To ensure a positive experience throughout your pregnancy you should look to set up some appointments with your doctor, keep them updated of any changes, and follow their advice where you can. You may also need to make some dietary and lifestyle adjustments.
Here are some top tips to follow a healthy pregnancy throughout those 9 months.
Before you fall pregnant
If you’re intentionally trying to fall pregnant, you may be advised to take certain supplements, such as folic acid, for at least three months before you start trying. Folic acid can help prevent birth defects such as spina bifida.
Natural folate appears in many of your favourite fruits and vegetables, but not always at meaningful levels, which is why you may need to take a supplement. Some people may already have excess folate in their system, so be sure to seek medical advice before taking folic acid. It’s important that you’re doing what’s right for you as an individual rather than following generic advice, which is why it’s wise to speak to your doctor.
Discussing with your doctor
You should talk to your doctor or a specialist as soon as you know you are pregnant. If you can help it, then it’s good to start this conversation with your GP as soon as you feel you’re ready for a child or believe you may be pregnant.
The reason why it’s wise to talk to your doctor as soon as possible about your pregnancy is mainly for the potential risks to your health. If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, a history with ectopic pregnancies in the past, or another lifelong condition, then your GP will be able to give you the right guidance tailored to your personal needs.
Dietary and lifestyle changes
We’ve mentioned potentially taking a folic acid supplement, but there are other dietary changes to consider when you fall pregnant. Generally speaking, you should eat a varied, balanced diet to help ensure you are ingesting the right vitamins and minerals. Again, you can discuss your diet with a specialist or GP in advance.
It goes without saying that you should quit smoking, drugs, and drinking alcohol during this period as well, as these substances will be harmful to your unborn child.
Exercise can continue throughout your pregnancy so long as you don’t overdo it. Pregnancy yoga is a good place to start with a range of manageable and safe exercises that will promote good posture and flexibility. Exercising too much can become an issue for expecting mothers so it’s important to know your limits and not overexert yourself.
For a better frame of mind when you’re pregnant, especially when there are a host of other things to juggle at the same time, you may want to consider a birth plan or journal.
Write down food diaries and progress in your birth journal. You may want to note down any niggles and pains you could be having before an upcoming GP appointment so that you remember to mention it.
You can also use this space to lay out exactly what you would like to happen on the day of your child’s birth. For instance, who do you want in the room with you during birth? Do you require any particular medications? Are there any pieces of clothing or trinkets you want to take with you? Each person’s needs are different and unique to them, and you should feel as comfortable as possible in the run up to childbirth.
Attending a childbirth class will also help with your knowledge. Take your diary along and make notes. Ensure you’re fully educated before having your child; you’d be surprised what you can learn at these group sessions.
For a healthy pregnancy, you should aim to follow these tips to help make your journey as seamless and free of as much stress as possible.