The ultimate goal of a pregnant mother is to enjoy a full-term pregnancy that results in a healthy baby. A big factor in that is knowing your health is actually the priority. Babies will take everything they need straight from your body to nourish theirs. Trust me, it doesn’t stop when they are teenagers either. Your job is to make sure you’re taking care of yourself well enough to grow a healthy baby while maintaining a healthy body.
It’s not just the physical aspect that’s important. I think it’s just as important to nourish your mind & overall mental health as well. Learning these 5 tips is a good place to start.
Your health should always be a top priority, but it’s especially important when you’re trying to get pregnant. Most women don’t find out about their pregnancy until about 5-6 weeks. Women with irregular cycles may not even realize it for a few months.
That is an important time in a baby’s development. Your baby is being built by the day. This is an important time for brain and nervous system development. A good place to start developing healthy habits in the first trimester is also discussed in this post, Eating Well in the First Trimester, from whattoexpect.com. Honestly, starting all of this before you get pregnant would be a fantastic idea. A healthy mind and body definitely can’t hurt when you are trying to get pregnant!
Staying on the same lines of eating well, diet really should be important. As I mentioned above, your baby will take what it needs like calcium, zinc and magnesium in order to produce his/her own if your diet is deficient in those minerals. During pregnancy your body needs extra protein, fiber, higher amounts of various vitamins and minerals, and healthy fats.
If morning sickness is an issue for you during those first 12 to 15 weeks, don’t stress. Your body will be able to make up for it later. Here are some helpful tips to get through this rough time:
Eat frequent small snacks like crackers, smoothies or sips of soup to prevent an empty stomach that can make nausea worse.
Try ginger pops, sour hard candies, and essential oil smells to see if any of them help to minimize nausea. My favorite by far was lemon jolly ranchers!
Making sure you’re resting whenever possible.
Drink water, water with lemon, decaf teas, coconut water or possibly bubbly water. Another favorite of mine was the Body Armor Lite drinks.
A nourishing diet is also important after the baby is born, so now is a good time to connect with a local nutritionist or start reading up on ways to maintain a healthy diet after you have your sweet baby and life gets even busier! Here is a good one for meal prepping for grab and go ease: The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook
Exercise has multiple benefits for pregnant mamas, including increased circulation and oxygenation of your blood, decreasing swelling in the extremities, and building core strength and overall strength and stamina for your upcoming labor and delivery. If you’re healthy and you exercised before you got pregnant, it’s usually safe to continue your activities during pregnancy. Check with your doctor to be sure. For example, if you’re a runner or a tennis player or you do other kinds of intense exercise, you may be able to keep doing your workouts when you’re pregnant. As your belly gets bigger later in pregnancy, you may need to change some activities or ease up on your workouts. I was able to maintain running and even my trust Orange Theory class right up until the day I delivered! There were times I definitely needed to slow down though. Listen to your body.
If your doctor says it’s OK for you to exercise, choose activities you enjoy. If you didn’t exercise before you were pregnant, now is a great time to start. Talk to your doctor or OB/GYN about safe activities. Start slowly and build up your fitness little by little. For example, start with 5 minutes of activity each day, and work your way up to 30 minutes each day.
Everybody knows that life after you have your baby is never the same. Treating yourself to some TLC now is good for your mental and emotional well-being as you prepare for this big and wonderful life-change. You don’t have to feel guilty about it all since we all know that a healthy heart and mind are part of the process to having a healthy body!
Some ideas include:
Starting each morning with some quiet time and your favorite decaf coffee or tea.
Schedule a prenatal massage every trimester.
Getting a pedicure, and pay for the extra foot massage!
Taking a nice, warm bath with some delicious smelling bath salts.
Treat yourself to a comfy body pillow for sleeping
Many people associate midwives or doulas with home births and don’t consider them for hospitals or birth centers. However, both can assist you through the entire pregnancy, as well as in the birthing room. Both midwives and doulas are there for you, on-call, 24/7. This is a fantastic support system and gives you access to expert advice, information, and feedback from the day you find out you’re pregnant, until the moment you hold your baby for the first time. A midwife or doula provides peace of mind, and their services continue for up to six weeks or more after your baby is born. Some even hire a night-doula to help in those early weeks of breastfeeding.
My last tip is to enjoy it! It really does pass so fast. Just ask the mom of this gorgeous graduate in my last blog post!
I’m Tristan, owner of Tristan Quigley Photography. I’m a mom of 6 and my business and passion revolve around pregnant mothers, their newborns and families. I’m a professional family, maternity and newborn photographer in San Diego and I’d love to be part of documenting this special time in your life. Contact me to schedule your session!