Pregnant women of today are not ones to sit at home and relax. Some of them continue to work until as long as the 7th month of pregnancy. It is important however, that they take necessary precautions to ensure a smooth pregnancy. This article will help them through the do’s and don’ts required for a fit and healthy pregnancy.
Every woman around the world grows up hearing and reading about how different life gets during pregnancy. The overblown description of morning sickness, the ever growing belly, the bizarre food cravings, and aversions – all of these details make you feel like you’re mentally prepared to embrace what pregnancy has in store.
The fact of the matter is that only when you finally embark on the journey to motherhood do you realize that you are far from prepared. You undergo a volley of emotional, mental and physical changes that initially may seem too hard to cope with. If you are working during your pregnancy, you need to be additionally careful about the lifestyle, dietary and personal care choices that you make.
Here are five key fitness tips for pregnant working women:
1. Boost Your Fluid Intake – While you must be well aware of the importance of drinking plenty of water during the day for overall good health, with pregnant women, this requirement is a tad bit higher. This is because apart from preventing dehydration and fatigue, water also provides relief from pregnancy related symptoms of nausea and headaches. It helps in the development of amniotic fluid and prevents urinary tract infections. As working women spend a lot of their physical and mental energies doing their job, it is all the more crucial for them to drink enough water to prevent loss of bodily fluids and subsequent loss of focus.
Pregnant women must drink at least eight to ten glasses of water in a day. Other drinks that they can enjoy are coconut water, fresh fruit juices, lime water and buttermilk.
2. Avoid Long, Late Nights – While it was once alright for you to pull off all-nighters days before your big presentation, during pregnancy, you must avoid following the same path. A study conducted by Sleep Medicine Reviews confirms the same.
Lack of sleep during pregnancy can result in longer labor, increased pain and discomfort during labor, higher chances of cesarean delivery, preterm labor, and higher levels of pro-inflammatory serum cytokines, suggests the study. It is, therefore, necessary for working pregnant women to get a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep in a day to ensure good health for themselves and their baby.
3. Enjoy A Wholesome Diet, Avoid Junk – You sure consider yourself lucky to be working at a swanky office where you the best of facilities and a huge spread of fast foods to choose from. Remember, however, that you need to keep a strict tab on your food choices during pregnancy. Foods like leafy green vegetables are rich in folic acid that is highly essential for the fetus’ cell development and tissue formation.
You must also add protein rich lentils and chicken to your diet. Proteins are the building blocks of your body that help in the formation of tissue and muscle. You should also enjoy iron rich foods like whole grains, fish, and liver, as they help in the formation of RBCs. Though most fish are considered healthy for pregnant women, mackerel, swordfish and tuna have high mercury content that can damage the baby’s brain. Calcium rich dairy products help in the formation of your baby’s bones.
Avoid junk foods as they are short in essential nutrients that your body requires during pregnancy and can even result in mental disorder in your baby.
4. Refrain From Stressful Situations – It’s impossible to expect your office environment to be sans stress. You must, however, understand that taking stress during pregnancy is not just detrimental to your health, but also your baby’s. The hormones produced by chronic stress can weaken your immune system and increase susceptibility to diseases and infections which can hamper a healthy pregnancy.
Some studies also suggest that there is a close link between stress and increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth and preterm labor. Keep your stress levels to the absolute minimum and practice yogic breathing techniques that will help induce and maintain a calm state of mind.
5. Practice Moderate Intensity Exercises – Probably the most important but often the most ignored aspect of a healthy pregnancy is exercising.
Traditionally, women were made to believe that they should not exert too much and prevent all forms of physical activity during pregnancy. Obviously along with times, that notion has changed, which is why a lot of women continue to work even until the 7th month of their pregnancy. However, doing just that isn’t enough. You must also practice moderate intensity exercises like walking, swimming, weight training and yoga.
Exercising not only proves to be helpful during pregnancy, but also after delivery. It also provides relief from pregnancy symptoms like backache, sleep apnea, stress, and improves immunity function and endurance during labor. In addition, exercise will also help you bounce back to your old shape easier, after delivery. Make sure you consult your doctor before you begin following any exercise plan.
Avoid overburdening yourself with oodles of work and check for flexible work options that your office can provide you. Make sure that you approach only certified instructors to help you with your fitness regimen, depending upon your medical condition and stage of pregnancy.
There are few other tips that you can are necessary too. Visit your doctor for regular health checkups and avoid any possible or unforeseen complications.
The positive decisions that you take today will help you enjoy a healthy pregnancy and happy motherhood.
There are few other personal care tips that are essential for good health. Take care of yourself and your baby!
Vineetha Reddy is a regular practitioner and adviser of everything related to nutrition, fitness, health and wellness. She also has begun to write and contribute to this knowledge ecosystem. She strongly believe that the organic food you find in your pantry provide the best benefits for good health. Follow her for my best ideas and solutions on Twitter @rk_vin.