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6 Important Lifestyle Tips for Expecting Moms

6 Important Lifestyle Tips for Expecting Moms

Most girls and women dream of one day becoming a mom. They want to have a big family, with at least two children, and they often pick out names for them, before they are even pregnant. And when that moment comes, when a woman hears that she is really expecting, it is the happiest news in the world for her. Moreover, it is probably the happiest moment of her life. During pregnancy, every woman starts preparing the necessary things for her child. She even starts preparing herself by reading pregnancy books and trying to find out as much useful information as possible. However, this whole preparation for the future takes away focus from the present. Many moms-to-be forget that it is important to take care of themselves first. If they do that, they are at the same time taking care of their unborn baby. Lucky for those moms, there are a few ways in which they can adjust their lifestyle in order to be healthier and happier, all in favour of their baby.

1. Stay active with some light exercises

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    Even though you might feel like you can barely move while pregnant, a little bit of exercise won’t harm you. If you are active, this will help you stay fit, first of all. Too much weight gain is not healthy. Neither for you nor for the baby. You should consult someone on how much you should gain and how to manage a steady increase of weight. This will also improve your mood and prepare you for childbirth. The more you are active, the better. Nowadays, there are many fitness centers that offer prenatal packages. You can do yoga, or some general exercises. Additionally, you can go swimming. It is not highly demanding, plus it has a relaxing effect. What is more, you can go on daily walks in the nearest park. In general, any kind of activity will be good for you.

    2. Have a healthy diet

    During pregnancy, you have to eat for both you and your baby. However, this doesn’t mean you have to eat twice as much, or as often. It means that you have to be careful of what you consume. First of all, no junk food. It is not good for you in general, and during pregnancy, it would be best if you avoided it. Secondly, putting a little bit more vegetables on your plate would be beneficial as well. Or, try eating more fruit. The one word you need to remember is healthy. Think about it when you go grocery shopping. So, a balanced and nutritious diet is what you need. The best thing you can do is talk to a doctor or a nutritionist who would suggest what to eat and how much. That would be the safest way.

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    3. Take your supplements and vitamins

    Besides eating healthy and beneficial food, you should start taking some vitamins and supplements. Once you find out that you are pregnant, the best thing is to check with your doctor about this issue. They are considered stimulating; therefore, they will be good for the both of you. The best option would be to take prenatal vitamins which can improve your health and decrease any chances of the baby having health problems. There are many types of these prenatal vitamins, and each of them carries their own benefits.

    4. Embrace your pregnancy

    Pregnant Happy smiling Woman sitting on a sofa and caressing her belly. Mom Expecting Baby. Pregnant Woman Belly. Pregnancy. Beautiful Pregnant Woman. Maternity concept. Baby Shower

      Probably the most essential thing you can do is embrace the condition you are in. Even though it can be tough – having morning sickness or going to the toilet all the time – in the end, it is a wonderful period of your life. You are creating a new human being. It is all happening there, inside of you. Without a doubt, pregnancy is magical. So, don’t put yourself down or be negative. Welcome it with open arms. You and your partner will feel blissful during these nine months. You will be happier than before, and more connected. Just imagine all the planning for the nursery, buying baby clothes, planning the baby shower and picking out names. Truly an amazing time. Moreover, everyone will try and help you out. Because you are the one carrying the baby, everyone around you will try to make this period easier for you. You can just sit back and relax.

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      5. Don’t over-work yourself

      If you are a working expecting mom, you should consider taking a pregnancy leave or cutting down on working hours. Of course, you would need to consult with your boss to check your options. But if you can, try to not over-work yourself, or be too stressed. The pregnancy itself will be demanding enough, so you do not need the extra baggage. If you really have to work, then you should adjust your schedule to your pregnancy needs. Make to-do lists and prioritize your tasks. This is how you will avoid the overflow of work. Follow your schedule and all will be fine. In addition to this, evade any arguments with colleagues. There is no need to stress over that, too. Also, avoid lifting heavy objects or spending too much time on your feet, if your job is of that kind. Limit yourself according to your capabilities.

