Being pregnant is an exciting time and especially if it is your first, time you will probably be searching what suits best and what is advised but doesn't necessarily feel good for you. Once pregnant, you-ll receive loads of well meaning advice from everyone; your mom, siblings, mother-in-law, friends, and even neighbours or total strangers. Remember that advice is just that: advice. It´s up to you weather to take it or leave it. Some advice will probably be outdated, some will be not suitable for you, and some may fit just right.
Here are five essential tips to guide you through this remarkable time:
Everyone by now knows drinking water and eating healthy is good for your overall health, but why is this important during pregnancy? Let´s have a look.
How much water should you drink during pregnancy?
Staying hydrated is crucial, especially during pregnancy, as water plays multiple essential roles in bodily function. Depending on circumstances such as climate, activity level, temperature and humidity in the air it is advised for pregnant women to drink between 2 and 2,5 litres of water every day. In the Spanish climate, especially in summer this means the amount of water you should consume is higher.
Water lubricates joints and muscles, cushions organs, regulates body temperature, and supports spinal cord function. During pregnancy, increased kidney activity underscores the importance of adequate water intake for toxin elimination, reducing the risk of toxaemia later on in pregnancy. Furthermore, drinking enough water is necessary to replenish amniotic fluid, vital for fetal development, and typically occurs several times daily.
How should a pregnant woman eat?
In terms of portion size, you don't need to eat for two, in terms of nutrition, you do. A healthy, balanced and nutritious diet while pregnant is essential for you and your baby. Nutrition forms the foundation of a healthy pregnancy. Opt for whole, natural, nourishing, and preferably organic foods, as they not only fuel your body but also support your baby's development. Incorporate a variety of nutrient-dense foods into your diet, including leafy greens, antioxidant-rich berries, lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains. Prioritize foods that provide essential vitamins and minerals crucial for fetal growth and maternal health. You're not just eating for yourself; you're nourishing your precious little one too.
Don't you just love the food here in Spain? Eating out is also so easy and affordable here. Luckily the possibilities to make healthy choices while eating out are also growing in Spain. Aren´t we lucky?!
According to recent research, maintaining a diet rich in whole foods during pregnancy can help manage symptoms, support healthy weight gain, and enhance your mental and emotional well-being, while also promoting your baby´s healthy development and optimal birth weight.
Are pregnancy vitamins really necessary?
A note on pregnancy vitamins: they are a supplement, which means that you should consume them in addition to a nutritious diet, not as a substitute for healthy eating. When selecting supplements during pregnancy, it's vital to prioritize quality and composition to safeguard both the mother and baby's health. When choosing or being prescribed a supplement, it´s recommendable to examine its ingredients. Some of the ingredients, such as fillers and binders, you would like to avoid. Instead choose better quality vitamins which don´t have theses. Fillers and binders, though generally inactive, can dilute potency, interfere with absorption, and reduce bioavailability, potentially impacting the effectiveness of the supplement in supporting maternal and fetal health.
Most doctors and gynaecologists in Spain will prescribe you vitamins for during your pregnancy. It is worth it to also check the ingredients on these vitamins.
How many hours should a pregnant woman sleep?
A general recommendation is to get at least between 8 and 10 hours of sleep per night. Growing a whole human being takes a lot of energy. In addition to getting enough sleep at night, it is beneficial to take a short nap in the early afternoon. Listen to your body! Do you have difficulties sleeping at night? Read this blog post for tips to sleep better during pregnancy. Also important in regards to relaxation is cultivating practices that promote relaxation and reduce stress.
What are relaxing activities during pregnancy?
Recommendable relaxing activities during pregnancy are; meditation, deep breathing exercises (as you will learn in the HypnoBirthing course), gentle yoga, taking a warm bath, petting an animal, get a pregnancy massage, or simply spending time in nature. Anything that relaxes you will do, the most important thing is that you do it. By taking this time for yourself, you are calming your nervous system, which enhances relaxation and alleviates stress. Prioritise activities that bring you peace and joy, allowing yourself to surrender to the present moment and embrace this time of your pregnancy. The time you take for yourself to connect and become still does not only benefits you but also fosters a serene environment for your baby's development and can contribute to growing a bond with your baby. Trust in the wisdom of your body and intuition as you grow into your role as a mother during pregnancy.
When do you feel connected to your baby during pregnancy?
The feeling differs widely from woman to woman. The feeling of connectedness can for some women take longer. Not all women feel an immediate deep love, but you can build the connection. Don´t wait for your maternity leave to start to connect with your baby. Take the time to truly connect with yourself and your baby throughout pregnancy. During birthing the connection with your baby and body is crucial! Engage in activities that are meaningful for your connection with your baby. You can talk or sing to your baby, dance and play together or spend quiet moments focusing on the sensations of your baby's movements. Cultivating this connection not only enhances the emotional bond between you and your baby but also prepares you mentally and emotionally for the birthing process. During labour and delivery, the connection with your baby and your body becomes even more crucial, guiding you through this incredible experience of bringing new life into the world.
If you like to know more on connecting with your baby, download my free e-book here.
The benefits of staying active during your pregnancy are numerous: reduced odds of complications in pregnancy and birth, eased back and pelvic pain, lowered blood pressure, promotion of healthy weight gain, improvement in your overall fitness and mobility, and on top of all that, a positive effect on your mood and sleep! Staying active doesn't have to be strenuous; even brief bouts of movement can invigorate your body and spirit. While your pregnancy may bring physical changes and occasional discomforts, maintaining a moderate level of physical activity can offer numerous benefits for both you and your baby.
What exercises are safe during pregnancy?
There are gentle exercises you could engage in such as walking, swimming, prenatal yoga, or low-impact aerobics to boost your mood, improve circulation, and enhance stamina. Here in Spain walking is a very popular way to stay fit. You could consider to join a walking group, there are plenty around. An extra benefit of choosing an activity outdoors is that you get some extra Vitamin D for free, if you don´t use sunscreen that is.
Whatever kind of exercise you choose, it´s always good to listen to your body's cues and honour its needs. You can choose activities that feel energizing and supportive. In addition to the benefits of exercise during pregnancy, it also offers advantages during your birthing. Being in good shape can help you avoid getting out of breath easily and maintain mobility in your hips and pelvis. Having mobility in the pelvis can assist your baby in getting into the correct position for birth and moving easily through your pelvis during delivery.
It is simple; The body follows the mind! You want your baby to be Born in Trust! For that it is helpful to create a positive and fearless headspace.
How can I stop worrying about pregnancy?
Positive birth stories and positive birth affirmations are amazing tools for helping you create this mindset. It will be crucial for you to also recline listening to peoples horror birth stories, don’t fill your mind with these. You can politely thank them for wanting to warn you, but tell them you will be more open for listening to them ones you have created your own birth story and lead your own path. By immersing yourself in uplifting narratives and affirming your belief in the birthing process, you can cultivate a mindset that fosters relaxation, resilience, and trust in your body's natural instincts and wisdom.
I don´t mean with this go with the flow, just be positive, ignore the risks in childbirth and look the other way. I mean truly inform yourself about the natural birthing process and the amazing possibilities your body has to birth your baby. Make sure you are informed, know how it all works and how you can help the process so you feel fully prepared and know how to deal with it if birth goes another direction, while having a realistic view of birth and knowing how incredible capable your body is to birth your baby.
In this way your not just riding the wave, going with the flow without having clue. You will be well prepared ánd optimistic about birth, knowing that your mindset can profoundly influence your birthing experience.
If you would like guidance with this you can consider to book a free 1:1 Introductory Meeting.
These 5 essential tips so you can nurture not only your own well-being but also that of your growing baby. From nourishing your body with wholesome foods to fostering relaxation, connection, and positivity, each step you take contributes to a healthier and more fulfilling pregnancy and birth experience.
You can start by incorporating these tips into your daily routine and see how they positively impact your well-being and that of your baby. I invite you to share your experiences below and join the Mums of Malaga group on facebook to connect with other expectant mothers to share your experiences and support each other during pregnancy and the first years of motherhood.
Did you get curious about how hypnobirthing can support you during pregnancy and birth? Book a free 1:1 introductory meeting with me today to explore how we can work together. During this personalized consultation, we'll discuss your needs, goals, and concerns, and I'll share how my hypnobirthing courses can support you every step of the way.