A healthy pregnancy will help you deliver a healthy baby. Safety and nutritional diet is of prime importance if you wish for a hale and hearty pregnancy. However, due to the hormonal havoc created in your body during pregnancy, there are certain pregnancy ailments that you really cannot avoid, some of them being feeling nauseous, bouts of vomiting, heartburn, etc.
Nevertheless, abiding all the advises given by your healthcare provider along with a little bit of care as to what you eat and how you maintain a healthy lifestyle can take you a long way in achieving a problem-free pregnancy and eventually delivering a healthy baby.
Staying healthy during pregnancy is important.
If you are already pregnant or trying to conceive, you would probably come across a variety of advises from plenty of well-wishers around you. Do not get overwhelmed. What you need to do is to be calm and understand what is important for your body at the moment and follow the basic guidelines that maybe every pregnancy-related book would have.
In case of uncertainty, your doctor is the best person to advice for or against doing something which you are doubtful about. Read on to know about some of the basic pregnancy tips that can help you achieve a healthy and safe prenatal development that will assure that your baby is born healthy in all respects.
• Prenatal Vitamin
If you would have approached a doctor when you are trying to conceive, you surely would have been prescribed a prenatal vitamin such as folic acid, and sometimes iron and calcium as well. This is so because, if you do conceive during that month, then it is likely that your baby's neural cord development would have begun even before you see a positive result on the home pregnancy test kit. Prenatal vitamins are also known for preventing miscarriages, preterm birth and high blood pressure issues in pregnancy.
Aspects such as staying stressful, keeping weight under control, proper blood circulation, boosting your mood, etc., can be taken care of by staying active. You can choose to join a pregnancy exercise class if you are not sure of what kind of exercises will be apt for your pregnant body. Walking at least for 20 minutes during pregnancy keeps you fit. Yoga and Pilates are advised to all medically fit pregnant women. However, keep a check not to overdo any form of exercise.
• Avoid The Mercury-Loaded Fish
Although considered highly nutritious, some fishes are loaded with mercury. Mercury, in the form of fish, when consumed by the pregnant mother, reaches the baby in the womb directly, which can result in several health-related issues. Mercury is considered dangerous for the unborn baby as it affects the hormonal and neurologic systems.
• Household Chores
Certain household chores such as cleaning the bathroom can turn risky when you are pregnant. Using cleansing agents containing toxic chemicals and inhaling them can harm the baby in the womb. Also, lifting heavy objects or coming in contact with harmful bacteria, especially when you clean up after pets, can be risky for you and your baby. It's advisable to refrain from using harsh chemicals. Ensure that you wear gloves when working in the yard. Also, do not attempt climbing up ladders or step-stools. Cats carry parasites that can cause harmful diseases. So if you have a pet cat, get someone else to help you with the cleaning up part.
• Know When You Need To Reach Out To The Doctor
It's advisable that you reach out to your doctor as soon as you see any of the following symptoms:
o Increased and strong heart palpitations
o Frequent vomiting along with severe nausea
o Shortness of breath
o Fainting or frequent dizziness
o Any kind of strong, sharp or stabbing pain
o Contractions that occur within around 20 minute intervals
o Period-like cramps that do not subside
o Severe edema that makes it difficult for you to walk
o Reduced baby movements
o Vaginal bleeding or leakage of water-like fluid
• Eating Well
Pregnancy requires that you eat a healthy, well-balanced diet so that your baby is healthy physically and mentally. Ensure that you incorporate about a minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. To obtain plenty of fibre, try eating wholegrain varieties of starchy foods. Make sure your diet contains a lot of protein in the form of eggs, meat, nuts, pulses or beans. Milk, cheese and yoghurt serve to be the best form of dairy food. Apart from fish, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and soya products serve to be great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Also, ensure that you keep yourself well-hydrated. Drink a minimum of eight glasses of water daily.
• Maintain A Healthy Weight
Overweight pregnant women have an increased risk of birth complications and might end up needing an emergency C-section. Babies of overweight women tend to suffer from allergies, obesity and asthma especially during their childhood. This could lead to heart diseases later in their life.
Stress during pregnancy can lead to anxiety, depression and obesity in the child. Try counseling, yoga or meditation if you find yourself stressing (irrespective of the reason) during pregnancy.
• Food Hygiene
Food hygiene is of utmost importance when you are pregnant. Listeria bacteria cause an infection known as listeriosis, which can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth or the baby having serious ill-health after birth. The foods that might contain listeria and should be avoided during pregnancy are:
o Unpasteurized milk
o Mould-ripened cheeses
o Undercooked ready-to-eat meals
o Blue-veined cheeses
Salmonella bacteria also cause stomach infection. Eating the following can lead to food poisoning:
o Raw shellfish
o Raw or undercooked meat
Apart from the above, there are other general advises that are worthwhile to follow when pregnant in order to deliver a healthy baby. As you cannot be sure as to how much alcohol can reach your baby through the bloodstream, it is sensible to avoid drinking alcohol completely. Also, refrain from smoking as it can lead to premature birth or low birth weight of the baby. Try to cut back on caffeine as it increases the risk of miscarriage. Last, but not the least, ensure that you take ample rest and also try to get into the habit of sleeping on your side.