Wondering how to maintain your health and wellness now that you’re pregnant? You’re in luck! Here are 12 tips to a happy pregnancy.
Now that you are finally pregnant, take every possible care to make sure you have a problem-free pregnancy and eventually deliver a glowing healthy baby. It’s very important to take very good care of both your physical and emotional health.
Here are some simple pregnancy health and wellness tips . . .
1. Good Health Begins with Prenatal Care
It is very important for you and your baby to have a good prenatal care. Health and wellness tips suggest that you call your healthcare provider immediately and set your first prenatal visit.
During that first visit, you will be screened for certain health conditions that could lead to complications. If you haven’t chosen anyone yet, get started immediately because finding the right person may take a while.
In the meantime, don’t forget to tell your current caregiver if you’re taking any medication or if you have any medical concerns.
2. Careful What You Eat!
Make sure you get plenty of protein, about 75 grams a day. It is also imperative that you meet your calcium requirement. Health and wellness tips also recommend that you stay away from undercooked eggs and meat, unpasteurized dairy products, juices, raw seafood, and cold deli meats to avoid getting bacteria that could be harmful to your baby. Avoid certain fishes with high levels of mercury too.
“Supplying your own body with a tasty blend of nutritious foods can improve your fertility, keep you feeling healthy during pregnancy, and pave the way for an easier labor,” American Pregnancy Association explains.
3. Vitamins are the Key to Wellness
Most prenatal vitamins contain more folic acid and iron than any standard multivitamin. It’s important to get enough folic acid before conception and during early pregnancy. Folic acid greatly decreases your baby’s risk of developing neural tube birth defects like spina bifida.
Start taking 400 micrograms of folic acid at least one month before getting pregnant. Once your pregnancy is already confirmed, increase it to 600 mcg. Make sure to also get enough iron because your iron requirement will go up significantly especially during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.
Health and wellness tips also say that you should be very careful not to take too much as that could be potentially harmful to both you and your baby. Don’t take any additional vitamins without the approval of your doctor.
4. Exercise Regularly
Having a good exercise program can provide you with the strength and endurance that you will need to carry the weight that you will gain during pregnancy. It will also help prevent or ease aches and pains, improve the sluggish circulation in your legs, and help you handle the physical stress of labor.
It will even help you get back into shape easier after giving birth!
It can also help reduce stress because some research studies found that staying active can boost your level of serotonin, a brain chemical that makes you feel good. Health and wellness tips would also like you to remember not to overdo it, or get yourself overheated or dehydrated. And avoid hot tubs and saunas while you’re pregnant.
The fatigue that you feel is your body’s way of telling you to slow down. Listen to your body and take it easy. Take a nap in the middle of the day, or let some of your responsibilities slide a little. If you can’t sleep, put your feet up and read a book or leaf through a magazine. Health and wellness tips also recommend relaxation techniques like yoga, stretching, deep breathing, and massage that are all great ways to fight stress and get a better sleep.
“Actually, you may sleep more than usual during the first trimester of your pregnancy. It’s normal to feel tired as your body works to protect and nurture the developing baby,” according to KidsHealth.
6. No Alcohol
Any alcohol that you drink will reach your baby quickly through your bloodstream, crossing the placenta, and your baby can end up with higher levels of blood alcohol than you have. One drink a day can increase your risk of having a low birth weight baby, increase your child’s risk for problems with learning, speech, attention span, language, and hyperactivity.
Some research even showed that children whose mother drank while pregnant later exhibit aggressive and delinquent behavior. Women who have more than two drinks per day are at greater risk of giving birth to a baby with fetal alcohol syndrome.
Children who are born with this condition suffer from mental and growth retardation, behavioural problems, and facial and heart defects. Your risk for miscarriage and stillbirth also increases when you drink while pregnant. Health and wellness tips say that to be completely safe, never drink alcohol while you’re pregnant.
If you have trouble giving it up, tell your doctor immediately so you can get proper help!
7. No Un-prescribed Medications
Any drug that you take will also get into your baby’s bloodstream. That’s why you should never take anything unless your doctor knows about it and approves of it.
