by Keila Chaliotis, Staff Writer
Pregnancy is a gift or a curse, depending on how you look at it and how bad the body changes affect your state of mind and emotions. Nevertheless after nine months of this ordeal the end result is a miracle that no one can deny or explain. In fact, just thinking about it makes me get the chills, not in a bad way of course. It is just quite an experience for a woman and her family members.
One of the main characteristics of pregnancy is a change in the appetite habits or in the foods eaten. Either way, the future mom needs to be careful with her eating habits as all the foods she intakes will directly affect the baby’s development. So having a healthy diet for most of the pregnancy is a must, mostly to counterattack any toxins coming from unhealthy cravings that come every now and then.
A major recommendation while being pregnant is not to sleep much during the daytime. Being active is both beneficial to both mom and baby. Different exercises are recommended as the belly (uterus actually) starts to grow. Some of these exercises are useful to prepare a woman for delivery of the baby. They help in controlling the muscles (particularly the pubococcygeus muscles) around the pelvic region so they can be more flexibly for delivery and also to help in control and preventing inconsistent urination before and after delivery. The most common exercises are the Kegel Exercises, created by Arnold Kegel around late 1940s. With these exercises you might notice some improvements as early as a month but may take up to three, as it all depends on your body’s reaction to the pregnancy. It is recommended to do them three times a day.
A quick summary of the Kegel Exercises: Then empty your bladder. Choose whether to lay or sit down and/or experiment to see which one best fits you. Once you choose contract your vagina for three seconds and relax. Repeat 10 times. Now contract and relax as fast as possible 25 times. Once you are done, let’s use our imagination a bit. Imagine you are holding an object with your vagina and hold for three seconds. Relax and repeat 10 times. Now imagine that you use your vagina to throw an object and hold for three seconds. Relax and repeat 10 times. Finally, imagine that you are caressing something with your vagina and hold for three seconds. Relax and repeat 10 times.
An exercise that can be done alone and helps to stay in shape is swimming. It is recommended to swim 10 to 15 minutes daily or whenever possible, in a relaxing manner that will not tire you. Some warm up that can be done before: get into the water and separate your legs. Bring them back together and repeat for up to 10 times. Once you are done, submerge your head into the water and get it out for 10 times as well. When done, get into the water such that it covers from the waist down. Move your arms from left to right and vice versa for a few times. Now you can swim.
Breathing exercises are very useful when you feel nausea. The easiest one is the 4-step exercise. First, find a comfortable place to sit or rest. Second and third, inhale and count to three. Last but not least exhale. Repeat these steps until you feel better. Practicing these exercises early on during the pregnancy will also help control the breathing by the time of delivery, when interval breathing is required.
During pregnancy, joints and ligaments are subjected to increased tension and pressure. The woman’s normal center of gravity is shifted as the uterus’ size increases. As a result the postures are affected by these changes. Therefore, a woman must be careful when lifting objects or when carrying bags around, as bad postures can cause unwanted back pain. How do you know when the posture is wrong? Well, when your back is arched while you are standing or sitting down. Some tips to have a good posture include making sure your head and spine are aligned with relaxed shoulders. Keep your chest and thorax elevated and have your back straight at all times. Slightly bend your knew knees and keep your legs more separated than usual.
At a certain point during the pregnancy a girl has difficulties in sleeping then practice some relaxation exercises. Warm towels can help ease the pain in the thorax and pelvis. If you have a leaky bladder during pregnancy try to empty all of when you go urinate in order to reduce the number of times you go. How do you do this? Well, while you are urinating try to move sideways slowly. This helps to empty more urine each time you go. Thus, more space will be left in the bladder after each session, which means that it will take a bit longer to fill up.
So if you are pregnant, plan to be or have a pregnant wife or relative, practice some pregnancy exercises. You will see how they help ease the experience.