Motherhood is a wonderful period in a woman’s life that completely transforms her world. The joy and excitement that comes when you test positive for pregnancy is matchless. Carrying a little version of yourself in your womb for nine months brings about irreversible changes in you– physically, emotionally, and in other aspects. Pregnancy is undoubtedly an enriching journey, but it can sometimes be challenging. Therefore, to ensure a natural and healthy delivery and to reduce the likelihood of birth complications, you must prioritize self-care and adopthealthy habits.
Good physical and mental health will greatly benefit you and your baby. Not just that, it will also prepare your body for the challenging childbirth process. This article will discuss the challenges most expecting mothers face and how healthy practices can help.
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Navigating The Challenges Of Pregnancy
The most common challenges expecting mothers face include underlying health conditions and unhealthy habits. For instance, excessive use of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco can negatively affect your pregnancy. Underlying medical conditions, including anxiety, depression, diabetes, hypertension, thyroid problems, hormonal disorder, anorexia, malnutrition, infections, etc., can seriously threaten expecting mothers and their babies.
Sometimes, patients with a healthy pregnancy and fetus cannot deliver a healthy child for several reasons. One of the most common reasons is medical malpractice and negligence on behalf of the healthcare provider, resulting in childbirth injuries. These injuries can cause life-long challenges like cerebral palsy, Erb’spalsy, and other neurological disorders.
You can consult one of the cerebral palsy attorneys if your baby is diagnosed with cerebral palsy due to medical negligence. They will help you file a lawsuit against the healthcare provider and receive financial compensation to cover the expenses of medications, surgery, occupational therapies, and more. Early diagnosis and intervention of cerebral palsy can help relieve the symptoms and improve the overall quality of the child’s life.
Healthy Habits Every Expecting Mother Should Adopt
Every expecting mother should take a few essential steps to ensure safe childbirth. Some healthy habits to adopt are as follows:
Eat Nutrient-Rich Food
During pregnancy, your diet plays a significant role in keeping you healthy and nourishing your baby. Calorie-restrictingdiets should be avoided during pregnancy. It is because the number of calories you need will change throughout the pregnancy. You will not need additional calories during your first trimester. However, increasing your daily calorie intake by 340 calories per day in the second and 450 calories per day in the third trimester is recommended.
Your diet should be balanced and nutritionally rich to maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI). A BMI below or above the acceptable range can cause various pregnancy complications. Ensure your body has certain nutrients to ensure good health for you and the baby. These nutrients include iron, folic acid, protein, iodine, choline, vitamin D, fiber, potassium, calcium, and more. You can choose a mix of healthy foodsfrom all food groups. Include a lot of whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products in your diet.
Certain foods should be avoided during pregnancy as they can negatively affect your body. These foods include raw or undercooked meat and fish, raw eggs, unwashed fruits and vegetables, unpasteurized milk and cheese, smoked seafood, hotdogs, raw sprouts, etc.
Incorporate Regular Physical Exercise Into Your Daily Routine
Staying physically active benefits your overall health. Physical activities help reduce stress, boosts your mood, improves sleep quality, and blood circulation. Research has shown that exercise during pregnancy increases chances of vaginal delivery and reduces risk of preterm birth, cesarean, low birth weight, maternal obesity, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia.
On the contrary, little to no physical activity during pregnancy may increase the risk of complications. Therefore, if you are an expecting mother, do not let yourself lead a sedentary lifestyle. Pilates, yoga, swimming, walking at a moderate pace for 15-20 minutes, and moderate-intensity workouts for 30 minutes daily are great physical activities for pregnant women. However, be sure to check with your doctor before starting any exercise.
Do Not Skip Prenatal Vitamins
Taking prenatal vitamins is one of the first and most important steps you must take as soon as you know you are pregnant. Make sure to consult your doctor first. Experts suggest that taking prenatal vitamins even when trying to conceive is a smart decision. It will benefit your health as well as the health of your little one. Prenatal vitamins constitute all the recommended vitamins and minerals that expecting mothers need before and during pregnancy, such as folic acid, calcium, zinc, iodine, Iron, B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and more.
Prenatal vitamins help fulfill your growing baby’s needs and prevent many childbirth complications. For instance, folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects (abnormalities of the fetal brain and spinal cord). Similarly, Iron helps in preventing anemia and supports the development of the placenta and fetus.
Get Rid Of The Toxins
To prevent pregnancy complications and to keep the baby healthy, you must avoid tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs, and all the other types of toxins. These toxins may cause congenital disorders, miscarriage, and other serious complications. Expecting mother’s exposure to smoke is a major risk factor for baby death and disability. Moreover, it may cause preterm birth, infant morbidity, neonatal mortality, fetal growth restriction, etc.
When you consume alcohol during pregnancy, it passes from the blood and reaches your baby through the placenta, negatively affecting its development. It also increases the risk of low birth weight, miscarriages, andpremature birth. Therefore, all doctors recommend to avoid alcohol completelyduring pregnancy.
Pregnancy is a critical yet exciting period of a woman’s life. The joy of bringing a little version of yourself into the world is priceless. At the same time, you must take extra care to ensurea safe delivery. If you are expecting, remember to take care of your body amidst all the joy. Say goodbye to unhealthy habits and make healthy habits a part of your routine. Take care of your diet, get moving, eliminate toxins, and you will have a healthy pregnancy and safe childbirth.