Carrying a baby in the womb is the most beautiful experience for a woman. But it is equally essential to take care of your and the baby’s health to have a safe and healthy pregnancy.
“Ahead of National Safe Motherhood Day on April 11, it becomes imperative to talk about some tips to ensure that the mother and child both have a smooth experience,” said Dr Sonica Chugh, gynecologist and infertility specialist who consults on Practo.
Diet during pregnancy:
Good nutrition during pregnancy ensures your baby gets the right start. Small, frequent and healthy meals containing folate, iron, calcium, zinc and omega-3 fatty acid should be taken. Plenty of water in between meals is good for you and your baby. “You don’t need to eat for two, rather your calorie intake during the first six months should be more or less the same (pre pregnancy state), while an increase in only 200 calories/day during the last three months is recommended,” she told indianexpress.com.
Working women can have nuts and fruit salads as mid-meal snacks and homemade lunch. Road travel of any kind is safe, provided you are careful of bumpy roads and unruly traffic. You have to be more careful if there is associated high blood pressure, diabetes, or history of previous premature delivery.
Exercise, meditation and yoga:
Pregnancy is not the time to start a rigorous regime or to gain or lose weight. A normal walk of 20-30 minutes without getting exhausted will help. Deep breathing exercises in fresh air are recommended. “Yoga should also be a part of your life as it relaxes and calms you and your baby. This also relieves tension and builds up stamina by increasing circulation which enhances immunity and health. Light kegels exercises (pelvic floor exercises) prepare you for easy child birth and labour management,” she added.
The first 40 days are meant for you to recuperate, gain strength and bond with your baby. Resting and eating well are important during this time. Although rest may not be easy for you and with the newborn baby as you have to feed every two hours and change diapers frequently. Family members can be of help during this period.
Breastfeed exclusively for six months. You need to have a good diet during pregnancy (calories intake would increase to 330 calories/day). Therefore immediate and fast weight reduction should not be targeted. Eating healthy food will only reduce weight sensibly.
Opt for moderate-intensity physical activity, walk for 25-30 minutes, do abs exercise, pelvic floor exercise, and stretching without resuming high impact activity post-delivery. If your delivery has been uncomplicated, it will help your body regain its normal strength. Gentle body massage will also help you and your baby.
Do not resume your normal working routine or a heavy gym schedule immediately after delivery, she suggested.