Carrying a child for nine months is no easy feat. Your body relies on adequate nutrition and ample rest. Staying healthy during your pregnancy is crucial for your baby. If you’re unsure how to accomplish this task, then continue reading for the pertinent information you need to know.
Reduce Your Alcohol Intake Before Pregnancy
When you’re attempting to become pregnant reducing your weekly alcohol intake is wise. There is no safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Drinking alcoholic beverages during the first three months of your pregnancy may cause “abnormal facial features, low birth weight, and behavioral problems.”
Stop Smoking and Using Drugs
Even though cigarettes and nicotine products are known to be dangerous, people continue to smoke. When you want to become pregnant smoking reduces your chances of conceiving, according to the CDC.
Smoking during pregnancy also causes complications. The tobacco smoke that floats through the air is harmful to infants before and after delivery. To prevent your baby from tissue damage of the brain and lungs stop smoking and being around cigarette smoke before and during your pregnancy.
Opioids shouldn’t be used during pregnancy. Some of the side effects of drug use to a fetus include low birth weight, premature birth, poor fetal growth, and miscarriage.
Take Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins help with conception and pregnancy. They are vital to staying healthy during your pregnancy. When searching for a prenatal vitamin, look at the ingredients. Pregnant women need calcium, folate (folic acid synthetic version), iron, and magnesium.
Before pregnancy, a woman needs 400 mcg of folate each day. During pregnancy and breastfeeding the dosage of required folate increases to 600 mcg per day. Before conception, you should take 350 mg of magnesium every day. Pregnant women need 360 mg-400 mg each day, depending on their age. Calcium is essential because it works with magnesium to help relax muscles. Pregnant women should ingest 1000 mg – 1300 mg of calcium daily. When it comes to iron, you need at least 27 mg each day and 9-10 mg if you’re breastfeeding says WebMD. Ensure you speak with your OB/GYN if you have questions about prenatal vitamins. Your doctor can prescribe or recommend a brand if necessary.
Find an OB/GYN
Searching for an OB/GYN might seem daunting. Some women can keep their current OB/GYN during their pregnancy. If you aren’t pregnant yet but want to conceive, searching for a physician who can handle pregnancies and deliveries is a good idea.
When searching for an OB/GYN, ask for a referral from your health insurance provider, primary care physician, family, and friends. Compile a list of contenders, research the physician online, and schedule a consultation. Bring a list of questions to your appointment. After narrowing down your options, make your decision. The person chosen should match well with your personality and beliefs.
Get Routine Exams
Before attempting to conceive, ensure you attend your annual exam. Getting your pap smear and HPV test can save your life. By detecting abnormal cells in your cervix, you help prevent the development of cancer. But HPV isn’t the only STI to cause issues. Sexually active women should get tested for STD’s and STI’s because some of them may cause infertility.
Schedule First Prenatal Appointment
After confirmation of your pregnancy, scheduling your first prenatal exam is crucial. Your OB/GYN may want to do a blood or urine test to confirm the pregnancy. Vital statistics like height, weight, and blood pressure are taken. Once pregnancy is confirmed, your OB/GYN will want lab work performed to check Rh factor, Hep B and Hep C screen, Tay Sach’s screen, and more.
A pap smear and breast exam may occur. An ultrasound might happen, but if you’re not far along, it will get scheduled for a later date. Then your chance to sit and speak with the OB/GYN occurs. If you have questions, this is the time to ask them. Important topics to discuss with your physician include fitness, nutrition, working, and discomfort. Staying healthy during your pregnancy is a team effort, so talking with your doctor through those nine months is essential.
Make Lifestyle Changes
Becoming a mother doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process which begins before conception. When a woman decides to get pregnant, she should evaluate her current lifestyle. Discussing the decision with your partner, reviewing your finances, and quitting bad habits is helpful. Researching conception, pregnancy, and labor are also important. Completing those tasks gets you thinking about how your lifestyle will transition. Many women continue working until two to three weeks before their due date. However, if your pregnancy is high-risk, then you may get assigned to bed rest.
Try To Rest
Some women find it difficult to sleep in the third trimester due to backaches and pain in their belly. But during the first trimester, you may struggle to remain awake. By developing a sleep routine while pregnant allows your body to rest. Going to sleep early enables your body to provide the baby with all the support it needs.
If you continue to struggle with sleeping, try soaking in the tub while someone is home in case you need help standing up. A pregnancy body pillow can make it easier to get into a comfortable position. If you still can’t sleep, consult with your doctor.
What Foods Should You Eat?
Pregnancy cravings are natural. It’s your body’s way of saying it needs something. But it’s important not to overdo it. Staying away from caffeine, processed foods, sushi, soft cheeses, raw eggs, and unpasteurized milk is recommended.
Pregnant women should eat avocados, chicken, nuts, lentils, spinach, fish, kale, citrus fruits, specific cheeses, ice cream, and more. Your intake of calcium, protein, vitamin C, should correspond with your foods and not rely on your prenatal vitamins. Most foods are okay if consumed in moderation.
When it comes to staying healthy during your pregnancy, everyone is different. No one is perfect so gobbling up fried chicken and french fries occasionally is not the end of the world. Nor is staying in to watch television on the weekend going to get you arrested by the pregnancy police. As long as you make an effort to change your habits and diet, your baby should develop and grow.