Pregnancy undeniably comes with a range of financial, emotional, and physical challenges and worries. All of those issues are manageable if you know what’s coming and have a plan. Educating and planning are good ways to manage the anxiety that comes with the idea of becoming a mother, in other words.
You want to make substantial changes in four areas: diet, activity, and personal habits. Don’t hesitate to get tested as soon as you suspect you are pregnant. Women can do many things to help or hurt their pregnancy from the very beginning, so free pregnancy tests in Illinois are a valuable asset.
In addition to following these tips where possible, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider about any health concerns you have.
Change Your Diet
Once you know you are pregnant, you would ideally make several changes to your diet. The experts at UC Irvine offer a variety of diet-related tips, including:
- Eat vegetables and fish (avoid fish that are high in mercury)
- Get plenty of fibre, from beans, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
- Drink at least eight glasses of water a day
- Reduce your intake of caffeine
- Eat foods rich in calcium and folate
- You will need extra food, but only a few hundred calories per day
Taking a prenatal vitamin is probably a good idea. However, as always, discuss supplements and medication with your medical provider. Many medications are a health risk for a pregnant woman, and you shouldn’t rely on friends or the Web for guidance on what you can safely take.
Take Specific Steps to Manage Anxiety
The many changes in your body and the coming changes to your lifestyle can be stressful. You can’t avoid those negative emotions, but you can manage them with meditation and some regular, light exercise. Getting enough sleep is also important to your general health, but lack of sleep will affect your mood. Getting enough sleep is also important to your general health, but lack of sleep will affect your mood.
You can take a few steps to mentally prepare yourself for motherhood. Figure out where you will be giving birth. Visit a facility like that to see what it feels like, so when you are deep into labour and go there it won’t be so strange. Spending time with new parents can help you get more comfortable with the realities of becoming a mom.
Avoid Risks Specific to Pregnancy
Some things you should avoid while pregnant are well known. Of course, you should stop smoking and avoid alcohol. You also want to avoid secondhand smoke. Many women don’t know how or when to change their activity level as their pregnancy progresses.
You can still eat most foods, in moderation, but you should avoid soft cheeses. These cheeses may contain bacteria that pose a serious health risk to a pregnant woman, including a possible miscarriage.
While advice varies some, in general, you should stop engaging in vigorous exercise and avoid air travel if at all possible. As with other health-related matters, you should talk to your healthcare provider about what is best for you.