Wednesday 23 February 2022

How to Take Care of Yourself In Pregnancy

Eight key areas to looking after yourself when you are pregnant. Simple care tips to ensure mother and baby are well.
Image Credit: Pexels

{This is a collaborative post}

Finding out that you're pregnant is a special time in any woman's life. Ensuring that you're taking care of yourself is the most important thing you can do to ensure that you deliver a healthy baby. 

You also want to make sure that you are in the best shape possible during your pregnancy. This will not only be beneficial to you but your child as well. However, taking care of yourself during pregnancy can be challenging as your body is changing dramatically. If it's your first pregnancy you may not be aware of some of the things that you need to do to take care of yourself. 

Even if you have been pregnant before it is still worth reminding yourself of all the things you need to do to keep you and your baby healthy. Here are some of the most important things you need to do and know about to care for yourself during pregnancy.

Your Diet

When you are pregnant, having the proper diet becomes even more important than ever. Whilst there may be several cravings that you encounter throughout your pregnancy, ensuring that you eat the right things is essential. You need to ensure that you are getting enough of all the proper nutrients, as a lack of any one can cause problems with the growth and development of your baby. 

Try to eat healthily, using the healthy plate model, with a good balance from all the food groups and particularly a lot of vegetables and fruits. Rich sources of protein are also really important as these are the building blocks of our bodies.

If your doctor has given you a specific dietary requirement for your pregnancy make sure that you are following their instructions as this will help to ensure that your pregnancy goes smoothly.

Try to Exercise

Like at any other time of your life, exercise is important. Of course, if you have been quite sedentary in your lifestyle before pregnancy you should not start a rigorous exercise program but it is very good to ensure you have some form of gentle exercise as part of your weekly timetable. You can have a healthier and happier pregnancy if you are exercising regularly.

Exercise should not be strenuous, it should be just right for your needs. In most healthy pregnancies simple exercises such as walking, yoga or pregnancy aqua aerobics are highly recommended. Every pregnancy is different and the precautions you need to take can vary, so talk to your GP or midwife and importantly listen to your body, if it feels too much slowdown or stop.

One of the benefits of exercise is that it can help control your weight, so you can experience less weight gain during pregnancy and this can help you get back to a healthy weight once you finally have your baby. Exercise can also help to reduce any fatigue that you are feeling and help you to sleep better. This is always a plus during pregnancy.

Pay Close Attention

Keeping a journal throughout your pregnancy is a good idea. It will help you to record your feelings and help you to manage your emotions. Pregnancy brings with it an onslaught of hormones and this can cause your moods to vary. Emotional stress during pregnancy can be very taxing on your baby. If you are concerned about your pregnancy do not keep issues hidden be sure to ask your doctor. 

By journaling, during your pregnancy, you'll have a record of how you felt during your pregnancy and this can be beneficial if you decide to have another child in the future. You'll be able to look back on your journaling and see the things that affected you, and the things that you enjoyed. This can help you make informed decisions during your next pregnancy.

Image Credit: Pexels

Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is often hard to avoid when you are pregnant. You can try to avoid having bad morning sickness by drinking lots of water and juices in between your meals, as of course, they call it morning sickness but many women who have been pregnant know it is anytime (or even all the time) sickness.

To help you cope, try to change the types of food that you eat as this can also contribute to morning sickness. Try to avoid eating foods that are too spicy, especially late at night and instead of eating a large portion of food at once, you can try eating smaller amounts at a time. Try to get a lot of fresh air if you start feeling sick. Sometimes a bit of fresh air is all that is needed to help you to feel better quite quickly.

Take Supplements

If you notice that you just don't have the appetite to eat or that morning sickness is having an adverse impact on your diet you should ensure that you are at least taking the right supplements, this is one of the essentials for expecting mothers

It's good to take an all-round supplement throughout your pregnancy and you can also continue to take vitamins after you have given birth as well, as breastfeeding can be quite an exhausting activity.

Making sure you are getting all the nutrients that you need is especially important if you are carrying multiples as you have extra demands on your body and you want to ensure you are in tip-top condition for those babies.

Foot Care in Pregnancy

While you are pregnant your feet go through a lot of changes along with the rest of your body. You may notice that your feet are swollen at the end of the day and you may be wondering how you can reduce the swelling.

The first thing you need to do is ensure that you're wearing comfortable shoes throughout the day. Get off your feet whenever you can and raise your foot to about heart level to help with the circulation in your feet. 

You can also try massaging your feet at intervals throughout the day. My husband was particularly good at this and I found a foot massage with sweet almond oil made a massive difference to my swollen feet and ankles as I had pre-eclampsia.

Dental Care

Dental care is something that you should not overlook during pregnancy. When you are pregnant the hormones that are released can severely impact your oral health. They can cause your teeth to become looser and more prone to damage. The best way to ensure that your oral health is up to par is to visit a dentist at least once while you are pregnant and it's also free with a maternity exemption certificate!

You also want to make sure that you are following proper dental hygiene. Make sure that you are brushing at least two times per day, flossing, and using mouthwash. Remember that if your teeth become infected and that infection goes into your bloodstream it can negatively impact your child. If you have any teeth that need filling or extraction make sure you get them looked at as soon as you become pregnant.

You may find that during pregnancy your gums are more prone to bleeding. Pregnancy gingivitis is not uncommon and it can develop later in your pregnancy. Gingivitis is more prone to happening during pregnancy because the hormone makes your gums a lot more tender. This means they are more likely to be irritated by plaque.

When you are pregnant you should also be on the lookout for pregnancy tumours that can appear on your gums. These tumours happen in between your teeth and they have a red raspberry-like look. The good news is that they usually go away as soon as you have your baby but you can ask your dentist how you can care for them in the meantime.

Pregnancy and Your Hair

Your hair can be impacted by pregnancy in a good or bad way. Many women find that their hair grows a lot faster while they're pregnant because of all the hormones that are being released. Some women even find that the texture of their hair changes too. While some women's hair becomes thicker during pregnancy it can have the opposite impact on other women's hair. 

Women have reported that their hair becomes a lot thinner when they are pregnant. If there is a huge hormone imbalance during pregnancy some women may experience hair fall. If you experience hair loss and thinning during pregnancy your hair will return to its normal growth pattern once you have your baby. 

Whether you experience flourishing locks or diminishing ones during pregnancy the important thing is to make sure that you have a routine for hair care. If your hair is growing then you should enjoy it since this boost in hormones won't last forever.

If your hair is falling you should also take care of it because you want to ensure that it has the best possible chance of bouncing back quickly once you have had your baby.

Pregnancy Health

Pregnancy is a special time for a woman. However, there are so many changes that happen in your body and you may have a lot of concerns. As you can see, taking care of yourself is paramount. 

When you are taking care of yourself during pregnancy you are also taking care of your baby and making it more likely that you will have a healthy child. If you have any questions or concerns about anything that has been discussed here you should speak with your GP or midwife. 

Your care provider can help you to come up with a special plan for coping with everything in your pregnancy. While there are many challenges when you are pregnant, it doesn't last forever and so you should enjoy the special moments whenever you can. 

Before you know it your new bundle of joy will have arrived and your pregnancy will be over.

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Eight key areas to looking after yourself when you are pregnant. Simple care tips to ensure mother and baby are well.

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