“Let us make pregnancy an occasion when we appreciate our female bodies” – Merete Leonhardte-Lupa
Pregnancy is an exciting phase but often it turns challenging for women when they are suddenly bombarded with health advice from everywhere. They are forced to follow age old myths such as -“Eat for two to get a healthy and chubby baby”, ” Eat more ghee/oil for a smooth delivery”, Drink more milk to get a fair baby, etc. etc.!!
It is very important to understand that these are nothing more than myths. There are no scientific facts to support such statements. In fact, genetics play an important role in the weight, color, height and the complexion of baby and not what the mother eats. Gaining and maintaining weight during pregnancy is essential but it should be done in a healthy way. Being underweight or overweight may have its own repercussions. An ideal weight gain is 10-15 kgs during pregnancy period but it can vary because every pregnancy is different and each woman has different needs. However, the weight gain must be in check to prevent related risks such as Gestational Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Risk of miscarriage, Stillbirths, Eclampsia and Preeclampsia etc.
Pregnancy is often called the Golden phase of Motherhood journey. Let’s make it more memorable and enjoyable by showing more love and care to the body that nurtures another beautiful soul in its womb.
Every pregnant woman should follow a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and a holistic approach for an overall well-being. Apart from diet, there are few other factors that play an important role in maintaining the general health and fitness of the body.
Below are few tips to help a pregnant woman to easily sail through the period of 9 months in a healthy and happy way. Let’s have a look:-
1) DIETARY INTAKE– Quality over quantity !
- Eating small portions of meals frequently (every 1-2 hours) helps to avoid unhealthy overeating.
- Seasonal fruits and vegetables help to fulfill your nutrient requirements, provides fibers and prevents constipation.
- Overnight soaked nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachio nuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc help to curb hunger for longer duration, provides energy, prevents weight gain, fiber rich, free from saturated fats, loaded with minerals and vitamins, high in antioxidants and reduces risk of heart diseases.
- Avoid eating canned/packaged/processed/ outside food – these contain harmful preservatives, artificial colors and excessive salt and sugar that is dangerous for the body.
- Eat salt in moderation- Excess salt can cause water retention leading to bloating and swelling of body parts such as ankles, face, hands, etc. It can also increase risk of blood pressure and stroke.
- Avoid eating white food products in excess – Sugar, salt, refined flour (Maida), Breads, Pasta, Rice, etc in excess. These are processed and devoid of any nutrients.
2) FLUIDS CONSUMPTION– Hydration is the key!
- 10-12 glasses of water, fresh fruit juices, buttermilk, coconut water, lime juices, soups are good ways to keep the body hydrated during pregnancy.
- It prevents constipation, urinary infection, bloating discomfort, low amniotic fluid, fatigue and risk of preterm labour
- Avoid too much caffeine and alcohol intake
- Dehydration signs include- feeling hot flushes, dark urine, feeling lethargic, etc
3)SUPPLEMENTATION – For better nourishment !
- The gynecologist generally prescribes supplements for Vitamins, Iron, Folate, minerals, etc. to fill the nutritional gaps and help in better development of the growing foetus
- These can also be available in natural sources such as fish and seafood, probiotic products, leafy vegetables, dairy products, eggs, cereals, poultry, etc. These can be consumed after discussing with the doctor.
4) EXERCISE/ PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES– Being fit is healthy!
- As per the gynecologist recommendation, safe and moderate indoor exercises, walking, low impact aerobic exercises, swimming, cycling, pilates etc can be done with caution to Keep the body fit and flexible.
- Physical activity helps keeps pregnancy aches and pains at bay.
- Ensures that muscles and ligaments are firing properly and helps during labour and childbirth.
- Burns excess calories in a gradual manner.
- Prevents fatigue and lethargy.
5)SPIRITUAL WELL BEING- When mind relaxes, body performs better !
- Meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, etc keep anxiety and stress away.
- It provides a psychological state of wellbeing.
- Calms the mind and provides an emotional support to cope up with the physical changes.Normalizes heart rate, breathing pattern and blood pressure
- Relaxes the mind and body.
- However Yoga Asaan should be performed in the presence of a trainer and only after discussing with the gynecologist.
6) REST- Most important!
- Pregnant women need to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep to overcome the physical and mental changes.
- A proper sleep routine needs to be followed to allow the body to repair and regain its efficiency to prepare for childbirth.
- Lack of sleep can have a negative effect on the developing foetus as well.
- Sleeping posture can become uncomfortable as pregnancy advances. Using enough pillows between legs and around abdomen and back can ease the pain and discomfort.
- Sleeping on the left side can be beneficial to improve blood circulation and nutrient supply to the baby.
- Heartburn can often occur at night. Avoid eating spicy and oily foods before sleeping to prevent burning in chest and throat.
Eat healthy as you are nourishing a life inside you. Get ready… Happiness is on its way!!!
Take care of yourself and we will take care of your preparations for the bundle of joy arriving soon.