The entire journey of pregnancy can be overwhelming. You are not just taking care of yourself, but of your baby’s nutritional needs as well. Keeping a pregnancy daily routine is essential for mothers to keep healthy and joyful during pregnancy and to have a positive pregnancy and birthing experience.
And if you though a pregnancy daily routine comprises of just dietary recommendations, you are wrong. Pregnancy is as much a psychological experience as it is physical. It is not just preparing your body for birthing or nourishing the baby, but also preparing your mind for the ultimate experience of making a life within you and then going through labour and childbirth.
Why Is It Important To Have A Pregnancy Daily Routine?
Having a pregnancy daily routine comprises of habits that aim at making you and your baby healthy and ready for all of 9 months. Apart from nutritional needs, a pregnancy daily routine also ensures that you stay happy, joyful and in a positive state of mind through the gestation period. Pregnancy is a different experience for all of us, it can get overwhelming for some while it is a smooth walk in the park for some others. Nevertheless, having a pregnancy daily routine helps to keep you in the best of health both mentally and physically.
When a woman is pregnant, the nutritional needs of her body increases. While your pregnancy cravings may keep pointing towards junk food like pizza or pastries, keeping a healthy diet is absolutely essential. When it comes to taking health, nutrition and self-care seriously, there’s no time more important than pregnancy. A pregnancy daily routine helps you to keep track of your nutrient intake. This gives you the opportunity to monitor your baby’s health along with yours. Keeping a pregnancy daily routine also helps you to adjust your diet according to your pregnancy cycles.
Another important aspect of a pregnancy daily routine is to have a regular exercise routine as per your preferences and medical conditions. While it is recommended to do light yoga, walks and some moderate exercise during pregnancy, many of us simply do not plan it because of the fact that we treat pregnancy as an ‘off’ time.
Apart from these, other things that you enjoy and help you in good mood should also be a part of your pregnancy daily routine. Keeping happy and indulging in things that make you feel good, like perhaps reading or watching TV, or simply chatting away with friends will keep your mental health upbeat, giving you a positive pregnancy experience.
12 Elements Of A Healthy Pregnancy Daily Routine
Pregnancy is one of the most memorable times for mothers. They start dreaming about their baby’s future from the time they hear the good news. However, regular prenatal care is important for both your health and the baby’s. Thus, having a pregnancy daily routine that involves proper nourishment, self-care and prenatal care is essential for to-be mothers. Here are 12 elements of a healthy pregnancy daily routine.
1. Track your diet
They say that when you are pregnant, you are eating for two. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to double your portion of food. It means that you need to eat right. Eat food that is rich in nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, calcium, iron, folic acid, etc.
Make sure that you increase your daily calorie intake by 300 calories a day. It is also important to focus on foods that are rich in folic acid. Folic acid helps in the development of the baby’s neural tube, which develops during the early stages of pregnancy.
2. Sleep like a baby
It is important that pregnant women have at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night. During the daytime, it is normal for women to get tired easily. In such instances, listen to your tired body and rest for some time. If you are working, you can just take a short nap or a power nap at your desk or if you have a sick room. It can be tough to get a proper good night’s sleep once you are in your pregnancy’s second and third trimester- and literally, sleep evades you, yet it is important to have a sleep routine to give rest to yourself and the baby.
In case sleep plays games with you, having chamomile tea before hitting the bed helps. At the end, you need to also focus on self-care during pregnancy, and meditation can be a great way to induce calmness and help you sleep. Read, if that helps.
While sleeping, it is recommended to sleep on the left side of your body. The left side position improves the blood flow to you and your child.
3. Hydrate yourself
Along with proper nutrition, it is also essential for pregnant women to stay hydrated. Fluids in your body will support and increase blood circulation and amniotic fluid. When you are pregnant, your blood volume goes upto by 30%-50%.
So how do you ensure you stay well hydrated all through your pregnancy? Mark the same in your pregnancy daily routine. Have water breaks at regular levels. While juices and other drinks too hydrate the body, water is the best form of hydration for pregnant women. This is because water has zero calories, unlike juices which also have sugar, and sodas that contain caffeine. Focus on drinking minimum 8-10 glasses of water per day.
Avoid caffeinated drinks as much as possible, which includes your regular cups of ‘chai’ and coffee, soft drinks, chocolate drinks etc.
4. Take prenatal supplements
Make sure that you are taking the prenatal vitamins as prescribed by your doctor. Your baby’s spinal cord and brain develops within the first month of pregnancy. Hence it is important that the right amount of nutrients is going to your baby.
Moreover, prenatal vitamins work towards reducing your risks of developing pregnancy complications. These prenatal supplements contain essential nutrients such as folic acid, iron, calcium, etc. which are pivotal for the growth and development of your baby.
Taking prenatal vitamins is one of the easiest ways to ensure you have a healthy pregnancy and have lesser chance of developing pregnancy complications. This must be a religious part of your pregnancy daily routine.
