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Getting your body ready for pregnancy and childbirth

Pregnancy forces you to put your health first.- Stephanie Ruhle

Planning your Pregnancy? Exercise & Diet Are Critical!

A general good level of health and well being is really essential overall in life, all the more, when planning a pregnancy.

Proper diet, exercise, stress reduction, positive attitude is within your own control and making small changes to your lifestyle can result in a big positive impact on your health, fertility and pregnancy on the whole.*

POSITIVE LIFESTYLE FACTORS:

Exercise

It is important that you make time to exercise at least 30 minutes daily, 3 -4 times a week. Strength training, cardio, swimming, yoga- a healthy mix is recommended. Regular workouts get your body in shape, work your muscles, including your heart, which will have to pump up to 50 percent more blood to supply you and your growing baby. Exercise also reduces stress to an extent, which is known to block the best conception efforts. Besides, it does help you sleep better too. 

It’s a good idea to get a proper fitness routine in place before you get pregnant, so you will have a schedule set for when pregnant.

 And staying active while pregnant (with your doctor’s approval ofcourse) can reduce the severity of common pregnancy symptoms like bloating, headaches, backaches, among many others. **

Not really exercising at all as of now? Well, start now!  The good news is, it’s never too late to start on a fitness routine and reap the benefits of it. 

woman in white tank top running on dirt road during daytime
Photo by Greg Rosenke

Healthy Balance Diet

It is vital to maintain healthy eating habits to keep your hormone levels balanced as well as to provide your body with all the nutrition it requires at this time.

What we eat really does have an enormous impact on the functioning of our body’s systems: right from our circulatory system and nervous system to our digestion and reproductive organs. It can also affect our frame of mind!

Ensure that you eat food rich in nutrients and include the essential food groups; all of which will contribute to a healthy pregnancy. 

bowl of vegetable salads
Photo by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash

Carbohydrates

Include complex carbohydrates in your diet, which help manage insulin levels and energy swings, as well as help regulate bowel movements. They provide some of the fiber your body needs. Brown rice, quinoa, oats, legumes are just a few examples. 

Fat

Few good sources of essential fatty acids include oily fish, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, nuts, seeds, fish and olive oil.

Protein

Protein is necessary for growing muscle and tissue, for recovery, among the many other functions it performs. Good sources of protein include meat, paneer, tofu, cheese, eggs.

Overall, nutrition has a subtle but powerful effect on all of the body’s systems (including the reproductive system.) Try to limit your intake (consume in moderation, if you do include) the following foods: refined carbohydrates, caffeine, processed foods, fried foods, alcohol, sugar, saturated fats.

Stress Reduction

Stress can take a toll on the body and reproductive system. You may find it hard to sleep, lack energy, become irritable, suffer from digestive disorders and notice a decrease in your sex drive.

When we experience stress, our adrenal glands release the hormone cortisol. If this happens over a prolonged period of time, the excessive amount of cortisol in the body can upset the balance of other hormones (may also potentially affect conception, when chronic and gone unchecked.) ***

It is important that you do not allow stress to become just another aspect of your life. Identifying the cause of stress in your life is the first step in starting to overcome it. Try and work on minimizing stress – learn to relax, think positively. Yoga, meditation, talking it out to a confidante, taking up a hobby, or even therapy if needed, can help calm you down and manage your stress levels.

Getting your body ready for pregnancy and childbirth can be one of the most useful and effective steps you take. Remember: good health and balanced hormones can definitely increase your chances of conception and maintaining it can lead to a healthy pregnancy.

Happy health!

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