Health

Vital Steps for a Healthy Pregnancy

The steps for a healthy pregnancy are discussed in this article. Pregnancy occurs when an egg is fertilized by a sperm, grows inside a woman’s uterus (womb), and develops into a baby.

In humans, this process takes about 264 days from the date of fertilization of the egg, but the obstetrician will date the pregnancy from the first day of the last menstrual period (280 days 40 weeks).

Get Good Prenatal Care as Soon as You Can

Once you know you’re pregnant, call your gynecologist to arrange your initial prenatal visit. Your first visit is vitally important because you will be screened for any health conditions that could cause complications. If you’ve yet to choose a gynecologist, then you must look for one straight away. During your first visit, make sure your gynecologist knows about any medical concerns and is aware of any medications currently taken.

Watch Your Diet

Disregard any advice you’ve heard about eating for two because you only need about 300 calories extra each day. It is essential to ensure you get plenty of protein and you should be aiming for approximately 70g every day. Calcium is particularly important, and although you don’t need to take any extra calcium, you must ensure your diet contains the daily requirements.

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Many women find it hard to obtain adequate calcium from their regular diet. When choosing your foods, avoid undercooked meat and eggs, as well as unpasteurized dairy products, raw seafood, and juices that could contain bacteria that may harm your baby. Certain types of fish may also contain high levels of mercury and are best avoided during pregnancy.

Take Your Vitamins

You will need to take a good prenatal supplement which will most likely contain more iron and folic acid than you’ll find in a standard multivitamin. Folic acid is especially important during early pregnancy because it greatly reduces the risk of your baby being born with neural tube birth defects, for example, spina bifida.

In an ideal world, you would begin taking 400 µg of folic acid at least a month before becoming pregnant, and once your pregnancy is confirmed, this should be increased to 600 µg each day.

While you are pregnant, your requirement for iron will increase significantly, particularly during the second and third trimesters. Generally, it’s best to ask your healthcare provider as to which vitamins are most essential and the daily dose they recommend. As with most things, taking too much of something could be harmful.

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Take Regular Exercise

Regularly exercising will help build your strength and endurance in preparation for birth, and it will make it easier to carry the extra weight gained during pregnancy. A good exercise regime will also help improve your circulation, and it’ll make it much easier to get back in shape once your baby is born. Additionally, exercising is a good way to reduce stress, and it boosts levels of serotonin, the feel-good hormone. Just remember to exercise appropriately and ask your gynecologist for more personalized advice.

Get Plenty of Rest

During the second and third trimesters, you’ll probably begin to feel pretty tired, and it pays to listen to your body and to slow down when needed. If you can’t take a midday nap, at least find the time to put your feet up for a few moments and relax with a book or magazine. Other things that can help include taking up yoga, having regular massages, or even just practicing deep breathing techniques.

Avoid Alcohol

It’s only for a few months, so avoid all alcohol while pregnant. When you have a drink, then the alcohol quickly reaches your baby through your bloodstream, and it’s quite likely that your baby will end up with higher levels of blood alcohol than you. Drinking during pregnancy increases the risk of a child being born with learning difficulties or of having a low birth weight. Even just a single drink a week can make a difference.

Also Read: How to Make Someone Sober

Quit Smoking

Smoking is bad for your health on so many levels, and it’s really awful for your baby. It increases the risk of premature birth or miscarriage, and it’s thought that smoking could increase the risk of having a baby with a cleft lip or palate. That’s without mentioning the increased risk of your baby being stillborn or dying in infancy. If you do smoke and find it hard to give up the habit, then ask your healthcare provider for advice and practical help.

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