A prenatal vitamin is a multivitamin that is designed with pregnancy and breastfeeding. Even when you’re still trying to conceive, it’s smart to start taking prenatal vitamins. Your baby’s neural cord, which becomes the brain and spinal cord, develops within the first month of pregnancy, so it’s important you get essential nutrients, like folic acid, calcium, and iron, from the very start. Iron keeps your blood healthy. It’s important to get enough folic acid before conception and during early pregnancy because folic acid helps prevent birth defects. Folic acid is crucial for the proper development of the baby’s neural tube, and it’s vital for the creation of new red blood cells. Your body needs this fat-soluble vitamin to help build your baby’s bones and teeth. Vitamin D plays an important role in maintaining levels of calcium and phosphorus. On the other hand Vitamin B6 helps to reduce nausea. Always use prenatal vitamins after prescription from your doctor. If taking them makes you feel queasy, try taking them at night or with a light snack. Chewing gum or sucking on hard candy afterward can help, too. You also need to make sure you’re getting enough iron. Your iron requirement increases significantly during pregnancy, especially during the second and third trimesters. But overdosing is not better at all — taking too much of certain things can actually be harmful for future mothers and babies too. Avoid mega doses of any vitamin, and don’t take any additional supplements or herbal preparations without your doctor’s okay.
Maintaining a regular exercise routine throughout your pregnancy can help you stay healthy and feel your best. Regular exercise will help you control your weight, improve circulation, boost your mood, and help you sleep better. Plus, getting into an exercise habit now will help you set a good example for your child after born. A good exercise program can give you the strength and endurance you’ll need to carry the weight you gain during pregnancy, help prevent or ease aches and pains, improve sluggish circulation in your legs, and help you handle the physical stress of labor. It will also make getting back into shape after your baby’s born much easier. There is a research that physical activity may prevent gestational diabetes, relieve stress, and build more stamina needed for labor and delivery and some more research suggests that staying active can boost your level of serotonin, a brain chemical linked to mood. Aerobic exercises, such as walking, jogging, and swimming, stimulate the heart and lungs as well as muscle and joint activity, which help to process and utilize oxygen. Aerobic activity also improves circulation and increases muscle tone and strength. For the majority of normal pregnancies, exercise can increase energy levels, improve sleep, strengthen muscles and endurance, reduces backaches, and relieves constipation, prevent excess weight gain, reduce pregnancy related problems, like back pain, swelling, improve sleep, increase energy, improve outlook, prepare for labor and lessen recovery time. But if you have any medical problem, such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes, exercise may not be advisable. Exercise may also be harmful if you have a pregnancy related condition such as Bleeding or spotting, Low placenta, Threatened or recurrent miscarriage, Previous premature births or history of early labor, weak cervix, then talk with your doctor before beginning any exercise program so she/he can also give you personal exercise guidelines according to your medical history.
Even if this isn’t your first baby, attending a childbirth class will help you feel more prepared for delivery. Not only will you have the chance to learn more about childbirth and infant care, but you can ask specific questions and voice any concerns. You’ll also become more acquainted with the facility and its staff. It is also a best time to learn and share your family’s medical history. Talk to your doctor about problems with past pregnancies, and report any family incidences of birth defects.
Say no to alcohol
Alcohol is the one of the most common known causes of mental and physical birth defects, alcohol can cause severe abnormalities in a developing fetus. Alcohol is easily passed along to the baby, who is less equipped to eliminate alcohol than the mother. That means an unborn baby tends to develop a high concentration of alcohol, which stays in the baby’s system for longer periods than it would in the mother’s. And moderate alcohol intake, as well as periodic binge drinking, can damage a baby’s developing nervous system. As little as one drink a day can increase your odds of having a low-birth weight baby and increase your child’s risk for problems with learning, speech, attention span, language, and hyperactivity. Drinking also increases your risk for miscarriage and stillbirth.
Kegel strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support your bladder, bowels, and uterus. Done correctly, this simple exercise can help make your delivery easier and prevent problems later with incontinence. You can practice kegel in the car, while you’re sitting at your desk, or even standing in line at the grocery store.
Change Up Chores
Even everyday tasks like scrubbing the bathroom or cleaning up become risky when you’re pregnant. Exposure to toxic chemicals, lifting heavy objects, or coming in contact with bacteria can harm you and your baby. Here are some things to take off your to-do-list including heavy lifting, Climbing on step stools or ladders, Changing kitty litter for avoiding toxoplasmosis, a disease caused by a parasite which cats can carry, Using harsh chemicals, Standing for long periods of time, especially near a hot stove, wear gloves if you’re working in the yard where cats may have been, and wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw meat.
Get enough fluid
Getting enough nourishing fluids, like water, fresh juices is important during pregnancy to prevent constipation and provide for the expanding blood volume that carries oxygen and nutrients to both the mother and baby. Drink nutritious beverages, such as reduced-sodium V8, orange juice, or nonfat milk to get your fluids.
