By Guest Bloggers Lisa Marshall from Aussiewell.net.
Although it’s normal for expectant mums to worry about keeping their unborn babies safe while pregnant, the stress isn’t good for you or for bubs. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can protect your little one and make your experience carrying him or her even more enjoyable. Here are a few tips for the modern mum to put your mind at ease and pave the way to a healthy, happy pregnancy:
Image via Pixabay
Maintain a healthy diet
It’s good advice for anyone, but it’s especially important for pregnant mothers who need their strength and growing babies who need nutrients. All of your food groups — fruit, vegetables and legumes, grains, milk products, and meat products — should be represented daily. However, make sure you read the NSW Pregnancy Dietary Guidlines here, as there are types of each food and means of obtaining it that you should avoid. Always eat breakfast to curb hunger and prevent snacking on high-fat and sugary foods throughout the day. Eat plenty of protein to help your baby grow and fibre to help your digestion. You can easily make a lot of healthy switches that will cut calories without sacrificing a satisfying, hearty meal: leaner cuts of meat, low-fat dairy products, and wholemeal over processed goods, for example.
Don’t forget to inform your other health care providers
Obviously your GP and gynaecologist will be aware of your pregnant state, but be sure to make your other physicians aware as well. Your skin only allows for so much absorption, but check with your dermatologist to find out if any part of your care regimen may have adverse effects, especially if you’re taking any oral medications. Tell your dentist as well — he may want to consult with your GP for certain aspects of treatment. If you’re seeking mental health care, make sure your therapist knows you’re pregnant and adjust medication as needed. Never make any dramatic changes to your health care routine without consulting a doctor first.
Wear sensible shoes
Wearing the wrong shoes during pregnancy can not only be uncomfortable, it can actually be dangerous. While carrying, your body releases a hormone called relaxin, which can loosen ligaments and increase your risk of joint injuries like sprains. Combined with the swelling some women experience and the weight gain that changes your body shape, posture, and centre of gravity, your feet have a lot of extra pressure. Stick with comfortable, supportive shoes to reduce your risk of injury, improve your posture, and increase your general comfort.
Watch your back
As your baby grows and your weight increases, there’s also an additional strain on your back. The spine can sometimes get dragged forward with the weight, causing the joints to deviate from their natural alignment and cause major back pain. Lessen the effects and get your posture back to normal by making a point to sit and stand up straight, elongating your spine from pelvis to head. While walking, lifting, or doing other physical activities, draw in your abdominal muscles around the baby. You can even do some belly dance exercises to keep up spine flexibility!
Image via Happy Fit
Your fatigue may be trying to keep you down, but don’t let it! Stay active and moving (as approved by your doctor). If you have a daily routine — like running every morning, for example — talk to your GP about how, and if, you can continue safely. Yoga and meditation are really great also as they help calm and focus your mind. There are a range of pregnancy Yoga studios around too, so do a quick google search for your closest studio. Get some exercise every day, and when possible do it outdoors for some fresh air and sunshine. Go on a nature walk with your spouse or a mate, take your dog to the park for a relaxing game of fetch, or take a stroll through your favourite part of town. Swimming is another great option; it can work every muscle including your heart, plus the buoyancy will take some of the pressure off your joints.
Don’t let your mind run away with you and prevent you from fully enjoying your pregnancy. Keep these tips in mind and consult your doctor as needed, and you’ll be able to embrace the experience with open arms.
Lisa Marshall wanted to start AussieWell.net after meeting some of her long-distance online friends on a trip. Being from the States, they had a lot of “typical” questions about living in Australia, and so Lisa decided to provide a newcomer’s guide — a go-to for any and all info on moving to or living in the country. Now that she invests a lot of time in her site, she continues to think about the safety, wellness, and overall lifestyle advice she can spread to Aussies and their visitors.