Becoming a mother is one of the most fulfilling experiences that you can have as a woman. The responsibility that comes with motherhood begins even before the baby is born. Like all expectant mothers, you would want your baby to be in the best of health when he is born. Because your baby’s health depends on yours for nine months after conception, it is imperative that you stay in the peak of health while being pregnant. Below are some tips on how this can be done.
- Getting early prenatal care is one of the steps you need to take to ensure a healthy pregnancy. This involves paying regular visits to a health care provider until the baby is born. During prenatal care, your doctor will be checking on your health and providing you with medical advice while monitoring the development of the baby, thereby reducing the risk of complications during pregnancy and childbirth.
- Do not forget that you are now eating for two; hence, pay close attention to what and how you are eating. Pregnancy is not the time to go on a weight loss diet and neither is it an excuse to eat in excess and gain more weight than is necessary. A balanced diet, though, is your best bet; which you can achieve by having at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetable every day, making sure you eat enough carbohydrates and protein, and getting sufficient amounts of the nutrients that are essential for pregnancy like Vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acid, folate, calcium, potassium, iron and zinc.
- Just as important as knowing what to eat or drink, is knowing what to avoid. Aside from eliminating alcohol and limiting caffeine intake to a minimum, health experts advise against eating raw or undercooked food; deli meats; raw milk and unpasteurized dairy products; seafood that are known to have high levels of mercury, herbal teas; and foods that are possible allergens.
- Take supplements to complement your pregnancy diet. Important nutrients that are essential for your health as well as your baby’s are: folic acid, which is essential for the proper development of an infant’s brain; iron, a nutrient needed for healthy red blood cells; and calcium for good bone health.
- Regular exercise is the ideal partner of proper nutrition when it comes to having a healthy pregnancy. Being physically active certainly has benefits, including the prevention of pregnancy-related conditions such as varicose veins, constipation, backache and fatigue. It will also help you deal with the physical demands of being pregnant while allowing for quick recovery after childbirth. Aim for at least two and a half hours of moderate exercise in a week; however, it is important to consult your doctor prior to starting any kind of physical fitness routine.
- Stop smoking. Cigarette smoking is found to be a primary cause of low birth weight, which can lead to serious illnesses or death during infancy. Pregnancy complications related to smoking include vaginal bleeding and premature delivery.
- Stay hydrated. Dehydration and constipation are common problems that you might have to deal with while being pregnant. Ensuring that you get sufficient amounts of fluid can help prevent these conditions.
- Getting enough sleep and rest becomes more crucial when you are pregnant. With higher levels of hormones in the body, you might find that you will tire easily or have trouble sleeping during the night. To make up for lost sleep, you can take naps during the day. When sleeping, be as comfortable as possible by propping pillows on your back and between your legs. Lying on your side can also be helpful since it will ease pressure from your back.
- Craving for specific kinds of food can happen while pregnant; and giving in to your craving will not pose a problem as long as you are mindful of what you eat and how much of it you are eating. However, you should be concerned if you develop a strong desire for non-food items. In this case, you should immediately consult your doctor.
- Aside from your physician, the dentist is another health expert you should see at least once during your pregnancy. In addition to brushing your teeth and flossing daily, it would be advisable to go for a dental check-up as a preventive measure. This is because the presence of more hormones in the body makes the gums more susceptible to bacterial infections.
Books on Healthy Pregnancy
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