Taking marijuana for example, may restrict your baby’s growth and cause withdrawal symptoms like tremors when your baby is born. Cocaine is very dangerous. It restricts the blood flow to the uterus, which may lead to miscarriage, growth problems, placental abruption, or premature delivery.
Your baby could come out stillborn, or have birth defects or developmental and behavioural problems!
Health and wellness tips suggest that other drugs can be very harmful too, so if you have a problem getting rid of your addiction, seek help immediately.
8. No Smoking
Smoking during pregnancy will increase the risk of miscarriage, growth problems, placental abruption, and premature delivery. Some studies have even linked it to an increased risk of having a baby with a cleft lip or palate.
It also increases the chance of giving birth to a stillborn or the baby could die in infancy. If you are having difficulties in quitting, consult your doctor immediately so you can be referred to a smoking cessation program.
Health and wellness tips also state that even if you’re not a smoker, you should stay away from secondhand smoke!
9. Less Caffeine
According a 2008 study, having 200 mg of caffeine per day during pregnancy, doubles the risk of getting a miscarriage. So, it you really can’t take it off totally in your daily routines, make sure to drink less than 200 mg per day.
Caffeine has no nutritive value and even makes it harder for your body to absorb iron, which pregnant women are already low on supply.
It is also a stimulant that can make it harder for you to get a good sleep, gives you headaches, and even contribute to heartburn. Minimize your coffee intake or try to consider switching to decaf.
Health and wellness tips also recommend that you should never forget to check the caffeine content of other products that you consume like tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, chocolate, coffee ice cream, medicines for headaches, cold, and allergy.
10. Get Rid Of Environmental Dangers
If your job is hazardous to you and your developing baby, make some changes quickly. It won’t do you and your baby any good if you are regularly exposed to chemicals, heavy metals like mercury, certain biologic agents, or radiation.
Be mindful that some cleaning products, pesticides, solvents, and lead in drinking water from old pipes can also be harmful. Consult your doctor about your daily routines so you can come up with ways to avoid or get rid of hazards in your home and workplace.
11. Best Tips: Go To Your Dentist
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can make your gums susceptible to more diseases. It’s therefore very important for you to maintain your oral health, brush, floss, and get regular dental care.
Increased progesterone and estrogen levels can cause your gums to react differently to the bacteria in plaque, which could result to swollen, bleeding, and tender gums or gingivitis.
Go to your dentist immediately for a checkup and cleaning if you haven’t had a visit in the last six months!
12. Take Care Of Your Emotional Health
Most women feel like being in an emotional roller coaster at least one time during their pregnancy. If your mood swings have become extreme or already interfering with your daily life, you may be suffering from depression, which is common.
If you seem to have been feeling low for more than two weeks and nothing lifts your spirits up or if you’re feeling particularly anxious, tell your doctor immediately so you can get a referral for professional help. Don’t forget to mention to your doctor if you’re in an abusive relationship.
Pregnancy can cause stress in any relationship, which could be a trigger for domestic violence and puts your health and your baby at risk!
Pregnancy is very difficult to handle especially if you try to do it on your own. Don’t be shy to ask for help from close friends and colleagues, they may be able to help you in the little things like constant reminders. Read on the guidelines again and go to a doctor immediately for your prenatal visit.
Dr. Michael Hussey Bio: I earned my medical doctor degree at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1986. I completed my anesthesiology residency at the University of Illinois Hospital, and my obstetrics and gynecology residency at Loyola University Medical Center. My completed fellowships include obstetric ultrasonography and prenatal diagnosis, as well as Maternal Fetal Medicine. In my 30-years as a practitioner, I have authored and/or coauthored more than 20 medical journal articles and professional publications. I have humbly accepted multiple awards and honors, including Chicago Magazine and Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. Awards for Chicago’s Top Doctors and America’s Top Doctors, as well as U.S. News and World Report Best Doctors in America. I have also been a reviewer for the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, and the Journal of Maternal – Fetal & Neonatal Medicine. I am presently an Assistant Professor at Rush University, Rush Medical College, for the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
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