How To Help Your Pregnant Wife Have The Best Pregnancy Experience
We all need all the care and support we can get from our loved ones daily. It’s even more so for a pregnant woman. The changes that come with the growth of life in a woman’s womb can be very overwhelming. Ideally, all the cravings that come with the hormonal changes shouldn’t be borne by her alone.
What You Need to Do to Help Your Pregnant Wife
Plan When to Get Pregnant
Bringing a child into this world is no child’s play. Pun intended. If your wife has any underlying health issues that could complicate her pregnancy, you might want to seek medical advice before getting started. Sometimes, these issues could be more psychological than physical. Are both of you ready to be parents? Are you ready to make the necessary sacrifices? These questions and more should be answered very sincerely. Also, your wife’s age should be considered as the risk of having a premature birth increases significantly in women younger than 16-years-old or in older women, 40 years and above. Also, there is the need for appropriate spacing as women who become pregnant again too soon (less than one and a half years in between births) are more likely to have a premature baby
The human body predominantly consists of water, and we must stay hydrated all day long by drinking the right amount of water. It is even more so for pregnant women as their blood volume rises up to 1.5 litres. It is vital to keep her hydrated to reduce the risk of anxiety, headaches, tiredness, reduced memory and cranky mood. Pregnancy side effects such as constipation and urinary tract infections could also be avoided by drinking enough water (1 to 2 litres) daily. It is true that with pregnancy comes the tendency for your wife to develop all sorts of cravings (she might opt for a soda instead of water), but your wife’s body needs more water than it ever did before pregnancy, so it is your duty as her husband to find the balance as you ensure she drinks as much water as her body needs to keep her body in an optimal condition all through her pregnancy.
No to Alcohol
Drinking alcohol before and during pregnancy and while breastfeeding could be very dangerous to the baby and could lead to your baby having abnormal facial features, severe learning disabilities and behavioural issues caused by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD. If your wife is an alcoholic, having alcohol anywhere near your home should be a no-no. If you are an alcoholic, avoiding alcohol for yourself is an excellent way to encourage your wife to stay off it. See it as a show of solidarity. This way, she gets to see that she’s not alone at this crucial stage of her life. It is important to note that alcohol can also affect your baby’s health in the earliest stages of pregnancy before your wife even knows that she is pregnant, so it is imperative that as soon as you both plan on having a child, you both activate “operation no to alcohol.”
Our bodies need healthy foods, more so a pregnant woman’s body. The baby in her womb needs nutrients to grow healthy and strong, so the mother must eat healthily. Depending on how pregnant your wife is, the task of ensuring she eats healthy might fall on you. Her pregnancy period is not the right time to shy away from your kitchen if at all there ever is.
Let’s take a look at some of the nutrient-rich meals that come highly recommended for pregnant women
a. Eggs: eggs contain almost all of the nutrients that the pregnant woman’s body needs. According to a study, a large egg contains about 77 calories, high-quality protein, and healthy fats. It is also rich in essential minerals and vitamins. In addition, choline (critical for developing the brain) can be found in eggs in good quantity. A whole egg has about 113mg of choline, which makes up about 25% of the recommended intake for pregnant women.
b. Sweet potatoes: sweet potatoes are readily available all year long, and they are easy to prepare, even for someone who doesn’t know how to cook. Asides from the fact that it is easy to prepare, it is essential to take note of its health benefits. Vitamin A, which is very important for the growth and differentiation of almost all tissues and cells, is gotten from foods with beta-carotene. Potatoes have this in very high proportions. Pregnant women must have enough intake of vitamin A from plant-based sources (about 10-40% more than before pregnancy) as against animal-based sources, which may cause toxicity. Vitamin A is vital to healthy fetal development. About 100-150g of cooked sweet potatoes fulfils your recommended vitamin A requirement per day. Moreover, sweet potatoes are rich in fibre, increasing fullness, improving digestive health, and simultaneously reducing blood sugar levels.
c. Beef, chicken and pork: meat is a great source of high-quality protein. Moreover, Beef and pork also contain high choline, iron and other B-vitamins. Choline is a nutrient similar to vitamin B. It plays a significant role in the nervous system and aids the development of normal brain functioning. Iron is an essential mineral used as a part of haemoglobin by red blood cells. During pregnancy, there is an increment in the volume of blood in women’s bodies, hence the need to have an appropriate increase in the intake of iron. Low iron levels could lead to iron deficiency anaemia during early and mid-pregnancy, increasing the risk of low birth weight and premature delivery.
d. Oranges: consuming vitamin C-rich foods such as oranges helps in increasing the iron absorption from meals. As stated earlier, there is the need to increase iron intake during pregnancy, and oranges could help with getting the best out of iron-rich meals.
e. Avocados: it seems the world only just woke up to the wonders of this fruit. Avocados can be taken as stand-alone meals or combined with other meals to create exciting, nutritious meals. In addition to containing a large amount of monounsaturated fatty acids, avocados are also rich in healthy fats (helps to build the brain, skin and tissues of the fetus), fibre, folate (prevents neural tube defects), potassium (eases leg cramps; a pregnancy side effect for some women), copper, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K.
f. Diary products: the developing fetus in the mother’s womb needs a good dose of calcium and protein to develop correctly, and dairy products are a good source of these. Dairy products are also rich in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, various B-vitamins and zinc; all-important nutrients.
To avoid food poisoning, your pregnant wife must stay away from raw meats, liver, sushi, raw eggs, and unpasteurised milk. Instead, as much as possible, let her foods be properly cooked.
• No smoking: “smokers are liable to die young” isn’t a cliche. The adverse effects of smoking on human health is well documented. For a pregnant woman, smoking is dangerous to not just her but to her unborn child also. There is the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), premature birth, miscarriage, amidst other ailments. If you are a smoker, you shouldn’t expose your wife to it as the risk secondary smokers are exposed to is enormous.
• Excercise: make your pregnant wife your exercise buddy. The benefits of regular exercise cannot be overemphasised. You must check with your doctor how much movement is appropriate for your pregnant wife.
• Sleep Right: 7 to 9 hours of sleep is recommended for pregnant women. Sleeping on her left side will also improve blood flow. So, do well to remind her of this regularly.
• Create a stress-free environment: we all can do without stress, let alone your pregnant wife. To improve birth outcomes, It is essential to reduce stress. Try not to put her in situations that stress her out.
• Accompany her to prenatal checks: regular prenatal care from a health care provider are essential for pregnant women as it reduces the risk of having a baby with low birth weight or other complications. Husbands should accompany their wives to these meetings. It gives them the feeling that they aren’t alone in the process of bringing a child into the world, and your active presence as her husband could also serve as some sort of reassurance that she won’t be laboured with raising the child, when born, singlehandedly. This alone helps to reduce pregnancy stress.
What do you think about this list? Do you have a few more you’d like to share with us? Please share with us in the comment section!