You guys know I’m all about having a healthy holistic pregnancy (I even wrote a book about it!) so I’m excited to share a guest post with you from the notorious What to Expect with 7 Healthy Tips for A Holistic Pregnancy.
Pregnancy is an exciting and special time for mothers. You will be feeling a mix of emotions from being happy one moment to being sad and anxious the next moment. It is an overwhelming experience, with morning sickness, a growing belly, inability to carry out your routine chores, sleep deprivation, pregnancy hormones and the anticipation of your bundle of joy. But maintaining a healthy and holistic routine through your pregnancy can help you sail through and calm yourselves down during this emotional whirlwind.
Why are we stressing on a holistic approach? A holistic approach considers your emotional, mental and physical health in totality, not neglecting any aspect of your overall wellbeing. Understanding your body and its requirements, the areas of your health to draw your attention to, etc. comes into consideration in this approach. In this article let us find means and ways to enjoy a holistic pregnancy.
Now that you are consuming enough for two of you, it is very important to upgrade your diet. A pregnant woman needs to consume 300 extra calories a day, especially in the second and the third trimester, when the growth of the baby is in full swing. The calorie requirement is calculated as per your requirements, your weight, your lifestyle and the number of babies you are carrying.
Consuming healthy food is the right way to go about it. However, your pregnant body will also not stomach certain foods. Try and understand what food works for you and create a diet based on your personal needs. Most of the times it can be unhealthy options, sugar cravings, but you must not starve yourself for wanting to just eat healthily. Because you are pregnant, and you need to keep yourself full to nurture both you and the baby. Apart from your diet, ask your healthcare provider to prescribe necessary supplements according to your body’s requirement.
Exercising during your pregnancy is a healthy way of life and very beneficial for your health. According to the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, an average of 140-160 minutes of moderate work out, each week is recommended to pregnant women, if you do not have an active lifestyle. If you have been working out pre-pregnancy then you can continue your routine, after consulting your healthcare provider for approval.
Regular exercise allows you to keep your weight in check, improves sleep, increases your energy and stamina, reduces back and lower abdomen pain, relieves stress and prepares you for labour. You can choose from a wide range of activities like yoga, cycling, walking, swimming, etc. To make it fun and interesting, slip on some exercise headphones and listen to music or podcasts. Ensure you are hydrating yourself well, snaking before and after work-out and taking a lot of breaks. Do not push yourself beyond your capacity and discontinue if you are breathless and uncomfortable.
Rest and Sleep
What To Expect says “Sleep is the time when your body rests and repairs itself. It’s when your brain makes memories, making it an ally in your battle against the baby brain. It’s how your blood vessels restore themselves, which is especially important now that they’re under increased pressure from the extra blood flow required to support your baby. Sleep also keeps your immune system — which is suppressed to support your pregnancy — healthy. And sleep controls how your body reacts to insulin; not getting enough results in a higher blood sugar level, upping your risk of gestational diabetes.”
Create a relaxing bedtime routine by taking a shower before bed, listen to soothing music or read. Plan your meals earlier in the evening to help your body digest and relax before you go to bed. Avoid caffeine and sugary treats, as they will keep you up and jittery. You can meditate with breathing exercises before going to sleep to relax your brain and body.
Holistic Pregnancy Habits
When you are pregnant, you become your baby’s life support. So, to nurture your baby, you are required to follow healthy habits. Right from flossing regularly, sleeping on time, eating healthy and exercising well. Washing your hands regularly can prevent any infections from being passed on to the baby.
Preparing for The Baby
Take time to plan for your baby’s arrival at your home. Start making a list of things your baby will need and stock up on it, to ensure an easy transition from hospital to your home. Prepare yourself mentally and emotionally to become a mother to your bundle of joy. This will help you create a positive mindset around your pregnancy and your baby, reducing your anxiety and stress around the new arrival.
Thoughts and Emotional Health
Pregnancy is a life-changing event, and it can have a lot of emotional and mental impacts. Pregnancy hormones can lead to normal mood swings. However, stress, anxiety, and depression are signs of mental health issues which are a result of overthinking about the baby, body changes, becoming a mother, etc. Depending on the severity of the situation seek help, talk to your family or your therapist to aid your condition. Keep yourself occupied in activities, plan for your baby, eat and sleep well. This will allow you to fill up your day with positive things than overthinking and being anxious about the change.
Family and Relationships
Family support has a positive impact on expectant mothers and the baby. During pregnancy, women go through a tide of change both physically and emotionally. For the expectant mother, life is going to change drastically, and if she has the support of her family and friends, the transition will be less stressful. Family and relationships provide a sense of security and care that a mother expects for her and the baby. Hence involve your family during your pregnancy, for doctor visits, eating out or simply hanging out at your home. This will help mothers to de-stress and be emotionally enriched during the most stressful phase of their lives.
Every mama-to-be wants the best for their growing baby, but sometimes it is hard to find reliable information on natural and holistic pregnancy practices. In my book Healthy Holistic Pregnancy, I talk about the nutrients, like calcium, that are the most important for each trimester of pregnancy. My book also contains:
- Natural solutions to 27 common pregnancy symptoms
- Superfoods and supplements you may want to avoid when pregnant
- 15 pregnancy-friendly recipes for the first trimester and beyond
- Key pregnancy nutrients and supplements for each trimester
- Benefits of yoga when pregnant and which poses to modify
- Essential oils safety and DIY skincare recipes