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You’ve received the exciting news that you are going to bring a new life into the world. Now you want to know how to have the healthiest pregnancy you can. Many people will offer you advice and knowledge. It is important for you to know what is helpful and what is just a tale.
1. It is important that you receive prenatal care. This means visiting your obstetrician as soon as possible. This visit will usually include a screening for conditions that can cause complications with your pregnancy. If for some reason you do not currently have an obstetrician, this is a good reason to find one. You will want someone that you feel comfortable with, even if you would prefer a midwife, as many women choose a midwife today. Even if you are searching for a new physician, you should at least update your current one of your pregnancy and any medications you’re taking. 2. Just because you have a foetus growing within you, does not mean you actually need to eat for two. It has been shown that a pregnant woman actually only needs to increase her caloric intake by about 300 calories. You will want to make sure that you eat a sufficient amount of protein, about 70 grams while pregnant, as opposed to the 45 grams you needed before the pregnancy. Your calcium intake requirement remains the same, however it is extremely important that you meet this requirement every day. Your baby needs it to grow. 3. Avoid foods that are undercooked, or uncooked, including sushi. Ingesting undercooked eggs and meat can introduce bacteria that is harmful to you and your baby, most importantly your baby. This also includes unpasteurized dairy and juices, and cold deli meats. You will also need to avoid fish high in mercury or other contaminants. The harmful bacteria that these foods may carry can cause birth defects and illnesses in your baby. While you as an adult are able to handle the digestion of these foods, your baby cannot fight the bacteria. 4. You will need to take prenatal vitamins. These vitamins have an increased amount of iron and folic acid that you will need to help the growth of your baby and have a healthy pregnancy. Folic acid has been found to reduce the chances of your baby developing spina bifida and other neural tube birth defects. The iron requirement increases during pregnancy, especially during the second and third trimesters. Do not overdose on these vitamins as that can be just as harmful as not getting enough. Do not take any additional supplements or herbal supplements without your caregiver’s permission. 5. Exercise! You will be carrying extra weight with the baby and just overall. A good program can help you building the strength and endurance you will need to carry this weight. Exercise will also help ease any aches and pains you have and help to prevent these from developing, as well as improve any issues with sluggish circulation in your legs. It can also help with handling the stress of labour, which can be very physical. Exercise may also make it easier for you to lose the weight and get back into shape once your baby is born.
6. Reduce stress in your life. Exercise can help you with reducing the stress, while staying active can also increase your levels of serotonin, which is a chemical in your brain that has been linked to mood. Not matter what level of exercise you partake in, or how you go about reducing the stress in your life, remember you are doing it for the health of your baby. You should never overdo it. 7. Though sitting in a spa or sauna sounds like a great way to relax your muscles after a workout, you should avoid them. Using a hot spa could cause hyperthermia, which is a body temperature that is abnormally high. High body temperatures have been shown to cause birth defects at an increased rate during the first trimester. It is recommended that a pregnant woman never allow their body temperature to rise above 101 degrees. If you reprogram your spa for a lower temperature, you can enjoy it. A sauna also increases the body temperature and should be avoided. 8. During the first trimester and the third trimester of your pregnancy, you will most likely feel unusually fatigued. This is how your body tells you to slow down, to rest, that you’re doing too much. Listen to these warnings. Try to take a nap during the day. If you are not able to do this because of work or other responsibilities, at least push away from your desk for a few minutes, elevate your feet, read a book, or just spend sixty seconds breathing slowly. Anything you can to relax will help you and your baby. 9. Do not drink alcohol. Alcohol can affect your baby’s overall birth weight, making it lower than should be. It can also put your baby at risk for speech problems, attention deficit problems, hyperactivity, and issues with learning. If you have more than two alcohol drinks a day, you put your baby at risk for foetal alcohol syndrome. Drinking alcohol can also increase your risk of stillbirth, or miscarriage. 10. Avoid illicit drugs. Every drug you take, whether prescribed or over the counter, goes directly into your baby’s bloodstream and will affect them. Marijuana has been shown in some studies to restrict a baby’s growth, and may cause withdrawal symptoms, which for a newborn can be very traumatic. Other drugs, like cocaine, can cause your baby to be stillborn, suffer from birth defects, and behavioural or developmental problems. It would be a good idea to see help for any drug problem before becoming pregnant.
