You did a pregnancy test…it was positive and you are the happiest person in the universe! More than likely, you are thinking of scheduling doctor visits and imagining the birth of your baby – and the thousand and one things that go along with it! 

A baby changes our routine from the moment of conception. That is to say, there may have been many things we did on a daily basis, but we may need to adapt, modify, or completely change for the well being of our child and to care for our body.

These routines do not relate only to physical activity but to our entire well being!

Food

It is not true that you eat for two during pregnancy! The reality is that you must, more than ever, eat healthy and add lots of proteins to your diet. A balanced diet that avoids junk food and excessive refined sugar and salt is ideal. Include whole grains, seeds, dried fruit, fruit, a dose of carbohydrates and lean cuts of meat. If you are a vegetarian, don’t forget to add legumes to your diet. 

Avoid eating soft cheeses like camembert, brie and blue cheese (and all its varieties).  These cheeses are fermented and may have bacteria that cause diseases. The same applies to sushi, which contains raw fish, squid, and shellfish from unreliable places. Everything that you eat related to animal products must be well cooked! 

Avoid eating leafy salads in restaurants because you will not know how well they are washed. With regard to fruit juices in these same locations, opt for those that are already packaged and pasteurized. Freshly squeezed local juices may contain unwanted bacteria.

For this same reason, uncured meats such as salami, ham, and other uncooked meats could be dangerous.

Don’t drink alcohol! It is unclear what dosage can harm the fetus! Therefore, it is best to avoid it. Talk it over with your obstetrician. Some doctors allow a glass of wine or beer from time to time, but, in general, they say if it can be avoided, it is much better.

The same thing goes for drinks with caffeine. Reduce them to a minimum or take decaffeinated drinks.

Physical Activity

Some time ago I wrote an article on exercises for pregnant women. After all, being pregnant does not mean that you should stretch out on a bed or easy chair for 9 months! On the contrary, physical activity is healthy and recommended as a great way to reduce putting on too much weight.

What you need to avoid are extreme sports or activities with a risk of falls or blows.

The exercises should be measured in real time and always accompanied by relaxation techniques, stretching and lots of water! Avoid basal position exercises (on your back) from the second trimester and those that put too much pressure on the abdomen or require lifting excessive weight.

Drugs

Recreational drugs are not included a healthy motherhood plan! Although we are unclear about the effects it causes to the fetus, after a few inconclusive studies, doctors ask expectant mothers not to consume any type of drugs. This also applies to medications!

Not everything that is sold without prescription is safe for the baby! Ask your doctor for a list of over the counter medications that you can take safely. Also, give your doctor a list of medications you are currently taking, perhaps for a pre-existing illness that needs to be controlled.  This also applies to tobacco! If you can definitely leave it, the better. But at least avoid to smoke during pregnancy and lactation.

Take your prenatal vitamins, which include folic acid and DHA! Throughout the pregnancy do not take ibuprofen.  Instead, replace with acetaminophen, which is found in medications like Tylenol. Don’t auto-medicate! If you have discomfort, pain, or fever, don’t medicate yourself! First, consult with your doctor (if it is related to abdominal pain, fever or bleeding, contact your doctor immediately!). 

Stress

While you are carrying a child in your womb, your body will not be the same, nor your mind. Try to relax, learn how to manage stress with relaxation techniques and meditation (which in addition, will be very useful during delivery).  Rest when you need it. Even if you are at work, take short breaks that allow you to relax your mind and body even for a moment. 

It is normal to feel insecure as a result of the hormonal changes. You may also feel anxious from time to time. Don’t worry about it unless you feel that your life or the life of your unborn child is in danger. Depression is quite common during pregnancy and very dangerous. Consult with your doctor if you feel that you cannot complete your daily tasks or feel too much anxiety to handle daily activities.  

Ask for help from family and friends! Remember: you don’t have to be a supermom! Nobody expects you to be! You are a human being with a developing child inside. This does not mean that you have high privileges! It simply means you can ask for help when you feel overwhelmed. Sometimes, it is very difficult to fulfil every single thing we need to do, so put you and your child first. Giving up some things will give you a sigh of relief.

Take care, eat well, and talk to your doctor when you have any doubts! Everything will be just wonderful! Until the next time!