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Staying Healthy and Lively During Pregnancy and Birth – 2

Avoid Harmful Substances
Everybody knows that you should avoid all street drugs during pregnancy so that your baby will not be harmed. But there are other harmful products that you might want to avoid too. Things like tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, pollution, pesticides, household and industrial chemicals and any unnecessary medications, especially over-the-counter drugs. According to American Academy of Paediatrics and the Food and Drug administration, there is no drug that is considered safe during pregnancy. Any drug could have a negative effect on the baby. So, you might want to see your doctor and make sure that any medication you are taking at this crucial time is absolutely necessary for a medical condition. Besides, this is a great time to go “green”.
You might want to turn to all things natural. This would be a good time to educate yourself on all the potentially harmful ingredients that may be in your everyday products like your lotions, face creams and other household products. Getting rid of toxic chemicals from your skin, body and home is a huge health upgrade and can seem overwhelming. Maria Chatman, a holistic health coach and co-founder of Pop Fit Kids, advises that you try to replace one product at a time as your supply runs out. After all, we all want a healthy environment for our children and grandchildren, so what better place to start contributing to the sustainability of our environment than our homes.

Surrender to Rest
Rest becomes especially necessary during these nine months. In fact, rest takes on a whole new meaning. Most times, your body will not give you a chance but to do so. If you don’t rest properly, chances are that you will find yourself dozing at meetings, meals and even mid-conversations. Don’t fight your body when it’s telling you to rest. Your body will win.

Educate Yourself
Educating yourself about all the issues that concern pregnancy and childbirth will help you make responsible decisions for you and your family. Educating yourself will also help you avoid unnecessary health risks common in births. This education should include the necessity of routine testing and procedures during pregnancy. Before consenting to any routine testing or procedure, make sure that they are being done for a true medical need or problem. You need to be aware of all risks and benefits of different procedures and routine testing during pregnancy. You can also build your health care team of like-minded professionals that would be able to answer your questions, assuage your fears and clear your doubts. After all, if you don’t know what your choices are, then you don’t have a choice. So, read books, check the internet, there’s a wealth of knowledge on pregnancy and childbirth just waiting for you to explore.

Choose Your Birth Place Wisely
Don’t just pick any hospital or any place to have your baby. You might want to consider a place where you feel really safe for your birthing. Researches have shown that home births are as safe or in some cases, even safer than hospital births. However, for home births, you have to belong to the low-risk spectrum. If you are considering a home birth, you would also have to choose your birthing attendants wisely. When choosing a doctor or midwife, you should go for people that not only believe in your birthing philosophy but are also willing to listen to your needs and find ways to help you. But it is very important that you give birth in the setting that is safest or most comfortable for you. If you feel safest in a particular hospital or home setting, then make plans to make that work for you, when your time for labour comes.

Have a Doula
You probably have the midwives and doctors that are competent to attend to you during the birthing process. However, having a doula is not such a bad idea. A doula is a woman who gives you advice and help during your pregnancy and the birthing process. You can refer to them as your birth companion. You might consider hiring a professional doula for your birthing. Studies have shown that having a doula can reduce the need for medication, caesarean sections and other interventions common in today’s labour. Besides, there’s nothing as nice as having a good support system when you are going through the birthing process.

Make Birthing Plans
Never assume that everyone attending your birth will know what you want and don’t want. You should get your bags packed and let someone close to you know what the procedures are when labour kicks in. You might want to walk your husband through your plans, where you’ve kept your bag, with everything packed in, and your preferred means of getting to the hospital. He needs to also know what you would want to be done in the event of certain emergencies. You would need to speak to your doctor and midwives too. However, for you to do this, you need to thoroughly educate yourself on all the birthing procedures available to you, so that you can make the right choice.
See your pregnancy as the power to be your healthiest self. There are a few things in this world that are as strong, competent and as capable as a woman who is about to be a mother. After all, if growing a human inside you isn’t superpower, what is?

Waire Emonefe

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