Having a baby is a joyous time, but it can also be a stressful time, especially for first-time mothers. This is a time for altering one’s lifestyle, getting rid of bad habits, and preparing the body for pregnancy. There are many ways to ensure a healthy pregnancy from the obvious to the subtle.
You’re Eating for Two
In the old days, this was a phrase to allow expectant mothers to overindulge, but, over time, we’ve learned more about nutrition and how it affects pregnancies. Remember that you’re sharing your food with your baby and that includes those sugars, saturated fats, and unhealthy carbs. Instead, eat more plant-based foods, getting rid of red meats and grain products, as well as processed foods. A healthier diet will help your baby to grow strong and will improve your own health in the process.
Eliminate Toxins From Your System
The best thing you can do to lower the risk of birth defects during a pregnancy is to avoid harmful toxins. Primarily, this means you should quit drinking and stop smoking immediately, if you find that you’re struggling with a substance addiction, you should seek out an alcohol rehab and addiction treatment facility near you. Also, avoid cleaning chemicals and any other toxic substances. A recent study found that there are over 287 toxic substances found in the umbilical cord blood just after birth. Further research revealed that 180 of those toxins were cancer-causing agents, while a total of 217 could cause defects in the brain and nervous system. The vast majority of the toxins discovered in umbilical cord blood likely contribute to the formation of birth defects.
Add Yoga to Your Workouts
Maintaining an active lifestyle during pregnancy is also important. Working out and practicing yoga will give you more energy, which is important for expectant mothers. It will also reduce stress, allow you to sleep better, and lowers the risk of developing gestational diabetes or high blood pressure. Additionally, the muscles you build will help make delivering your baby a little easier and will aid you in recovering post-delivery.
Some recommended yoga poses for pregnant women are:
- Legs up the wall
- Double pigeon
- Reclining bound angle pose
- Hip circles
- Open-legged forward bend
Strengthen Your Body
Nutritionist Elissa Goodman endorses a holistic approach to pregnancy and she suggests there are ways to fortify the body for pregnancy. Her approach is to recommend that women take probiotics (50 to 80 billion count), at least 4 ounces and no more than 8 ounces of aloe vera, and 1,500 mg of L-Glutamine on a daily basis for the months preceding the pregnancy.
In addition to physical activity, look for other ways to reduce the stress in your life. You may want to indulge in a soothing hobby or meditate. You can also go for relaxing walks, join a support group, or begin keeping a journal or diary. The important thing is to relax and not let life’s problems cause you unnecessary stress and anxiety.
A pregnancy is an opportunity to change your lifestyle and help you live a healthier way of life. Making changes now will also help your baby grow strong and can significantly reduce the risks that the child will develop birth defects. As so many medical conditions are inherited, taking better care of yourself means ensuring a brighter future for your baby. This is a time to relax, enjoy life, and begin building a satisfying life for your baby and for yourself.