HOW TO TAKE CARE OF A PREGNANT WOMAN?
The joy of finding out you are pregnant is only superseded by the euphoria of holding your precious baby in your arms for the first time. Pregnancy brings along with a lot of changes in your body and you will need to change your lifestyle along with it.
Good health during pregnancy results in an easier birthing process and a healthy baby. To kick-start a healthy pregnancy, here are a few tips on taking care of the pregnant mother:
Visit your doctor
Once you have confirmed your pregnancy, register yourself for antenatal care with a hospital that’s not too far from home. You will need to follow-up on your regular check-ups, scans and follow the doctor’s instructions accordingly.
You will need to watch your diet more carefully now that you are pregnant. Aim to eat at least 5 portions of fruits and vegetables daily. Go for whole grains instead of white flour to ensure plenty of fibres – as some females get a little constipated along the way. Include good portions of proteins such as chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, pulses, beans and dairy products. As some women develop anathema towards certain foods, you might decide to forego fish in which case you will need to get your omega-3 fatty acids from nuts, seeds or soy sprouts. Do note that you don’t need extra calorie-laden foods for the first six months, only wholesome proteins, and vitamin and mineral-rich foods. You will need to stay well hydrated with at least 8 glasses of fluids daily.
Taking vitamin D and folic acid is essential for the normal development of your baby and you can’t compromise on it. And if you feel you aren’t eating well, then take a multivitamin too.
You can’t afford to get sick at this stage as some medications can harm the baby. A better option is to maintain hygiene in your kitchen and avoid stale or expired foods. Avoid raw or undercooked meats and cook your eggs well. Avoid unpasteurized foods and wash your fruits and vegetables well.
Indulge in regular gentle exercise as it increases your chances of an uncomplicated labour and delivery. It also helps keep your blood pressure in control, keeps those moody episodes off as well as helps you get back into shape after delivery. Exercises like brisk walking, swimming, yoga, pilates and antenatal classes will all help keep you in shape.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Pelvic floor muscles include the muscles at the base of the pelvis that helps in supporting the bladder, vagina as well as the back passage. Since the pressure of pregnancy can cause these muscles to slacken, it leads to embarrassing stress incontinence. Doing these exercises three times a day will help keep them strong.
Alcohol and Smoking
Cut out alcohol and cigarettes as they can cross the placenta and affect your baby’s development.
Cut down on caffeine as it can harm the developing baby and even lead to miscarriage.
And finally, you will need to put up your feet and rest more often.