Techniques to Ensure a Happy, Healthy Pregnancy
Pregnancy is different for every woman. As time evolves, so does our understanding of what is best, easiest, and most comfortable for pregnant women, including our amazing surrogate mothers. Here are some of the best and latest practices to help you (and baby) get through those special 9 months as healthy and as happy as possible.
Vitamins are first and foremost, even if you have been taking a daily vitamin already. Prenatal vitamins in particular contain a bit more folic acid which helps protect your baby against birth defects. Talk to your doctor about any other vitamins you may take. Not every vitamin is appropriate for prenatal care. Your doctor can tell you which ones not to take or even recommend some you might want to add.
If you are concerned about your health and your fitness but during pregnancy, but don’t want to risk over-exerting yourself, you are experiencing the exact same concerns of most pregnant women. While it is true that some forms of exercise are not safe, the latest recommendation by doctors is that pregnant women should certainly exercise. The health benefits serve both you and the baby.
What your exercise regime looks like may be drastically different from another’s. In general, each woman should be able to safely continue doing whatever she was doing for exercise before becoming pregnant. Yes, that includes yoga, running, and weight lifting. However, you may just want to tone down the intensity and strive for maintenance instead of, for example, weight loss, which should never be a goal during pregnancy. Strength training, running, and yoga can all serve to keep the mother more comfortable by staving off cramps and backaches and may help infants be less prone to colic once born.
Your doctor can help you decide what is safe, what’s not, how you should alter your exercises, and what warning signs should tell you to stop exercising. Kegel exercises are also especially important for pregnant and post-partum moms and surrogate moms.
Many mothers also want to help boost their baby’s intelligence, awareness, and senses by introducing music into the baby’s womb-enclosed world. There are many ways to do this. A popular method in the United States is to use prenatal headphones which can be placed over your stomach to transfer sound directly into the uterus; however, this may not be the safest method, and it’s also not necessary. Baby can hear your voice and ambient sounds from within the womb. Feel free to play your favorite music over speakers and to sing. If you use prenatal headphones, doctors recommend that you use them sparingly.
Food is also an essential factor in healthy, comfortable pregnancies. You do not need to eat for two. In the first trimester, you really don’t need any extra calories. During the second trimester, you only need about 300-400 additional calories, and in the third trimester, you’ll want to eat 400-500 extra calories. Talk to your obstetrician, because your doctor will base your calorie needs on your starting weight and your total gain goal. Also, eat as healthy as possible and don’t use pregnancy as an excuse to binge on sugar and fatty foods. It will make your job a lot easier when you’re trying to lose post-partum weight.