Listening to music may not really sound like a piece of health advice for to-be mums. But a new study has shown how a simple thing like listening to musical melodies during the period of gestation can do wonders for your baby’s auditory system which is known to develop up to the age of six months. There’s a ton of advice that’s doled out to women when they are pregnant. What you eat, drink, think, breathe in, basically, everything you do during pregnancy will have an impact on your newborn baby since these are the crucial developing years. This is the concept behind the ancient Indian practice of garbh sanskaar (literally meaning conditioning or educating the womb). Many Indian mothers are known to recite and chant hymns or shlokas or prayers to their unborn babies with the hope that it exerts a positive influence on them. Before you put on your headphones, hear us out on some other helpful tips for pregnant mothers to ensure healthy babies.

Eat smartly: Diet dos and don’ts feature at the top of the list for the care of pregnant women. Do not eat for two, even though you are tempted to. You definitely need more amount of calories when you are pregnant. But how much more to eat is something you will need to ask your doctor. All of the essential nutrients including vitamins, calcium, iron and protein are a must. A healthy balanced diet comprising fresh vegetables, fruits, greens, fish, nuts, seeds, legumes etc is necessary. Did you know eating fish during pregnancy will help your kid’s brain development? Niyati Likhite, Dietician, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan says, “Salt and Sugar should be consumed in moderation to keep your blood pressure in control. Stay away from processed foods.”

Get moving: Pregnancy is no excuse to stop exercising. Exercising during pregnancy will not just up your chances of having a normal delivery but it will also be good for the health of your baby and for your own weight management during and after pregnancy. Take the stairs, do some prenatal yoga asanas and aquatic other workouts that are easy and effective. A research says that about three 20-minute sessions every week during pregnancy can help your baby’s brain development. Mayur Karthik, yoga instructor at Sri Sri School of Yoga says, “Yoga can help ease discomfort and also helps develop the strength to carry the baby’s weight and prepares the body for labour.”

Say not to stress: Your mental and emotional state will directly impact your baby’s health.  Practising meditation, chanting Om, doing deep breathing will keep your mind stress and clutter-free. According to Mayur, yoga can help calm the nervous system during pregnancy.

Get massages by trained experts: Prenatal massages are relaxing for you and your baby. They also help release tension and are known to ease labour and delivery. Make sure that you get a trained masseuse for your massages as improper massaging techniques can lead to preterm labour.