Taking care of your body is more important than ever before during pregnancy. Small changes can make a big difference to your overall health and happiness not just whilst you are carrying the baby, but after giving birth too.
Getting the nutrients you need
Enjoying a balanced, healthy diet while you’re pregnant is the best way to get all the vitamins and nutrients you require, but there are a few which are particularly vital for the growth and development of your baby. Folic acid is known to help prevent birth defects such as spina bifida. You should take 400 mg each day whilst trying to conceive and for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Foods like brown rice, reduced fat spreads and leafy vegetables are rich in folic acid too, so you should try to increase your intake of those too.
Studies also show that vitamin D is beneficial during pregnancy, as it helps raise your calcium and phosphorus levels. This helps build your baby’s bones and teeth. Take 10 mg each day throughout your pregnancy and carry on taking it after birth if you breastfeed.
Low impact exercise
When it comes to exercise think low impact. Gentle exercise while you’re pregnant will help you to get a good night’s sleep, allow you to maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of stress and depression at a time when your hormones can make you feel out of sorts. Activities like walking, swimming or yoga are the best examples. If you are new to yoga, there are lots of DVDs and online tutorials that will enable you to get started and many classes operate drop in sessions, so you can try it out before you commit to several weeks at a time. Be sure to warm up and cool down properly before and after exercise to prevent any unnecessary strain on your body.
Keep a maternity calendar
Why not use a pregnancy calendar to track you and your baby’s development week on week? Some women find using a maternity calendar useful since they can track their appointments, as well as noting things like how far along they are and how big their baby is. They can also document particular milestones and monitor the changes to your body as they happen.
Don’t’ forget to take your calendar along to your health visitor appointments and seek advice as you go and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Remember a happy mom means a happy baby!