Congrats, you’re pregnant! Now what…?

It can be an overwhelming world out there for pregnant women. From social media to receiving opinions from your family and friends, heck even strangers want to give their 2 cents.

This article will help to keep it simple.

5 small, but powerful things you can do to ensure you stay as healthy as possible and thrive throughout your pregnancy.

1. Find a care provider you trust

The care you receive in your pregnancy is very important. There are many options out there and what you choose will depend on your individual circumstances. Evidence has shown that the golden standard of care is through a continuity midwife. This model of care can be provided privately or through the public system in what we call midwifery group practices (search your local MGP and give them a call as soon as you can, they are in high demand).

When you have a continuity care provider not only will it make you feel comfortable to discuss all the nitty-gritty questions you may have. It also means that you have the safety of knowing that your care is consistent and safe. Not only will they provide holistic care through regular appointments, but they will also recommend and track your pregnancy through medical ultrasounds to ensure your baby is growing well and healthy.

For further scans Bump Baby Imaging provides multiple packages that can help you see your baby in high definition. Creating that gorgeous bond early in the pregnancy.

2. Eat healthy and stay active

I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, it’s a no-brainer.

Your body in pregnancy goes through some drastic changes from weight gain to raging hormones that can leave you feeling out of sort and not yourself.

Exercise and eating right can provide you with an overall sense of wellbeing, giving you that energy boost when you need it and helping your body adjust to the overwhelming pressures of being pregnant (did someone say swelling!).

Aim for 10,000 steps a day and a balanced diet, one that includes all the food groups in moderation.

3. Body balance

We’ve briefly touched on swelling, an unavoidable pregnancy symptom for most women. This excess fluid if not moved through the body can accumulate and make you feel just down right uncomfortable. Pregnancy massage is a beautiful way to get fluid moving through the body and relieve those aches and pains. Not only will you feel the benefits but a pregnancy massage can also support the relaxation of certain ligaments and muscles that help your baby to be in the perfect position for birth. (and who doesn't want an excuse to go get pampered)

Our local friends at Maitland pregnancy massage have a beautiful service that we trust, so go and indulge yourself for the sake of the baby.

4. Reduce stress

"But we are living in a pandemic!"

Yep I hear you loud and clear.

This is probably one of the most stressful times of our lives right now, I get it. Even more reason to hunker down into the present and practice our gratitude to send all of that positive, grounding energy to our unborn baby to let them know that they are safe.

When we are stressed we release cortisol which in turn moves through the placenta and to our babies. They are directly impacted by our emotions. Which is not a bad thing, it’s a reason why we too should be more aware of our emotions and integrate daily practices that can help mitigate the awful feelings that come up through our covid reality.

An easy way to start doing this is to practice daily gratitude, either in the morning or before you go to bed. Start by acknowledging and writing down 3 things you are grateful for. These can be as simple as the sun being out today, having a well body, listening to the birds singing etc. And watch your energy shift all of a sudden you may begin to feel lighter and on a chemical level, you’re shifting from cortisol-rich environment to now a oxytocin-rich environment (good vibes welcomed).

5. Sleep on your side

As your baby grows and their weight increases, lying on your back can cause some serious compression on your major blood vessels. This compression can reduce the blood flow going through the placenta to your baby. (Meaning - less oxygen is being supplied to your baby).

The evidence shows that by going to sleep on your side from 28 weeks of pregnancy, you can HALVE your risk of stillbirth. This information needs to be spread far and wide.

So what should you do?

Begin your sleep or nap on your side. Either side is absolutely fine, whatever is comfortable for you. Don’t fret if you wake up on your back it happens to all of us! Just gently turn to your side.

AND share this information to all pregnant women.