Pregnancy is a remarkable journey that brings immense joy and anticipation into the lives of expecting parents. It is a time of profound physical and emotional changes, which is why making relevant daily lifestyle choices is crucial to prioritizing the well-being of the mother and the baby.
From dietary recommendations to optimizing exercising and physical activity, there are several factors that one needs to prioritize for a healthy pregnancy and to support the healthy development of their growing baby.
This article will explore different things to do when pregnant to ensure the optimal well-being of the expectant mothers and the developing fetus throughout the pregnancy.
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10 Things to Do During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is an experience like no other, and every person’s experience is different and subjective. While pregnancy is a smooth ride for some individuals, others often have to face some challenges.
However, making space for the dos and don’ts throughout one’s pregnancy is vital. We have listed the top 10 factors that you need to prioritize during one’s pregnancy.
1. Dietary guidelines
Eating a well-balanced diet is crucial during pregnancy and includes various nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, etc.
Including adequate vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, iron, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids in the diet is also vital. Also, proper hydration is equally important since it helps alleviate common pregnancy discomforts like constipation and swelling.
The list of foods one should avoid during pregnancy includes raw seafood, undercooked meat, unpasteurized dairy, foods high in mercury, etc. These foods are known to increase the risks of foodborne illnesses and can cause potential harm to the baby.
You also want to limit your caffeine intake and avoid alcohol since they are scientifically proven to lead to birth defects and developmental issues.
2. Exercise and physical activity
Like the food you consume, indulging in exercise and physical activity is also good for pregnancy. Depending on how smooth your pregnancy has been, engaging in light to moderate-intensity exercises like brisk walking, swimming, or prenatal yoga alleviates stress, maintains overall fitness, and boosts blood circulation.
While it is true that indulging in exercise is essential, overexertion is never okay. You don’t want to indulge in high-impact activities, which can stress the body.
You have to listen to your body, pay attention to the symptoms, and adjust your activity levels accordingly. Furthermore, pelvic floor exercises like Kegels can strengthen the pelvic floor, which can help with labor and postpartum recovery.
3. Sleep and rest
When it comes to things not to do when pregnant, inadequate sleep throughout the day can affect the mother’s and the developing baby’s health in the fetus. Getting 7-9 hours of quality sleep throughout the night is key.
Furthermore, as you progress through pregnancy, finding a comfortable, adequate sleeping position can be difficult. Besides finding an ideal position for sleeping, you also want to prioritize sleeping on the left side to improve circulation to the baby and reduce the risk of complications like stillbirth.
Another factor that adds to optimal sleep is creating a comfortable sleep environment by using pillows that will support your body, reduce discomfort, and contribute to a more restful night’s sleep.
4. Stress management
High levels of stress can often harm pregnancy. This is why exploring relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing, or prenatal yoga is vital for managing stress and anxiety.
Since pregnancy is a relatively new experience for many people, finding an ideal support system can help tide them through the hard times during pregnancy. A robust support system can help you navigate pregnancy’s emotional ups and downs.
Additionally, identifying and minimizing the sources of stress during pregnancy is equally crucial. What you want to do is delegate tasks, set realistic expectations, and avoid overcommitting since that further adds to the stress.
5. Prenatal care
Prenatal care with your OBGYN throughout the pregnancy is essential to monitor your health and the baby’s development, and they provide an opportunity to address any concerns or questions you may have.
Alongside healthy eating during pregnancy, attending the scheduled ultrasound scans is vital to ensure the baby is developing correctly. These scans are also helpful in identifying potential issues early on during the pregnancy.
You can also consider taking childbirth and parenting classes to gain the knowledge and skills necessary for labor, delivery, and eventually caring for one’s newborn after birth.
Our specialists at Queen’s Gynecology take the health and well-being of our pregnant patients quite seriously and emphasize regular prenatal care for optimal health during pregnancy.
6. Personal hygiene and self-care
Aside from eating good food and staying active, personal hygiene and self-care are key to prioritizing during pregnancy.
Among them, oral hygiene is of utmost importance since hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy often lead to risks of gum diseases. Furthermore, when it comes to skincare, you want to use pregnancy-safe skin care products and wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
Some skin changes are common during pregnancy, so proper skin care can help you stay comfortable. Also, you want to avoid hot tubs, saunas, and baths during pregnancy since overheating isn’t ideal or comfortable.
7. Social and recreational activities
Pregnancy can feel like a drastic change and often isolating for several women. In such situations, prioritizing social interactions and indulging in healthy recreational activities is key.
You want to engage in pregnancy-safe activities and events that won’t risk the health of the mother and the baby.
Also, prioritize your mental well-being by engaging in activities that help you relax and connect with others. Consider prenatal classes, support groups, and bonding with your partner.
8. Sexual intimacy
In most cases, sexual intimacy is safe (and often encouraged) during pregnancy. At Queen’s Gynecology, we often have our patients enquire about the dos and don’ts involving sexual intimacy during pregnancy, and our advice is to prioritize open communication with your partner.
As your pregnancy progresses, experiment with comfortable positions for you and your partner. Be attentive to your body and stop any activity that causes discomfort or pain.
If you feel discomfort or have questions about the subject, our specialists at Queen’s Gynecology are here to guide and support you every step of the way.
9. Preparing for labor and delivery
When discussing the daily lifestyle dos and don’ts during pregnancy, preparing the body for the eventual delivery of the newborn is equally essential.
As much as you must soak in the moment of peace and joy at present, it is equally crucial that you prepare for what’s to come, and that involves enrolling in childbirth education classes.
Also, create a birth plan outlining your labor and delivery preferences. Discuss it with your healthcare provider to ensure everyone is on the same page. You can also prepare your hospital bag and keep everything for the big day.
10. Travel and safety
Traveling during pregnancy isn’t something one has to eliminate unless your OBGYN suggests otherwise due to specific severities.
You must prioritize your safety and comfort when considering traveling during pregnancy, especially for extended periods. You want to stay hydrated, take breaks during the journey, and consider discussing your travel plans with your doctor before finalizing everything.
Also, if you are flying during your pregnancy, especially during the last stretch, there are specific policies and recommendations to consider. Get everything clarified with the airline in that case.
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Pregnancy is a time of profound change and personal growth, and making daily lifestyle choices prioritizing health and well-being is essential. From making a list of things to eat during pregnancy to preparing for the eventual birth of your baby, there are several factors that one needs to consider for a healthy, smoother, and more enjoyable pregnancy journey.
To make things easier on you, working with our experienced specialists and OBGYNs at Queen’s Gynecology can help you prioritize a healthy pregnancy that you can look forward to.