7 Surprising Ways to Have a Happier Pregnancy
Your OB will tell you to get enough sleep (as if!) and take your prenatals. But we're here to give you advice to really help you have the happiest, healthiest pregnancy ever.
“I enjoyed sex during pregnancy a lot,” confesses Crystal Ferguson, a 29-year-old mom of three. Though some mamas-to-be feel shy, making love during pregnancy has proven health benefits. It burns calories, boosts the immune system, reduces stress, and even lowers blood pressure! The prostaglandins in semen even help ready the cervix for labor.
Vegetables are chock full of vitamins and minerals and you already know it’s good to eat lots of leafy greens and every other color of nature’s rainbow when pregnant, but new findings published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research show that in order for your body to best absorb healthful compounds (including lutein, lycopene, beta-carotene, and zeaxanthin) you need… fat. Hello, full-fat dressing. Hello, butter. Hello, whole milk.
Skip the Sneak Peeks
It’s a little known fact that the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists does not recommend routine ultrasound for low-risk pregnancies. Do you really need dozens of weird-looking grainy photos? You can skip the sneak peek, take bets on the baby’s gender, and enjoy being surprised!
Tell Yourself You're Beautiful
Enough with the negativity. Pregnancy is a time to be kind to yourself and celebrate how beautiful you are. Women who replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations report feeling more confidence and empowered. Heather Brown, a 36-year-old mom of three, posted notes around the house and took long relaxing baths while reminding herself, “I trust my body and my baby’s wisdom,” and “My baby will arrive easily, peacefully, and safely.”
Just because you’re about to become a mom doesn’t mean you can no longer be a girl who just wants to have fun. Dancing, socializing, and general partying (minus the martinis) can help you relax, reconnect with friends, get some exercise, and de-fang stress. Calling all girlfriends, time to take your pregnant friends out to shake their booties.
Make it Deceptively Delicious
Craving cookies and cake but trying to stay healthy? Modify your favorite recipes by substituting a mixture of whole wheat, barley, brown rice, almond, and/or garbanzo bean flours (in any combination) for half the white flour, agave for the refined sugar, and applesauce for the oil. Add grated carrots and apple to pancake batter (it’s delicious! We swear!) and kale, broccoli, and prunes to your fruit smoothies. Serve to guests. No one will be the wiser.
Laugh During Labor
Researchers at Vanderbilt University found that laughing moves lymphatic fluids, which boosts the immune system. The result? Much needed distraction during labor. Ask Angela Horn who hired a doula with a wicked sense of humor. Though Angela had to be induced for preeclampsia, she had a ball. “One of the highlights was our joking about my snoring husband and how she’d divorced her first husband because he snored.”
Photo Credit: Bryon Devore
For more surprising facts about pregnancy, childbirth and babies, read Jennifer Margulis’ new book, The Business of Baby.
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