The journey towards motherhood is like a roller coaster ride that is filled with excitement, happiness as well as anxiety and stress. Adopting a holistic approach (addressing the whole issue) for maternity care is gaining popularity globally as it caters to balancing the mind, body and soul of an individual. It not only helps cope with symptoms of pregnancy but also helps manage daily stress for a healthy mother and a healthy baby. Below are simple guides for all the mothers-to-be.
REGULAR ANTENATAL CONSULTATION
It is important to choose a doctor you can connect with and a hospital that is not only close by but also has all the necessary facilities. It is vital to visit your care giver regularly for advice.
TAKE PRENATAL VITAMIN
As vitamin and mineral deficiencies are quite common these days, it is advisable to ensure that you get yourself checked before conception. Vitamin D3 deficiency is endemic nowadays and it is a very important micro nutrient for fertility (egg health).
Consuming folic acid should be started before pregnancy as it helps in the brain and spinal cord development of the baby. It is strictly recommended to get a prescription from your doctor for iron and calcium. If taking them makes you feel uneasy, try taking them at night or with a light snack.
Importance of optimal nutrition during pregnancy can never be over-emphasised. A pregnant woman needs 300 extra calories daily to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Her diet should be a mixture of protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains with sweet and fat kept to minimum. Packaged food, all-purpose flour, starchy food and raw fish, to name a few should be avoided during pregnancy.
HYDRATE YOURSELF WELL
Drinking water can also help prevent constipation, haemorrhoids, UTIs, fatigue, headaches, swelling and other uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms. Aim for 8-10 glasses per day and if you don’t enjoy the taste, try adding a squeeze of lime or a splash of fruit juice. Avoid caffeinated and carbonated drinks.
WATCH YOUR WEIGHT
The common saying that you should ‘eat for two’ is a myth. Packing on too many extra pounds may make them hard to lose later. At the same time, not gaining enough weight can put the baby at risk for a low-weight birth, a major cause of developmental problems. The optimal calorie intake would be 300 additional calories daily to maintain healthy pregnancy.
Make sure you visit your physician for more advice.