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Pregnancy is undoubtedly a roller coaster ride. The thought of being a mommy both exhilarates and scares you. You’re worried that your body will change, but you also want to embrace that change for sake of your baby. You’re happy and excited, but the annoying morning sickness keeps getting to you. Well, for all the new mommies out there, here’s some crucial, but often overlooked, advice that will enable you to enjoy your pregnancy and stay fit and healthy at the same time:
1. Plan your diet
Sticking to a diet plan during your nine months of pregnancy can be tricky; especially since you’re nauseated and have unexpected cravings and aversions. Always listen to your body, because your aversions and cravings are your body’s way of telling you what it needs and what you should avoid. For example, a craving for bananas likely means that your body is lacking potassium.
Here are some tips on how to manage your pregnancy diet:
Avoid Carbs and Sugar:
After a certain level, any weight you put on stops benefiting the baby and merely sticks to your body. Therefore, be sure to avoid unhealthy high-carb and sugary foods as they will only add unnecessary pounds. Processed carbs such as cereals, breads, baked products and pasta are broken down into sugar by your body and add to your blood sugar.
If you do not exercise to burn this excess blood sugar, insulin will not only convert it into fat, but will also stop your body from utilizing these fat reserves to produce energy. Hence, by consuming carbs and sugar you’ll most likely experience unhealthy weight gain that will be difficult to cut down after the baby is born.
Fruits are recommended during pregnancy and most women crave vitamin C during the first trimester. However, once the craving subsides, exercise caution in consuming fruits because they contain fructose and will contribute to weight gain. Therefore, try to eat a maximum of two fruit servings in a day.
Consume Proteins and Healthy Fats:
There are a few basic principles that you should abide by in order to stay healthy during your pregnancy. These dietary recommendations include eating healthy fats, lean meats and vegetables. Even if healthy eating wasn’t your priority before conceiving, you need to ensure an adequate intake of proteins, vitamin D, iron and folic acid as these are extremely important to the baby’s development.
While fat is thought to be a bad thing; your body needs healthy mono and saturated fats in order to function properly. These fats can be attained from avocado, coconut and olive oil and will enable your body to absorb vitamins A, D, E and K. These vitamins and healthy fats are vital for your own as well as your baby’s well-being.
Proteins and good fats also switch off hormones that communicate to your brain that you’re hungry and thus reduce cravings and stabilize blood sugar.
2. Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water has several advantages for mommies-to-be. They reduce nausea, headaches and fatigue, prevent urinary infections and help your body absorb nutrients. Try to drink at least 11 to 12 glasses of water every day.
Drink Coconut Water:
Your body needs adequate amounts of electrolytes such as sodium, phosphorus, calcium and potassium during pregnancy in order to maintain fluid levels and blood pressure. All these nutrients can be acquired by drinking coconut water on a daily basis. You can choose to drink it on its own or in the form of a smoothie.
Drink Herbal Teas:
The use of herbal teas is recommended during pregnancy, as they provide necessary nutrients, such as calcium, iron and magnesium. Here are some specific benefits of herbal teas during pregnancy:
- Raspberry leaf: Raspberry leaf tea helps in toning the uterus, decreasing nausea, easing labor pains and duration and increases milk production.
- Peppermint Leaf: Peppermint leaf tea reduces nausea and flatulence.
- Lemon balm: Lemon balm extracts in herbal teas calm nerves and reduce insomnia, anxiety and irritability.
- Ginger root: Ginger root relieves nausea.
3. Get Some Exercise
While you are advised to take it easy during your pregnancy, light exercise is recommended due to its benefits. Exercise helps relieve nausea and fatigue in the first trimester. It increases blood supply in the second trimester. It also enables a speedy post-partum recovery. The key here is to find a mode of exercise that you enjoy so that you are able to stick to it on a regular basis. Here are some exercising tips to keep you fit and healthy during pregnancy:
Yoga is a highly recommended physical activity during pregnancy, as helps you stay in shape, develops stamina to carry your baby’s weight and strengthens your back, hips and shoulders. It also helps you relax and increases your emotional balance, blood circulation and flexibility. Moreover, it prepares you for labor as it teaches you to focus on breathing while you practice yogic poses. You can even treat yourself and your husband to a quiet yoga retreat where you will be able to relax, remain fit, eat healthy and practice yoga under the careful guidance of expert instructors.
Swimming is highly recommended during pregnancy, as it will keep you in shape because it burns a lot of calories. It will relieve your back and ankles from bearing constant weight, thus allowing you to feel light and comfortable.
Strength training will help you during pregnancy as well as labor. It will prevent excessive weight gain by increasing your metabolism and will help relieve debilitating muscle pains during labor.
Pregnancy is the transition period for woman both on physical and mental level. It is important for a women to relax enough and perform exercise that help them stay fit and healthy throughout the pregnancy period and made pregnancy less painful.
Alma is a mother, wife and a professional blogger by choice. She has completed her masters in English literature from the University of Groningen. As a blogger she wrote quite a few posts on health, technology as well as management. She loves to discover new places and share experiences in words. Oh, Alma is incomplete without cats.
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