      6. Educate yourself

      Portrait of a healthy young lady expecting a baby enjoying leisure at home

        Obviously, pregnancy is a new thing, if you are a first-time mom-to-be. It is a life changing event that will alter everything. Your friends will change, your work can be affected – not to mention your emotions and the way you think. In the end, your set schedule will have to be altered. Once the baby comes, you and your partner will have to change a lot about yourselves. Even during pregnancy, you can start changing, and you will. This is why you need to educate yourself about the state you are in. For sure, your friends and family will give you advice about pregnancy and what you are supposed to do, or how you are supposed to behave. Nevertheless, you should consult a professional first. Find a good doctor and ask everything you want to know. Maybe even start going to a pregnancy consulting group. You can listen to other pregnant women there, and their experiences. Moreover, you can find good books on pregnancy, and about babies. You will have nine full months to read them and learn. Try and learn as much as you can, so you would be prepared for all of it. Even better, make your partner read the books, as well. If both of you know things, it would be better for you and for the baby.

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        You can take a hint from every step on this list, but just remember that, at the end of the day, it is important that you are happy and satisfied. Pregnancy is a bliss, and you should keep it that way, no matter what. You should rejoice and look forward to that little bundle of joy that you will get to hold into your arms in just a few months.

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        Djordje Todorovic

        Blogger, Gamer Extraordinaire

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        Published on May 21, 2021

        Bedtimes For Kids At Different Ages (Your Go-To Guide)

        Bedtimes For Kids At Different Ages (Your Go-To Guide)

        Bedtimes for kids might be one of the most challenging parts of the day. Parents are tired and ready to relax, while kids of all ages seem to find extra energy and want nothing to do with sleep. One more story, one more trip to the bathroom, and one more question quickly make for a late-night, and no one gets the rest they need.

        If this happens often, you might start wondering if you and your child are getting the proper amount of sleep and how to make bedtime easier. Why is it so crucial for your child to get enough sleep? What does sleep deprivation look like? How do you improve bedtimes for kids?

        How Sleep Impacts Your Child’s Health

        Whether young or old, sleep is a vital part of staying healthy. There are many benefits to getting the right amount of sleep while not getting enough can have negative consequences. How does it impact your child?[1]

        • Brain Function – Sleep is linked to certain brain functions such as concentration, productivity, and cognition. These all impact a child’s behavior and academic success.
        • Weight – Sleep patterns affect the hormones responsible for appetite. A lack of sleep interferes with the ability to regulate food intake, making overeating more likely.
        • Physical Performance – Sleep impacts a person’s physical abilities. Proper rest means better performance, concentration, energy, mental clarity, and faster speed.
        • Physical Health – There are many ways sleep promotes health. Sleep heals the body but also helps prevent disease and health issues. Getting proper rest will regulate blood pressure, help prevent heart disease, reduce chances of sleep apnea, reduce inflammation, boost immune system, and lower risk of weight gain.
        • Improve Mental Health – A lack of sleep has a negative impact on mood and social and emotional intelligence. A child not getting proper sleep is more likely to experience depression, lack empathy and be unaware of other people’s emotions and reactions.

        Sleep, Risky Behavior, and Teens

        Studies found that teens were more likely to engage in risky behavior when they are sleep-deprived. They’ll have problems regulating their mood, making them more short-tempered, aggressive, and impulsive. Their inability to self-regulate can even look like the symptoms of ADHD.[2]

        Sleep deprivation becomes hazardous when teens are driving. The impulsiveness and risk-taking, along with exhaustion, put them at a higher risk for accidents. In fact, driving tired is comparable to driving with a blood alcohol content of .08.[3]

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        You can see why sleep is so essential to everyone’s health, but how much is needed? What do pediatricians recommend? Is it the same for all ages?

        Sleep Recommendations From Pediatricians

        Sleep requirements vary by age. It won’t be the same for every individual. Some people find that they need more sleep than others.

        Here is a basic guideline of what pediatricians now recommend:[4]

        • Ages 4-12 months: 12-16 hours (including naps)
        • Ages 1-2 years: 11-14 hours (including naps)
        • Ages 3-5 years: 10-13 hours (including naps)
        • Age 6-12 years: 9-12 hours
        • Age 13-18 years: 8-10 hours

        Increase the amount of sleep if your child isn’t thriving on the recommended amount.

        Signs Your Child Isn’t Getting Enough Sleep

        There are ways to tell if your child is getting adequate sleep beyond the usual grumpiness. Here are specific things to watch out for:[5]

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        • Excessive sleepiness during the day
        • Difficulty waking up on time
        • Hyperactivity
        • Depression
        • Inattention
        • Mood swings
        • Aggressive behavior
        • Irritability
        • Impatience
        • Impulse control

        As you can see, prolonged lack of sleep can cause relational problems and hinder your child’s ability to do well in school. What can you do if you realize your child is not getting enough sleep? How can you improve bedtimes for your kids?

