I always considered myself to be a reasonably health-conscious person, but it wasn't until I became pregnant that I realized that a few weekly trips to the gym, some diet soda and 100-calorie snack packs weren't as healthy as I’d thought. That's when I made a whole-hearted commitment to living a truly healthy lifestyle for my sake and that of my growing baby. Before changing your diet, make sure to double check with your doctor. My doctor advised me on everything- from cord blood banking to teething! Here are some of the changes I made!
The first step that I took was adding more fresh fruits and vegetables into my diet. The first thing I would eat in the morning was a piece of fruit like an apple, banana or pear. For lunch, I would have a salad with my meal and more fruit as a snack. For dinner, I would try to incorporate vegetables into the meal in any way possible by making stews, stir-fries and even homemade pizza.
Buying Healthier Produce
With my increased produce consumption came the worry about what might be on it. To avoid this problem, I researched which foods were the most pesticide-ridden and set out to replace those with organic versions. Among these things were apples, carrots, oranges, potatoes, leafy greens, grapes and berries. It cost a little more, but the risk to my baby wasn't worth saving a few measly dollars.
Although I visited the gym prior to my pregnancy, I didn't go often and didn't spend as much time exercising as I should have. These days, our culture favors the idea that pregnant women are in a delicate condition and should avoid physical activity as much as possible. This idea is reflected in the number of stores that have expectant mothers parking spots right next to their entrances. However, this belief is patently false and should be discouraged. Exercise is essential to a healthy and strong body and also helps to keep hormone levels in the proper balance. In addition, it helps to improve sleep quality and reduces the likelihood of aches and pains related to pregnancy. When I started going for brisk walks for 40 minutes five times per week, I noticed that I suffered very few unpleasant pregnancy symptoms.
A Safer Environment
Because the needs of a household don't disappear just because of pregnancy, I realized that I needed to make some alterations to the way I cleaned. Nearly all of the toxic substances I scrubbed my home with were easily replaced by safer, more natural options. Instead of the mysterious blue fluid called window cleaner, I began using a vinegar and water solution. Bleach-based scouring cleansers were replaced with a paste made from baking soda. When I wanted to mop my floor, I forewent the harsh chemicals and used a simple mixture of hot water and little lemon juice. Even my usual laundry detergent was replaced with an all-natural version free of dyes and fragrances.
The things that I cleaned my body with were often just as bad as the things I used to clean my house, but it was also just as easily remedied. I started buying shampoo made with natural ingredients and used plain white vinegar as a conditioner. As opposed to the mass-produced bar soap that contains various unknown chemicals, I switched to using handmade soaps purchased from my local farmer's market that were made with a few simple ingredients and left my skin feeling nourished.
Making a few small changes throughout your pregnancy can help make for a happier and healthier baby- and mom!
Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26