It's an exciting time, a scary time and can be a tiring time. Pregnancy brings so many joys, questions and the invariable question of "how do I have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby?" Now is a great time to focus on getting and staying healthy, for you and your baby. There are tons of books, magazines, blogs and more on the topic, but it really all comes down to these five key things:
1. Eat healthy - Yes, you hear this at every corner, but that darn Big Mac is calling your name. Stop and think through, that man-made processed burger has been engineered to taste good, add calories and make your body work harder to process it. Very little from it is going to aid your baby's growth or your body's ability to take care of the little one. And, it has the potential to genetically alter your child's future chemical makeup, making it harder for them to stay healthy, weigh less and live disease free. Once in a while? It's okay. Not every day!
2. Drink more water and less other stuff - You and your baby both need more water and less sodas, coffee and teas. If you need to reach for something, aim for tea. The carbonation in sodas leech the calcium from your bones. Can you imagine what it has the potential to do to your unborn child? Water is nurturing and beneficial. Find a fun, colorful container and work on getting the ounces in!
3. Start exercising & keep exercising - If you haven't been an active person, simply start out walking with your partner. It's a great way to reconnect and stay connected during your pregnancy. If you're already active, most women can maintain their fitness levels during their pregnancy. Of course, always check with your doctor first!
4. Take quality supplements and Fish Oil - Your doctor will prescribe pre-natal vitamins, but there are also other quality vitamins and minerals on the market. Make sure the ones you are taking are quality and have in them what they say they have. Add in a high-grade fish oil to aid in your baby's brain development, too.
5. Relax and enjoy - Take time to enjoy your pregnancy. Listen to your body. Enjoy each phase of your baby's growth, even as you expand and feel like you can't grow any more. Treat yourself to some pampering -- try out a prenatal massage! It's a great way to get to get those muscles relaxed and you a few calming moments.
Surround yourself with positive people and positive thoughts. You're doing a wonderful job on the start of your path to being a mother. Taking better care of yourself allows you to take better care of those who need and depend on you. Most of all enjoy the process. You're creating a life!
Stacia D. Kelly holds a PhD in Holistic Health. She is the co-author of 9 Months In 9 Months Out, a holistic pregnancy book by moms for moms. She is an author, entrepreneur, wife, and mother. She plays doorwoman to four cats and a dog while trying to get all her work in during the day.