The way you look after yourself in the months leading to, and during gestation, is key for a healthy pregnancy. Emotional, physical and mental well-being are all equally important.
1. Have a healthy diet For A Healthy Pregnancy
Hyppocrates said: ‘let food be your medicine and medicine be your food’.
- Clue: don’t eat for two. Be sattisfied with a light overall feeling in your stomach at the end of a meal or snack.
- Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables for vitamins, minerals and antioxidants! Add a protein with each meal to keep blood sugar levels stables and restore muscles and energy. Proteins are also important for good-mood chemicals release in the body; such as serotonin, tryptophan, and tyrosine, which act as an energiser!
Favour oily fish (cooked) for omega 3’s and, cooked eggs and chicken or turkey. All these foods are endorphin boosting too.
- Small meals and often may be a better policy then two big meals! Think healthy protein based breakfast, midmorning snack, colourful lunch, mid-afternoon fruit, and light dinner. Perhaps, banana or apricots before bedtime.
- Bananas and Apricots against muscle spasms. Their potassium and magnesium will ease muscle spasm, promoting muscle smoothness.
- Ginger has been proven to help alleviate nausea and heartburn.
Also remember to keep well hydrated.
Being active supports positive mood. Exercise helps to release endorphins in the body, which acts as a natural painkiller and mood-enhancing chemical. A must for a healthy pregnancy! It also is a good way to encourage baby optimal position for birth.
- Walking or swimming is a great way to be active without a strenuous work out.
- Pilates is a wonderful way to keep body awareness and maintain your core strength.
- Practice kegels! Your pelvic floor muscles support your bladder, bowels and uterus. Keeping it healthy will help during and after birth.
- Use a gym ball for relaxation, fun and movement.
Do an inversion everyday for relaxing the muscle of the pelvis. Think of your pelvis like your arms when they carry extra weight (e.g shopping bags). From time to time you need to drop the weight, relax the arms to then be able to carry the rest of the weight again.
3. Inform yourself about birth choices and breastfeeding
Research shows a positive birth experience is connected with the ability to understand ‘what is going on’ during birth and feeling you can chose what’s best for you in preparation to birth and along the way.
- Attend antenatal classes
- Book a doula
Read good quality resources: books, online blogs, etc.
4. Relax and surround yourself with people who are positive and have good energy
- It’s wonderful how much energy and happiness a positive friend, or relative can transmit. Surround yourself with those people and avoid those who drain your energy instead!
- Indulge yourself. Once the baby comes you are not going to have ‘me time’ for a little while. (Even though you are going to love most of the baby time instead!).
- Search for and listen to, positive birth stories. There ARE many!
- Believe in yourself more then ever before.
- Have compassion and be kind to yourself. Think of yourself like your best friend and in a challenging situations act towards yourself like you would with your best friend.