10 prenatal care tips that every mother-to-be should keep in mind
A healthy pregnancy is the best way to promote a healthy birth. Getting early and regular prenatal care is essential as you set out on this journey
Motherhood. All love begins and ends there!
And just as important as every mommy is to her child, motherhood is one of the most important journeys a woman embarks on. It’s a roller-coaster ride filled with emotions, exhilaration, and a certain amount of nervousness. A mother starts caring for her baby even before it is born, but she herself needs attention, caution, and care during the prenatal phase for her and her baby’s own wellbeing.
On the occasion of Mother’s Day, we list down 10 prenatal tips for mothers-to-be.
Get your exercise fix
Exercise plays a very important role in preventing back pain, stiffness, swelling, tight muscles and all the other bodily problems that come with pregnancy. Meenakshi S, a senior Fitness Trainer and Physiotherapist at HealthifyMe, says, “In the first trimester, do simple back and pelvic region exercises. In the second trimester, get your doctor’s clearance and depending on whether your placenta is posterior or anterior, get more advanced exercises. You need to be active in the third trimester as well. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise or split it into 15 minutes of workout twice a day.” Instead of relying on just walks, working out at home or a studio will prevent ligament pain that makes it difficult for an expectant mother to walk without pain.
- Know what eating for two means
If you think to eat for two means eating twice the amount of food, you couldn’t be more wrong. You just need an extra 200 calories per day in the first trimester of pregnancy; this translates into just a glass of milk and fruits. You need an additional 300 calories in the second and third trimester. Eating twice the amount will only make you gain excessive weight – something you don’t need – and aggravate your back pain and swelling.
Put your focus on nutrition
It’s healthy to gain just about 10-12 kilos during pregnancy, and eating right is all about the right nutrition. You need to get the right amount of folic acid, iron, calcium and protein from your food so that the baby gets all these elements, too. Not getting the right nutrition may also cause infections in the first trimester.
Cut down on the carbs
Consuming too many carbs will make you gain weight, which will do you more harm than good. But the bigger problem is that it may lead to gestational diabetes, resulting in high-risk pregnancy especially for women who don’t get enough exercise.
Beat the hunger pangs
With the baby growing, it’s natural to get hungrier in the second and third trimesters. But instead of gorging on food mindlessly, make sure you get three to four servings of fruits per day. “You can also have roasted gram, roasted makhana, sprouts, salads, grilled fish or grilled chicken,” Meenakshi says.
Drink more than enough water
Dehydration is very common during pregnancy and may cause UTI and even affect the baby. To combat that, consume at least 3.5 litres of water every day, especially during summers. Mix it up by consuming coconut water, barley water or fruit-and-herb water.
Going from queasy to easy
Morning sickness is annoying. But you can control it by avoiding acidic foods and making sure you neither starve nor overeat as these can aggravate morning sickness. “A lime-ginger mix or buttermilk can prevent queasiness,” Meenakshi says.
Do not follow advice blindly
Everyone – be it your family, colleagues, neighbours and even the lift boy – will have something to suggest. While some of the suggestions may be sound, not all will be. Don’t follow anything without checking with your doctor.
Get your partner to help
Meenakshi says that the father of the baby needs to swing into action in the third trimester. What kind of support can he give? “A simple message, comfort breathing, and exercises that the couple can do together strengthens their bonding and helps during delivery,” she says.
Make sure you consult experts
Many women are clueless about what comprises the right diet or exercise during pregnancy. An expert will know what’s best for you and your baby. They take into account your family history, current weight, existing medical issues, and will work closely with your gynaecologist to create a nutrition and exercise plan. Experts will not just design the right nutrition and exercise plan but also monitor your reports throughout the pregnancy and modify the plan as per your needs.
You’re embarking on what will be the most beautiful and rewarding journey of your life. Go prepared and be the best you can be!