Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy
If you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, you most likely have researched a list of do’s and don’ts to ensure that you remain as healthy as possible throughout your pregnancy. There are a few apparent tips that most people are aware of – like no alcohol or smoking – but are there additional […]
If you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, you most likely have researched a list of do’s and don’ts to ensure that you remain as healthy as possible throughout your pregnancy. There are a few apparent tips that most people are aware of – like no alcohol or smoking – but are there additional tips on things to do more of or avoid? Yes! There are plenty of things that you can do to support your health during this journey, and we are sharing those with you today!
The Importance of Good Health during Pregnancy
An excellent way to prepare for motherhood is by focusing on your health; you are taking care of your unborn child by taking care of yourself. So what are some of the first things you can do to ensure that you make healthy decisions throughout your pregnancy? Before we go into any other tips, the first thing you should do is also one of the most significant tips on this list: go see your doctor or visit a prenatal clinic.
Prenatal visits to a clinic or your physician can vary depending on where you go but generally involve discussions about healthy eating, physical activity, screening tests, and what to expect during later trimesters and delivery.
Here are some things to expect during your first prenatal visit:
- Physical Exam (weight, blood pressure, breasts, heart, and lungs are all typically examined)
- Pelvic Exam
- Determine your due date (typically 280 days or 40 weeks from the first day of your last period)
- Answer questions about personal medical history (prior pregnancies, surgeries, current medications, over-the-counter supplements, etc.)
- Discuss family medical history
- Determine whether or not any lab tests will be ordered (blood work and various screening tests)
- Determine whether or not you have any risk factors based on the topics listed above
- Discuss birth plan options and post-delivery options (placenta banking or cord blood banking). The sooner you tell your physician about any post-birth plans, the better.
After these initial visits, your physician will most likely discuss lifestyle changes that you should make to reduce any possible risks (quitting smoking, drinking, narcotics, etc.), but this is also where they may share tips for a healthy pregnancy. In the next section, we will review some of the tips that your physician may discuss with you!
Top Tips For Healthy Pregnancy
The best tips for a healthy pregnancy are about making smarter choices and lifestyle changes. Keep in mind that even if you are considered a healthy adult, there are still some modifications that you will have to make during pregnancy.
Although your physician may recommend additional tips for a healthy pregnancy, the following are some simple and general tips to consider.
- Take a prenatal vitamin
- Exercise regularly (yoga, swimming, walking, etc.)
- Write a birth plan after you’ve discussed options with your physician
- Educate yourself (birthing classes, body changes, etc.)
- Make sure that your medications are safe to take
- Throw out cleaning supplies with harsh chemicals
- Track your weight gain (normal weight gain is 25-35 pounds)
- Get comfortable shoes and clothes
- Eat foods rich in folate, calcium, and fiber foods
- Avoid certain soft cheeses (unpasteurized styles like Brie and feta may contain bacteria that can cause fever, miscarriage, or pregnancy complications)
- Increase fruit and veggie consumption
- Limit caffeine
- Drink plenty of fluids (six 8-ounce glasses of water per day)
- Wear sunscreen (being pregnant makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight)
- Avoid air travel in the early and late stages of pregnancy
- Avoid changing cat litter (to reduce the risk of toxoplasmosis)
- Know when to call your doctor with concerns
- Don’t smoke and try to avoid secondhand smoke
- Get enough sleep (use a pregnancy pillow if it helps)
- Don’t take over-the-counter medications or herbal remedies without medical consultation
- Practice relaxation techniques daily (yoga, stretching, deep breathing, pregnancy massage)
- Practice kegels
- Eliminate toxins (alcohol, sodas, etc.)
- Learn about postpartum depression and how it may affect you
- Make sure you are going to all appointments during pregnancy
The last tip we will leave you with is this: Enjoy this special time in your life! Pregnancy is a beautiful and incredible moment, and although the journey only lasts nine months, the decisions you make during this time can have lifelong effects on your baby’s future. Have confidence in your body’s ability to grow, nourish and give birth to this baby as women have done for centuries. If you need additional information or tips, contact your physician or a prenatal clinic in your area.