Pregnancy: Bringing in the Next Generation

pregnancy health and alternatives

Being pregnant has many highs and lows when a family decides to bring in the next generation.  Even if the recent pregnancy rates in the U.S are at an all time low of 102 pregnancies out of every 1,000 women, according to The National Center for Health Statistics, new families continue to decide to make their family just a little bigger.  Fertility rates are lower mostly due to a smaller percentage of teenage pregnancies, but women who are 30 years and older have increasing pregnancy rates lately.

For some reason December seems to be the most fertile month of the year when conceptions occur.  With the holidays buzzing around with all that good food to eat, women need to consider if this is the best time to be pregnant.  During this time of year, most people are not as healthy as they should be due to all those goodies that tend to help bulk up the pounds.  But if a woman is considering on getting pregnant, it really is not too late to develop good habits that can also help after she has had the baby.

By staying active, it not only improves a woman’s health but her baby’s health as well.  If a woman is currently trying to conceive it is actually recommended that she tries to get in at least 30 to 60 minutes of healthy, physical exercise.  It can also help if a woman finds a local group or club with like-minded goals in keeping physically fit during and after the pregnancy.  Keeping physically fit can prevent a variety of serious pregnancy complications, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.  Although, it is always wise to never overdo any kind of exercise.  Understanding body cues when reaching a certain limit is the key to preventing any injuries.

Healthy eating is another step a woman needs to accomplish when trying to conceive while she is pregnant and afterwards.  Pregnant woman need to be careful not to fill their diet with high calorie, low nutritious foods.  If the woman starts to eat healthier prior to getting pregnant, she will have an easier time sticking to this healthy habit while she is carrying a little one.  It is also wise to take prenatal vitamins before, during and after pregnancy, but not to think that it replaces eating healthy in any way.  Obtaining vitamins from the daily intake of healthy foods should be an important priority.

With the holidays in full force now, it is extremely important to prevent overeating.  During this time of year, many women tend to eat or drink too much and get very little rest.  If a woman is currently trying to conceive, it may help to lean on any social supports they have in maintaining healthy habits during the holidays.  The same goes for any woman who is currently pregnant.  Having healthy social supports, like family and friends, can go a long way in maintaining important goals.

If a woman has not had a recent check up, she should do so immediately before conceiving.  Knowing what a woman’s current health status is can help to prevent complications down the road.  It is also important to investigate family medical history in order to be advised of any problems that could affect the mother as well as the child.  It is also a very common practice for most mothers to obtain genetic screening while they are pregnant.  Knowing this information can make a huge difference when a mother-to-be understands what currently resides in her family’s genetic pool.

Now, if a woman is currently pregnant, she obviously has many things running through her mind besides exercising and eating healthy.  Eventually the time will come and she will need to look at what she wants to do during labor.  There are many options available today for those who are soon to go into labor.  One major method that seems to be growing in popularity is birth hypnosis.  Recent celebrities have followed suit into this childbirth option.  Kim Kardashian and Kate Middleton have recently mentioned that they have used the birth hypnosis techniques in order to make their birth experiences more comfortable.

Birth hypnosis can actually make the process nearly pain-free.  When fear is present, pain generally follows.  Most people think that a hypnotist is going to be waving a clock in front of their face and that is not true.  When a pregnant woman learns how to keep her body relaxed and her mind free of worry, she will eventually find herself feeling calm and peaceful.  Just like meditation and yoga helps to relax the body, so can hypnosis.  It really is all about deep breathing, relaxation techniques and visualization.  As a form of self-hypnosis, it is very effective in helping those feel good oxytocin hormones work more effectively during labor.  “Your subconscious mind is hearing messages that bypass the conscious mind, and they change the beliefs in your mind,” said Cynthia Overgard, founder of HypnoBirthing of Connecticut, a prenatal education center in Westport.  So when a pregnant woman is about to bring forth the next generation, she really can be capable of being in control of how the whole pregnancy and birth process is achieved.

By Tina Elliott

The Washington Post

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