Pregnancy is an exciting journey in the life of any woman. At the same time, you must understand that giving birth has its challenges like nausea, weight gain, hormonal changes, morning sickness, etc. Afterall, you are fostering a living being inside your womb. That explains why self-care during pregnancy is of utmost significance for your well-being and your baby’s safety. So, let’s discuss self-care behaviors during pregnancy that will benefit you.
How Important is Pregnancy Self-care?
Prenatal self-care routines are crucial for women’s health – physical and psychological. Women who give importance to self-care during pregnancy have less complications during delivery and can enjoy motherhood to the fullest. After birth, they are also capable of developing have stronger relationships with their children.
8 Pregnancy Self Care Tips to Follow Throughout Pregnancy
A woman must take care of herself during pregnancy – be it the first trimester or third trimester.
Stick to your diet
The nutritional needs during pregnancy are not the same as the nutritional requirements for women who aren’t pregnant. A pregnant woman’s body undergoes various changes and therefore, she must eat well. Moreover, you are the primary care provider for your baby. So, you must eat nutrient-rich and pregnancy-safe food for proper development of the fetus.
When it comes to following a pregnancy diet, it is better to consult an experienced dietician. Your dietician will design a customized diet that works best for you.
Monitor your weight
While gaining weight is a good sign during pregnancy, excessive weight gain can have adverse effects. It can hinder the fetus’s development and lead to fat deposition. Moreover, the more weight you gain, the more challenging it will be to lose the excess belly fat after delivery.
So, how do you know how much weight you are supposed to gain? According to the World Health Organization, it depends on a person’s BMI (body mass index).
Take your supplements
Dietary supplements like folic acid supplement and iron supplement are necessary especially during the first few weeks of pregnancy to keep neural tube defects and other birth defects at bay. Prenatal vitamins are equally beneficial as they contain several vital nutrients like calcium, vitamin E, vitamin D, iron, etc.
While eating well and taking rest are mandatory for expecting moms, many women often end up neglecting maternal mental health. They don’t realize that psychological wellness is as important as taking care of their bodies.
So, if you have anxiety issues you must try to reduce prepartum and postpartum stress. Again, mood swings are common during pregnancy. You can try several pregnancy relaxation techniques like listening to soothing music, brisk walking, reading an interesting book, and spending time outdoors. You should also spend quality time with your partner as he is your biggest support system.
Join a prenatal yoga class
Doing yoga is the best kind of pregnancy exercise and I’ll tell you why it must be on your to-do list. It is among the safest exercises to energize yourself during pregnancy and will prepare you for childbirth. Yoga will help you deal with common pregnancy symptoms like constipation. Studies have revelated that a woman who does yoga daily during their pregnancy experiences a less painful labor.
Starting your yoga early will also help you fight postpartum depression. Pregnancy meditation is another thing that obstetrics and gynecology recommend.
Take pregnancy skincare, breast care, and haircare seriously
During pregnancy, your skin will glow automatically. You can enhance the radiance by adopting a hygienic lifestyle. And taking care of your hair and skin is also crucial as hormonal changes might take a toll on them. As your belly will swell, apply essential oils to minimize stretch marks.
Looking for ways to pamper yourself? A lot of women prefer prenatal massage, pedicure, and spa to reduce stress. As the oil glands secrete more oil, frequent shampooing is the best way to keep your scalp healthy.
As far as breast care is concerned, you must understand that your breasts will offer food to your baby. So, you must prepare them for breastfeeding. Wear a bra that fits wells to provide the right support to your enlarged breasts. If colostrum leakage bothers you, you can wear pads for absorbing colostrum leakage from your nipples.
Brush your teeth daily
Unable to figure out what’s the link between pregnancy and dental care? Pregnant women must brush their teeth twice daily to avoid suffering from tooth problems like cavities. As the estrogen levels in the body increase, sensitivity and swelling of the gums are common issues women face.
If you are thinking of opting for dental surgery, it is better to postpone it. That’s because analgesics and anesthetics can affect the development of the baby.
Take your pregnancy medication
Your doctor might prescribe certain medications to you depending on your condition. You must not stop taking your medicines without consulting your healthcare provider.
Self-care Tips During Pregnancy for Working Women
If you feel fine, you don’t need to quit your job soon after learning that you are pregnant. A woman with an uncomplicated pregnancy can go to work during her first and second trimester without any issues. However, you must not push yourself and ensure that you get plenty of rest – physically and mentally. Here are things to keep in mind:
- You require a good night’s sleep and your job should not affect that.
- Carry a lot of healthy snacks and keep munching now and then.
- After every 2 hours, take a break of 5 minutes and walk around. This kind of physical activity will promote pregnancy wellness.
- Your body needs at least 2 liters of water daily. So, drink plenty of water and fruit juices throughout the day to stay hydrated and rejuvenated.
- Modify your work schedule so that you don’t feel fatigued.
- When stress management for expecting mothers becomes difficult due to work overload, it is better to take maternity leave and focus on health.
Therefore, gestational wellness encompasses everything from having a balanced diet to maintaining good oral hygiene. Every woman should prioritize pregnancy self-care to stay cheerful and fit. Following a routine will also ease most of the pregnancy symptoms.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are some essential self-care tips for women during pregnancy?
Eating nutritious food, sleeping peacefully at night, doing prenatal yoga, and taking your prenatal vitamins are some self-care tips that all expecting moms should follow. So, these healthy pregnancy habits should be a part of your prenatal self-care routines.
Q. How can self-care impact the health of the baby during pregnancy?
Your lifestyle during your pregnancy will play a key role in determining the health of the fetus. From the food you consume to your overall mood – everything has an impact on the baby’s development. So, self-care is crucial to nourish yourself and your baby.
We don’t use any tertiary reference but rely only on studies conducted by medical associations and research institutions.
Women’s holistic self-care behaviors during pregnancy and associations with psychological well-being: implications for maternal care facilities | BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth | Full Text (biomedcentral.com)