Tips for a More Enjoyable Pregnancy
How You Can Make Your Pregnancy More Comfortable
While pregnancy and childbirth are beautiful, they can be pretty uncomfortable at times. You are growing a whole person after all! Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can ease some of the discomforts that naturally come with pregnancy so that you can find more joy in your experience.
Try Prenatal Yoga or Stretching
As you go through each stage of pregnancy, your body is continually changing. This puts increased strain on both your mental and physical health. Having an exercise plan is a great way to help you destress. Prenatal yoga and stretching in particular are good low-impact activities that can be easily incorporated into any schedule.
Some of the many benefits of introducing yoga and stretching into your prenatal fitness routine include:
- Reduced stress levels
- Improved quality of sleep
- Decreased lower back pain
- Fewer headaches
- Increased strength and flexibility
- Lower risk of carpal tunnel syndrome
- Reduced risk of pre-term labor
- Lowered risk of intrauterine growth restriction
- Higher likelihood of an easier, more comfortable labor
Stretches to Try
If you’re interested in introducing prenatal yoga and dynamic stretching into your fitness routine, here are a few poses that are appropriate for an expectant mother:
Please note that not all yoga poses are safe for pregnant women, especially those who are at an increased risk of premature labor. Be sure to consult with your OB-GYN, midwife or family doctor before starting yoga during your pregnancy.
Eat a Nutritious Diet
The foods you eat have an effect on your mental and physical health, especially when you’re expecting! Eating a nutritional diet not only helps your body to be an ideal environment for your little one to grow in, it can also help to support your mental health too.
When planning your diet, it is important that you get the proper amounts of the following:
- Essential vitamins and minerals
- Healthy fats
- Dietary fiber
- Complex carbohydrates
- Plenty of fluids, especially water
The next time you head out to the grocery store, try adding some of these nutrient-dense foods to your shopping list to give your mind and body what they need:
- Dark leafy greens like kale and arugula
- Whole grains like brown rice and oats
- Lean meats like chicken and lean cuts of beef
- Sweet potatoes
- Legumes like chickpeas and beans
Set Aside Some Time to Recharge
Pregnancy is a lot of work. There are constant physical and emotional changes for you to journey through, and that can be pretty draining. Some excellent ways to look after your mental and physical health during this time can include:
- Getting a pregnancy massage
- Going for a nature walk
- Consistently getting at least 8 hours of sleep
- Taking naps if you’re feeling tired
- Reading a book you enjoy
- Journaling about your experiences as a mom-to-be
- Asking for help when you need it
Create a Birth Plan
Whether this is your first pregnancy or you’re a veteran mom, thinking about labor and delivery can be a stressful experience. As your due date draws near, it is beneficial to write down your birth plan. This can help you to enjoy the rest of your pregnancy without constantly thinking through all the variables.
Pain Management Options
When it comes to managing your pain during labor, you have options when it comes to how you’d like to manage your pain. At St. Luke’s, some of the most common options include:
- Low-interventional options like aromatherapy or using our labor tubs
- Nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
If a c-section is recommended or becomes a necessity, you have options to make this experience as comfortable as possible. Your options include things like:
- Having your partner with you during the procedure
- Having the screen lowered, allowing you to see your baby being delivered
- Holding your baby immediately after delivery
- Breastfeeding during recovery
To find out what a c-section is like from a mom’s point of view, watch this video.
Having a birth plan allows you to clearly share preferences on how you’d like to be cared for after delivery. These preferences include:
- Whether you want your baby boy circumcised or not
- If you’d like to discover the sex of your baby on your own
- If you want the staff or you and your partner to give your baby their first bath
- If you want your partner to cut the umbilical cord
Labor and Delivery in Duluth, Minnesota
At St. Luke’s, we are committed to providing you with the customized birth experience you’ve always dreamed about. To do this, we make it a priority to exceed the highest standards of care and seek the training we need to best serve our patients.
To learn more about St. Luke’s Birthing Center or establish care with a provider visit our website.