Advertising
Advertising

5 Tips for the Healthiest Pregnancy Ever

5 Tips for the Healthiest Pregnancy Ever

Pregnancy hasn’t changed, but the way in which many women approach pregnancy has. Instead of staying on bed rest and awaiting their due dates, some women are choosing to live active and healthy lifestyles. This can lead to healthier babies and quicker postnatal recovery times.

Here are some practical tips to help you experience a healthy pregnancy that allows both mother and baby to thrive.

1. Eliminate All Drinking and Smoking

While it’s commonly known that drinking alcohol and smoking during pregnancy are bad, people don’t always seem to take this to heart. They assume that a little bit won’t hurt, and they drink and smoke in moderation. The problem is that every little bit matters.

Advertising

“When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, it travels through her bloodstream and into the fetus,” explains Mercy Hospital in Chicago. “That means that when mom has a glass of wine, her baby has a glass of wine, too. In addition, drinking alcohol can lead you to eat less, thus losing sources of nutrients.”

Too much alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) or fetal alcohol effects (FAE), which are both linked to developmental delays and behavioral problems.

2. Perform Moderate Exercise

While morning sickness means you probably won’t be very active during the first trimester of pregnancy, you should make it a point to be as physically active as possible during the last two trimesters.

Advertising

Contrary to popular belief, exercise is good for you. It has no harmful effects on the baby and helps you keep off the excessive pounds that can pile on during pregnancy. The key is to keep the exercise moderate and avoiding straining yourself too much. Light cardio and weight lifting are ideal.

3. Eat a Healthy Diet

Everyone likes to joke about “eating for two,” but taking this too far can be a recipe for disaster when you’re pregnant. The problem with eating for two is that pregnant mothers often take this as a free pass to eat whatever they want.

While cravings are real – and it’s okay to occasionally feed these cravings – don’t overindulge. An extra 340 to 450 calories per day is all that is recommended during pregnancy for women who start at a healthy weight (and only during the second and third trimesters). If you’re consuming an extra 1000 calories per day for the entire pregnancy, you aren’t being healthy.

Advertising

4. Get Adequate Sleep

While being pregnant may not give you a free pass to eat whatever you want, it does give you permission to be restful. Naps are a good thing for pregnant mothers and will ensure both you and the baby are getting the rest required to develop.

If naps aren’t an option, at least make sure you’re enjoying some idle time where you can read, meditate, or simply listen to music. These periods of inactivity allow your body to rejuvenate.

5. Remove Unnecessary Stress Triggers

“High levels of stress that continue for a long time may cause health problems, like high blood pressure and heart disease,” March of Dimes explains. “When you’re pregnant, this type of stress can increase the chances of having a premature baby (born before 37 weeks of pregnancy) or a low-birthweight baby (weighing less than 5½ pounds).”

Advertising

The key is to remove stressful triggers. These could be toxic relationships, unnecessary responsibilities, disorganization in the home, or anything in between. By removing these triggers – as opposed to just treating the symptoms – you can have a healthier pregnancy.

Make the Most of Your Pregnancy

You can buy a lot of things in life, but health isn’t one of them. If you want to have a healthy pregnancy that yields a healthy baby, you need to make sure you’re making smart choices.

Keep these five tips in mind as you anxiously await the arrival of your baby!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

More by this author

Larry Alton

Business Consultant

We’ve Been Dreaming of These 10 Inventions, and They’re Almost Here How to Make Someone Who’s Angry at You Suddenly Become Nice (Even If He’s a Stranger!) You Have to Read This Before Going into Your 10 Day Juice Cleanse! boston 5 Historic U.S. Cities You Have to Visit in 2017 How to Teach Your Non-Tech Savvy Parent Some Useful Skills How to Teach Your Non-Tech Savvy Parents Some Useful Skills

Trending in Parenting

1 How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father 2 14 Helpful Tips for Single Parents: How to Stay Sane While Doing it All 3 Signs of Postnatal Depression And What to Do When It Strikes 4 How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids) 5 The Leading Causes of Prenatal Depression and How to Manage it Best

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Published on January 30, 2019

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

In roughly 60 percent of two-parent households with children under the age of 18, both parents work full time. But who takes time off work when the kids are sick in your house? And if you are a manager, how do you react when a man says he needs time to take his baby to the pediatrician?

The sad truth is, the default in many companies and families is to value the man’s work over the woman’s—even when there is no significant difference in their professional obligations or compensation. This translates into stereotypes in the workplace that women are the primary caregivers, which can negatively impact women’s success on the job and their upward mobility.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of long-term time-use data (1965–2011), fathers in dual-income couples devote significantly less time than mothers do to child care.[1] Dads are doing more than twice as much housework as they used to (from an average of about four hours per week to about 10 hours), but there is still a significant imbalance.