5. Reduce stress
Due to hormonal changes, it is normal for women to get easily stressed during pregnancy. However, taking too much of stress can affect your baby’s health. Less stress can also improve the chances of your birthing outcome. Stress can, to some extent, can induce high blood pressure and heart issues thus causing complications during pregnancy.
To calm your stress, you can try meditation, which actually helps you connect with yourself and your baby. Pregnancy is a wonderful time to engage yourself with yourself. Make sure that you stay in a positive and stress-free environment. Indulging in self-care routines such as spending time outdoors, having regular beauty regimens, etc. act as effective stress busters. So should surely be a part of your pregnancy daily routine.
6. Avoid using toxic products while cleaning
Cleaning is a part of most people’s day-to-day chores. However, most cleaning products contain harmful chemicals which can be risky while you are pregnant, especially if not used rightly. Check the product labels and warning signs before purchasing chemical cleaning products. Using green and chemical-free products is recommended while pregnant.
Now, that is not to say that your regular soaps and laundry detergents or dishwashes pose a threat, but yes, a little caution and a little knowledge on how to use them would help. Also, it is extremely importance that you stay in a clean, tidy home and take all necessary measures for the same.
7. Track your weight
Did you know that only around 3-4 kilograms of the weight you gain goes to the baby? And that all the extra weight stays with you? It is normal for women to gain weight when they are pregnant. However, not gaining enough weight can put your baby at risk of developmental problems. This could also lead to your baby being born underweight. Thus, incorporate weight tracking as a part of your daily pregnancy routine.
If you are of normal weight during pregnancy, gain around 11-14 kilograms. If you are overweight, you should gain no less than 7-11 kilograms. If you are underweight, you should focus on gaining 13-18 kilograms. If you are obese, you should gain not more than 10 kilograms. In case of excess weight, incorporate exercises into your daily routine to regulate your weight.
8. A healthy pregnancy daily routine starts with planning your day
One of the best ways to incorporate a pregnancy daily routine is by planning your day. By planning your day ahead, you are able to allocate time to your day-to-day tasks. Planning can also help you in prioritising self-care activities such as exercise, drinking water, etc. It creates a physical copy which can be used as reference by you and your doctor for monitoring your diet and overall health as well.
While it may seem all fun to take the day as it comes, gradually, you will not have a set routine and will miss on things that are really important during pregnancy. Maintaining a journal too helps. The idea is to have a routine that ensures all important aspects of your and baby’s well being are taken care of.
9. Exercise regularly
Unless forbidden by the doctor, exercise can really be helpful for pregnant women. Frequent exercise helps in strengthening your heart and lungs. Regular exercise helps in relieving morning sickness, improving circulation, relieving backaches and also constipation, which are common in pregnant women. Many gynaecologists recommend to add a 30-minute exercise regimen to your daily routine. Engaging in pelvic floor exercises will help your body cope with the growing weight of the baby.
Make sure that these exercises are safe for pregnant women to do. If you are unsure about which workouts to perform during pregnancy, consult a doctor or a trained expert.
10. Regulate your caffeine intake
If you are used to having caffeinated drinks every day, you need to cut back to not more than 200 mg a day. You may also switch to decaf. Having caffeine during pregnancy could put you at risk of health problems and could also impact your baby’s weight.
As pregnant women are advised to reduce their caffeine intake, some women make look for alternatives to energize themselves. Fruits are a natural way to energize your day. They contain natural sugars that can boost your energy levels in a natural and healthier way. Having fruits could be your new morning ritual to get through the day.
11. Avoid toxic substances
It is a must for pregnant women to stay away from toxic substances such as alcohol and tobacco. Alcohol puts you at risk of problems like low weight birth, still born birth, miscarriage, etc. Alcohol flows through our body at a faster pace and your baby could end up with more alcohol blood than you. Smoking is harmful for your unborn child. It increases the risk of miscarriages, premature births, SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), etc.
12. Dietary recommendations
Many pregnant women suffer from a condition called gestational diabetes in which your blood sugar gets high during pregnancy. Hence, ensure that you check your blood sugar level on a daily basis and avoid foods with excess sugar. There’s a huge list of foods that pregnant women must avoid.
Avoid raw and uncooked food, undercooked meats, unpasteurized milk, strong cheeses, cold meats, undercooked eggs, etc. Eat plenty of green and leafy vegetables, fruits, low fat foods, wholegrain foods, etc. Manage your diet with exercise and keep your sugar levels in control.
It is important to understand that having a healthy pregnancy leads to a healthy birth. Whether it’s your first, your second or even third pregnancy, every pregnancy has its own set of memories. Before following a pregnancy daily routine, and getting into full-time baby care mode, it is important to give equal importance to your self-care needs along with your baby’s. Don’t refrain from giving into the sweet and salty phases of your pregnancy cravings. Let your loved ones take care of you and pamper you, every now and then. Cherish this journey while it lasts.