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A Holistic Approach to Health During Pregnancy

Getting the basics right frees up your thinking time for the more complicated questions, and it also eliminates some of the stresses of pregnancy.

Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

Pregnancy is a very interesting time in a woman's life because it involves rather miraculous biological changes but also has emotional impacts and can really change the perspective and outlook of a woman during this time in her life. There are so many new considerations she has to make about what she eats, how she needs to change her daily activities, how her body is going to change, and how she has to rethink her future plans.

Pregnancy not only affects the pregnant woman but also her family, and how they interact with her. Perhaps a woman might worry about how people's perception of her might change. In short, being pregnant involves a lot of thinking, especially about the changes that are coming and there are a lot of questions which relate to these changes.

For practical advice, written by experienced authors, you might consider visiting some websites like Mommy Authority, where you’ll receive all sorts of advice related to many of the questions you might be asking about your pregnancy. The best place to start unraveling all the confusion is with the basics, including physical and mental health. Getting the basics right frees up your thinking time for the more complicated questions, and it also eliminates some of the stresses of pregnancy. 

Diet and Nutrition

The developing fetus needs a number of nutrients for proper growth. The diet that a woman used to have may not be sufficient to support this need, so there are some new food groups she should start focusing on. A good place to start is by taking in a few extra calories. The recommended amount is an extra 300 calories which results in eating 1,800 calories in the first trimester and increasing this by 300 to 400 calories per trimester. But the calories also have to be from the right source. A pregnant woman needs plenty of carbohydrates preferably from whole grain foods and 4 to 5 servings each of fruits and vegetables. She will also need about 3 servings a day of dairy and meat. Special attention should be paid to certain nutrients like folate, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, calcium, and vitamin B12. Many of these vitamins are important for the enzymes which help to develop the fetus like vitamin B12 for the making of new DNA. Others are a necessary part of the fetus’ growing tissues, like calcium for the bones, omega-3 acids for the brain, and iron for the blood. 

Exercise

Many women are very cautious about doing exercises during pregnancy. Caution is always a good stance to take, and exercise might not be beneficial in certain but very rare cases, otherwise exercise is a very good component to good health during pregnancy. Exercise helps to improve blood flow throughout the body which brings more oxygen and nutrients to the growing baby.

Another important reason to keep blood going is the fact that blood clots more easily during pregnancy because the body produces more of the proteins that help the blood to clump. This is naturally to reduce blood loss during birth, but it can also cause inappropriate clotting when the woman is not active enough.

Some exercises are much better and safer than others, though. Experts recommend sticking to low impact or non-impact exercises like swimming, walking, stationary cycling, and aerobics like yoga or Pilates.

Exercise is also important for releasing endorphins, which help a mother to feel better mentally and physically. 

Psychological Considerations

Mental health is sometimes a component that is ignored during pregnancy. There are a lot of emotional decisions and stresses that women will be experiencing, that can be quite difficult to understand for people who are not in the situation.

It's important to know that you will go through a rollercoaster of emotions because of hormones and because of how confusing pregnancy can be. For this, you need to be kind to yourself, and allow yourself to feel strange emotions.

The thoughts and feelings a woman experiences are very complicated, but not unanswerable. Specifically because many women have been through and are going through the same thing. Talking to members of your family or joining a physical or online support group can help you get through those really confusing and tough decisions. 

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