Creating a healthy and safe environment during pregnancy
Creating a healthy and safe environment during pregnancy is important for you and your baby. Pregnancy is a beautiful journey that comes with its share of ups and downs. While there are plenty of things that need attention, the major focus is always on the well-being of the little ones. And it’s the motherly instinct to go above and beyond to give them the best possible start in life.
However, amidst the excitement and anticipation, it is easy to neglect a crucial aspect, that is, creating a healthy and safe environment during pregnancy. Taking care of your health during pregnancy is not just about regular check-ups and a balanced diet, but also about the surroundings you inhabit and creating an environment that is conducive to you staying clam, healthy and happy throughout your pregnancy. After all growing a human is taxing on your body so you need to look after you too.
So, here are a few essential steps to help you create an environment that is safe and nurturing for you and baby during the journey of pregnancy.
Manage your personal health
Yes you are growing a baby, but you also need to be on top of your own health to keep baby healthy. This starts with following the prenatal care plan of doctor and midwife visits and making sure that you raise your concerns.
I have found as a mother that we can be ignored or our concerns dismissed by professionals who know better, but you do know your body so if you are concerned then say so.
Exercise (assuming your health practitioner says it is safe) is great for your physical and mental health. I personally found swimming to be a joy whilst pregnant. Anything not to feel the weight of the bump!
I also chose to see a nutritionist when I first became pregnant to really build my knowledge of what was nurturing for me and the baby. Apart from anything else this helped me to feel better during morning sickness, but was also a great way of doing something for myself so again boosting my feeling of well being.
Safeguarding Against Allergens and Irritants
Allergens and irritants can pose a threat to the health and well-being of pregnant women and our options for medicines are limited so it can be a good idea to avoid such allergens. Pests, in particular, can be major carriers or causes of allergens. That’s why it’s crucial to prioritize pest control. Apart from anything else knowing that you have pests in your home is stressful and no one wants to be stressing when they are pregnant.
How do pests affect pregnancy?
Allergens from pests like cockroaches, rodents, and dust mites are known to trigger allergies and respiratory problems. They can release allergens into the air or leave behind droppings and shed skin particles that can cause harmful skin or other reactions in the body.
What can you do to ensure a pest-free environment?
While there may be many home remedies available, you should consider taking help from professionals only, particularly during pregnancy as you do not wish to expose yourself to chemicals etc… They have specialized training and equipment to perform successful pest control procedures. For an effective implementation, Terminix pest control for your home advises leaving the house empty for a day or two. Thereafter, you can experience a pest-free environment.
Maintaining Cleanliness and Hygiene
It goes without saying that cleanliness and hygiene play a significant role in creating a healthy home. And when it comes to the health of an expectant mother, this step gets even more important.
Why is it necessary?
It is said that expectant mothers are more susceptible to infections and diseases due to changes in their immune systems. This is why they need special care at this stage. Therefore, during your pregnancy, ensure a clean environment to limit the risk of infections that can harm both you and the baby.
How you can ensure this?
Start by regularly cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, such as countertops, doorknobs, and light switches, to eliminate lurking germs. Pay special attention to areas like the kitchen and bathroom, as they can harbor harmful bacteria. Additionally, practice good personal hygiene by washing your hands frequently with soap and water.
Managing Stress and Promoting Relaxation
It is quite common for people to experience stress at some point in their life. While it affects people of all ages, expectant mothers are more vulnerable to this due to various hormonal changes in their bodies.
How can it affect you?
High levels of stress lead to the release of a hormone called cortisol. Studies have shown that high cortisol can increase the risk of complications like preterm birth, low birth weight, and gestational hypertension.
How can you manage stress?
Find activities that help you relax and reduce stress. Prenatal yoga, meditation, and gentle exercise can be very beneficial. Apart from this, surround yourself with positive and supportive people who can offer a listening ear and provide emotional support. Take time for self-care and indulge in activities that bring you joy.
I personally found taking even just 10 minutes per day to do a guided pregnancy meditation really beneficial and also found building my knowledge of what was happening to my body and my baby to be really helpful for managing any feelings of anxiety.
Treat your self if you can. During my first pregnancy I had relaxing reiki sessions, went for pregnancy massages and generally looked after myself. That became harder with subsequent pregnancies, but I still did things for me as much as I could. Self care is always important and that musn’t stop after baby arrives. Mothers need to look after themselves too.
Preventing Accidents: Avoiding Slippery Floors
Do you know that falls are one of the leading causes of injury during pregnancy? While you may take care of all the necessary factors, take special care of the slippery floors. Neglecting this can lead to accidents. These include fractures and internal injuries, which can be harmful to both the mother and the baby. Whilst being pregnant doesn’t make you incapable I think we all need to remember that it is a challenging time for our bodies so we need to adapt how we behave.
I speak from experience here as I continued to wear my high heels to work when pregnant and fell on the stairs. Me and baby were fine, but it was quite scary so I definitely advice switching to flat shoes!
Mind the urge to nest
The urge to nest is real! I have become so hyper focused on getting the house ready for baby each time I have been able to think about nothing else and this has led me to over do it physically to the point of exhaustion. I was still painting woodwork on the day I was due to give birth!
My advice would be to make a plan in advance of the last trimester (when that nesting instinct really starts to kick off) of what needs to be done so you can be doing slowly and safely throughout your pregnancy and not last minute like me.
Also if you are painting check the V0C levels are low so that you aren’t breathing in lots of fumes.
How can you ensure safety?
Keep the hallways, floors, and staircases of the house safe by using rugs and mats with non-slip backing. Additionally, wearing proper footwear with good traction can provide stability and reduce the risk of slipping. Apart from all these measures, remember to walk carefully and don’t underestimate how much the bump changes your balance.
Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful phases of a woman’s life. So, remember to take care of yourself, both physically and emotionally, and seek support when needed. Trust your instincts and listen to your body as you navigate this transformative time. Mum’s really do have an amazing sense of what is right for themselves and their babies.