Staying healthy when you’re pregnant should be your number one priority. What you do now will affect both you and your baby’s wellbeing. Luckily, there are some simple things you can to that will help keep you happy, healthy, and glowing.
Here are 5 ToDos for pregnant women
1. Take the time to de-stress
Entering this entirely new phase of your life may feel a little stressful. However, it’s critically important that you do all you can to reduce your stress levels and get some much-needed rest and relaxation. A study from the University of New Mexico recently found that being stressed when you’re pregnant can have a direct impact on the size of your baby. The results also found that the child may also experience further disadvantages such as obesity and metabolic health problems later in life. The key is to avoid stress and try to relax as much as you can.
2. Avoid alcohol completely
Drinking alcohol while pregnant is a mistake. Before recent decades, people were under the impression that small amounts of alcohol were safe enough to consume. For example, experts used to suggest that drinking a glass of wine each week would do no harm to the baby. Despite this, last year, research from Binghamton University found that any amount of alcohol could have extreme lasting effects on the child. So, the best thing to do is to avoid drinking any alcohol once you know you’re pregnant.
3. Make daily chores easy
Life doesn’t stop when you get pregnant. Chores, work, other kids . . . the list can go on and on. Simplifying daily tasks when pregnant is just one step you can take in easing the strain on your mind and body. Experts recommend avoiding cleaning products with harsh chemicals as well as cleaning up after pets (i.e. stay away from litter boxes!). Ensure safe conditions in your kitchen with tools like non-slip mats, and avoid standing on unsteady chairs when reaching up high for items. Remember if you stand on a step stool, even if it is super sturdy, your center of gravity changes with a growing baby and your risk of falling increases. It’s best to ask your spouse or partner to help you out instead.
4. Stay active
Whether you’re already an active person or not, staying active during your pregnancy is the best way to go. Research from Plataforma SINC found that keeping fit while carrying a child is a fantastic way to look after your health. It helps to relieve lower back pain, which is common in pregnant women, reduces weight gain, and lowers the risk of fetal macrosomia. Previously, it had been thought that exercising could carry some potential dangers, but the new research suggests that is not the case. Low-impact activities like swimming and walking are a great place to start.
5. Sleep on your side, not your back
As you reach the final term of your pregnancy, you may find that it’s hard to get a full night’s sleep. A 2017 study from The Physiological Society found that sleeping on your back in late pregnancy could be dangerous for the baby. The new advice means that you should sleep on your side, rather than your back when you go to bed. It could be tricky to drop off when you first try this, but give it time and you’ll get used to it!