweet or overly salty foods.
To control your cravings or tame the appetite, consider dividing your meals into 6 mini meals instead of the usual 3 square meals. Fill your plate with fresh, organic veggies, lean meat and unrefined grains. To control your sugar intake, cut back on fizzy drinks, desserts, and sweet treats.
Doctors do not recommend eating seafood throughout the pregnancy. Certain deep-sea fish contain mercury. Mercury is a heavy metal that is harmful to your health and the developing fetus. King mackerel, tilefish, and swordfish are fish that you should avoid eating if you are expecting. A Modest serving of trout, salmon, herring, and sardines are recommended for pregnant women according to the US Food and Drug Administration.
Different types of crustaceans, mollusks and shellfish may carry viruses and bacteria that can harm the developing baby. As such, pregnant women are advised against eating fresh shellfish and mollusks too.
Medication and Supplements
Do not take any medication or supplements without your physician’s approval. Some drugs could affect the developing fetus.
Boost Intake of Beneficial Fats
Omega-3 fatty acid is a nutrient that aids in the baby’s brain development and protects from inflammation. Doctors recommend that pregnant women eat foods rich in beneficial fats. Apart from taking fish oil supplements, you can also boost your intake of nuts, grains and plant-based foods rich in beneficial nuts. Almonds, walnuts, flaxseed oil, chia seeds and spinach are excellent sources of beneficial fats.
Reduce Pregnancy Edema
Edema is a common concern among pregnant women especially during the latter part of the pregnancy. This condition is often caused by a combination of high sodium foods and raging hormones. You can reduce swelling by taking short walks regularly. Walking helps keep body fluids from pooling into the legs. A 15 to 30-minute walk every day should be enough to reduce edema.
To keep your weight in check, you need to exercise regularly too. Again, a short 30-minute walk should be enough to keep your weight normal and alleviate stress. Do not engage in strenuous exercise and work out only in shaded, well-ventilated areas. If your pregnancy is very delicate, ask your doctor if exercising is allowed during the pregnancy.
Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol, and Tobacco
The chemicals found in cigarettes, alcohol and caffeinated drinks could affect your baby’s developing organs. You want to avoid being exposed to cigarette smoke. Never take alcoholic or caffeinated beverages if you are pregnant too. Studies show that tobacco and alcohol consumption causes birth defects, stunted growth and rare congenital disorders in babies.
Get as much rest as you can throughout the day and night. During the day, take breaks by taking 15 to 30-minute catnaps and wake up feeling energized. At night, you need to get at least 7 solid hours of sleep. If you are suffering from sleep problems, you can ask your doctor for advice.