7 Facts You Didn’t Know About Pregnancy

If you’re a woman or man expecting your first child, the thought of going through pregnancy can be both exciting and daunting.

From gaining weight to regular doctor visits, there is a lot to consider as you prepare for this life-changing experience.

To help alleviate any anxiety surrounding this time period, we’ve compiled 7 facts on pregnancy that are sure to give more insight into what women and men should expect during these nine months of transformation. 

Whether you’re an already experienced parent or have never been pregnant before, getting familiar with the latest information will help ensure that you get off on the right foot!

What You Eat During Pregnancy Affects Your Baby’s Development 

During pregnancy, it’s important to be mindful of the kinds of foods you put into your body. Not only do healthy eating habits make for an easier delivery, but more importantly, what you eat during pregnancy can play a major role in the development of your baby.

Diet is actually one of the most important controllable factors when it comes to preparation for childbirth.

Balanced nutrition helps to give the baby essential nutrients needed for growth and maturation — including proteins, vitamins, and minerals — as well as a variety of antioxidants that can support its overall health. 

When planning meals while expecting, make sure they contain lean proteins (steamed fish or legumes) that help build muscle and energy, fresh fruits and vegetables that provide fiber and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals, and plenty of whole grains to maintain blood glucose levels. All these factors combined form a powerful nutrient package that moms-to-be have a unique chance to ensure their babies’ proper development.

Exercise is Beneficial for Both Mom and Baby 

During pregnancy, a healthy lifestyle for the mom can lead to a healthier baby. Exercise can be a great way to benefit both–both during the gestational period and beyond.

When pregnant women exercise, they help boost their circulation, increasing oxygen flowing to the baby and decreasing risks such as preterm delivery and preeclampsia. 

Exercise can also reduce backaches and improve sleep. With regular exercise, both mom and baby benefit from reduced stress hormones, which encourage relaxation.

Stretching exercises during pregnancy can increase posture health with an improved ability to maintain balance, along with better breathing habits that contribute to building core strength and preparing the body for labor.

Lastly, studies have shown that exercising while pregnant not only leads to healthier birth weight in babies but has long-term benefits on their cardiovascular system into adulthood. 

Pregnant Women Have a Higher Risk of Depression 

7 Facts You Didn't Know About Pregnancy

Pregnancy brings lots of joy and excitement, but also a higher risk of depression. Mental well-being is a key issue during pregnancy which affects both the mother and the baby.

Changes in hormones have been proven to increase symptoms of anxiety and depression among pregnant women, particularly toward the end of their pregnancy.

It’s important for pregnant women to take extra steps to prioritize their mental health – like surrounding themselves with support, making time for practicing self-care, and participating in counseling if needed.

By doing so, mothers will be equipped to handle whatever challenges might arise during this precious time!

It’s Important to Get Enough Rest During Pregnancy 

Getting enough rest during pregnancy is a crucial factor in keeping both mother and baby healthy.

While the amount of sleep needed will vary from individual to individual, experts suggest that pregnant women should aim for at least 8 hours of restful sleep every night.

Research suggests that positive prenatal outcomes such as decreased levels of stress hormones, improved mental health, higher birth weights, and even reduced preterm labor risks may be attributed to adequate rest during pregnancy. 

Working toward a healthy nighttime routine as early in pregnancy as possible can better ensure the well-being of both mother and child throughout this special journey. 

Avoid Certain Veggies, Meats, and Fish While Pregnant 

Expectant mothers need to be extra mindful about what they put into their bodies, especially when it comes to certain types of veggies, meats, and fish.

Eating contaminated foods can bring on listeriosis and toxoplasmosis infections, both of which can be serious health risks for both mom and baby. It’s wise to stay away from raw meat and fish, unpasteurized dairies like feta or Brie cheese, sushi made with raw fish, and all soft cheeses like queso fresco.

Likewise, women who are pregnant should avoid all leafy greens (like spinach and kale) unless properly cooked; the same goes for mushrooms and sprouts. 

Drinking Alcohol While Pregnant Can be Harmful to Your Baby’s Health

7 Facts You Didn't Know About Pregnancy

While many pregnant women have always been aware that drinking alcohol while pregnant can be harmful to their babies, there are also some lesser-known facts about pregnancy and alcohol consumption.

Alcohol can penetrate the placenta, cross into the fetal bloodstream, and travel to all parts of a baby’s body; damaging fetal organs and tissues in its path. 

The more alcohol a mother consumes during pregnancy, the greater the risks for her unborn child.

These risks include cognitive impairments, physical deformities such as facial defects, psychological issues such as depression, or worse — Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). So if you’re expecting or trying for a baby, abstaining from alcoholic beverages during pregnancy should be your first choice.

Some Pregnancies Require Extra Care 

It’s important to note that some pregnancies require special monitoring and extra care. Women who have chronic health conditions, are carrying multiples, or were born with congenital heart defects should be particularly mindful of their physical and mental well-being throughout the course of their pregnancy.

As such, it’s wise for women in these higher-risk categories to seek out professional prenatal care from the start and maintain regular appointments with their doctor or midwife throughout their pregnancy.

Doing so can help ensure that both mother and baby remain healthy until delivery day. 

When expecting, there is a lot to consider and during this unique journey to motherhood, one should always be aware of the changes in the body and overall lifestyle. Being conscious of what foods to avoid while pregnant, such as certain veggies, meats, and fish can help reduce the risk of any complications.

Furthermore, exercising regularly, getting enough rest, and limiting alcohol consumption are all key elements of pregnancy that can contribute to both mom’s and baby’s overall health.

With knowing this information about pregnancy, new moms – or even moms-to-be – can have more control over their own bodily experiences by utilizing these tips from Workflow. 

As with all pregnancies, outcomes will vary, but it is important to remain informed and make educated decisions when on the journey to expecting!

Julie Higgins
Julie is a Staff Writer at momooze.com. She has been working in publishing houses before joining the editorial team at momooze. Julie's love and passion are topics around beauty, lifestyle, hair and nails.