Having a baby is like the beginning of a new life. You get to open doors to a world full of exciting possibilities. When a woman gets pregnant, she embarks on a grand adventure she may remember for a lifetime. However, this adventure brings a great deal of responsibility to nurture and protect the child.

Pregnant women grow new life inside them, which completely transforms their bodies during the nine months of pregnancy. These days, doctors increasingly inspire women to adopt healthier lifestyle choices to ensure a healthy pregnancy because the risk is rising. According to a Blue Cross Blue Shield report, while 80% of women are delivering healthy babies in the US, the risk of complications is rising. Data studied suggests a 16% rise in pregnancy complications and a 14% rise in childbirth complications.

To counter the risk of pregnancy and childbirth, doctors recommend serious health precautions to new mothers. As a new mother, you may be aware of the most basic pregnancy advice: don’t smoke, don’t consume alcohol, rest well, and eat right. But what else is there?

There is so much more to ensure your baby’s safe and healthy prenatal development. From taking essential vitamins to steering clear of specific harmful substances – you need to take care of several physicals, mental, social, and emotional guidelines to maintain your and your child’s health. Here are 13 tips for staying healthy during pregnancy:

1. Educate Yourself

Attending a childbirth class or enrolling in a pregnancy course can prepare you well for your journey. However, if you’re not comfortable taking in-person sessions, you can access various prenatal guidebooks and interactive resources online. These allow you to ask questions, voice concerns, and learn more about common complications and injuries associated with childbirth and pregnancy.

2. Eat Healthily

Eating healthy food and consuming healthy drinks are essential for pregnant women. You can provide your baby with the nutrients it requires to grow healthy and strong by eating right. A healthy eating plan during pregnancy must include a balanced portion of:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains (bread, rice, and oatmeal)
  • Calcium-rich foods (milk and other dairy products)
  • Healthy sources of protein (eggs, beans, meat, nuts)
  • Solid fats (butter and sugar-sweetened items)

3. Take Vitamins

Consuming prenatal vitamins like calcium, iron, and folic acid during pregnancy is the smartest thing to do. These over-the-counter vitamins are readily available at drug stores. However, please consult your doctor about the best possible prenatal vitamins before buying them.

4. Stay Hydrated

As per the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a pregnant woman requires at least eight to twelve cups of water per day to supply oxygen and essential nutrients to the baby through the placenta. Drinking more water also helps you keep fatigued, headaches, swelling, constipation, and other uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms in check.

5. Visit The Doctor Often

Visiting a health care provider regularly to ensure excellent prenatal care is essential for pregnant women. Doctors help determine whether you and your baby’s weight and health match the desired pregnancy timeline or not. They also observe your body for any pre-birth complications to deal with problems before they become severe.

6. Avoid Certain Foods

Experts recommend that pregnant women strictly avoid consuming certain food and drinks during and after pregnancy. Here are some examples of things you should avoid eating:

  • Raw meat
  • Raw eggs
  • Soft cheese
  • Unpasteurized milk
  • Alcohol, beer, wine, liquor
  • Caffeine
  • Fish with high mercury
  • Seafood
  • Raw cookie dough
  • Deli salads
  • Smoke (cigarettes or otherwise)
  • Unique cravings: paint chips, clay, laundry starch, etc.

7. Regular Exercise

Staying active can help you maintain your health during pregnancy. For example, regular physical activity can reduce backaches, soothe cramps, minimize gestational diabetes risk, lighten your mood, etc. Here are some ways you can involve activity in your pregnancy routine:

  • Go for a walk
  • Take a prenatal yoga class
  • Plan family outing
  • Organize things around the house
  • Play with other children

8. Wear Sunscreen

During pregnancy, your skin becomes more sensitive to sunlight. Protect your skin from sunburn and other skin reactions by wearing an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen. You can also try wearing hats and sunglasses to minimize sunlight exposure.

9. Be Careful with Everyday Chores

When you’re pregnant, simple everyday tasks that you may have been doing in a normal routine can become risky. So doctors recommend creating a new chore routine by eliminating things you can no longer do, like:

  • Scrub bathroom floors
  • Clean up after pets
  • Climb on step stools and ladders
  • Use harsh chemicals
  • Cook near a hot stove for long durations
  • Work in the yard

10. Rest Well

Sleeping at least 7 to 9 hours is vital for your and your baby’s healthy development. However, you can experience sleep disturbances during pregnancy that may hinder you from enjoying precious moments of rest. Try sleeping on your left side, satisfying your cravings, and changing the mattress to tackle these. However, if your sleep routine still doesn’t seem to improve, consult a physician.

11. Stay Clean

Hygiene during pregnancy is critical. From frequent handwashing to regular bathing, these activities can protect you from infections and other severe birth complications. However, as your body grows in size, it may be harder to take a bath or frequently go to the sink to wash your hands. Ask for assistance from your partner or caretaker to bathe well in these circumstances.

12. Go Shopping

Pregnant women require comfy clothes and shoes to deal with their growing baby bump and swollen feet. So go shopping to buy yourself maternity clothes and comfortable shoes to truly enjoy your pregnancy without coping with fatigue and swollen feet.

13. Create A Birth Plan

Pregnant women can’t indulge in regular house chores or go to work, meaning they have a lot of time on their hands. Not doing anything can push women towards stress and depression. Psychology experts suggest pregnant women create a birth plan to keep themselves occupied and inform their doctors and family members of their wishes. You can involve yourself in creating a birth plan by answering the following questions:

  • Who do you want present during the birth of the baby?
  • What medical procedures do you want to avoid?
  • What positions do you prefer for delivery and labor?
  • What clothing would you like to wear to the hospital?
  • What must your hospital bag carry when you go for delivery?

Conclusion

The period of pregnancy is a roller coaster ride of emotions filled with exciting, emotional, wonderful, and stressful things altogether. Dealing with so many feelings can distract you from committing to a healthy lifestyle. However, if you’re pregnant or are thinking of having a baby, you need to start taking care of your health.

Give your baby the best possible start in life by keeping your health in check and setting an exceptional example for other pregnant women. You can follow the tips mentioned above to take care of yourself and your unborn child. In addition, focusing on these eating habits, physical exercise routine, sleeping timeline, and more can help you increase your chances of having a healthy pregnancy.

Remember to continue a healthy routine after your baby is born too. Once you deliver your baby, the risk factors don’t disappear. New risk factors emerge with new changes in your life. Continue to tackle all possible threats that may appear in the future by focusing on a healthy lifestyle. Have a happy pregnancy!