This is not just an issue between spouses; it’s a workplace culture issue. In many offices, it is still taboo for dads to openly express that they have family obligations that need their attention. In contrast, the assumption that moms will be on the front lines of any family crisis is one that runs deep.

Consider an example from my company. A few years back, one of our team members joined us for an off-site meeting soon after returning from maternity leave. Not even two hours into her trip, her husband called to say that the baby had been crying nonstop. While there was little our colleague could practically do to help with the situation, this call was clearly unsettling, and the result was that her attention was divided for the rest of an important business dinner.

This was her first night away since the baby’s birth, and I know that her spouse had already been on several business trips before this event. Yet, I doubt she called him during his conferences to ask child-care questions. Like so many moms everywhere, she was expected to figure things out on her own.

Advertising

The numbers show that this story is far from the exception. In another Pew survey, 47 percent of dual-income parents agreed that the moms take on more of the work when a child gets sick.[2] In addition, 39 percent of working mothers said they had taken a significant amount of time off from work to care for their child compared to just 24 percent of working fathers. Mothers are also more likely than fathers (27 percent to 10 percent) to say they had quit their job at some point for family reasons.

Before any amazing stay-at-home-dads post an angry rebuttal comment, I want to be very clear that I am not judging how families choose to divide and conquer their personal and professional responsibilities; that’s 100 percent their prerogative. Rather, I am taking aim at the culture of inequity that persists even when spouses have similar or identical professional responsibilities. This is an important issue for all of us because we are leaving untapped business and human potential on the table.

What’s more, I think my fellow men can do a lot about this. For those out there who still privately think that being a good dad just means helping out mom, it’s time to man up. Stop expecting working partners—who have similar professional responsibilities—to bear the majority of the child-care responsibilities as well.

Consider these ways to support your working spouse:

1. Have higher expectations for yourself as a father; you are a parent, not a babysitter.

Know who your pediatrician is and how to reach him or her. Have a back-up plan for transportation and emergency coverage.

Don’t simply expect your partner to manage all these invisible tasks on her own. Parenting takes effort and preparation for the unexpected.

Advertising

As in other areas of life, the way to build confidence is to learn by doing. Moms aren’t born knowing how to do this stuff any more than dads are.

2. Treat your partner the way you’d want to be treated.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a man on a business trip say to his wife on a call something to the effect of, “I am in the middle of a meeting. What do you want me to do about it?”

However, when the tables are turned, men often make that same call at the first sign of trouble.

Distractions like this make it difficult to focus and engage with work, which perpetuates the stereotype that working moms aren’t sufficiently committed.

When you’re in charge of the kids, do what she would do: Figure it out.

3. When you need to take care of your kids, don’t make an excuse that revolves around your partner’s availability.

This implies that the children are her first priority and your second.

Advertising

I admit I have been guilty in the past of telling clients, “I have the kids today because my wife had something she could not move.” What I should have said was, “I’m taking care of my kids today.”

Why is it so hard for men to admit they have personal responsibilities? Remember that you are setting an example for your sons and daughters, and do the right thing.

4. As a manager, be supportive of both your male and female colleagues when unexpected situations arise at home.

No one likes or wants disruptions, but life happens, and everyone will face a day when the troubling phone call comes from his sitter, her school nurse, or even elderly parents.

Accommodating personal needs is not a sign of weakness as a leader. Employees will be more likely to do great work if they know that you care about their personal obligations and family—and show them that you care about your own.

5. Don’t keep score or track time.

At home, it’s juvenile to get into debates about who last changed a diaper or did the dishes; everyone needs to contribute, but the big picture is what matters. Is everyone healthy and getting enough sleep? Are you enjoying each other’s company?

In business, too, avoid the trap of punching a clock. The focus should be on outcomes and performance rather than effort and inputs. That’s the way to maintain momentum toward overall goals.

Advertising

The Bottom Line

To be clear, I recognize that a great many working dads are doing a terrific job both on the home front and in their professional lives. My concern is that these standouts often aren’t visible to their colleagues; they intentionally or inadvertently let their work as parents fly under the radar. Dads need to be open and honest about family responsibilities to change perceptions in the workplace.

The question “How do you balance it all?” should not be something that’s just asked of women. Frankly, no one can answer that question. Juggling a career and parental responsibilities is tough. At times, really tough.

But it’s something that more parents should be doing together, as a team. This can be a real bonus for the couple relationship as well, because nothing gets in the way of good partnership faster than feelings of inequity.

On the plus side, I can tell you that parenting skills really do get better with practice—and that’s great for people of both sexes. I think our cultural expectations that women are the “nurturers” and men are the “providers” needs to evolve. Expanding these definitions will open the doors to richer contributions from everyone, because women can and should be both—and so should men.

Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next