How To Maintain A Healthy Pregnancy
Sometimes they just expect you to know everything from one minute to the next, but how could one possibly know what is happening and what is required of you if nobody has ever told you. A great book that was referred by a doctor friend of mine was What To Expect When You Are Expecting because it gets you all of the information you need, without the interference of Dr. Google, or the opinions of all the strangers of the internet. So before my opinion leaks into the discussion, here is the basics from a fellow blogger and health care practitioner, Susy Richards. As with any medical recommendations, always consult your personal doctor or HCP for personalized medical advice based on your specific conditions, but here is some information to get you on the right path to maintain a healthy pregnancy.
How To Maintain A Healthy Pregnancy
Written by Suzy Richards
Have you ever thought that the future child’s health can be scheduled? Yes exactly! The scientists around the world identified the factors that protect the baby from illness and those who provoke them. These factors exert their influence even on the baby in the womb.
Once pregnant, it is essential to follow the recommended tips for a healthy pregnancy. It is also imperative to plan ahead, stop smoking and drinking, start taking a daily multivitamin with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid, and a B vitamin that aids in preventing neural tube defects in the unborn baby.
Prenatal supplements contain more folic acid and iron than the average standard multivitamin, because during pregnancy the Folic acid greatly reduces your baby’s risk of developing neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida.
Eat well and make every calorie count as you are eating for two people. Foods must nourish you and your baby and be rich in essential nutrients such as protein, folate, and iron. High-fiber foods help prevent constipation and drinking plenty of water, is necessary to support your increased blood volume. To help prevent heartburn and keep your blood-sugar levels steady eat four or five mini-meals daily.
Having a healthy pregnancy is started by avoiding dangerous foods during pregnancy, including:
- undercooked meats and cold cuts
- raw seafood
- undercooked or raw eggs
- soft unpasteurized cheeses, such as brie
- swordfish or any large fish, which can contain high levels of mercury and other possible toxins
- caffeine consumption must be limited
- herbal teas
- feta & other types of unpasteurized cheese
- raw sprouts
Healthy food for pregnancy includes folate-rich foods because it is vital for the creation of new red blood cells.
Examples of Folate-rich foods are the following such as:
- wheat germ
- fortified cereals
- orange juice
The natural sugars in fruits like bananas, apples and peaches can help lift energy levels.
Some kinds of fish contain mercury, which can be toxic to both babies and adults. Eat no more than 12 ounces of fish per week.
- pollack / catfish
- canned light tuna
- tilefish, which are all high in mercury
- king mackerel
Minimize exposure to chemicals such as:
- lead dust
- bisphenol-A (BPA), found in products such as plastic containers
- secondhand smoke
- exposure to pesticides
Moving around and exercise for pregnant women should be a minimum of 30 minutes daily for six or seven days a week. Regular moving, stretching and exercise can relieve constipation, morning sickness, backaches, and gives you energy to get thru the day.
A healthy pregnancy includes staying safe while driving because motor vehicle accidents are a major cause of injury/death for pregnant women, so be sure to adjust the lap belt part of the safety belt across your hip-pelvis area and below your belly.
Being pregnant makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight, apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and wear a hat and sunglasses.
Surround yourself with practical and emotional support because it is crucial in helping you have a healthy pregnancy and it helps prevent postpartum depression (PPD). Seek help if experiencing severe or chronic stress because it can affect the fetus. Intimacy is a great stress reliever, you can enjoy a healthy sex life until you give birth. Indulge yourself by treating yourself to a manicure, facial, a much-needed night out with the girls or just taking quiet walks into the sunset. They all can help you relax and de-stress which is good for both you and the baby.
Regular exercise such as:
Walking can help with:
- boosting your mood
- controlling your weight
- improve blood circulation
- helps you sleep better
Aim for 30 minutes exercise most days of the week, and this will help you to keep weight gain to 25 to 35 pounds
Everyday tasks can become risky when you’re pregnant or harm you and/or the baby such as:
- lifting heavy objects
- using harsh chemicals
- standing for long periods of time
- standing too close for too long near a hot stove
- climbing on step-stools or ladders
Changes that occur during pregnancy can result in sinusitis and during a healthy pregnancy there is always a risk for sinus infection which happens when your sinuses becomes inflamed and swollen resulting in mucus not draining properly. When you are pregnant it is even worse due to the fact that it is hard to distinguish whether the symptoms are caused by your hormones or just an actual infection.
The signs of sinus are:
- yellow or greenish discharge from your nose
- trouble inhaling/exhaling through your nose
- some feeling of pain and pressure around your face
- sometimes a bad cough
- the sense of smell and taste might also be infected with other symptoms including
- sore throat
Sinus infections during pregnancy can be more and more common because pregnancy can cause the blood vessels and membranes in the nose to swell, but most sinus infections do eventually go away with time. The important thing to determine is whether your symptoms are caused by pregnancy or an actual infection so visit your doctor.
You can get sinusitis from:
- viral infections
- bacterial infections
- fungal infections
If you have allergies, for instance hay fever, you may have an increased risk of getting sinusitis but luckily, it won’t affect the unborn baby. Make sure to get enough vitamins and nutrients with saline nose drops and running a humidifier can help you feel more comfortable. Before you take any medicine, check with your doctor.
For a healthy pregnancy stay as healthy as you can and follow the above tips to help your pregnancy be a healthy one.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Susy Richards is a lovely mother of three girls (3, 4 & 5 years old) and a simple woman who is ready to share her priceless experience with other mommies around the world. She is an Advanced Practice Provider who passed birth doula and postpartum doula courses at Childbirth International in 2013. Susy is passionate about providing holistic care and is involved in pregnancy research currently publishing her articles concerning pregnancy on site rocketparents.com
DISCLAIMER: images in this blog post were provided by the author and are not the work of Pure Natural Newborn Photography.