Stay green, clean and serene during your pregnancy
Living clean, consuming consciously and taking good precautions are even more important during pregnancy than they were before. What once looked perfectly harmless becomes a terrible threat to the health of your baby — or so it seems, to many expectant mothers. Fortunately, many things that may appear questionable will actually bring no harm to you or your baby; unfortunately, there are some invisible dangers that you might not have considered, but should be kept in mind. Learn how living a green, natural and perceptive lifestyle will help you continue through a safe and comfortable pregnancy.
Avoiding Environmental Hazards
There are some germs, pollutants and environmental substances that you just can’t avoid, and then there are some that you can. Known as teratogens, certain viruses, chemicals and toxins have been shown to have the potential to cause birth defects or miscarriage. The first step to avoiding the danger is knowing what to look out for, so you’ll want to be familiar with some common teratogens and how to sidestep them.
While a full day on the side of a highway may subject you to excessive pollution, continuing your daily routine (with slight modifications) won’t endanger your pregnancy. Studies show that normal levels of carbon monoxide won’t have detrimental effects on your developing baby, but you can reduce the danger even more with some careful choices: stay far away from smoke-filled spaces, have your car’s exhaust system checked and stay indoors on very smoggy days. Also, surround your living space with leafy plants and trees, which have a fantastic ability to take in toxic fumes and add oxygen. This will help your home — and family — stay fresh and healthy.
There are other things hiding in the air, namely viruses and bacteria. In many cases, people carry these microorganisms around before showing any signs of illness, which is why vaccinations are often so important for pregnant women. Of course, if you didn’t get the chicken pox or MMR vaccine before pregnancy, now’s not the time to do it: your best course of action is to avoid live vaccines as well as any area where diseases are prevalent. On the other hand, the flu vaccine is recommended for all pregnant women, and you can avoid other parasitic and viral infections with immaculate cleaning and eating habits.
Protecting your Body and Mind
As the old saying goes, you are what you eat, and that’s good to keep in mind through your nine months. For instance, sticking to organic produce and naturally-raised meats (cooked well) wherever you can will substantially decrease your risk of food-borne illness and exposure to pesticides while it increases the amount of nutrients you take in with each bite. Not only will good dietary habits make for a strong, healthy and enjoyable pregnancy, but they will form the foundation of a good breastfeeding diet — something that is essential for your baby’s physical growth and mental development.
Physical health is important, but don’t neglect your psychological wellbeing. It can be easy to lose yourself in your daily responsibilities and the needs of your unborn child, but remember that your mind is intimately connected to your body, which is directly connected to your developing baby. Stress-relief should be at the top of your list of priorities, and don’t be afraid to try a range of different techniques to find the best relaxation method for you. The mind is a powerful thing, and if you can learn to relax, control and stimulate it with the help of exercise or mediation (or both), you will have a better pregnancy experience and quite possibly an easier, more fulfilling labor and delivery.