It seems as if whenever a female gets pregnant, suddenly each and every single one of her friends and family members has a piece (or several pieces) of advice to dish out. This is usually given out without the asking of their input. Yes, they are just trying to help, however often they end up doing more harm than good. They set up false expectations and pass along old (and often inaccurate) tales.
When it comes to the actual experience of being pregnant, however, there are dozens of scientifically solid pieces of advice that are actually true and useful. Today we have compiled an essential list of must do things during pregnancy, for the physical and mental health of both you and your baby.
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First off, even when you are not pregnant, you should be drinking a large amount of water each day. During pregnancy, this is true even more so. Not only is water great for fetal development, it will also go farther than any lotion will to combat stretch marks.
The skin is comprised of several layers. Stretch marks are the result of the lower levels actually tearing and scarring. This is why stretch marks will fade, but will always have a texture that you can see and feel. By drinking enough water, you enable the skin to become more pliable, ripping less, thus preventing permanent markings. While genetics do play a role in the appearance of stretch marks, drinking at least one gallon per day will go a long way towards preventing them.
Babies require a large amount of resources to develop and grow in the womb. This includes a variety of vitamins and minerals, some of which are lacking in the standard diet of many pregnant. To ensure proper development, it is vital to take a daily prenatal vitamin. These can be found in supermarkets and pharmacies, or your doctor may prescribe one to you. In some cases, your doctor will have samples on hand that he/she can send you home with for free!
If you don’t already exercise regularly, now is a great time to start. Research into exercise has shown that not only does exercise work out your body, but it works out your mind as well. Levels of happiness go up as the pounds stay off. Next to water, exercise is the next best way to also combat stretch marks. In addition, as the months go by, it will be more difficult to remain as fully mobile as you were before the pregnancy. Exercise will also help to combat this lack of mobility.
You love it. I love it. It is basically the world's primary source of fuel. I’m talking about caffeine. While it may be safe to consume 1 to 2 cups per day, this is misleading. The coffee that your local coffee shop serves is likely much more caffeinated than your home brew, as well as likely being a larger size. The best idea is to avoid caffeine entirely to avoid accidentally consuming too much caffeine. As they say: better safe than sorry.
After 4 days at the hospital, the last thing you want to do is come back to your home and have to put together a baby room. Do yourself a favour (while also avoiding strain on your relationship) and do it months ahead of time. In fact, make it a project. Consider it something fun to do together as part of number 10 on our list ahead.
We have experienced it first hand. The day arrived to go to the hospital, except you have not prepped a “go bag” to bring to the hospital! Don’t let this happen to you also! Get everything you need including comfortable clothes and (possibly most importantly) a tooth brush.
After you get home with your baby, you will quickly realise there are many things you need more of, or to buy for the first time. Rather than blowing your entire baby budget before they are born, make sure to set aside a sizeable savings for the inevitable needs that will arrive.
One of the best parts about pregnancy is getting to pick out a name. You will quickly find out the names of your partner's old lovers or enemies by the names they refuse to choose. It’s a fun experience that you don’t come across often!
It is easy to get caught up in your pregnancy and to forget about friends. When you have a baby, it is a saving grace to go out with friends and have nights out with actual adult conversations occasionally. Make sure you keep in touch with friends throughout the pregnancy so you don’t find yourself without friends by the time the baby comes also.
The reality of having a baby is wonderful, but also extremely draining on time, sleep, and overall energy levels. Oftentimes couples will find themselves sleeping rather than going out together. Most non-parents do not realise the amount of time that a baby consumes. One thing that couples report is this lack of time being spent together. Because of this, it is a good idea during your pregnancy to spend as much time as you can with your significant other. A good option would be to do a pregnancy photo shoot together.
That was our list of 10 things you should do during maternity. Each of these ideas will go a long way towards ensuring a happy and healthy family in the present and future. While you may have heard wild claims about doing this or doing that from friends or family members (often advice that is factually incorrect), this is a list you can count on. In fact, print this list out and tape it to the wall in an obvious place to ensure you do these things regularly. Happy pregnancy!