download (1)It’s no wonder that pregnancy takes a toll on a woman’s body. For nine months, pregnancy brings extensive changes and bodily stress that requires a lengthy rest period afterward. Yet just as important as the healing process afterward are the measures that can be taken before and during pregnancy.

Eating right. Everyone hears of the infamous cravings women will experience while she’s pregnant. Whether these cravings are outlandish or practically insatiable, it’s important to remember that pregnancy is not an ideal time to indulge in excessive amounts of junk food. On the other hand, it’s not a practical time to begin a diet for your figure- or even maintain one. Pregnant women need to adhere to a well-rounded, nutrient rich diet that will nurture the growth of the child since the child’s nutrient supply stems from the mother’s diet. Opting for more than three meals that are smaller and spread out throughout the day is also ideal for reducing fatigue and lessening the likelihood of overeating.

Rest and relaxation. Pregnant women still want to continue with their normal routines, especially during the first trimester before they begin to become aware of the limitations imposed by pregnancy. Pregnant women need to ensure that they’re getting enough sleep, which means no more reaching for extra cups of coffee to compensate for too few hours of shut-eye. Naps throughout the day may help, so it’s important for women to view naps as being necessary instead of indulgent.

Physical activity. No woman wants to be on bed rest for nine months while she’s pregnant, and luckily, no woman has to. Pregnant women can still engage in physical activity, as long as they’ve first checked with their physician to receive approval and recommendations. Exercise can be extremely helpful in lessening a woman’s stress levels, which in turn helps the baby.

Stop smoking. Women who wish to become pregnant need to first quit smoking, even if it means beginning the lengthy process of weaning themselves off the habit. Women who become pregnant unexpectedly, however, need to quit immediately. Smoking can lead to miscarriages and dangerously low birth weights in newborn babies.

Stop drinking. The logic that only one glass of an alcoholic beverage isn’t enough to have an effect is an erroneous one; women who are pregnant need to avoid alcohol entirely. Babies whose mothers drank during pregnancy can develop with poor brain coordination, mental retardation, or abnormal growth patterns.

        The best and simplest measure a woman can take is putting herself under the guidance and care of a physician, before and during pregnancy. Women will need the help and support of a trained expert to ensure the best care for their unborn child.