        How to Set Up a Bedtime Routine

        Sleep hygiene or a bedtime schedule will help your child fall asleep faster. It will also improve the quality of sleep. You will need to adjust to what works for your family, but the following suggestions can help everyone have a more pleasant bedtime.

        For Babies

        Most people think they have to let their baby “cry it out” at bedtime. However, there are ways you can teach a baby to sleep without tears, making the experience more pleasant for everyone. In fact, studies show the faded bedtime method—or gentle sleep training—is just as effective as leaving a baby to cry but without the stress.[6] What is gentle sleep training?

        Gentle Sleep Training

        This method eases babies and young children into falling asleep on their own. There are two ways to do this:

        1. Positive Routines With Faded Bedtime

        Kids learn to fall asleep easily by using comforting, quiet, and predictable rituals, up to twenty minutes long. The key is to choose a bedtime that’s not too early. A child that isn’t tired will only fight sleep.

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        Start the process when your baby or child is sleepy, even if it’s later than you’d prefer. You’ll notice a pattern and quickly discover the time they naturally start winding down. Make this their bedtime for now. They will learn to associate sleep with the routine, and you’ll be able to start fifteen to twenty minutes earlier to slowly adjust their schedule.

        2. Sleep With Parental Presence

        With this method, you lie down with your baby or child until they fall asleep. Over time, you pay less attention to your child, gradually sitting up, then sitting in a chair. Eventually, your child will be able to sleep without you. A study showed that using this method helped infants sleep longer and wake up less.[7]

        Both of these ways take time but are effective and less traumatic than leaving an infant or young child to cry.

        More Tips to Help Your Baby Sleep Better

        You want to build a routine, but how? What are practical things you can do to help your baby get ready for bed?

        Here are tips for a soothing and calm bedtime:[8]

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        • Help set their “internal clock” by exposing them to natural daylight, daytime activities, and the calmness of evening.
        • Block blue light exposure.
        • Make the hour up to bedtime calm, peaceful, and pleasant.
        • Learn how to keep stress minimal for you and your baby.
        • Don’t force sleep. It will increase anxiety and make rest more difficult.
        • Avoid late afternoon naps
        • Prolong the time between nap and bedtime.
        • Feed baby right before bed.
        • Avoid intervening too soon if the baby starts to wake up. Give your child a chance to fall back asleep without your help.

        For Elementary-Aged Children

        It’s easier to follow a routine if you start young, but it’s never too late to begin. The good news is it only takes a few nights to notice an improvement in your child’s sleep.

        These ideas will help you set up a schedule that will encourage your child to fall asleep easier, faster, and for a more extended period.[9]

        • Offer them a nutritious snack.
        • Bathe them.
        • Brush their teeth and go to the bathroom.
        • Read them a story.
        • Sing them a song.
        • Cuddle or massage them.
        • Talk about the day.

        For best results, choose a handful of activities and do them in the same order each night. Dim the lights and keep activity minimal to help everyone slow down.

        For Teens

        They might fight the idea of getting more sleep, but teens will benefit from a routine, too. They’re usually capable of overseeing their bedtime, but a little structure and oversight can help them get the sleep they need. By implementing the following tips, your teen can get better rest.[10]

        • Avoid caffeine in the evening.
        • Limit screen time.
        • Avoid late-night binging.
        • Exercise, ideally sixty minutes a day.
        • Keep the bedroom dark, cool, and quiet.
        • Talk through problems.

        Quality Sleep for a Healthy Life

        Bedtimes for kids can be an enjoyable part of the day with proper sleep hygiene in place. Not only can it be quality time with your child, but it can also set them on the road to good health and high performance. By implementing these tips, you can ensure proper rest for the whole family and better bedtimes for kids.

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        Featured photo credit: Igordoon Primus via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Medical News Today: Why Sleep Is Essential For Health
        [2] Child Mind Institute: Teens And Sleep: The Cost Of Sleep Deprivation
        [3] Depart of Health: Drowsy Driving Prevention, Teens Ages 16 To 19
        [4] AAP publications: AAP Endorses New Recommendations On Sleep Times
        [5] Journal of Excellence in Nursing Leadership: Sleep Deprivation In Children A Growing Public Health Concern
        [6] Parenting Science: Gentle Infant Sleep Training
        [7] BetterHealth: Solutions to sleep concerns (11) – babies 6 to 12 months
        [8] Parenting Science: 15 Evidence-Based Baby Sleep Tips
        [9] Sleep Foundation: Bedtime Routines For Children
        [10] NHS: Sleep Tips For Teenagers

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