Making healthy lifestyle choices and looking after yourself are priorities when you’re pregnant, but the demands of life don’t always make things easy. But with New Year approaching, now could be the time to start thinking about specific things you can do to look after your own health, and the health of your unborn baby.
When the 12th chime welcomes in another year, these five New Year’s resolutions should help you to have a happy and healthy pregnancy.
1. Maintain a diet that promotes healthy breastfeeding
This isn’t rocket science. If you’re in the third trimester of your pregnancy, you should be aiming to consume around 200 calories more than your recommended daily allowance. Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables will promote a healthy digestion and provide you with much-needed energy. And a diet rich in lean meat or good protein will keep your strength up. Try to eat two to three portions of oily fish every week, as the likes of tuna, salmon and trout are rich in omega-3 fatty acids - which promote good cardiovascular health and help your unborn baby’s nervous system to fully develop.
2. Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day
Exercise doesn’t need to involve intensive sessions at the gym; it could simply involve a brisk walk that gets you slightly out of breath. A great form of exercise when you’re pregnant is swimming. Some vigorous breaststroke for at least 20 minutes, three times a week should give you a great cardiovascular workout, and help you to stay strong in readiness for childbirth. Even when you’re carrying extra weight, the water will support your aching muscles and joints - making the whole experience a great deal easier. Exercise is vital when you’re pregnant, as it offers a range of benefits for both you and your unborn child, including increased energy, increased suppleness and preparation for the rigours of childbirth.
3. Make childbirth as comfortable as possible
Childbirth can be a hugely challenging experience - both physically and mentally. But by planning it in advance, and ensuring that your labour reflects your preferences, the experience can be even more memorable and fulfilling. By having your baby at a private hospital you may have the option of choosing between midwife-led and consultant-led care. The very latest facilities and a multi-disciplinary team of maternity care professionals are available at The Portland Hospital, which is the UK’s largest private maternity hospital. With, consultants on hand around the clock and your own dedicated midwife, having your baby in this environment should enhance the childbirth experience considerably.
4. Involve my family and friends more
Being pregnant can be a challenging experience, and anything you can do to ease or share the burden will help you to cope. If you’re sharing your pregnancy with your partner, make a commitment to talk about any issues you’re experiencing - whether they are related to your body or your state of mind. You might be dealing with heightened emotions, or you could be experiencing chronic back pain. Be open to help and input from those who love you, as simply sharing the pregnancy experience can reduce the stress and worry.
5. Embrace antenatal classes
Antenatal classes cover everything from Pilates to breastfeeding, and they can prove very valuable if you’re at all worried about what lies ahead. Antenatal classes not only prepare you for childbirth and motherhood, they are great opportunities to meet other mums-to-be, share problems and ask for advice. Sometimes, just being around other mums who are experiencing the same issues as you are can be highly therapeutic.
Having a baby is one of life’s great events, and it is an experience that you should cherish forever. But there is no doubt that pregnancy and childbirth can take an emotional toll on both your body and your mind. Welcome the New Year with a new approach to your pregnancy, and you can make a joyous time in your life even more special.
- This is a guest post.