When I found out that I was just pregnant, after taking a pregnancy test that turned out positive, I was incredibly excited but also a tiny bit frightened. I wondered about maintaining my health during pregnancy.
I’d heard about how some women have intense cravings and pile on the pounds. Would I be one of them? It was time to do some research to make sure I stayed healthy.
Along the way, I learned five steps to do in the very early stages of pregnancy, as well as through the entire nine months. Each specific tip helped me maintain my health during pregnancy and bounce back in shape quickly after giving birth. Obviously, these tips are not only for when you are just pregnant, but work for all women. To remain healthy is a lifelong struggle, but what better time than when pregnant to really strive for great health?
I have to admit that at first I thought I could eat everything in sight, stop exercising and just take it easy. But I quickly realized that I didn’t feel right and that my body was more sluggish than ever. So here are the top five steps I followed:
First, I began to read lots and lots of information about nutrition for pregnancy. For example, I had no idea that a baby could actually rob a pregnant woman’s teeth and body of calcium. Maybe that explained why my gums were starting to ache and my dentist told me to take extra care during pregnancy.
But to maintain health during pregnancy, it isn’t just calcium that has to be added to the diet. Empty calories had to be limited. I also didn’t like to drink caffeine as that seemed to make my baby restless and made me uneasy. I figured that couldn’t be good for the baby.
Secondly, I took note of my food cravings, but endeavored not to indulge them. Some cravings truly indicated a need for specific vitamin rich fruits and vegetables. Other cravings, including those for salty foods, could lead to water retention and weight gain. Besides, a craving for salt didn’t necessarily mean I needed extra salt because some women desire salt when they actually want sugar – just one of the oddities of pregnancy.
The third step is one that isn’t for those women who are just pregnant but can benefit general health. I learned about specific types of exercise to help me stay fit. As not all exercises are recommended to be done during pregnancy, I tried to find out what ones were safe, to ensure my safety as well as that of my baby. A balanced blend of the right fitness routines helped prepare me to give birth and remain in good shape. I also stayed out of hot saunas as overheating the body isn’t good for the baby.
The fourth tip I followed was to steer clear of drab maternity clothing. By focusing on my body, I figured I would be reminded to maintain my health during pregnancy, thus not gaining too much weight as I took pride in my pregnant body. Realistically I knew that I would have a baby bulge, but I hoped to get back into shape as soon as possible after the birth of my baby. Wearing nice clothes helped me remember that pregnancy doesn’t have to mean dressing in loose and sloppy clothing.
Finally, I worked on putting together a fitness and diet program to help me lose weight after I gave birth. I started planning for this when I was just pregnant, even before the baby was kicking inside me. Shedding those baby pounds doesn’t have to be a difficult process but I believe I succeeded only by planning ahead.