Pregnancy is a time of change, within your body and through behavior. It can oftentimes give a spotlight to your unhealthy behaviors that can affect your pregnancy. Being aware and seeing yourself capable of changing unhealthy behavior during pregnancy can lead to motivated changes that can benefit you and your baby.
Knowing that you, yourself, have control over actions and their consequences can lead to changes that will benefit mother and baby that includes:
- More motivated to stop smoking during pregnancy
- Inclined to engage in activities that can help postpartum depression
- Motivated to eat healthier and engage in exercise
Setting Goals are a great way to motivate yourself and hold yourself accountable to obtaining healthy behaviors.
Use SMART goals:
- Specific. Define a clear, specific goal that you want to achieve.
- Example: I will eat 3 servings of vegetables every day during this week.
- Measurable. Make sure you can track progress.
- Example: Track progress in a journal or app.
- Actionable. Actions you will take to achieve this goal.
- Example: Buy more vegetables to have in your household. Look for recipes to make vegetables taste better.
- Relevant. Ensure your goal is relevant to your overall goal.
- Example: 3 servings of vegetables is relevant in your overall goal in eating healthier and having a healthy pregnancy.
- Time-bound. Assign a target date to keep accountable.
- Example: Think of this as check-ins with yourself. If a goal is met you can either keep the goal or change it to achieve another one. If the goal is not met reevaluate what you can do better.
Self-agency can be the start to changing unhealthy behaviors to have a healthier pregnancy, however a support system is beneficial in maintaining these changes.