Pinay Moms Share These Practices They Did To Ensure A Healthy Pregnancy
Being extra cautious is essential for moms-to-be especially during these times.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), pregnant women have shown “an increased risk of developing severe COVID-19 if they are infected, compared with non-pregnant women of similar age.” Because of this, getting infected with COVID-19 during your pregnancy can also increase the chances of giving birth prematurely.
The pandemic is a time when you should be taking extra care of yourself, especially if you are pregnant, because whatever you do has a direct effect on your baby’s wellbeing, too. It may seem like a no-brainer, but it can’t hurt to be reminded why you need to look after your health while you’re in this interesting stage. Here, three Filipina moms share what kind of self-care practices they did during their pregnancy.
Alissa Villa-Buenaventura is a 24-year-old medical student and clinical clerk. She started her pregnancy journey in August 2019.
“I am one of the lucky few who did not experience any morning sickness, nausea, and the like. I could say that it was a smooth, fun, and enjoyable pregnancy since I can still do my daily routine freely,” she shares. “However, during the latter part of my pregnancy, since my due date was April 2020 and it was the height of the COVID 19 pandemic, there were a lot of drastic changes with hospital/clinic protocols.”
The ever-changing hospital protocols and the possibility of contracting the virus made her anxious, but with the guidance of her ob-gyn, Alissa was able to incorporate habits and lifestyle changes into her daily life that helped in ensuring a safe pregnancy.
Watch what you eat and drink.
“I started to eat [my] meals regularly so I could take my vitamins on time. I ate more fruits and vegetables. I avoided eating too much sweets since my ob-gyn was very particular on how much weight I should gain per month so I will not have a difficult time during labor and delivery,” says Alissa.
She drank a lot of water, even surpassing the recommended 8 glasses of water per day. “When you are pregnant, you are more prone to having urinary tract infections. Drinking more water will help you avoid this,” she adds.
Lexi Guerrero, a 23-year-old social media specialist and new mom, also suggests having a well-balanced diet. “Cut down on sugar, take a look at your sodium consumption, [and] eat more fruits and vegetables,” she says.
“Exercise daily! Even walking helps,” says 23-year-old entrepreneur Kariza Enriquez, who gave birth in December 2019. “If I could give one tip to pregnant mothers, that is to always move or do chores (but not to the extent of too much exhaustion) for an easier delivery.”
Since she exercised regularly, Kariza had a quick labor without having to use an epidural, and only spent 30 minutes in the delivery room. “Yes, labor was [difficult], but I think daily exercise played a huge part in making it quicker and less painful.”
Alissa also recommends doing pelvic exercises, which aids delivery.
“I was more conscious in completing 10,000 steps a day. As a medical student, most of the time I was only sitting down, so I made it a goal to achieve at least 10,000 steps a day for exercise,” says Alissa. “During my third trimester, since I wanted to have a normal spontaneous delivery, I started watching [videos] and doing pelvic exercises, since it helps in strengthening the muscle and helps during labor.”
Don’t skip your prenatal vitamins.
All three mommas recommend taking prenatal vitamins and supplements, but they emphasize that you need to talk to your ob-gyn about it first.
Lexi says she took the multivitamin Natalbes. “It has folic acid, iron, and vitamins for baby's growth and development. Also, I was taking calcium tablets and vitamin D3,” she shares.
During her first trimester, Alissa took vitamin C and folic acid, which is important to avoid neural tube defects.
“During the second trimester until the third trimester I was given additional vitamins such as calcium, iron, and DHA supplements to help bone and brain development of the baby. Also, starting the second trimester I drank two glasses of Anmum Materna a day for more nutrients.”
Kariza was advised by her ob-gyn to take folic acid, vitamin C, and iron when she was 7 weeks into her pregnancy. On her third trimester, she added calcium and fish oil supplements to her diet.
Get enough sleep.
We often forget how crucial sleep is in terms of our overall health, and it’s even more important if you’re an expectant mom.
“During my first and second trimester, it was difficult to change my usual sleeping habits since I had to study for exams every night,” shares Alissa. “But eventually, I started to manage my time more and the goal was to sleep for at least 8 hours daily.”
Lack of sleep during pregnancy can cause a series of complications, including preeclampsia, which affects your blood pressure and kidneys and may cause preterm birth. Make sure to get your Zzz’s in, mommies!
Get regular check-ups with your ob-gyn.
Despite all the how-to articles you can find on the Internet, you can’t get a better advice than from an expert during your pregnancy. Make sure to find an ob-gyn you can trust, someone you are comfortable with, and ensure that you get regular check-ups with them for a hassle-free pregnancy.
It’s okay to ask for help.
Supermom, don’t try to do everything! Remind yourself that it’s okay to ask for help. There are people around you who are willing to take care of you, handle your errands, and help you relax. Always remember, you aren’t alone, momma!