Pregnancy is a time of great change, both in the physical sense for the mother, but also on a wider emotional and circumstance level. It can bring great joy and a sense of success, relief and happiness for the mother and partner; however it can also pose a number of health risks to both mother and baby. This short article will walk through a number of tips that will aid the process of a smooth, healthy and low risk pregnancy for both mother and baby.
1. Eliminating unhealthy habits – Under the additional pressures, stress and strain of undergoing pregnancy, it can be easy to feel the need to rely on or turn to alcohol and smoking cigarettes as a form of relief and release. However, studies have proven the huge risk of detrimental effects that this can have on the woman’s health, but also in the development of the baby. For a safer pregnancy, go for a clean lifestyle that is free of substances such as cigarettes and alcohol. If you have planned the pregnancy and are reading this in advance, begin reducing your intake as far before your pregnancy as possible, this will strengthen and cleanse your body in preparation for the changes that it will undergo in the following months.
2. Exercise regularly and in a safe manner – Exercise during pregnancy is essential to maintain a healthy body and state of mind for the mother. As exercise releases serotonin, it can alleviate and prevent the onset of depression during pregnancy, as well as boost the immune system and cleanse the body. When pregnant, exercise should be carried out safely and there are a number of classes that are specifically designed to aid pregnant mothers and reduce the aches and pains that usually come along with being pregnant.
3. Maintain a balanced and healthy diet – Contrary to common belief, a pregnant woman is only required or recommended to eat between 200-300 calories more than average. These calories should come from wholesome, healthy sources. Fast food or processed meals should be eliminated where possible. Foods that have been grown conventionally may contain nitrates, pesticides or inorganic fertilizer residue – this can cause a number of detrimental health effects and in some rare cases, blue baby syndrome. To reduce these risks, switch to organic produce in terms of fruits, vegetables and meat.
4. Take additional supplements – Due to the changes that occur in the body during pregnancy, you should increase your intake of folic acid (vitamin B6). This can be taken through supplements or by eating more leafy, green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli. Folic acid is essential for the development of a healthy fetus and has been linked to reducing the risk of spinal bifida.
So overall, the main features that will contribute to a healthier and safer pregnancy are simple; maintain a healthy lifestyle and reduce the risks of complications by eating clean foods and avoiding damaging activities such as drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes.