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Being a woman offers its own complex set of health issues, but at no other time is it more challenging than during those nine months of pregnancy when a woman’s body and mind turn into foreign, unfamiliar territory. How can a woman manage these nine months without driving herself, her family or friends crazy?
As a woman who has been pregnant in the near distant past, I can still remember the confusion surrounding exercise, eating habits and impending parenthood. There were so many conflicting pieces of advice; I never knew what was right. Could I eat blue cheese sprinkles in my salad? Is that hot dog at the game safe? Can I go for a run without the baby falling out of me? I muddled through and ended up with a healthy baby but at the time, I had no idea what I was doing. Everyone’s pregnancy is different so please follow the guidelines of your doctor, but I have found several tips that are consistent between sources that can help women to have a more enjoyable pregnancy.
1. Stay Active – Unless your doctor has advised against it, keeping your body moving with low impact exercise not just conditions you for childbirth, but keeps you feeling energetic as well. Take a stroll around a park, go for a swim at the gym, take the dog for a walk or join a prenatal yoga class. It will keep your body strong and healthy and give you the energy boost you need to get through these challenging nine months. (And you’ll get in shape faster once the baby is born too!)
2. Stay Strong – After your baby is born, you will be hauling around ten pounds plus more as the baby grows for the next several years. What better way to get prepared for that than to lift light weights to get your arms, legs and back strengthened? Or do some light gardening to feel connected to nature while also strengthening your body. And as an added bonus, you’ll get toned and shapely too!
3. Stay Engaged – During these nine months, your body will be exhausted and you may just want to lie on the couch watching television. But keeping up your connections to family and friends will keep you motivated and your brain active. And plan date nights with your significant other – and keep them up after the baby is born. And keep your self-confidence up by dressing stylishly to flaunt your changing figure.
4. Stay Healthy – Be sure to take your prenatal vitamins, attend all of your doctor’s appointments, eat healthfully and follow all of your doctor’s instructions. You are, after all, creating a human life that is 100% dependent on you for his or her existence. And remember to be happy and not get too sucked into the stresses of life that you forget to enjoy your impending motherhood.
And don’t forget to relax and have fun too. This is a time to celebrate and be grateful for what you are being given – the gift of a child. So enjoy these nine months by staying active, staying strong, staying engaged and staying healthy.