Pregnancy is a blissful journey that brings about noticeable transformations in a woman’s life, both physically and emotionally. Nothing compares to the excitement and joy you feel as soon as you test positive for pregnancy.
However, amidst all the delightful celebrations, do not forget to take care of yourself and the little version of you growing inside your womb throughout the pregnancy. The best way to ensure a healthy delivery and reduce the likelihood of complications is to prioritize self-care and adopt a healthy lifestyle. By taking care of your physical and mental health, you can prepare your body for labor.
Navigating the challenges of pregnancy
Despite all the happiness that comes with pregnancy, bringing a new life to the world is not any less challenging. Even minor negligence towards your health can affect your baby’s growth and development. In addition, having unhealthy habits or underlying medical conditions can pose a serious threat to your baby’s health as well as your own.
However, it is also possible that even after having a healthy pregnancy, many mothers may be unable to give birth to a healthy child during labor. Birth injuries can cause your baby to suffer from lifelong disabilities or diseases, such as cerebral palsy, neurological disorders, etc.
One of the most common causes of childbirth injuries is medical malpractice. If you suspect that your baby suffers from a birth injury, like cerebral palsy, because of the negligence of the doctor or nurse, you may be eligible for financial compensation. You can visit resources like www.cerebralpalsyguide.com for more information on how to get immediate legal help.
Meanwhile, if you are an expecting mother, it is time to say goodbye to unhealthy habits and welcome a healthier lifestyle. Here are some tips that may help ensure a safe and healthy delivery:
- Eat a balanced and nutritionally rich diet
Eating a nutritious diet during pregnancy plays a significant role in the growth and development of your baby and also influences your baby’s health into adulthood. You do not need to follow a specific diet, but it is essential to include healthy foods from each group to get the right balance of nutrients. You will need more protein, folic acid, iron, vitamin D, choline, calcium, and fiber.
To provide your body and baby with these essential nutrients, add more whole fruits (like apples, berries, bananas, etc.), vegetables (like broccoli, sweet potatoes, okra, etc.), rich sources of protein (lean meats, eggs, chicken, nuts and seeds, etc.), low-fat dairy products, and whole grains to your diet.
Both undernutrition and overnutrition can negatively affect the growing baby in your womb and cause serious birth complications. Research suggests that maternal overnutrition during pregnancy can result in developmental problems, leading to health complications like hypertension and obesity in the offspring. On the other hand, inadequate nutrition or undernutrition can cause preeclampsia, anemia, hemorrhage, and even death in mothers. It can also lead to low birth weight, stillbirth, wasting, and developmental delays in the baby.
- Stay physically active
Adequate physical activity is essential for everyone, but staying active, especially during pregnancy, significantly reduces the risk of pregnancy complications, such as gestational diabetes, postpartum depression, and preeclampsia. Having adequate physical activity also provides many health benefits during pregnancy, like improved sleep, increased stamina, healthy weight management, improved morale, and reduced stress and anxiety.
Exercise also helps you prepare your body for childbirth. Staying in shape will not necessarily reduce the labor pain, but it will help you build the endurance needed to endure it. Studies also demonstrated that the fitness level of the mother could result in fewer medical interventions, shorter labor, and less exhaustion during labor.
Therefore, pregnant women should engage in at least 150 minutes of light aerobic activity every week. Walking, swimming, stationary bicycling, and yoga are good options during pregnancy. Do not engage in hot yoga, back bends, excessive and bouncy stretching, holding your breath, jumping, etc., as they can lead to severe injuries.
- Eliminate toxins
Drinking, smoking, and drug use are completely omitted during pregnancy. Excessive intake of alcohol can lead to many physical, structural, and behavioral complications in the baby. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy elevates the risk of premature birth, miscarriage, low birth weight, and more. It can also cause your baby to develop a lifelong condition called fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).
Therefore, alcohol should be avoided throughout pregnancy. A more wise approach is to replace alcohol and other beverages with water to stay healthy and hydrated.
Additionally, smoking tobacco during pregnancy can cause great harm to your baby. Babies whose mothers smoke during pregnancy are more likely to die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). It can also cause tissue damage in the lungs and brain of the baby. For a healthy and safe birthing experience, eliminate toxins from your life.
- Reduce your stress
It is natural to occasionally experience stress during pregnancy as your body is continuously changing, and you cannot help but think about labor pain. However, extreme stress and anxiety during pregnancy have been linked to certain pregnancy complications, like premature birth. Therefore, indulge in activities that can help reduce stress and lift your mood and energy.
Eating healthy, sleeping enough, and exercising can help relieve stress and anxiety. You can also engage in relaxation activities like yoga, meditation, etc., to feel better. If the problem persists, talk to your partner about your feelings, and do not be reluctant to ask for help.
Pregnancy is as challenging as it is exciting. Every expecting mother aspires to have a smooth birthing experience and give birth to a healthy baby. A healthy and safe delivery can be achieved if you maintain good physical and mental well-being. It will help in your baby’s growth and prevent birth complications.