How to Stay Healthy During Your Pregnancy
Staying fit, active and healthy during pregnancy is essential for many reasons – you want to give your baby the best start in life and you want to be able to physically and mentally cope with the demand pregnancy and motherhood places on you.
So, how can you stay healthy during pregnancy?
Pregnant women are advised to rest, take things at a slower pace, look after themselves and so on – all great pieces of advice. Rest and plenty of sleep are essential to keep your body physically able to deal with the demands of pregnancy.
However, this doesn’t mean that you need to come to a grinding halt from the moment the pregnancy test is positive until after the baby is born. Keeping active and moving is important.
If you already play a sport or indulge in exercise, you may want to think about whether it is the right form of exercise whilst pregnant. Contact sports are tough on the body so maybe taking a short hiatus would be advisable.
As your baby bump grows, you may also find that some sports or exercise becomes uncomfortable. If you haven’t exercised in a while, starting a new keep fit regime whilst pregnant is probably not advisable, but seek the opinion of your GP or midwife first.
In a nutshell, to stay healthy you need to stay active but may need to make changes to your normal exercise routine. There are many forms of exercise that work well during pregnancy and keep you active over the months when your baby bump is growing;
- Swimming – great for feeling weightless, you can continue swimming for as long as you like. Power up and down the pool or enjoy gentle lengths.
- Walking – a great way to keep toned during pregnancy, walking is the perfect exercise. Try and walk as much as possible each day, from a gentle stroll enjoying the breeze or a slightly faster walk to get the heart rate pumping a little.
- Pregnancy yoga – a great way to stretch and ensure that joints remain supple as you carry extra weight. Always join a yoga class specific for pregnancy and with a qualified instructor.
What you need to remember is that as your baby bump grows, your balance will shift. Some women find it more difficult to retain their balance when making quick movements and so, whilst games like tennis and badminton may be fine in early pregnancy, with a bigger baby bump you may find that running and stretching to the ball or shuttle cock difficult!
Take away points
- Check with your GP or midwife before taking up a new exercise regime or whether it is safe for you to exercise in pregnancy
- Don’t overdo it
- Change your exercise routine and pattern as you progress through the trimesters
Top Tip – don’t forget your pelvic floor exercises! Keeping your pelvic floor muscle strong means more control over your bladder and therefore not relying on incontinence products so much, as well as helping your body cope with labour and giving birth.
There is an old saying ‘eating for two’ but we know now that this is an old wives’ tale. Eating for two means putting on weight at a time when you don’t need more of a weight burden than you already have.
Although you will gain weight – the weight of the growing baby, water retention, and a few excess pounds of your own – there is no reason why your weight should balloon.
There are some foods you are advised not to eat during pregnancy but these constitute only a small group of foods.
- Enjoy at least 5 portions of different coloured fruit and veg a day.
- Make sure you have plenty of fish in your diet, at least three portions of oily fish a week. But don’t be tempted to substitute with supplements as there are some that are not recommended in pregnancy, including some fish oil capsules. Check with a health professional before you take anything.
- Have smaller portions and eat more often during the day if you feel too full or uncomfortable after meals.
- Cut out alcohol and watch your intake of caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee and hot chocolate.
- Stay hydrated! It can be tempting when suffering from occasionally leaks or struggling to get the bathroom in time to cut down on how much you drink. However, this can lead to your bladder becoming irritated making the problem worse. Sip water through the day and don’t forget your pelvic floor exercises.
Rest plenty but stay active – and enjoy your pregnancy!
Raging hormones during pregnancy can lead to some women suffering incontinence which is why they turn to products supplied by HARTMANN Direct to help them manage the short-term problem.