Helpful Hints For The Expecting Mom
If you are an expecting mom, or know someone who is, here are a few ideas on how to make the 9 months go by much more smoothly than otherwise might be the case. Some women have difficult pregnancies while others experience few problems. All can benefit however by making some choices regarding nutrition, exercise, and those things that just makes each day go a little better. The goal is not just to stay healthy and feel as good as possible, but to feel good about yourself as well.
Nutrition - Good nutrition practice is in many ways the most important thing to focus on during pregnancy. Not only is there a benefit in eating the right balance of the proper foods, but eating too much of the wrong kinds of foods can result in distress and even heartache. As the saying goes, you're feeding two people now, and you want both of them to be as healthy as possible. Good health can make childbirth easier for the expectant mom, and get the baby off to a good start as well. A baby who has benefited from its mother's good nutrition practice is far less likely to be born with serious birth defects, or face chronic illnesses in later years.
Insofar as caloric intake is concerned, you don't have to double the amount of your usual intake. That would only cause you to gain excessive weight, good for neither you nor your baby. An extra 300 to 350 calories a day during the latter stages of pregnancy will meet the baby's needs. As far as what to eat is concerned, eat plenty of grains, cereals, or pasta. In terms of servings, about 40% of what you eat should fall into this category. Another 20% would consist of vegetables, 15% of your total servings would be for fruit, and another 15% for low calorie dairy products. Finally, about 10% of what you eat can consist of meat, poultry and fish. Choosing among these food groups in roughly the percentages given should give the expecting mom a healthy, well balanced diet.
Processed meats such as hot dogs, smoked hams, and seafood and undercooked or raw meat or fish, as well as alcohol, should be avoided. The expecting mom that is feeling a little sorry for herself should indulge in a hot fudge sundae, or some other forbidden fruit from time to time to keep life on an even keel.
As far as weight gain is concerned, there is obviously going to be some. About 8 to 10 pounds of added weight accounts for the baby, another 7 or 8 pounds from (necessary) fat and protein stored by the mother, and another 8 pounds or so is due to an increase in the amount of blood and body fluids.
Exercise - Exercise is particularly beneficial for the expecting mom, especially if she hasn't been in the habit of doing so before. Low impact workouts such as aerobic exercises, Pilates, and yoga are each excellent choices. The expectant mom who is not used to exercising should start slowly and work up to a comfortable level. The mom who exercises regularly will have no problem here, but will likely have to tone things down a bit in the latter stages of pregnancy. Yoga is a great help due to the emphasis on correct breathing, and benefits both mind and body. If taking up either yoga or Pilates, the instructor should be aware of the pregnancy. There are certain positions which will become difficult, or impossible to do in the late stages, and could even be harmful. It's always a good idea to check with your health care provider to see what exercises are best and what should be avoided.
Feel Good Things - Even a woman who is sailing through her pregnancy without any apparent problems or difficulties is apt to have a bad day or days now and then. A little gift to let her know she's on your mind will always be most appreciated, especially if it’s from the husband. Skin care products, bath oils, and anything along that line that makes her feel and smell good are all good ideas. Helping in any way in planning for the delivery, or planning the layout of a nursery are other ideas. If there are already small children in the family, an offer to babysit, to give mom a chance to go out and about will be considered a blessing by many mothers. Cook a meal for her, or convince her husband that he should give that a try will give mom a chance to be off her feet a little more, especially during the last couple of months. And, there's always the old standby, a gift basket full of her favorite things. An expecting mom needs a little reassurance sometimes that people are thinking of her, and care about her and the baby to come.
Being into the ninth month on a hot August afternoon isn't anyone's idea of a great time. That's when the hot fudge sundae may best work its magic.