The first pregnancy is as exciting as it is tough. The fact that its a whole new experience makes it all the more daunting, since the ‘fear of the unknown’ kicks in. What distracts us women from this fear is the excitement of the new arrival, leading us to shopping sprees, endless baby items’ lists and multiple baby name suggestions. However, it is important to understand that the baby comes after the pregnancy. One should first and foremost hope and pray for a healthy pregnancy, and thus a healthy mother and baby. In order to do that, here are top 5 health tips that first time pregnant women should take a look at.
Deciding Between Mid-Wife or Gynecologist
It is crucial to know exactly what the mother is looking for in terms of delivery. Some women want to go the entirely holistic route of natural birth. This means they endure full on contractions without sedatives or epidural. They even prefer to give birth at home or in an environment where they feel more comfortable, rather than a hospital. This is where the mid-wife comes in. A mid-wife is a trained specialist who assists in giving birth and postpartum issues. However, in case of a cesarean or surgery of any nature, it is better to go with an OB gyn. OB’s are a better choice if the pregnancy faces complications, such as twins, overweight or underweight babies, and cesareans. Furthermore, OB’s are also equipped to perform circumcisions for baby boys.
Maintaining a Healthy Diet
It goes without saying that diet helps determine the health of the baby and the mother. If you are a first timer, you might feel that you have to make major adjustments in your diet. During this time, avoiding caffeine, raw foods, and processed foods is paramount. This is probably one of the best times to make sure that your body is getting a sufficient amount of nutrients such as calcium, proteins, fiber, good fats and carbohydrates as well as essential minerals and vitamins. Foods such as fish, chicken, fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole wheat bread and milk are great for you. Furthermore, it is vital to incorporate foods in your diet that contain DHA, folic acid and vitamins A,C and D. These are essential for the normal and healthy development of the fetus. Doctors often prescribe prenatal vitamins for these, which can be taken in tablet or even candy form.
Staying Active and Fit
Giving birth is like running the most strenuous marathon in a woman’s life. Therefore, training for that marathon is crucial. Contrary to our societal beliefs, you hardly do yourself any favors by being inactive all day long. Because the lower part of the body undergoes the maximum amount of exertion, walking is the key to developing strong legs, hips and thighs. Working out or doing pregnancy yoga helps maintain posture and to avoid swelling, cramping or other aches and pains in various parts of the body. Furthermore, there is no such thing as “eating for two”. Realistically, a woman of average weight need not gain more than 25 to 35 pounds. Too much weight gain might contribute to complications such as gestational diabetes, overweight or premature babies, high blood pressure or cesareans. Hence, it is important to make sure you are taking in all the essential nutrients without stuffing yourself up for no reason. However, staying active is important, but equally important is not to over stretch yourself. Rest as soon as you feel tired. Safety is crucial physical accidents may increase risks of miscarriages.
Ensuring Sufficient Water Intake
Constipation is one of the common problems that women face during pregnancy. Water is the best way to avoid constipation and improve digestion. Furthermore, it acts as an antioxidant by flushing away toxins that can be harmful for the fetus. In the earlier months of pregnancy when most women undergo a period of nausea and vomiting, water helps prevent dehydration and fatigue by keeping the body fresh and active even after it rejects certain foods.
Finding Comfort in Your Support System
For all you first timers, it is important to know that pregnancy affects you physically and emotionally. The unexplained mood swings that you may experience occur due to hormonal changes and sub conscious stress. With such major changes going on in your life, it is essential to be surrounded by your loved ones. Not only do they provide emotional comfort but also create healthy distractions in rough situations.
All in all, one thing you need to remember is not to talk to too many people about delivery. Every pregnancy and delivery is unique. Therefore, do not let others scare you or confuse you, and remember that along with the basic knowledge of how to go about things, you need a clear head. Stay calm and strong in order to enjoy the prospects of your bundle of joy.