As women, most yearn to have a baby and expand the family. In preparation we have to make healthy lifestyle changes that will make a positive influence on both mother and babies health. We often are not advised correctly on how important it is that we are healthy or working towards a healthier way of living when we have decided that we would like to expand our family and have a baby. If you are considering breastfeeding when baby arrives then it would be best to change all your bad habits because what you put into your body will affect the quality and quantity of breast-milk. You want the best for your baby, and it starts with you.
If you are still struggling to conceive even after making positive lifestyle changes, fertility services are a great option for couples.
We often eat all the wrong things and often you will hear pregnant mothers saying that they are eating for two. This is not always the case but as women we know that our bodies are going to change, and we are going to put on the extra kilos during this time. It is a good idea to then change our bad habits before falling pregnant as this will also make our bodies not only healthier, but we would not adopt the ‘eating for two’ scenario which we’ll inevitably try to lose afterwards. You should be eating fresh vegetables, fruit, watermelon, asparagus, liver, eggs and increase your diary intake, at least two servings a day to build calcium. Try and cut down on sugar no matter how difficult. Ask your doctor about vitamins that they prescribe to expectant mothers.
Alcohol is most harmful to your baby in the first trimester (3 months) of pregnancy if you are drinking excessively and every day, this can lead to miscarrying and even cause abnormalities to the baby and can affect the baby’s growth. You don’t have to cut out alcohol completely although drinking loads of water is far better, but most want to have a least a glass of wine at dinner time and there is nothing wrong with that. Being pregnant is an exciting time and you will want to celebrate from time to time and not feel that you are deprived and unhappy during your pregnancy. Tea and coffee should be taken in moderation – everything in moderation.
Women should really try not to smoke during pregnancy, and it would be advised to stop when you know that you are preparing to fall pregnant so that one can be over the worst by the time you fall pregnant. Women who do smoke during pregnancy are at a higher risk of miscarriage or other complications caused to the growth and development of your baby. Studies have shown that smoking during pregnancy can be a risk factor causing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (Cot death). Should you go back to smoking after pregnancy please don’t smoke in the same room with your baby as this can lead to weak lungs and often result in chest infection. We need to keep in mind that this little baby is totally dependent on us for everything.
Most people don’t want to hear about mental health and stress related illnesses. Women’s bodies go through so much change during pregnancy and hormonal imbalances are to be expected. Our estrogen and progesterone levels increase dramatically and cause huge emotional changes where we can suddenly go off in a rage or burst into tears. The lack of sleep further into your pregnancy can cause exhaustion and your emotions will take a hammering. This is a normal experience during pregnancy and can continue thereafter especially when you have a baby that is colic, or sleep pattern has been disturbed. If your emotions turn to thoughts of suicide and wanting to harm the baby after birth then you have to seek medical help as these are the symptoms of Postpartum Depression. If you have these feelings don’t try and be superwoman but rather seek help as this happens to many women, you are not alone.
Being overweight or underweight
It is important to have a good healthy disposition during pregnancy and thereafter, healthy body, healthy mind. Being overweight or underweight can influence the ability to fall pregnant. If you are either overweight or underweight ask your doctor to recommend a diet or refer you to a dietitian to assist you in reaching a healthy wholesome weight to help you improve your chances of conceiving and then improving your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and baby. Mothers who are underweight are a higher risk of having a premature birth or a baby that has a low birth weight which is a health risk to the baby and its development. Overweight mothers need to be aware that pregnancy causes more weight gain, and this is not good to both mother and child. Problems such as Diabetes in pregnancy can occur and this can be fatal to the baby if not picked up during pregnancy and often high blood pressure can occur causing health issues to mother and baby. We have to take extra care of ourselves before, during and after pregnancy.