You’re pregnant; it’s happening! The test has shown positive, the doctors have confirmed it. In under 9 months, you’ll be holding that new bundle of joy. After that initial burst of excitement, however, the fear sets in.
So many questions. Panic. What are you meant to be doing? Pregnancy is a beautiful journey, but there’s so much to it that it can be overwhelming. To help get you (and your little one!) through the upcoming months, here are 7 tips you should follow.
Focus on Your Mental Health
It’s only recently that we’ve started to understand mental health during pregnancy. Moms will often focus on the physical aspects, ensuring the baby is healthy, but will ignore their mental wellbeing. Society at large has also undervalued just how important it is to focus on psychological well-being.
Women face a range of challenges, which can be exacerbated during pregnancy. It’s important your partner gives you full support, that you ask for help when necessary (don’t feel guilty for doing so!), and don’t be afraid to ask for medical assistance. There are several medications that can prove invaluable during pregnancy.
Say Goodbye to Your Morning Coffee
This one may be difficult for a lot of you. That morning cup of coffee is what gets you through your mornings. It’s part of your daily ritual. Hate to break it to you: more than 150-200 milligrams, which equates to just over a standard cup, may not be healthy for your baby.
Studies have shown that too much caffeine can cause issues with your child’s growth and development. It may also affect the chances of miscarriage and stillbirth. According to a recent study, any coffee may be harmful.
Yes, it’s going to be hard to say goodbye to your morning wake-up fuel. But when it comes to pregnancy, it’s best to not take risks.
Join a Childbirth Class
If you’re confused or scared about pregnancy, don’t worry. It’s completely normal. Enrolling in a childbirth class can help assuage these fears. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of the entire process, as well as useful ways to handle any issues.
The added benefit of a class is the people you’ll meet. Parents have often made friends for life at childbirth classes; the joint struggle and joy combined make for a fantastic platform for friendship. Try it!
Drink Lots of Water
Instead of coffee, go for water instead. And lots of it. Moms-to-be need more than your average person, as you’ll need it to produce additional amniotic fluid and blood. According to the Institute of Medicine, instead of the recommended eight glasses of water a day, drink ten. Also watch how much you’re losing in the first trimester; a lot of women find that keeping food and liquids down is a near impossible task.
This tip is extra important if you live 4,900 feet above sea level (approximately 1500 meters). The lower levels of humidity mean your body will lose more water through respiration and perspiration; add a couple of glasses of water per day to counteract this.
Use Supplements to Aid Your Diet
Your baby needs plenty of nutrients to develop, but your diet may not always provide what’s necessary. Especially if your appetite is struggling, for example. Supplements can be a great aid; just make sure you don’t take things too far.
Of course, don’t just randomly go on buckets of random supplements. You probably don’t need them, and the industry is full of pills that are a ripoff (or worse!). Instead, talk to your doctor first. Look up prenatal vitamins, for example, and just make sure they’re safe to take.
Try to Stay Active
You’re in pain, sleep is almost impossible, morning sickness, you’re anxious. The last thing you want to do is get your gym bag together and head to the gym. But according to the American Pregnancy Association, staying active is very important. It’s not only on the physical side, either; exercise is very important for your mental well-being.
Remember to Treat Yourself!
No coffee, healthy eating, exercise. Sounds like a boot camp, not a pregnancy, right? The truth is that, yes, you’ll need to take care of your body. It’s housing the new addition to your family. But that doesn’t mean you need to take out all of the pleasures out of your life.
This is especially true for those cravings. If you suddenly fancy a delicious pizza with all of your favorite toppings, go for it. Deliveroo running a special deal? Hit that order button. Sure, don’t do this every day, but let yourself indulge every once in a while.