Being pregnant is a wonderful experience for most women. There are tough times, especially as your belly starts to grow and you have a wriggling baby at night time stopping you from sleeping.
Being proactive and making changes to support your physical and mental health in pregnancy can make for an ideal time leading up to the birth as these five tips from HARTMANN Direct show.
#1 Eat Well
Aim for a healthy, balanced diet pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy and after the birth too. Small changes make a big difference;
- Aim for five portions of different coloured fruit and veg daily.
- Choose wholegrain carbohydrates, rather than white, so brown bread instead of white bread, as it contains more fibre.
- Eat protein every day such as fish, lean meat, eggs, nuts and pulses.
- Include dairy products too.
- Have at least two portions of fish a week, with one being an oily fish such as salmon – oily fish contains omega-3, important in baby’s brain development.
What you don’t need to do: eat for two! You don’t need extra calories in the first six months of pregnancy but in the remaining three months, you can up your intake by 200 calories.
#2 Take Supplements
But before you leap on the supplement and vitamin aisle at your local supermarket, bear in mind that if you are enjoying a full and healthy diet, you may not need to take anything extra. Always consult your doctor or midwife before you take any supplements.
If you are not eating well or are too sick, supplements replace the vitamins and minerals you would otherwise be consuming in food.
- Folic Acid – you need to make sure you having at least 400mg a day pre-pregnancy and for the first three months too.
- Vitamin D – 10mcg of vitamin D is important for baby’s developing skeleton.
- Multivitamins – some women take a course of multivitamins that contain the right levels of folic acid and vitamin D but remember, too much of a vitamin and mineral can be dangerous to both your health and your baby’s, so check the levels of vitamins etc. you are consuming.
- Fish oil – although fish oil is a healthy fat, if you take a fish oil supplement, make sure it is made from the fish body and not the liver. Cod liver oil capsules, for example, contain a retinol form of Vitamin A, which is not recommended in pregnancy.
Pregnancy is not the time to start a new exercise regime that is high impact and vigorous but, maintaining a level of activity and exercise is important for your own well-being, as well as that of your growing baby;
- Exercise builds strength, stamina and endurance, three things that will help you cope with the extra weight of pregnancy and the demands of labour.
- It will also help you get back into shape after the birth too.
- Can help stave off depression or feeling low in your mood, a common occurrence for many pregnant women
A brisk walk or swimming, along with yoga and Pilates are ideal activities during pregnancy.
#4 Pelvic Floor Exercises
Being pregnant places a growing strain on your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles help you control your bladder and bowel. Pregnancy hormones also contribute to your pelvic floor not working like it usually does.
Pelvic floor exercises can be practiced before, during and after pregnancy. As well as helping you control your bladder, a strong pelvic floor can help with labour and giving birth too.
The first few months of pregnancy are demanding, thus getting plenty of rest is needed. As you enter your second trimester, you may feel a new surge of energy and people may comment on your blossoming! This is all down to hormones, being active and eating healthily.
In your final trimester, the baby is now big and your body is dealing with extra weight, as well as water retention and a new surge of hormones to prepare your body for the impending birth.
Rest is important and your body will tell you when you need to take some time out. This can be sitting and relaxing, enjoying a good book or catching up on your sleep after restless nights.
Enjoy Your Pregnancy
Pregnancy should be an exciting time, a time in which you discover how amazing your body is and look forward to welcoming your new addition to your family. But it can be a difficult time too, so be proactive and take steps to look after yourself!
HARTMANN Direct have a range of discreet incontinence pads and pants, perfect for use during and after pregnancy.
Disclosure – this is a sponsored post