Each person’s life technically wouldn’t be possible without his or her mother. As the quote “womb to tomb” means, we were all brought by our mothers in their bodies for about nine months. Nine months isn’t a joke; it’s a real sacrifice for mothers just to be where we are today.
Being pregnant isn’t just throwing adorable baby showers after getting the results of your pregnancy test or showing fetal ultrasound photos on your social media profiles. Pregnancy is the beginning of life, and it’s a very challenging responsibility because if you are a pregnant woman, you have two lives to take care of. Thus, it’s important to pay attention to pregnancy nutrition.
Pregnancy nutrition is about monitoring the health status of a pregnant woman, as this too will significantly affect the health of the baby. Pregnancy nutrition should be well-planned on the very day you decide to be a mother. Nope, this doesn’t just start on the day you get your pregnancy test, but rather, on the day you’re sure you want to get pregnant.
After the Pregnancy Test
For some, living a healthy lifestyle starts only once you’ve found out the results of your pregnancy test. For others, it begins at the first trimester of the pregnancy. In truth, once you have established with your partner that you want to be pregnant, this should be the start of it all. Even before getting a pregnancy test, the transitioning to a healthy lifestyle should begin there.
A general term used to describe this kind of mindset is preconception health or preconception care. The notion that the healthy lifestyle of moms should begin after the pregnancy test is a big no-no because they should plan much earlier than that. To give aspiring moms a quick tip, the best time to get pregnant is when you are mentally, emotionally, and physically healthy.
Pregnancy nutrition or also known as maternal nutrition is essential because this becomes the starting point of the foundation of your future offspring. If the mother is careless about her health status, this might significantly affect the baby. Most unhealthy habits lead to congenital disabilities or, even worse, death.
Approximately 85 million pregnancies worldwide were unplanned, a National Center for Biotechnology Information study found. Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies, a non-profit organization and coalition in Hawaii, stated that due to the many unintended pregnancies worldwide, it is imperative to start taking initiatives in improving maternal health even before conceiving to ensure that babies are born healthy and strong.
The increase in congenital disabilities among children also increases the risk of death for one-year-olds. Thus, it is crucial to start focusing on pregnancy nutrition as early as possible so that healthier mothers could avoid the chances of having preterm labor, miscarriages, gestational diabetes, and other health issues caused by unhealthy habits during the mother’s gestation period.
To better improve one’s maternal health, here are a few tips to ensure that you’re ready for real mommy responsibilities:
Increase Nutrient Intake
As a pregnant mom, remember that you are eating and feeding for two. Thus, you should double on the nutrients you’re taking because you’re feeding yourself and your baby as well.
Know Your Supplements
When you’re pregnant, you will not feel well very often. Thus, it’s important to be sure of the medicines you take so that you won’t damage your baby’s health. It’s vital to know which nutrients to take more and which ones to avoid. For example, folic acid is helpful in preventing congenital disabilities in fetuses. Likewise, calcium is essential to help make your baby’s bones strong. However, too much fluoride can cause fluorosis which is a mild teeth-related issue. This issue is caused by too much fluoride usually found in unfiltered water sources.
Live Healthily; Avoid Junk
As mothers, it’s important to sort out old habits that may be dangerous to the child’s health. For smokers and drinkers, it’s essential to make that sacrifice of stopping the said habits. These habits can cause major congenital disabilities to your child once they start growing in your womb.
Maintain Your Shape
Being pregnant requires a lot of shape-maintaining methods as this would also affect the child’s physique afterward. In relation to preconception care, chubby moms who would want to get pregnant should think about losing weight before getting pregnant. This advice does not intend to body-shame. The extra fat cells that are inside a woman’s body may be passed on to the baby once conceived. For thin women who plan to get pregnant, it’s essential for them as well to try and gain more weight. Once they have a baby to carry in their womb, the weight of the baby might lead to posture and back issues for the mother sooner or later.
Love Yourself, And Love Your Baby
For moms who are on their way to living a healthy lifestyle before getting pregnant, loving oneself is ultimately crucial. In line with it, self-esteem will be a critical issue once you start gaining all the weight when pregnant. Taking good care of yourself is essential. Not only the physical attributes but also aspects such as mental, emotional, and physical health of the mother will matter once the baby is conceived.
With this, may it be instilled that pregnancy is a real responsibility for mothers to take. We must learn to handle it with utmost maturity. Learn to love our future offspring with all the care we can offer in the world. Choosing to be a mother is not only a responsibility but also a choice—this is where Day 1 truly begins.