Now that you’re pregnant, taking care of yourself has never been more important. The human growing inside your tummy relies solely on you for its health and wellness. But staying fit and healthy throughout the pregnancy can be easier said than done. Your body has new nutritional needs and limitations that can keep you from being active all the time.
Still, you’ve got to try. You can start with simple lifestyle changes that benefit you and the baby. Here are some tips to help you stay fit and healthy during pregnancy:
Always stay hydrated.
Many pregnant women experience constipation, urinary tract infections and haemorrhoids. But staying hydrated can help you prevent these common ailments. So, aim for eight or more cups of water a day. You can also increase your fluid intake by eating water-rich fruits like watermelon, strawberry and pineapple. Tea, coffee and juices all count toward your fluid intake, but be wary about consuming beverages that are high in calories and added sugars.
Do light exercises.
Working out during your pregnancy can do wonders for you and your baby. It can help improve your posture and reduce common discomforts like lower back pain and fatigue. You can even develop more stamina, which you’ll need for labour and delivery. Also, studies have shown that physical activity can help lower the risk of gestational diabetes.
However, make sure to match the exercise to your pregnancy period. For instance, you can still run, swim, bike or even do weight training during the first trimester. In the second trimester, go for lighter exercises and refrain from weight training and biking. Then, in the third trimester, focus on low impact exercises like taking short walks at the park. Don’t hesitate to speak with your doctor to learn more about suitable exercises for you.
Eat right—and eat for two.
You need around 300 more calories a day, especially during the last six months of pregnancy. So, go for foods packed with nutrients, such as whole grains, lean protein, vegetables and fruits. You can say yes to occasional cravings, but be careful with portions. For snacks, skip the sugar treats and choose healthier alternatives, like whole-grain crackers, low-fat yoghurt and ginger candies (which can also help with morning sickness).
Take your daily prenatal multivitamin, too. That way, you get the right amount of folic acid, calcium, iron and other nutrients you and your baby need during the nine-month journey.
Get ample rest.
You may be used to running errands all day long, but now’s the time to take a breather. Allow someone else to take over your usual tasks and allow yourself to be looked after. If you feel tired or overwhelmed during the day, take restful naps. Can’t help but go out for groceries or go to the laundromat? Make a quick pit stop for a cup of tea. Get ample breaks daily—and be unapologetic about it. Your body is quickly changing, after all. You need all the help you can get to recover from hormone spikes and other sudden changes.
It’s easy to get caught up in things you’re supposed to do for the baby. Still, find a way to look after yourself, too. Keeping your physical and mental health in check is crucial for a healthy pregnancy. So, go and set a day to relax and enjoy simple moments on your own.
Want to make that “self-care” day extra special? Let us surprise you with a care package. Our monthly subscription boxes contain presents tailored to your stage of pregnancy. For instance, our Trimester 1 Care Package includes teas and snacks to help you deal with morning sickness. Our New Mum Gift Box is full of items that’ll remind you to care for yourself as you ease into parenthood. It’s fun to receive one of these boxes each month!
Recognise and address your stress.
You may be anxious about different things during pregnancy—from what to do to quell first-trimester nausea to how the childbirth will go. But, again, hit the pause button for a moment. Give yourself some time to recognise your stress triggers and look for healthy ways to address them. For one, see if you can avoid those stressful situations altogether. If not, determine how you can destress best. Maybe, it’s through meditation or doing yoga daily. Or perhaps, it works for you to go out and take a quick stroll to unwind after a stressful day.
Don’t forget about prenatal care.
As you try to be more physically and mentally healthy, keep prenatal care in mind, too. Go to your doctor regularly so that you can track your health and your baby’s development throughout the pregnancy. Doing so can also get your medical conditions under control and ensure your vaccinations are up-to-date. Keeping open communication with your OB-GYN is a vital step to creating a healthy pregnancy.