You’ve just seen two lines on your pregnancy test. Congratulations: very soon you’ll finally see your beloved baby! In the meantime, you need to enjoy your pregnancy because it’s a fantastic period. However, the health of your baby depends on your behavior during pregnancy, so you need to make sure you are taking good care of yourself.
To achieve that goal, you’ll have a series of prenatal visits to your local health care provider. But not everything depends on your doctor. There are some recommendations that will help you stay healthy during your pregnancy. So get comfortable and have a look!
Avoid Infectious Diseases
If you are pregnant from November to March, you run a risk of catching the flu. So take some preventative measures. The best thing you can do is to get a flu shot. However, you should also stay away from people that suffer from infectious diseases. Some viruses are harmless whereas others can even influence your baby’s health.
If you work with kids, let your healthcare provider know. Take precautions around them. You should always wash your hands with soap after contact with kids.
All in all, you should try to avoid visiting places where large groups congregate, especially during the flu season.
Smoking is a bad habit, isn’t it? Even if you were smoking before, you need to ditch this habit as soon as possible. Remember: when you are smoking, your baby is smoking too. Smoking women are more prone to miscarriage, stillbirth and can bear a baby with too low birth weight. Today, a variety of smoking-cessation programs are available, so if you want to give up smoking and don’t have the slightest idea of how to do it, you can consult your healthcare provider. They will definitely recommend the most effective program.
Never Use “Street” Drugs
Even the tiniest amounts of drugs (like heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine) can be dangerous or even fatal for your baby. If you do have a problem with drug addiction, it is time to solve these issues and start leading a healthy life. Right now, the future of your baby depends on your decision. You can discuss this question with your doctor. Moreover, there are lots of modern programs that can help kick this habit.
Take Your Prenatal Vitamins
Starting taking your prenatal vitamins even before the planned pregnancy might be the right decision. Moreover, sometimes, specialists recommend taking vitamins throughout the whole pregnancy. Remember that your baby’s neural cord develops within the first three months of pregnancy. So it is of prime importance to have all the essential nutrients from the very beginning. But before you start taking any vitamins, you need to consult a physician, who will decide what type will be more effective in your particular case. Remember that an excess of vitamins may cause health issues as well.
Get Regular Exercise
Pregnancy doesn’t mean you can forget about working out. Staying active is very important for your future baby. Exercise can help control your weight, reduce stress, improve blood circulation and boost your mood. Moreover, some pregnant women are suffering from insomnia. After physical activity, you can sleep much better. But it’s better to take special pregnancy exercise classes. The best and the most effective activities for pregnant women are swimming, pilates or yoga. Before you start any exercise program, you should consult your physician. But 30 minutes of exercise per day won’t harm anyone!
Change Your Household Chores
Not all household chores are good for you right now. So now you have the perfect excuse to delegate them to your husband! Such tasks as giving your dogs or cats a bath can be risky for your health. Moreover, you shouldn’t be exposing yourself to toxic chemicals.
Review your daily to-do list and try to avoid the following:
- Climbing ladders;
- Heavy lifting;
- Changing your cat’s litter;
- Using harsh chemicals.
If you like working in the yard, you should always wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly.
Monitor Your Weight Gain
Pregnancy doesn’t literally mean that you need to eat for two. If you do, you’ll gain more extra pounds and it will be really hard to lose them. But this doesn’t mean you should starve, either. When you don’t have enough weight, you put your baby at risk for developmental problems. The Institute of Medicine analyzed the body mass index of women, and here’s what they recommend during pregnancy:
- Underweight: gain 27-40 pounds;
- Normal weight: gain 24-35 pounds;
- Overweight: 15-25 pounds;
- Obese: 11-20 pounds.
To make sure you don’t have problems with your weight, consult your doctor. He or she will give you some valuable tips on how to balance your food.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
Remember that in the course of pregnancy, your bump always grows. The natural weight gain puts some extra pressure on your toes. Sometimes, it may cause pain. So you should always wear comfortable shoes. Some women find that they need a larger shoe size during pregnancy. In any case, you shouldn’t feel pain or discomfort.
Drink Enough Water
Your blood supplies essential nutrients and oxygen to your baby through the placenta. When you are pregnant, your body volume may increase up to 40-50% to perform all these activities. That’s why you need to drink more water. How many glasses of water do you drink per day? Remember that 2 or 3 aren’t enough! You should drink at least 9-10 glasses every day. Moreover, this tip will help you prevent fatigue, headaches, swelling or constipation.
Eat More Fresh Fruits
If your physician doesn’t allow you to drink coffee during pregnancy, but you can’t do without a morning cup to keep you going, there’s a good solution for you. Try nibbling on some fruit! Fruits contain natural sugar that can lift your energy levels.
All in all, pregnancy is a wonderful period and you should enjoy it! Fresh air and exercise, more fruits and more pleasant emotions – these are the main recommendations for those who want to have a healthy pregnancy.
About The Author
Barbara Elliott works as the operating nurse at New-Life.ua clinic for reproductive medicine. This infertility center offers surrogacy services, IVF, egg donation for infertility treatment for those couples who dream to become parents.