New Years Resolutions for Expecting Mothers
Ringing out the Old and in the New: South Hills OBGYN’s Favorite Resolutions for Expecting Mothers and Women of All Ages
As Mark Twain once stated, the New Year “is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.” Indeed, New Year’s Resolutions are notorious for being well-intentioned and short lived. This year, however, take a step back and try to make a resolution that will positively impact your life as a beautiful, healthy woman. The following is a list of resolutions to promote a healthy pregnancy as well as general women’s health in 2010.
- Take your prenatal vitamin every day. These multivitamins are imperative in providing your baby with all of the nutrients that may not be present in your diet, including folic acid, calcium, and iron. All of these nutrients are essential for your health as well as your baby’s; they help promote normal development for your baby while keeping you strong during your pregnancy. If your prenatal vitamins make you nauseous, try taking them with ginger or call us to see if we can prescribe a different vitamin.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Drinking plenty of fluids will flush waste products from your kidneys and allow your body to expand as your baby grows. Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day. However, avoid drinking caffeinated beverages, because caffeine has been linked with increased risk of miscarriage and other pregnancy complications.
- Establish a regular exercise routine. The benefits of exercise often go without saying, but during pregnancy, exercise is especially important in promoting an easier labor. Try low-impact exercises such as walking, water aerobics, and swimming, as well as physician-approved yoga exercises.
- Eat healthy foods to give both you and your baby the nutrition you need. By eating a variety of foods (in addition to taking your prenatal vitamin), you will more easily consume a wider variety of vitamins and minerals, thereby promoting a healthy development period for your baby. For information on what nutrients and foods are beneficial to eat during your pregnancy, as well on what foods to avoid, please read Brunilida Nazario’s article, “Eating Right When Pregnant,” available online athttp://www.webmd.com
- Make plans for what you’ll be doing after your baby comes. If you plan ahead, you will be less overwhelmed by all of the changes your new baby will bring to your life. Friends and family will be more than happy to help out with babysitting and housework both during and after your pregnancy.
- Stay up to date with all of your appointments and medical commitments. Talk to us to see if you are a good candidate for a flu shot, and schedule a dental appointment if you are trying to conceive. Also, we love seeing you! Keep up with your OB appointments, and give us a call any time you have a question regarding your pregnancy.
- Read up on labor, post partum depression, breast feeding, and infant care. The more you know about your changing body, the less daunting labor and caring for your newborn will seem. While you certainly don’t need to drown yourself in pregnancy literature, flipping through some maternity magazines will give you some professional advice, which will help you as your pregnancy progresses.
- Embrace your pregnancy! After your baby comes, your life is going to change drastically, so take some time to enjoy your pregnancy while taking time to pamper yourself.
- Schedule your annual gynecological appointment! While it is easy to put off your annual checkup, make this important visit one of your priorities this year. We are here to make sure you are in good health, treat any current problems, and to prevent any possibilities of future problems.
- 2. Get a mammogram! Again, it’s easy to put off getting your mammogram; in fact, according to abcnews.com, 42% of women at intermediate or high risk for breast cancer opt out of their recommended screening. However, breast cancer is the second leading cause of death of women, and studies show that the sooner breast cancer is detected and treated, the more likely a patient is to overcome the disease. So, bite the bullet and schedule your mammogram, especially if it’s been more than one or two years; you’ll feel better knowing that you are in good health.
- Find an exercise program that is right for you. Exercise seems to be one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, which also makes it one of those most frequently broken. This year, stick to your resolution by setting realistic fitness goals doing activities that are both fun and challenging. Remember: many great forms of exercise can be done outside of the gym; try walking and hiking, and if you have a busy lifestyle, think about incorporating small changes to your daily routine, such as doing 25 crunches while waiting for the shower to warm up or by taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Drink milk! In addition to providing other nutritional benefits, the calcium in milk is an essential component to battling osteoporosis and tooth decay. Drink at least three glasses of milk per day, and, if you are over the age of 50, come in to our office for a DEXA scan. A DEXA scan will determine your bone density, and from this reading, we can determine if you need additional calcium supplements. Furthermore, try to drink milk fortified with vitamin D; this vitamin is needed to break down calcium in your digestive system.
- Take time to de-stress! After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, you deserve some time for yourself, so go ahead and buy some bubble bath or a new book, and set aside some quality time for yourself this year.
We all know that resolutions are infamously tough to follow. While we start each year with the best of intentions, it is easy to slip back into our old habits. Sue Shellenbarger provides some helpful advice in sticking to your New Years’ Resolutions in her Wall Street Journal article, “A Cheat Sheet for Keeping Resolutions.” One of the most important factors in keeping resolutions, according to Shellenbarger, is to keep a positive attitude, especially regarding minor setbacks. Instead of punishing yourself for small resolution slip-ups, remember that your disloyalty is now a matter of the past, and move forward quickly, getting back to following your resolution. In addition, reward yourself for small successes, and break down large resolutions into a series of smaller steps. This action will make your resolutions seem less daunting and more attainable. Finally, create an environment for yourself which makes following your resolution easier to accomplish. Tell your friends about your resolution, and ask them to support your goal by keeping you on-track throughout the year.
From all of us at South Hills OBGYN, we would like to offer our best wishes for a very happy New Year and a healthy and prosperous 2014!