I was recently asked by Consumer Health Digest what advice I would give to help ensure a healthy pregnancy. After much contemplation, and certainly not the responses most would expect, this is what I came up with.
3 Tips For a Healthy Pregnancy:
1. Go with the flow. For once, YOU are no longer in charge. The baby that is growing inside of you pretty much calls the shots. A good lesson to learn, especially for first time moms. That growing fetus moves when it wants to move, sleeps when it wants to sleep, lays where it wants to lay, which may translate into sleepless nights, back pain, bladder pressure or any of the numerous other nuances I can think of(swelling in hands and feet, heartburn, gas…….). Pregnancy is such a dynamic state, full of lots of bodily changes. As uncomfortable as it may, at times, be, embrace the changes your body is going through and focus on the amazing human being that is growing inside of you. Furthermore, if you are going to be working in an office for the duration of your pregnancy you might also want to invest in an office chair with lumbar support. Supporting your spine throughout your pregnancy in this way can ease your back pain so do not be afraid to shop around in office furniture stores to find the most comfortable office chair for your needs. Ultimately, navigating your pregnancy is all about making life as comfortable as possible.
2. Ask lots of questions. As GI Joe always says, “knowing is half the battle.” A well informed patient is a happier patient and a more in control patient. None of us comes into this world knowing how to be a mom, and many of us have no idea if all the changes our bodies go through during the course of pregnancy are normal, or not. There are NEVER any dumb questions….I tell my patients this a lot. The more knowledgeable you are, the less stressed you will be, and the healthier baby will be. Furthermore, you might even find it useful to research as much about looking after a baby as possible so that when your little one finally arrives you will be well prepared for whatever life throws your way. For example have you ever heard about sleep regression ages? In short, a sleep regression occurs when the natural sleep patterns that your infant experiences start to evolve, causing them to wake more frequently, sleep less soundly, and transition into napping schedules. Above all, researching how to deal with sleep regressions can make it easier to help your baby to get the sleep they need to be healthy and happy.
3. Remember, it takes a village. This is a concept I used to hear a lot growing up; mostly because more folks (your friends’ mom, the next door neighbor, the woman up/down/around the street) were involved in helping to ensure that children were being well taken care of, staying out of trouble, and raised “appropriately.” I think this concept can be and should be included in pregnancy.
It takes a village. That village being your partner/spouse, your team of physicians, the nurses at the hospital, family and friends. The village will get you through a pregnancy from that first prenatal visit to leaving the hospital with the baby, to those first few weeks as a mom at home. Remember, you are not alone. Pregnancy is a team sport. Your team is always there to support you, whether or not that be via showering you with compliments when you “feel like an F’in whale,” to when you have back pain and can’t sleep at night, to when you need someone to hold your hand during the throws of labor……Depend on the village. That’s what we’re there for.
Hoping this blog post has both informed and entertained!
Until Next Time,
Look Better. Feel Better. Be Better.
Mother, Midwesterner, and award-winning OB/GYN, Dr. Angela is equal parts best girlfriend and bold professional, supporting women’s health with innovative approaches to care and heavy doses of humor. Dr. Angela has done more than launch a successful practice, she has defined herself as a voice for a new generation of womanhood, established her ASK DR. ANGELA brand committed to authenticity, and built a community rooted in trust, candor, and compassion.