Pregnancy is perhaps one of the most beautiful and exciting phases of life for a woman, leading to a lifelong journey of motherhood for her. It can be both exhilarating and exhausting as one undergoes several changes to support the growth of a new life. To ensure her own well-being, as well as that of the child she’s bearing, and to prepare for the post-gestation months, it is important for the mother to stay healthy and follow the instructions of her gynaecologists closely.
In this article, we will delve into some of the key factors that contribute to a healthy pregnancy, along with some tips to follow to enjoy this journey towards motherhood while managing the physical and emotional changes seamlessly.
Preconception Health: Foundation of Healthy Pregnancy
The path towards good maternal health begins even before one conceives. This is the stage of planning, when it is of utmost importance to focus on factors such as nutritional intake, weight management, and lifestyle modifications to prepare the body for giving birth.
Here are a few things to keep in mind with respect to these aspects:
Prenatal Care: Nurturing Through Expert Supervision
Prenatal care involves monitoring the health of the mother and the baby developing inside her womb. Having conceived a baby, the mother should undergo regular tests and checkups under the guidance of gynaecologists and other concerned healthcare specialists to ensure optimal health and development of the baby.
Prenatal care helps monitor and ensure the baby is developing healthily. Here are some important aspects of prenatal care that expecting mothers should take care of:
Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy
So far, we have discussed some essential ways to prepare for conceiving the baby and nurturing it thereafter. We will now discuss some additional tips that should be kept in mind for a smooth and healthy pregnancy:
Nutrition is Key for Maternal & Child health
During the gestational period, the nutritional requirements of a woman increase manifold to support a growing life and maintain her health along the way. At this stage, it is not only essential to consume a balanced diet but also to ensure the intake of essential nutrients such as folic acid, iron, calcium, and protein, which are crucial for the development of the foetus.
A balanced diet should consist of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. It is also imperative to avoid consuming raw or undercooked foods, particularly seafood, meats, or even unpasteurised milk or dairy products, to eliminate the risk of contracting food-borne diseases.
Ensuring Physical Well-Being
Staying active is equally important during pregnancy as one goes through physical and emotional changes. Engaging in recreational physical activity and exercises can remarkably improve mood and provide ample stamina during labour. However, it is advisable to engage in low-impact exercises under medical supervision and avoid straining or lifting heavy weights.
Ensuring Emotional Well-Being
Pregnancy brings with itself a rollercoaster of emotions which urges one to prioritise emotional well-being. Seek assistance from professional caregivers and practice relaxation and breathing techniques, mindfulness, and prenatal yoga to tackle the impacts of hormonal changes.
Hydration is Key
Staying well hydrated during pregnancy is super important to maintain amniotic fluid as well as to aid digestion, and support increased blood volume. As a general rule of thumb, 6 to 8 glasses of water should be consumed a day, but it is important to seek medical advice as the fluid requirement may be different for individuals.
Beware of dehydration signs such as darker urine, dryness of mouth, and dizziness. This is when it’s time to increase hydration. If these symptoms occur despite adequate hydration, it is important to seek medical attention.
Take Care of Your Sleep
Getting enough sleep is crucial to support physical and emotional health. Getting good quality sleep is essential to reduce fatigue, manage stress, and avoid mood swings. Create a comfortable and conducive environment to get the much needed rest by sleeping on comfortable mattresses and pillows.
During pregnancy, it is important to take care of the position you sleep in to prevent hindering blood flow to the growing baby. Thus, it is advisable to sleep on the side to support the baby, reduce pressure on the mother’s own body, and also prevent the risk of supine hypotensive syndrome.
Managing Underlying Health Conditions
If a pregnant woman has pre-existing health conditions like diabetes or hypertension, they should take aid from their relatives to help manage and monitor these conditions to prevent adverse outcomes.
Get Emotional Support
Getting emotional support from family, friends, and relatives is absolutely essential for your overall well-being during pregnancy. The support a mother gets is valuable to creating a nurturing environment for the new life to be born.
Prepare for Labour & Delivery
As the due date approaches, it can be beneficial to familiarise oneself with the onset of labour and what to expect in the delivery room. It is important to talk to the doctor and seek advice on how to prepare for labour and delivery beforehand. It may also be beneficial to attend birthing or parenting classes that are designed to equip expecting parents with the necessary knowledge and information to tackle their challenges and boost their confidence for the delivery process and taking care of their newborn.
Towards a New Journey
Maternal and child care is a holistic, multifaceted effort that requires taking care of physical, emotional, and mental health through an optimal combination of prenatal care. By following these healthy tips, pregnant women can not only take care of themselves but also create a nurturing environment for their little ones. However, it is important to remember that every pregnancy is different, so it is crucial to consult a gynaecologist for personalised guidance and care.
Wish you a happy and healthy pregnancy as you embark on this journey towards motherhood!