Pregnancy is one of the most difficult things a person can endure. It comes with many challenges from morning sickness, to mood swings, to changes in your body, making a normal life hard to come by.
Staying healthy during your pregnancy is important not just for your own well-being, but also for the health of your baby. So if you’re growing a tiny human in your womb, here are 9 ways to stay healthy, so you can rest assured knowing you’re doing everything you can to ensure a happy and healthy life for your little newcomer.
1. Eat a healthy diet
A healthy diet is essential for every human being, but it’s even more important when you’re eating for two. You might have all sorts of cravings for foods you never even thought about eating before, so you’ll need to strike a balance between satisfying those cravings, and getting the right nutrients.
Make sure you’re eating plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables, calcium-rich foods, and whole-grains, while staying away from unhealthy saturated fats.
2. Stay hydrated
When you’re pregnant, you’re going to need even more water than before, so make sure you drink at least 7-8 glasses of water per day. If you have trouble remembering to drink water, download an app or set reminders on your phone. The water you drink is water for your baby too, so do whatever it takes!
3. Don’t drink alcohol
Don’t drink alcohol if you’re trying to get pregnant, during pregnancy, or while breastfeeding. Alcohol increases the risk of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, or FASD, which can lead to abnormalities in facial features, and even behavioral and learning disabilities later in the child’s life.
4. Avoid certain foods
Eating a healthy diet for adults who aren’t pregnant looks a little bit different from those who are. An unborn baby is more sensitive to things like food poisoning, mercury, and certain natural probiotics, so be mindful of the foods you’re eating.
It’s best to stay away from undercooked or raw foods like rare steak, sushi, and mayonnaise (raw eggs). It’s also recommended to avoid unpasteurized milk, and soft cheeses like Camembert, Brie, and Feta.
5. Stay active
Whether you’re pregnant or not, getting your body moving will keep you healthy. During pregnancy, you probably won’t feel like running a marathon, which is understandable, but doing something everyday to stay active will keep both you and your baby healthy.
Spend twenty minutes walking down the street, practice your squats from the comfort of your living room, or spend some time on the Stairmaster at the gym if you’re feeling ambitious! Every person is different, so take it slow at first, and consult with your doctor to find out how much physical activity will be best for both you and your baby.
6. Don’t smoke
Smoking cigarettes is unhealthy for anyone, so it’s best to stay away from that habit altogether. Smoking can cause a number of negative outcomes including sudden infant death syndrome, low birth weight, miscarriage, defects of the mouth and lips, just to name a few.
7. Stay away from drugs
It’s widely known that drugs are generally bad for human consumption. They can cause damage to many different bodily components from the liver to the brain and should be avoided whether you’re pregnant or not. If you should avoid drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes during pregnancy, you should definitely avoid illicit drugs like cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine.
There is also research suggesting a connection between deficiencies in early childhood development and marijuana use during pregnancy. While there is no definitive evidence proving that point, it’s recommended to err on the side of caution.
If you’d like to learn more about the effects of cannabis use during pregnancy, check out this article on Veriheal.
8. Get plenty of sleep
When working multiple jobs and taking care of yourself (and possibly others as well), sleep can be difficult to come by. But despite your busy schedule, getting enough sleep is essential to providing a healthy environment for your baby to grow.
Sleep doesn’t just give your body a chance to recover and rebuild, but it gives your baby rest too! Make sure you’re getting between 7-9 hours of sleep every night, and sleep on your left side to improve blood flow.
9. Actively reduce stress
During pregnancy, your baby might be physically protected from the outside world while in your womb, but he/she will still be able to sense when you’re not doing well.
To help further protect your baby, even more, make sure you take care of your stress. Whether you meditate, read a book, write in a journal, or talk with a therapist, doing things to reduce your stress will ensure a healthy pregnancy for both you and your baby!
Getting through pregnancy is no easy feat, but if you follow these 9 tips, you’ll be healthier than ever!