11. For a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby, you should definitely quit smoking. Smoking increases the risk of premature delivery, growth problems, placental abruption, and miscarriage. There is also some link to a cleft lip or palate. Smoking also increases the chance that your child will be stillborn, or may die in the infancy. If you are not a smoker, you should try to avoid second hand smoke, as it may still put your baby at risk. 12. Reduce your intake of caffeine. It is suggested that you not drink more than 200 mg per day of caffeine, which is the amount in an 8 ounce cup of coffee. Consuming more than that on a daily basis doubles your risk of having a miscarriage. Of course, the best thing for you to do is not to drink caffeine at all. There is no nutritive value in caffeine, and it adversely affects your ability to absorb the iron that your body needs. And it can also make it difficult for you to have a good night’s sleep. 13. You should avoid as many environmental dangers as possible. Routine exposure to chemicals, mercury, lead, radiation, or biological agents can adversely affect your baby. This also includes some cleaning products, solvents, and pesticides. Drinking water from old pipes may contain lead, which can also cause birth defects in your baby. Talk to your obstetrician about things in your home or work place that may be harmful to your baby. 14. Here’s a simple one that you may not have thought of. Go see your dentist. Your health is just as important as the health of your baby. Due to hormonal shifts in your body, you may become more prone to gum disease, so be sure to brush your teeth, floss, and see your dentist regularly. Because of the increased estrogen and progesterone in your body, your gums will react differently to the bacteria, so you may experience bleeding, tender, or swollen gums. 15. Because of the change in hormones during your pregnancy, your emotions are going to be like a passenger on a wild roller coaster. You may cry at commercials, become angry over a haircut, or suffer from depression. If you find that you are suffering from an unexplained emotion for a long period of time, such as two weeks or longer, you should definitely speak to your obstetrician for help. They may refer you for some professional help.
16. Avoid an abusive relationship. Not only are you stressed out during your pregnancy, but it can also place a strain on your relationship with the father of the baby. If this stress becomes physical, you should seek help and remove yourself from the situation immediately. Physical abuse is not only dangerous for you, but it can cause miscarriages, or premature delivery of your baby. This is not a good situation for your or your baby. 17. Do not clean the litter box for your cat. Toxoplasmosis is a parasite that can be found in the litter used by your cat, from faecal matter. This infection can cause your baby to be stillborn, and can cause neurological or structural damage to your infant. It is a good idea to ask someone else to handle the litter box while you are pregnant. If you do not have anyone who can assist you, it is a good idea to use a plastic bag, as well as gloves, and you may even be comfortable with wearing a mask. 18. Try having a birthing plan already in place. If you answer simple questions for your birth prior to that glorious day, it will reduce the stress you feel while you are bringing your baby into the world. Try to decide in advance if you want to have an epidural, who you want in the delivery room, and make sure that your bag is packed and waiting by the door. Make sure you give this plan to multiple people so that everyone is aware in case your partner is not able to be at the hospital immediately upon your arrival. 19. Take a birthing class, even if this isn’t your first baby. It is always a good idea to educate yourself on the latest techniques for birthing, the kind of care you will receive in the hospital, if there are any new breakthroughs in preventing sudden infant death, and it will also give you the opportunity to meet the staff at the hospital where you have chosen to have your baby. In the birthing class, you are able to ask specific questions in a safe and comfortable environment, where you should not feel embarrassed. It’s possible someone else has the same questions. 20. Become familiar with kegel exercises. These exercises will strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, making the birthing process easier and also help to prevent issues with incontinence later. The pelvic floor muscles support your uterus, bowels, and bladder. These exercises are done very discretely and no one will even know you are doing them. Simple exercises that you can do while you are in the restroom, sitting at your desk at work, or even in the car while waiting for the light to turn green that are so helpful. Ask your doctor if you are unsure of how to do them.
Everyone wants a healthy pregnancy. For forty weeks, you are giving your child the best start they could possibly have. While some things may seem like a major sacrifice for you, in reality they are such a small sacrifice for the beautiful face that looks up at you when your baby is placed in your arms for the first time. Give your baby the healthiest start to their lives that you possibly can. Visit our website for a complete listing of our pregnancy pillows. Our pillows can help you during your pregnancy by supporting you in all the areas that you feel need support. Whether it be supporting your back or your growing belly, our pillows will support and hold you in a comfortably, yet relaxing way. Our experts are eager to share their knowledge with you, and look forward to answering any questions you may have.