Tuesday, 4 August 2015

10 Tips for a Healthy and Happy Pregnancy

10 Tips for a healthy and happy pregnancy

* this is a sponsored post

I loved being pregnant. I loved the feeling of my baby growing and the excitement as the due date neared. I loved my expanding bump and watching my baby move around inside it. And I LOVED buying baby clothes. But of course, pregnancy is also really hard work. And it goes on for nine months! That is a long time to be tired, uncomfortable and consumed by baby. After spending considerable time growing little people, there's a few things I've learned about keeping healthy and happy in pregnancy. Here is what I'd pass on:

1. Figure out your medical team
When you're pregnant, it's really important to feel happy with who is looking after you and your growing baby. If you're pregnant now, you've probably already made your decision about whether to go public or private. Either way is fine, although each comes with its pros and cons. If you have health insurance, this may be a good time to check out what your policy can offer and how it can adapt to your growing family. The lovely team at Health Insurance Comparison can help you compare different policies and make sure your cover is right for you and your family.  

2. Nourish yourself
Enjoy your food, and consider ways to up the nutrient factor to give your baby the extra value. While we're not meant to take the term 'eating for two' so literally, you can definitely aim to double the nutrients. Oh, and don't forget to take your pregnancy multivitamins - these are great for those times when eating properly is a complete turn-off (morning sickness, indigestion), or when all you want to eat is pepperoni pizza. Because you get those days. 

3. Remember your fibre
Unfortunately, pregnancy tends to get us a bit *ahem* clogged up, making constipation an issue - especially if you're eating more pizza than wholegrain foods. So keep on top of your fibre intake and ask your GP about using an extra supplement here if you need to.  

4. Rest up
Is this your first baby? Then, seriously, take a load off. This is it for you when it comes to leisurely resting. Once your baby arrives, you'll be lucky to sit down in peace for five minutes, let alone get some sneaky shut-eye in. So make the most of this time. Whether it's lounging about catching up on a box-set or reading in bed for hours on end. Enjoy it!
Man, I miss reading in bed for hours on end. 

5. Meet your pelvic floor
It's time to acquaint yourself with your pelvic floor. If this is your first pregnancy, you're going to hear this term A LOT from now on. Here's my advice: learn how to do the squeezes and lifts (Google it) and do them like they're your new favourite thing. Yes they're boring as anything, but they're important. Trust me on this one. The other thing you should know is that you need to support your pelvic floor a lot more in your day-to-day movements to avoid pain and injury as your bump grows. See your physio for some advice about this one - they may suggest a few appointments to work on your technique.

6. Your immune system
When you're pregnant, your amazing body goes into overdrive trying to protect the little person growing inside of you. Unfortunately this means that your own immunity is likely to suffer as a result. When I was pregnant, I got this cough that hung around for weeks because my body couldn't shift it. As soon as I gave birth, it went away. Remember, before you head for any over-the-counter products, make sure they're safe to take when pregnant.  

7. Keep your appointments
Every appointment you have while you're pregnant is important, so make sure you schedule them in on time and keep to them. Although most check-ups during my first pregnancy were straightforward and over in two minutes, there was one where the obstetrician thought my baby's heartbeat was a bit low, so he sent me for monitoring and an extra scan to be sure all was ok. Thank goodness, everything was - but my point is, pregnancy check-ups are essential for picking up potential issues.  

8. Talk about your anxieties
Pregnancy can be an emotional journey. I had many moments of anxiety, worrying about my baby moving, or whether a weird pain was normal. I was always reassured after contacting the midwifery team at the hospital or making an appointment with my GP. And they never made me feel silly for stressing. So if you're worried about absolutely anything at all to do with your baby, don't hesitate to mention it to your GP, obstetrician or midwife. Believe me, they've heard it all - you might feel neurotic, but part of their job is to reassure you. They don't want you pregnant and stressed out.  

9. Learn about birth
But don't freak out about it. Go to birth classes if you can, so you know what to expect and the best things to do to prepare for labour. Listen to other people's stories if you like, but try not to take them too seriously. Every birth is different, and people love to share the most dramatic bits of their birth stories, because...well, it makes for a great story. And soon you'll have one too.  

10. Enjoy being alone
You're about to become a mum. From this day on, you're going to be the most needed woman on the planet, for one human being, anyway. Caring for a baby is wonderful, but it's also taxing. So for now, enjoy getting ready to leave the house in five minutes flat. Enjoy those showers and toilet trips alone and uninterrupted. Those days are soon to be OVER.

But what you're getting in their place is amazing.

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 Are you pregnant right now? What would you add to this list? If you've been pregnant, what's the one piece of advice you'd pass on?

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