3 Simple Ways to Ensure a Healthy Pregnancy
I remember that my midwife used to tell us that giving birth is like running the Comrades Marathon. The amount of energy and focus needed very closely compares. The runners are committed to preparing months or even years in advance for this race. So, if natural birth is like that, wouldn’t you need to prepare for that too?
Preparation for a natural birth starts the day you find out that you’re expecting. Having our bodies functioning at optimal level while growing a tiny human gives us the opportunity to achieve the best outcome for a natural birth.
I have compiled a list of 3 of the most important steps to take in ensuring a healthy pregnancy.
1. Healthy Diet
While making sure that your baby is receiving all the nutrients they need by following a healthy balanced diet, it is also very important for the mother’s body to receive all the goodness and micronutrients she needs to function at her best, especially during the last days of pregnancy.
Proper pregnancy nutrition can help avoid things like pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH),preterm labour, stillbirth and placental abruption.
- Enjoy lots of fresh fruits and veggies.
- Remember to take your pre-natal supplements.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Control your caffeine intake.
With my second pregnancy, I wanted TOLAC (trial of labour after caesarean) and the opportunity to attempt a VBAC (vaginal delivery after caesarean). One of the most important steps I had to take in preparation was daily exercise. The list of benefits go on and on, but most importantly, regular exercise during pregnancy can:
- Decrease maternal exhaustion
- Speed up labour
- Help with aches and pains of pregnancy
- Decrease chances of complications during pregnancy and labour
- Can help lower blood pressure
Find what works for you. A brisk walk a couple times a week, swimming, pilates and even light strength training will do you wonders! Please remember to consult your doctor if you experience any pain or discomfort.
People always say, “remember to get your sleep in before the baby arrives”, and I have to say, in some way they’re not wrong. But not for the reasons you might think.
Technically we can’t catch up on lost sleep. But when it comes to preparing for labour and birth, rest should be a top priority. In the first trimester women experience often extreme fatigue. That’s due to the circulating hormones in our bodies. That’s normal and usually gets better around the start of the second trimester. But when it is near the end of your pregnancy, your fatigue may be a sign from your body telling you to slow down.
- Make sure you are supplementing with extra iron near the end of your pregnancy.
- Sit with your feet up for a couple of minutes a day.
- If you’re having trouble sleeping due to discomfort, try lying on your left side with your knees bent. Placing a wedge-shaped pillow under your bump and between your knees may help ease some strain on your back.
Growing a whole human being can be tiring and overwhelming at times. Luckily, there are doable adjustments we can make to help everything run a little smoother and healthier!