Being healthy and fit before and during pregnancy is very essential in giving your baby a healthy start. Caring for your body is the only way to make sure your baby is well taken care off. Pregnancy transforms your body making proper nourishment and a healthy lifestyle, a necessity to make sure it is a smooth ride for to-be mammas. This will help keep morning sickness, body aches, and contractions at bay. Read on to find out the different ways and techniques to keep up a healthy routine pre and post pregnancy.
Healthy Dietary Habits During Pregnancy
The emphasis on eating right during pregnancy stems from the fact that the body’s needs double. Starving the body of essential nutrition can lead to a stressful pregnancy with complications.
According to What To Expect, “Of course, it’s the rare woman who eats well every day, week in and week out, for all 40 weeks of her pregnancy. (Who could? What world does that woman live in?) So, don’t stress about it, and don’t feel guilty — the following is a framework for healthy eating, not a strict curriculum to follow (and you’re not being graded). Follow these principles as closely as you can, as often as you can, to have the healthiest, most nutritious pregnancy possible.” The idea is to understand the nutrition requirements for you and the baby and then planning a diet for you two.
Diet for Mothers
The key nutrients a pregnant woman needs are calcium, iron, protein and folic acid.
Calcium helps in developing the bones and teeth of the baby. Consumption of the calcium source for pregnant women is around 1000 milligrams a day and 800 milligrams for younger women. The sources of calcium include dairy, green leafy vegetables, fish and fresh fruit juices.
Iron is another key source of nutrition for pregnant mothers and they need around 27 mg of iron every day, double the amount required by a non-expectant woman. Iron is a mineral required to produce blood which transfers oxygen to the baby. On the contrary, an iron deficiency in pregnant women can also lead to anemia. Also, to help the body increase iron absorption, consume it with a good source of Vitamin C (orange juice). Sources of iron include beans, cereals, meat, seafood, and poultry.
The amount of Protein intake required during pregnancy doubles like all the other key nutrients. It is known as the ‘builder nutrient’ as it helps in developing the baby’s heart and brain. The foods rich in protein are fish, poultry, meat, nuts, tofu, eggs, and legumes.
Folate or folic acid is a Vitamin B source that prevents birth defects like neural tube defects that can occur in the brain or the spinal cord. Start taking Vitamin B supplements while trying to get pregnant. Women need 400 mg before pregnancy and 600 mg during pregnancy and the main source of folic acid are bread and pasta, green leafy vegetables, cereals legumes, and citric fruits.
Fitness Routine During Pregnancy
Exercise and a fitness routine are equally important as consuming a healthy diet. Being active is generally a good way to lead a healthy life. It improves blood circulation, reduces stress, keeps weight in check and helps you sleep better. Most importantly exercising during pregnancy makes it a comfortable pregnancy with fewer pains and aches.
In order to maintain a fit schedule during pregnancy, the basic exercise to follow is walking for around 20-25 minutes at a medium pace. If you are inclined towards other activities like swimming or yoga, consult a doctor first and go to pregnancy-specific classes. A good 30 minutes of exercise routine every day will keep you fit and healthy during your pregnancy. However, remember to not overdo and at all times listen and understand your body and act accordingly.
Tips to follow while taking up a physical activity during pregnancy:
Remember the key is to keep your body active and not stress it further with heavy-duty routines. Start from 15 minutes of exercise and gradually move towards the 30 minutes.
Warm-ups and cool-downs
An exercise routine consists of warming up, exercise and cooling down to ensure the body catches up to the routine. Following this during your pregnancy is of utmost importance. Avoiding cooling down can trap blood in the muscles leading to scarce supply to other parts. Hence always finish your routine with a slow walk or breathing exercises.
Drink-Up and Eat Well
Water intake should always be monitored and especially when you are sweating it out during your exercise routine. Hydrate yourself before, during and after workout sessions. While you exercise can lead to a drop in the blood sugar levels, keep snacks handy which are high in protein and carbs.
Wear comfortable clothes, don’t stress your body too much and in case of any issues in your body, consult a doctor immediately. Here’s to a fit and fabulous pregnancy for all the mothers out there.
Author: Maria Smith