Pregnancy should be one of the most celebrated events in a woman's life. It is the fulfillment of a miracle that only women can perform --- the ability to bear and deliver life from the womb. Seen in this perspective, pregnancy can be said to be very empowering for women. However, not all pregnant women enjoy this phase in their lives. Several reports and studies have already been made about women who undergo extreme feelings of stress and anxiety during their pregnancy. As a result, the babies of those stressed and anxious mothers are also affected by their mothers' negative disposition. A stressful pregnancy can actually cause the infants to be born prematurely or become underweight. It is also said to eventually affect an infant's mood and behavior.
The stress and anxiety felt by pregnant women arise from various factors. One possible reason is that pregnancy causes women to gain weight and somehow distort their pre-pregnancy, nicely-curved bodies. Some women believe that these changes in their body structure make them look ugly and they cannot wear anymore the clothes that they used to wear before. They then feel low and develop insecurities which can contribute to their stress. Another possible reason can be the "heaviness" that pregnant women experience because of their added weight. This causes them to have low-back pains and limits them from doing certain activities that they used to do. Other career women who are forced to temporarily stop working because of their pregnancy feel bored with the change in their lifestyle. The idleness, compounded with possible insecurities, also causes their stress and anxiety. During this phase, women tend to feel lonely more often and afraid that they have to face the difficulty of delivering their babies alone. Moreover, worrying about how to lose weight and how to lose the stretch marks that they develop also stress some pregnant women.
Fortunately, some Hollywood stars and experts in this field have offered advice and tips for women on how to lessen or totally lose stress and anxiety during their pregnancy. The main goal, according to them, is for pregnant women to enjoy the whole experience. Pregnancy should be approached with a sense of excitement and liveliness, but always with utmost care. It cannot be denied that this phase is very delicate and one wrong move can either cause harm to the baby or the mother or even to both of them. However, this does not mean that pregnant women should just sulk in a corner and wait for their boring pregnancy days to be over. Every day is full of new discoveries and changes for pregnant women. The key is to be open to these changes and deal with them positively. Further advice and tips on diet, fashion, activities and losing the pregnancy weight and stretch marks are discussed below.
Most pregnant women have a misconception of pregnancy as a period of indulgence. According to obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Raul Artal, indulging on food high in calories such as sweets can pose a danger of pre-eclampsia, high blood pressure, or diabetes. "Eating for two" during pregnancy applies more to the amount of nutrients that a pregnant woman should consume rather than the amount of calories. Foods that are high in nutrients such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, lean meats and low-fat dairy products are more recommended. The top 5 nutrients that pregnant women actually need are calcium, folate, iron, protein, and vitamin C. Eating healthy can also decrease the feeling of tiredness and fatigue. Finally, avoid skipping meals during pregnancy. According to Dr. Laura Caufield, the risk of having premature labor increases among those who habitually skip meals. Eating breakfast is also important to avoid feeling lightheaded, famished, and sick to your stomach.
Being pregnant does not mean being out of fashion. A pregnant woman can still look sexy and beautiful by choosing the right kind of clothes. Start with the bottom pieces first such as short cotton interlock skirt, black leggings, twill pants and denim jeans. Mix and match these pieces to tops with fashionable styles and colors. Fashion pieces such as boot leg jumpsuits, print dresses and coordinating pant suit are also necessary. For fabulous maternity outfits that are styled to fit their figure, pregnant women can check out top quality shops like Japanese Weekend, Belly Basics, and Duet Designs. Actresses Jennifer Garner and Heidi Klum are among the famous clients of these shops.
Some women feel tired and lazy to move around during their pregnancy. Other pregnant women are left with no other choice but to sulk at home because of not knowing what to really do. Celebrities like Catherine Zeta-Jones suggest that taking yoga classes or practicing yoga at home is very good during pregnancy. It helps pregnant women to focus, cultivate awareness, maintain optimum health, be flexible, and strong as well as develop stillness and calmness within. Practicing Lamaze techniques of childbirth during pregnancy days is also good for strengthening the bond between couples and increasing the confidence of the pregnant woman. Other fun activities that pregnant women can actually do, and some activities being unique only for them, are making pregnancy belly casts, pregnancy belly painting, taking dance classes, doing pre-baby window shopping, having a pregnancy massage and spa treatment and planning or organizing a baby bash.
Losing weight and stretch marks
Hollywood stars like Reese Witherspoon are noted to have taken yoga classes to lose weight after pregnancy. Catherine Zeta-Jones followed a strict diet of low-carbohydrate and high-protein intake. Debra Messing reported that breast-feeding her son after she gave birth helped her lose 33 pounds. Kate Hudson, on the other hand, worked out two to three hours a day, 6 days per week to lose her excess pregnancy weight. According to diet experts, losing baby weight is always a combination of proper, healthy diet, and exercise. Even simple walking around the neighborhood every afternoon while eating small portions of food every meal can already be a big help. Aside from excess weight, pregnant women are also bothered by another change, this time concerning their skin. Because of the increase in their body size, the skin adapts to it through stretching as well. However, because of this, stretch marks develop all over their body especially in the stomach area. According to some skin experts, stretch marks can be avoided through eating food that will highly nourish the skin and drinking the recommended amount of water per day. The skin is more prone to having stretch marks when it is dry, thus, taking a lot of liquids and applying moisturizer twice or thrice a day will help a lot. Finally, the best way to avoid stretch marks despite growing body size and weight is to grow gradually. The same is said about losing weight, to do it in gradation, to avoid having the horrible marks.
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