10 tips for a healthy and joyful pregnancy
In order to have a good pregnancy, we must not only look at physical health. Being healthy is essential at this time, but also being mentally calm, prepared and happy. That is why we are going to give you ten keys to a healthy and happy pregnancy, in which mind and body combine in harmony to welcome a new member into our lives.
Healthy eating and drinking during pregnancy
Your diet should be varied and balanced. The important thing is to eat foods rich in nutrients and vitamins such as folic acid, iron, calcium and iodine, but not in fats. The diet should be varied, based on vegetables, fruit, cereals, dairy products and pulses, not forgetting the daily intake of protein from meat and fish.
A healthy diet includes maintaining proper hydration. Drinking enough water and milk that provides calcium is essential. We can also drink juices, preferably natural and unsweetened. Of course, forget alcoholic beverages and coffee.
Taking the recommended vitamin supplements
To complement a healthy diet, the doctor will recommend certain vitamin supplements that include folic acid, together with other vitamin and mineral supplements that are also beneficial for pregnancy, such as iron, iodine, calcium, etc.
In this way we help the foetus to develop properly, avoiding deficiencies that could cause complications for both the baby (low birth weight, spina bifida, etc.) and the mother (anaemia, pre-eclampsia, etc.)
Exercising during pregnancy
For our well-being and an ideal weight gain, it is essential to do physical exercise that is appropriate to our condition. Whether it is swimming, yoga, walking, the Pilates method, etc....
By doing moderate and constant exercise, we will improve our cardiovascular and muscular condition and encourage postural correction. All this will provide the pregnant woman with a better general physical condition and will allow her to face pregnancy and childbirth with fewer risks.
Go to your doctor's appointments
Visit the gynaecologist regularly for the appropriate tests and to obtain adequate prenatal care. In this way, we will be able to monitor the baby's health as well as our own, and we will be able to ask the specialist all our doubts and fears, as well as talk to him/her about our birth plan. The prenatal tests will give us peace of mind, they will help us to "get closer" to the baby and with the ultrasound scans we will have the first images to remember.
Wear appropriate clothing
We should wear comfortable clothing (including shoes), appropriate to the increase in weight and volume we are experiencing. This will help the blood to circulate better, our movements to be correct and not forced and the skin to stay healthy. It's not about dressing like a sack of potatoes, as fortunately being pregnant is no longer at odds with being fashionable, and many shops sell beautiful maternity clothes. The heels can wait, but feeling comfortable and beautiful in a pretty "wrapper" is an important psychological comfort at this time.
Pampering our mind during pregnancy
If we take time to care for our bodies, we must also take time to relax and care for our minds. It is not only the body that is more vulnerable during pregnancy. Finding our peace and quiet and doing relaxation exercises at home will help us to feel better. We should not put aside the activities we enjoy, such as going to the cinema, reading, going to the countryside, arts and crafts...
Taking care of our skin
During pregnancy it is essential to apply protective sun creams to avoid skin blemishes and sunburn. Due to the action of hormones, pregnant women's skin suffers alterations such as hyperpigmentation. Anti-stretch mark creams are also important, as they prevent the appearance of these scars as our skin stretches, with special attention during the final months, when the skin stretches at a very fast pace.
Moisturising the whole body after bathing or showering gives us a moment of relaxation. Gentle massages after exercise help us to feel better. Of course, external hydration must be complemented with internal hydration, drinking plenty of fluids as we have already mentioned in the section on nutrition. All of this combined will increase our wellbeing as we feel more cared for and beautiful.
Good rest during pregnancy
It is very important to sleep and rest as much as your body asks you to. Tiredness and sleepiness can be an early symptom of pregnancy and, hopefully, will disappear. But it is more than likely that we will feel very tired and sleepy again in the final stages of pregnancy. This is what the body needs, and we should listen to it, resting as much as possible, not forgetting that moderate exercise will help us rest and sleep better.
Attending childbirth classes can be very beneficial for both our physical and mental health. Connecting with other pregnant women and sharing experiences opens our minds as we discover that we are not the only ones who have doubts or fears.
They also help us to acquire knowledge and awareness of the changes in our body, learning about the stages of childbirth, baby hygiene and breastfeeding will help us to feel more prepared for the changes that are coming. Through knowledge, an important self-confidence is generated thanks to security, and being a parent begins to be experienced now. As far as possible, it is good to share these classes with your partner.
Communicating with the baby
Talking to the baby, communicating with him, playing music, will make us feel closer to him, preparing us for the moment when he really arrives in our arms. Knowing how the baby is evolving month by month, how it is growing in our belly, writing a letter, keeping a diary of our pregnancy, responding to its little kicks...
All these simple activities will make the life that is being gestated in our womb fill us with more life. The possible discomforts of our pregnancy are forgotten in these moments of communication.
Don't forget, to have a healthy pregnancy you need a happy pregnancy. We have to take care of mind and body in this delicate stage of our life, full of emotions and sometimes contradictory sensations. I hope that these tips for a healthy and happy pregnancy will encourage you to face this stage of your lives with optimism and full of vitality.