Pregnancy is a lovely thing that brings joy, most especially to those who are married and prepared for it. The different feeling the woman start to get due to the growth taking place inside of her. Pregnancy entails a lot of things because for the time being of nine months you would be very different from your old self, your looks would change a bit while some change drastically, this all depends on your body. As a pregnant woman who is expecting you should e conscious of what you take in so you do not affect yourself or your unborn child, Pregnancy doesn’t mean that you should suspend your life, nor look haggard like some people do, you can be pregnant and still look very sexy and appealing to anyone who sees you. As a pregnant woman, you should also be careful of your sleeping positions and your diet.
A healthy diet is always very important at every point in one’s life. It is especially important when pregnant. There is or will soon be a brand new human being growing on the inside of you. It is necessary that you be healthy and your baby healthy during pregnancy and beyond. You don’t have to change your diet or the foods you eat, you only have to adjust the quantity and maybe mode of cooking it. There should be less frying and more boiling and grilling. Less oil, salt, and sugar. The right balance of vitamins, carbohydrates, and proteins in every meal. pregnancy could be fun, as it is a time to learn something new especially if it is your first, you could be pregnant and still slay.
Healthy Foods to Consume During Pregnancy
- Unripe Plantain
- Meat – Beef, Pork, Lean meat, Goat meat, Bushmeat ( its advice that it should either be boiled, baked or grilled )
- Fish and Seafood – Snail, Prawn, Periwinkle, Catfish, Cod, Tuna, Shrimp, Salmon, Tilapia fish,
- Poultry – Chicken, Turkey or Duck – It is advised to consume these type of meat without the skin.
- Non-fat milk
- Whole-grain bread
- Greek Yogurt
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Nuts and nut butter
- Soy foods
Best Drinks During Pregnancy
- Water – the best drink of all times and especially during pregnancy! Drink 2 liters every day.
- Milk – non-fat milk is advised. Milk will provide the calcium needed, about 1 liter a day is the right amount
- Malt drinks
- Mixed berry smoothie
- Mixed fruit smoothie
Varieties of Snacks to Eat During Pregnancy
- Plantain Chips
- Baked potato with yogurt and chives
- Sorbet with fresh fruit
- Banana and Peanut butter
- Cottage cheese with fresh fruit
- Dried fruit and nut
- Whole Grain Cereal
- Salsa and chips
- Whole grain waffle with peanut butter
- Avocado toast
- Sweet potato chips
- Almonds and Cheese
- Yogurt and Fresh fruit
Best Fruit for Consumption During Pregnancy
- Avocado pear
The Do’s of Pregnancy
Do take folic acid and vitamin D
Folic acid reduces your baby’s risk of neural tube defects to almost nil. It is ideal to start taking it three months before conception but if it’s too late for that, start taking the recommended daily amount and continue taking it until the end of the first trimester (week 12 of your pregnancy).
Vitamin D helps your baby develop healthy bones, teeth, and muscles. It helps to regulate the levels of calcium and phosphate in your body. You need these to keep your bones and teeth healthy. Taking a daily vitamin D supplement is even more important if you are at risk of vitamin D deficiency:
- if you have darker skin
- if you get less sunlight, for example, you stay inside a lot, or if you usually cover your skin for cultural reasons.
These two supplements are the only ones you need in pregnancy unless your doctor or midwife diagnoses a deficiency, such as iron deficiency.
Do stay active
Being sedentary (sitting down a lot) is not healthy for you or your baby. It puts you at higher risk of too much weight gain, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and varicose veins and you are more likely to have shortness of breath and lower back pain. If you did exercise before you became pregnant, you can continue at the same level but listen to your body and slow down when you feel uncomfortable. If you didn’t exercise before you became pregnant, you don’t have to take up organized exercise classes, the important thing is to be active. The recommended amount of activity for pregnant women is 30 minutes a day four times a week.
Do think about what you eat
Too much vitamin A can affect your developing baby. Foods that have high doses of vitamin A are:
- liver and liver products
- high-dose multivitamin supplements, fish liver oil supplements, or any supplements containing vitamin A.
Do monitor your baby’s movements
Your baby’s movements are a sign that they are well. They settle into a regular pattern at around week 24. Start monitoring the pattern at this point and if you notice a reduction in movement seek help immediately.
Do go to sleep on your side in the third trimester
Going to sleep on your back in the third trimester doubles your risk of stillbirth. but if you go to sleep on your side you will be sleeping safely for your baby.
Do remember your mental health
1 in 10 women suffers from mental ill-health when they are pregnant. Don’t write off negative, unusual or unexpected bad feelings as part of your pregnancy, especially if they last longer than expected.
Do consider taking the vaccinations that are offered
In pregnancy you will be offered two vaccinations:
You’ll be offered the whooping cough vaccine by your GP or midwife. You will be offered this vaccination to boost your antibodies. These antibodies will be passed to your baby through the placenta. The best time to get vaccinated to protect your baby is from week 16 up to 32 weeks of pregnancy. You can have the vaccine anytime from 16 weeks but if you have it after 38 weeks it may be less effective.
You’ll be offered the flu vaccine between September and February. There is evidence that pregnant women can be more at risk of developing complications if you get flu during pregnancy.
Do carry your pregnancy notes
It is recommended to carry your antenatal notes everywhere you go as they contain all your medical and pregnancy history. This is particularly important if you need to go to the maternity unit, especially at short notice, as this is the only way health professionals will have access to all your history and what has been happening in your pregnancy.
