My Top Five Tips for a Healthful and Kind Pregnancy
I recently announced my partnership with the team at Fairhaven to spread the word about their amazing line of fertility, pregnancy, and nursing products and to bring you information and giveaways. Today, with the help of my friends over at Fairhaven and of course my beloved OB-GYN Dr. Grunebaum, I’ve put together these five simple steps to have a healthful and kind pregnancy.
I am now coming towards the end of my pregnancy and while I can’t stop thinking about the impending arrival of my latest little one, I also can’t help but reflect on all of my pregnancies. Having been through this so many times really helps me relate to my clients and customers because pregnancy amnesia is real! As I think back to all my pregnancies, while they have all been different, and my life so different with each, I realize that they all prepared me to be a parent because they taught me to put something else first, before my own needs, and made me take better care of myself perhaps more than I have before in my life. This is the advice I give people when they ask about what they should be doing during pregnancy to prepare: You should be taking care of yourself because in doing so, you are taking care of your baby and this is going to be your number one priority for the rest of your life. So, as we welcome in the New Year and you begin to count down the months or weeks or even days to welcoming your new baby, make sure to be kind to yourself and to do these simple yet very effective things on my top 5 pregnancy care tips:
1) Be sure to take prenatal vitamins. Quite simply it is very hard to eat a diet that contains all of the balanced nutrients we need and your baby needs during pregnancy. And for those of you thinking about becoming pregnant but not yet pregnant be sure to take them well in advance of conceiving (at least one to two months ahead of time). I have every one in my office on prenatal vitamins as, quite frankly, you never know what could happen! And for the folic acid in those vitamins to be most effective in preventing neural tube defects it needs to be in your system before you get pregnant so consider prenatal vitamins a vital part of any woman’s daily regime.
2) Get as much rest as possible. There are few times in our lives where we feel like napping as much as when we are pregnant so listen to your body because you are growing a human being. This is not always an easy thing to do, especially if you are working or already have children at home, so try and be responsible about your bed time and when you can nap when your other children nap. Also, make your sleeping conditions as comfortable as possible to make your night time sleep as restful as possible. This means avoiding eating right before bed, keeping water on hand during the night and having a pregnancy pillow or support cushion to place between your legs for a more comfortable sleeping position on your side.
3) Stay active. It is very important to stay active during pregnancy as it will improve your energy levels and self-esteem, make it easier to get back into shape afterwards and help you with the marathon of labor. This doesn’t necessarily mean going out for a jog; you have to do what has worked for your non-pregnant self and, pregnancy permitting, continue this into pregnancy. Generally speaking, pregnancy is not the time to take up new types of exercise or increase what you were already doing unless your doctor says it’s okay. However, yoga is one thing you can absolutely incorporate into your day even if you haven’t done it before – just start slow. Believe when I say I am not exactly the most relaxed person in the world so yoga was one of those things I have always resisted. However, I have come to realize that it cannot only be a great work out, but over time the discipline of yoga can help even the most anxious of us start to relax and this is good for your baby. Taking the time each day, however short it is, to focus inwards instead of outwards and to allow yourself to think about this growing baby and all that you hope and dream for is invaluable. If you don’t have a good yoga studio near you, there are many great prenatal yoga DVDs that you can do from the comfort of your living room.
4) Nourish yourself and your baby. Almost every woman I know has some kind of issue with their body or with food. However, pregnancy is a time to overcome these issues for your child and put your growing baby first.
This is not only important while they are inside of you but also as they grow, as you want to teach them self-love and a healthy relationship with food. They need you to gain weight in a healthy way and they need the nourishment that the food you eat provides them in utero, as well as the good example it sets as they develop. What you eat in the womb doesn’t only affect your newborn but will affect them many years down the line; recent studies have shown that, if you are having a girl, what you eat will also affect her children as well. A great rule of thumb is to think that if you wouldn’t feed it to your baby (ahem fast food) then don’t feed it to yourself while your are pregnant.
5) Try to keep your self-esteem high. I know some pregnant women relish in their new curves but for others it isn’t as easy to feel comfortable in their new body. It can be difficult with your changing body and gained pounds to always love the way you look. You must remember these changes are happening for a reason, for your baby’s benefit, and that it is possible to get back into shape afterwards. Maybe not in two weeks, as some celebrities would have you believe, but in time you can. In order to keep your self-esteem high remember why these changes are happening, be sure to keep your endorphins going by staying active, and continue to care about the way you look. You should wear clothes that are true to your style and flatter your new curves. And, for those of you that fear stretch marks and sagging skin, take action and lather on that cream! The better you treat yourself, the better you will feel about yourself and the happier you will be. And let’s remember, happy moms equal happy babies.
With the help of my friends over at Fairhaven and, of course, my beloved OB-GYN Dr. Grunebaum hopefully you can follow these five simple steps and have a healthful and kind pregnancy too.