I still remember the day my daughter was born like it was yesterday. She has a head full of hair, eyes wide open, and cried so loud the whole hospital floor could hear her. She was 7 pounds and as strong as an ox. I thank God every day for her health and the wisdom he gave me during pregnancy. You never really know what to expect with your first child but I was determined to do all I could do to give my daughter an upper hand before she was even born. When my husband and I found out we were expecting, I remember thinking that I had to do everything in my power possible to help my child grow strong and healthy. This is when my endless journey of pursuing knowledge began. I read every article, magazine, and book on pregnancy and health. Some books gave great advice while others seemed written only to scare the living daylights out of mothers. In any case, I dug deep for the best, and wisest information available.
I can say that I learned at least 5 key habits that I believe helped me and my baby through pregnancy.
1> I drank at least 1 gallon of water a day minimum. As the months progressed my water intake increased. I noticed my mouth was always parched and I always felt more thirsty. My husband suggested adding electrolytes in my water which did the trick. I didn’t feel so thirsty anymore and 1 gallon of water a day was more than enough. So why all the water? Why not do as many other mothers do and drink and eat whatever they want? Simple because during pregnancy, consuming water helps with baby’s development. When I learned that increased water helped the mother's amniotic fluid levels for baby’s development and helped with carrying nutrients and oxygen to the baby, I was sold. On the flip-side, the increased water intake helped me swelling. I never swelled during pregnancy because my body had all the water it needed, reducing my body’s homeostatic response to maintain adequate water levels. I also found when my water intake decreased to very low levels I would start getting heartburn and indigestion, but once I began drinking my normal one gallon a day, it completely subsided. 2> It is vital to maintaining a consistent workout routine while pregnant. I heard from a lot of mothers that they simple rested and slept every chance they could, while this is very important, it is equally important to exercise during pregnancy. The key to incorporating this habit is to train moderately and never push beyond the hat your body can handle. Now is not the time to do max excerpt squats or run a marathon, but simply train for health and to maintain stamina, cardiovascular output, and bone density. Waking, rowing or biking in the mornings really helped me feel energized during the day, but I found the best results from swimming daily. Swimming allowed me to keep my heart conditioned while relieving any aches and pains associated with pregnancy.
3> Daily stretching is by far one of the best habits I incorporated during pregnancy. It also greatly helped ease many of the aches and pains that I would get. I used to get this sharp pain in my lower back and hip area, but doing prying squats and side bend stretches virtually eliminated the pain.
4> Eating tons of vegetables, quality proteins, and fats is a must. Way too often pregnant women use the excuse of being pregnant to justify eating a tub of ice cream or a whole 3 liter of soda. The sad truth is that this is not what the mommy or baby needs. Many of these cravings are a direct response to your body needing certain nutrients that it is not being given. I was determined to give my daughter the best foods for her development and in return, it helped me stay healthy as well. I did crave certain unusual foods but I found my cravings becoming less radical as I continued to eat highly nutritious foods cool of micronutrients and all in oxidants.
5> Lastly, was the incorporation of establishing good sleep habits for both me and baby while pregnant. Yes, that’s right, you can start before a baby comes out to establish good sleep habits. It was a simple concept but required continual monitoring of baby. I only started this once my daughter was developed enough to feel her kicks and movement inside of me. During the day I would gently move my tummy to wake her up to the point of being able to feel her movements. I would do this as many as 10-15 times a day. It was kind of like saying “hi baby girl, it’s mommy” to my daughter all day long. Once it was time for me to go to sleep I stopped with the gentle tummy movements, which allowed both me and baby to sleep most of the night.
These simple keys helped make my pregnancy more enjoyable. I hope you also find these tips helpful to you.