How to make a healthy bun in the oven…
It’s positive! A week after a missed period and the home pregnancy test turns positive…congratulations, you’re pregnant! If this is your first pregnancy, take a moment to appreciate this wonderful blessing given to you and your family. Well, if this is your second, and so on and so forth,…it’s still a blessing! Below are our ten tips for a healthier pregnancy. The first five are presented here as Part 1 of this article.
Go see your obstetrician.
The first thing you should do is go and visit your obstetrician. The purpose of this visit is to have your first ultrasound and document that you’re really pregnant (hey, we just want to make sure there’s a cute little bun in the oven).
Amat victoria curam (Victory loves preparation).
While this may seem too dramatic for you, pregnancy isn’t something you should be taking lightly. Think of it as the hardest PRACTICAL exam you’re going to take. You study for your exam, right? You want to learn all there is to learn about pregnancy. Of course, you will want to prepare enough for the painful (just kidding) albeit wonderful final exam (giving birth). You should load up on books and/or sign up for classes. Signing up for classes is a lot better because you can interact and exchange experiences with other pregnant women. Pregnancy isn’t something you should dread and handle alone. There are REAL people who can help you learn more about it.
Are you a techie soon-to-be mom? Find great apps (applications for Android and Apple OS) for your smartphone or tablet online, on how to conveniently track your pregnancy. This is just one of the amazing technologies you can appreciate now which wasn’t available 10 years ago.
For two please.
There’s a little person inside you. From the moment the home pregnancy kit turned positive until the time you give birth, this will be in your thoughts. I don’t mean multiply everything you’re eating and doing by two. Just increase the total number of calories you take in. According to the experts, an added extra 300 calories will be enough to sustain and nourish the two of you. This is of course, on top of the healthy foods you’re already eating. The sources of those 300 extra calories count too, choose real food not junk food. Avoid large, deep water fish because of mercury accumulated in their tissues. Also avoid raw meat, fish eggs and soft cheeses because of contamination by harmful bacteria.
Variety is key.
To get all the nutrients you need, you should eat a variety of foods. Think about getting all the colours of the rainbow in fruits and vegetables daily and have plenty of quality protein and fat with each meal and snack where possible. Let’s keep it simple shall we?
Calcium-rich foods. Most of us are aware of what calcium is for, right? At the very least, it’s for building strong bones. Have several servings of calcium-rich foods per day. You can get these servings from dairy products like milk, cheese and yoghurt. Or if you’re not a huge fan of dairy products, you can opt for non-dairy foods like almonds, green beans, broccoli, okra, dried beans and dark leafy greens. They’re high in calcium too.
Iron-rich foods. Consume at least 3 servings of iron-rich foods per day. You need more iron to make more blood for your baby. Get loads of this mineral from meat, poultry and fish products or if you’re vegetarian dark leafy greens, lentils & blackstrap molasses.
Folic acid. Pick one good source of folic acid per day (at least). Folic acid prevents problems in your baby’s spine (neural tube defects). Choose from legumes, veal and dark green vegetables.
Get high on high fiber foods. Fruits, vegetables, rice and other gluten-free whole-grains will do the trick as well as ground flax seeds or chia seeds which are also rich in omega-3’s.
Bulk up with protein. I don’t mean bulk up like a muscle man or bodybuilder. Your immune system is highly dependent on protein. Meat, eggs, cheese, legumes, yoghurt, fish and shellfish are examples of protein rich foods.
You need supplements.
I’m not telling you this so you’ll buy supplements (that’s your choice of course). I’m telling you this because it’s required. You already have a lot on your mind when you’re pregnant plus a lot of changes happening to your body. To make sure you have enough of the required daily nutrients, you need a well rounded vitamin and mineral supplement.
Are you ready for more? Part 2 Coming Soon.. (remaining five tips).