Easy Pregnancy Tips for Your Birth Experience

We all know someone who raved about their pregnancy.  They felt great, slept great, and had a great birth.  What was their secret? They took care of themselves!  Our body undergoes dramatic changes throughout pregnancy, putting new demands on our joints, muscles, and organs on a daily basis.
 
Some of the common pregnancy health tips include drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly.  But what exactly does that mean?

Here Are Some Easy Pregnancy Tips

The recommended daily intake of water during pregnancy is at least 80 ounces.  That is a lot of water!  An easy way to get it all in is by adding fresh or dried fruit to your water.  Lemon, lime, or orange slices, cucumber slices, and dried, unsweetened cranberries are a few popular choices.  You can also up your water intake with a few cups of red raspberry leaf tea.  Do your best to stay away from caffeine and sugary drinks.  They can act as a diuretic and actually contribute to dehydration. While the ideal amount of sleep varies from person to person, a minimum of 6-7 consecutive hours is a good place to start.  Spend a little time winding down before getting into bed.  Make sure you have proper support with your mattress and pillows to rest comfortably for several  hours in the same position. And make sure to use the bathroom right before going to sleep!

The top three activities recommended for safe, low-impact exercise during pregnancy are walking, swimming, and yoga.  These are very different types of exercise, working different muscle groups.  Together, they offer a comprehensive exercise regimen to stretch and strengthen the all important core and pelvic muscles.  The addition of weights and more rigorous cardio can also be safely implemented into your regular exercise program.

Already doing these things? Good for you! But these tips for a safe and healthy pregnancy aren't the only things you can be doing.  Being mindful of your changing body and altered biomechanics can help prevent a variety of common pregnancy complaints.   Imbalances in the joints, muscles, ligaments, and nerves can lead to dysfunction, leaving us more susceptible to injury.  Even simple activities like vacuuming can trigger sciatica.  Spending a few hours on your computer or driving across town in traffic can result in pubic joint pain.

And Even More Helpful Pregnancy Tips...

Maintaining proper spinal alignment while sitting, standing, and sleeping will reduce the likelihood of these imbalances.  While seated, make sure the natural curve of your low back is supported, knees are even with or just below the level of the hip, and feet are resting flat on the floor.  While standing, alternate weight bearing from one leg to the other, keep knees slightly flexed, and do not allow low back to sway. When sleeping, always have a pillow between the knees that is wide enough to keep your knees in line with your hips.

Stretch daily, ideally when you first get out of bed in the morning and again before going to bed at night.  Focus on the hips, inner thighs, and external muscles of the buttocks.

Be careful when lifting; even something that feels very light.  Always face the object you are lifting and set it down directly in front of you.  Avoid all rotation and twisting when lifting and setting objects down.

The last tip for an easy, healthy pregnancy is to invest some time and money in preparing your musculoskeletal system for the rigors of labor.  Chiropractic, massage therapy, and acupuncture can all help ease joint pain and muscle aches.  Chiropractic care focuses on balancing the joints, muscles, and ligaments while reducing nerve interference.  
 
Restoring balance can help ensure optimal fetal position, reduce pregnancy discomforts, and help facilitate a faster, easier birth.

PregnancyLauren Williams