Do take any overseas holidays before 37 weeks
Women have said that the best time in pregnancy for overseas holidays in the middle of pregnancy. Nausea and tiredness are common in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and the risk of miscarriage is also higher in the first three months (this is not linked to traveling). Traveling in the final months of pregnancy can be tiring and uncomfortable.
If you decide to travel later in pregnancy:
- check your plans with the airline. The likelihood of going into labour is higher after 37 weeks and some airlines will not let you fly. After week 28 of pregnancy, the airline may ask for a letter from your doctor or midwife confirming your due date, and that you aren’t at risk of complications
- check your plans with your travel insurer. Is pregnancy covered in the event of an accident
- bring your maternity notes with you?
Long-distance travel (five hours or more) also carries a small risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT or blood clots) so drink plenty of water and try and move around during the flight.
Do be aware of these symptoms
There are some symptoms that should always be checked by a doctor as they could be a sign that the mother or the baby is unwell.
- Bleeding from the Vagina
- Painful urination
- Blurred vision
- Spots in front of your eyes
- Sudden, sharp and continuous abdominal pain or cramps
- Non-stop severe headache
- Excessive or smelly vaginal discharge
- When you suspect your waters have broken
- Itching especially on hands or feet
- Baby’s movement slowing down or changing
- Continuous body weakness
You should also contact your doctor if you feel that something is wrong with you or your baby which you have little or no explanation for, even if you don’t know exactly what it is. It’s important to trust your instincts in pregnancy.
The Don’ts of Pregnancy
During the pregnancy process, there are some dos and don’ts that one should look out for which are what you should be doing and what you shouldn’t be found eating at all or in excess quantities. Below are the listings some things you should avoid at the time of your pregnancy;
- Fast foods
- Fried foods
- Processed food
- Uncooked eggs
- Ice cream
- Fizzy drinks
- Fried meat or Fish
- Alcoholic drinks
- Puff Puff
- Raw and unripe papaya
Dealing with Pregnancy Cravings
- There is thought to be some biological basis for food cravings during pregnancy. Your body may yearn for foods that will supply it with important nutrients to stay well and to nurture your growing baby.
- Give into your food cravings if they’re reasonable and are for real food. Occasionally, pregnant women will experience Pica which means they will crave and eat non-edible foodstuffs such as sand, coal, paint, and dirt. Ingesting these substances is obviously risky and can potentially be lethal to a developing baby (rather let your doctor check your iron levels before you give in to this type of craving).
- Be prepared to move on from even your most adored craving to something completely new and interesting. Different stages of pregnancy make different demands on the body and this is often reflected in what you really feel like eating.
Walking, It might sound too easy, but walking is one of the most effective exercises you can do to activate your core. Walking utilizes every single one of your core muscles, not to mention your calf and upper-body muscles. walk thereby taking fresh air.
Squats are a foundation for core strength plus pelvic floor toning. Toning these specific muscles is especially important since some women experience tearing of the pelvic floor fascia after vaginal delivery. Standing with your feet hip-width apart, imagine you’re about to sit in a chair and let your lower body do all the work. If you do a regular squat routine, there would be less of lower back pain.
Rooted in yoga, bird-dog is both a core toner and balancing challenge. Balancing exercises help to counteract the pressure your growing belly may place on joints and muscles. From the position of hands and knees, straighten one leg behind you and extend it to hip height. For an extra challenge, extend the opposite arm and balance, holding for about 20 seconds, then switch sides.
Dancing is one of the most enjoyable ways to stay fit. The Mayo Clinic recommends aerobic exercise during pregnancy and claims that workouts like dancing may even decrease the risk of gestational diabetes.
5. Prenatal Yoga
Prenatal yoga classes may include breathing, visualization, and other meditative practices to center you. According to the American Pregnancy Association, the benefits of parental yoga include decreased nausea and headaches as well as a lower risk of preterm labor. Be sure to find a teacher certified in prenatal yoga for a safe experience, and avoid hot yoga. Because pregnancy affects your blood pressure, hot yoga can increase your risk for fainting, heat exhaustion, or even heatstroke. Certain yoga moves also aren’t generally approved for pregnant women — headstands and shoulder-stands, for instance, increase the chance baby moves to breech position, which makes for a difficult delivery.
6. Standing Bicycle
Essentially, a standing bicycle is just you on your feet lifting each knee alternately towards the chest. Standing bicycle is an easy, low-impact move that works toning wonders on your gluteal muscles while stabilizing your abdominals. It’s a move you can easily do at home or as a warm-up before a power walk.
Best Sleeping Position during pregnancy
During pregnancy, you may find yourself wrestling in bed trying to get comfortable before falling asleep. Unfortunately, your regular sleeping positions may no longer work for you during pregnancy. There are a number of reasons for this new discomfort, but there are some sleeping positions that you can try that may help you get your much-needed rest.
The best sleep position during pregnancy is “SOS” (sleep on side). Even better is to sleep on your left side. Sleeping on your left side will increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and your baby.
These suggestions may not sound completely comfortable, especially if you are used to sleeping on your back or stomach, Keep in mind that you should not stay in one position all night, so rotating positions is fine.
Sleeping Positions to avoid during Pregnancy
Sleeping on your back: This can cause problems with backaches, breathing, the digestive system, low blood pressure and cause a decrease in circulation to your heart and your baby. This is a result of your abdomen resting on your intestines and major blood vessels (the aorta and vena cava).
Sleeping on your stomach: When you are farther along in your pregnancy, your abdomen undergoes physical changes and makes it more difficult for you to lay on your stomach.