Pregnancy is a physically taxing, yet exciting, time for many women. While pregnancy and labor do require extensive effort from the mom-to-be, the toil results in the birth of a beautiful new member of the family, making it well worth it. To make your pregnancy and labor as healthy and enjoyable as possible, take special care of your body and prepare extensively for the impending birth of your child.
Get Prenatal Care for You and Baby
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reminds moms-to-be that regular prenatal care is vital to the birth of a healthy child. As soon as you discover you are pregnant, begin attending prenatal appointments faithfully. By consulting a physician regularly, you may be able to identify potential problems and respond to them before they become serious issues. Receiving medical treatment during your pregnancy could mean the difference between a healthy baby and a baby who struggles with potentially lifelong medical problems.
The food that a mom-to-be eats does not just feed her, but it also nourishes her developing bundle of joy. While many doctors advise their patients to eat a few more calories than normal, pregnant women should not see their condition as an excuse to eat whatever they want whenever they want. Discovery Health warns that pregnant women should avoid saturated fats, excessive sodium and empty calories; foods heavy in these unhealthy things don’t help mom or baby in the long run.
While physical activity is often more difficult when pregnant, moms-to-be should not give up exercise all together. Fit moms generally have an easier labor and bounce back from their pregnancy more quickly, reports the CDC. You don’t want to overdo it when you are pregnant, you should still take part in light exercise. Look specifically for exercises that strengthen your abdominal and back muscles as these muscles will make delivering your baby easier come birth time.
Once the baby comes, rest will be hard to come by. Spend as much time relaxing during your pregnancy as possible. Growing a baby is a great deal of work and can lead to an exhausted mom-to-be. Get eight hours of sleep each night to ensure that you have the energy you need to complete the task. When you rest, sleep on your left side as this position is best for mom and baby, reports the CDC.
When it comes to having a baby, you can’t over plan. Create a detailed plan for both your pregnancy and your labor. Share this plan with your partner or coach to ensure that everything goes according to your wishes. Particularly when it comes to labor time, you might not be in the best position to make decisions. Eliminate the need for decision making when you are in the throws of labor by deciding in advance exactly what you want.
Both pregnancy and labor can be the source of much stress. While it is completely natural to worry about everything that could go wrong, doing so is not productive. Try to relax; don’t focus on the negative. Worrying is a waste of time. In all likelihood, everything will be fine. Think positive and focus on the new baby that will join your family at the end of your ordeal.
- Waiting image by Kristin Skipper from Fotolia.com