Whether you’re planning on having a baby, or already have one on the way, it can never hurt to educate yourself on how to make the next nine months enjoyable, healthy and have everything running smoothly! Here are some top tips to have a smooth, successful pregnancy where you feel happy and keep your energy up, all ready to play with your little one when he or she comes along!
Dress Up To Keep Your Spirits Up
One of the hardest things women face when pregnant is the toll it takes on their body, and the physical changes they experience. One thing that can help women deal with this is stylish maternity clothes, so they can still feel fashionable and confident when out and about while pregnant. Alma Barrero explains how great maternity jeans are, for looking good while staying comfy:
“The only maternity garments I’ve bought, with ZERO shame, were pregnancy jeans, yup! And in different colours. Oh boy, when I discovered this thing called maternity jeans, a whole world of comfort and allowing myself to get bigger opened ahead of me!
By the way, the wise person who invented them was definitely a GENIUS! I still had some coloured jeans from my first pregnancy (green and eggplant), and I added a new pair of dark jeans this pregnancy. Also, this time I went all the way and bought those that cover your whole belly, even comfier than the ones that have an elastic band, specially looking towards the last trimester when you need more comfort!”
Mica, a personal style blogger at Away From The Blue, also shares how you can still dress well while being pregnant, while keeping your outfits easy and stress free. There are more options than you know!
“You don’t have to stick to oversized tees and leggings for the whole 9 months, it’s possible to have an easy and stylish pregnancy. I invested in some great maternity pieces that I used to build a capsule wardrobe in the final trimester, so I knew everything I’d go to wear would fit and flatter!
As you marvel at your growing baby bump, you’ll find your existing wardrobe items get more limited. Instead of having a stressful time going through what you own and trying to find things that fit, box away or separate out all the pieces you can no longer wear as you outgrow them. Your wardrobe will shrink towards the end of your pregnancy, but so will the number of clothes you have to try on before you find something that fits your beautiful baby bump.”
Be Responsible - Regular Check-ups & Healthy Dietary Choices
When you’re carrying a person inside of you, it’s your responsibility to be the best, most safe vessel you can possibly be for your little passenger. This means literally treating your body like a temple, getting professional advice when in doubt and fueling yourself with nutrient-rich foods that will keep your baby nourished.
Dr Michelle Groves has a few tips that are great to take heed of during pregnancy. She had her twin boys right smack in the middle of her degree, which certainly put her to the test having to study and manage a pregnancy all at once. She is now a fellow of the Royal Australian College of GPs, and being both a doctor and a mother, shares her tips below:
“1. Antenatal care - regular check ups by midwife or doctor. At least every 4 weeks to check weight, blood pressure, urine sample, baby’s heart rate, position and size. This is important so all health concerns can be addressed and complications can be prevented or picked up early.
2. Immunisations and blood tests - to prevent infections that can harm mum and baby, such as Influenza. Blood tests to check for deficiencies, diabetes and other medical conditions associated with pregnancy.
3. Healthy balanced diet - it’s all about responsible choices and not eating for 2! Folic acid supplements are important in the first 12 weeks, to help support the development of the baby’s nervous system.
4. Reduce sugar intake and processed foods. Choose natural, made from scratch meals and no alcohol.
5. Food hygiene - make sure food is cooked thoroughly, especially poultry, eggs and meat. Avoid all soft cheeses, meat spreads and raw fish as well as shellfish.”
Treat Your Body With Care
Michelle Ball, Gokhale Method teacher and posture coach has a couple of tips on how to deal with lower back pain that many pregnant women undergo due to weight gain and the resulting shift in the center of gravity.
“Anchor your ribs: it’s important to know that the ever-growing baby is potentially pulling the mother’s back into an arch. An expectant mother who gives into this pull will be increasingly swaying her back, which can cause lower back pain, compressed spinal discs and other problems. Anchoring the ribs involves keeping the lower border of the rib cage flush with the abdomen. By engaging internal oblique muscles as the baby gets bigger, the expectant mother not only reduces the risk for lower back pain, she also gets very valuable abdominal muscle exercise during pregnancy.
Hinge your hips when you bend: Everybody needs to hip-hinge when they bend to maintain a pain-free back. But this is especially important for pregnant women. This is because lowering the body by bending with the knees and curving the back (as is so common in our culture) puts added stress on the spinal discs at a time when the discs are already being challenged by the additional weight of pregnancy. The features of hip-hinging especially important for pregnant women are to get the legs externally rotated and set apart in a wide stance, so that when they hinge forward, there’s room for the belly to settle between the legs. Hip-hinging with a flat back equals healthy bending.”
Stay Active, Fit & Healthy!
In can be easy to fall into the slump of “eating for two” and becoming a couch potato as you gain weight during pregnancy - but it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, it’s better if it isn’t! Monique Graham, a Melbourne based maternity and newborn photographer shares her own experiences with this:
“My advice for having a smooth pregnancy is to keep active and make sure you’re nourishing your body with healthy, mostly organic foods. I had two very different pregnancies. I took my first pregnancy as a license to eat whatever I wanted and I didn’t exercise regularly. Not surprisingly, I put on a substantial amount of extra weight and didn’t feel very fit leading up to my due date. With my second I exercised twice a week right up until the week before I gave birth and ate as well as I could. Going into it second time around I knew how strenuous and physically demanding labour could be and I wanted to prepare my body as best I could. It made such a difference! It really helped keep my energy levels up during pregnancy (especially with a toddler to chase around) and heading into labour I felt much fitter and stronger.”
Stay Informed & Reduce Stress
There’s no denying that pregnancy is a stressful time - particularly if this is your first baby! The best way to reduce stress is to get educated and get help from professionals, rather than relying on potentially dodgy sources, or your friends’ experiences. Sam Williamson, from Precious Little One, shares more on this!
“One of the biggest causes of stress during a pregnancy is the unknown, and this can interfere with the smoothness of the pregnancy massively. However, there is a very simple way to alleviate this stress and consequently have a much smoother pregnancy, and that is to simply ask questions. Never be afraid of sounding stupid - chances are that your doctor has been asked everything you could think of, and if you don’t ask the question then you’ll just have the worry playing on your mind, which can cause issues during pregnancy.”
To stay relaxed during your pregnancy, it’s best not to freak out based on things you’ve heard from non-professionals, or what you might have seen on TV. Debra Wakefield, from Empowered to Birth, shares her insights on this:
“As a midwife and birth educator, one of the biggest blocks I find women have to enjoying their pregnancy is taking on fear from other people’s stories they’ve heard or movies they’ve watched.
The best tip I could give a pregnant woman is to empower herself with honest knowledge from quality education. Remove her fear of birth, through the Hypnobirthing Australia techniques, and enjoy her pregnancy basking in the glow of her lovely expanding body. Patiently await nature’s cocktail of birth hormones to let loose the transformation through birth to motherhood. Sounds like a rosy philosophy but when a woman is empowered with the right knowledge and the tools to get her through labour, she emerges from birth with a warrior woman attitude.
To learn more about how all this is possible, Hypnobirthing Australia runs the most amazing and thorough birth preparation programs available.”
To learn more, check out Empowered to Birth on Facebook!
So there you have it - some great tips to help you feel more safe and secure during your pregnancy. Enjoy the miracle of life, and in 9 months you’ll have an adorable bundle of joy to spend time with. Once you’ve had your little ones, check out our advice on establishing routines, proper nutrition, and kid-friendly activities.