In pregnancy aim to eat a healthy, balanced diet and try to have at least five portions of fruit and vegetables daily. Plenty of carbohydrates, such as bread, pasta and rice, as the basis of your meals. Choose wholegrain carbohydrates rather than white, so you get plenty of fiber. Choose a variety of vegetables and fruits, like carrots, cooked greens, bananas, and melon. Eat plenty of beans and whole grains. Try brown rice or oatmeal. Not avoid adding daily servings of protein, such as fish, lean meat, eggs, nuts and milk and dairy foods. Fish is full of with protein, vitamin D, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for the development of your baby’s nervous system. Don’t forget breakfast especially in pregnancy. Try fortified ready-to-eat or cooked breakfast cereals with fruit. Fortified cereals have added nutrients, like calcium. If you are feeling sick, start with whole wheat toast. Poor control of diabetes during pregnancy increases the chance for birth defects and other problems for your baby. It can cause serious complications for you, too.
Pregnant women who use drugs may be placing their unborn babies at risk for premature birth, poor growth, birth defects, and behavior and learning problems. And their babies could also be born addicted to those drugs themselves.
Smoking increases the risk of miscarriage, growth problems, placental abruption, sudden infant death syndrome, low birth weight and premature delivery. Some research has even linked smoking to an increased risk of having a baby with a cleft lip or palate. Smoking during pregnancy increases the chance that a baby will be stillborn or die in infancy and can cause serious health problems, for you and your baby. These risks include an increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, smoking may even be associated with the loss of a baby at birth. Smoking makes the pregnancy complications more likely nausea and vomiting, Ectopic pregnancy, placental abruption, where the placenta comes away from the uterus wall before your baby is born.
Be careful about food hygiene
Good food hygiene is the best way to reduce the risk of salmonella and listeria infections. Always wash your hands before and after preparing food. Keep your kitchen surfaces clean regularly. Wash fruit, vegetables and salad before eating properly. Cook food thoroughly. Keep pets away from kitchen surfaces. Refrigerate the food at correct temperatures. There are some foods which are not safe to eat in pregnancy and can create a health risk for your baby. Listeriosis is an infection caused by listeria bacteria which can cause pregnancy or birth complications. Even Listeriosis can even lead to miscarriage. Unpasteurized milk, undercooked ready meals, soft, mould-ripened cheeses can cause listeria infection and but we can destroy this by heat; make sure you heat meals thoroughly. Salmonella bacteria can cause food poisoning that can trigger miscarriage. You can catch it from eating through raw or undercooked meat, raw eggs and raw shellfish. For avoiding this infection thoroughly wash utensils, boards and your hands after handling raw poultry. Food hygiene is especially important in pregnancy. Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a parasite. It’s rare, but it can affect your unborn baby. You can cut down your risk of catching it by cooking meat and ready meals thoroughly, washing fruit and vegetables well to remove soil or dirt, wearing gloves when handling cat litter and gardening.
Eliminate environmental dangers
Being pregnant makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so you’re more prone to sunburn and dark, blotchy spots that sometimes appear on the face. Apply a sunscreen and wear a hat and sunglasses. During pregnancy some jobs can be hazardous to you and your developing baby. If you’re routinely exposed to chemicals, heavy metals like lead or mercury, certain biologic agents, or radiation, you have to make some changes as soon as possible.
Say yes to cravings – but sometimes
Still no one knows why cravings happen. According to some research they may be a natural way of providing nutrients an expectant mother due to lacking. As long as you’re eating an overall healthy diet, it’s usually OK to give in to your cravings. Just be careful to limit yourself for quantity. Try to avoid raw and under cooked meat or eggs, unpasteurized cheese, herbal teas etc.
Avoid heart burn
Heartburn is common in pregnancy because, as the baby grows, there is more pressure on the abdomen. Try to avoid eating late at night, bending, lifting or lying down after meals and excessive consumption of tea or coffee and try small, frequent meals may help, compared to larger meals.
Rest and sleep well
In the first and third trimester in pregnancy the fatigue you feel in your body to indicate you to slow down and is due to high levels of pregnancy hormones circulating in your body. If you can’t swing a nap in the middle of the day, give yourself a break and let your other responsibilities slide a little. If you can’t sleep, at least put your feet up and read a book or leaf through a magazine. Take easy and relax as much as you can. It’s important to get enough sleep during your pregnancy. Your body is working hard to accommodate a new life, so you’ll probably feel more tired than usual. And as your baby gets bigger, it will be harder to find a comfortable position when you’re trying to sleep. Lying on your side with your knees bent is likely to be the most comfortable position as your pregnancy progresses. It also makes your heart’s job easier because it keeps the baby’s weight from applying pressure to the large blood vessels that carry blood to and from your heart and your feet and legs. Lying on your side can also help prevent or reduce varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and swelling in your legs. Some doctors specifically recommend that pregnant women sleep on the left side. Because one of those big blood vessels is on the right side of your abdomen, lying on your left side helps keep the uterus off of it. Lying on your left side helps blood flow to the placenta and, therefore, your baby. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, stretching, deep breathing and massage are all great ways to combat stress and get a better night’s sleep.
Know when to call the doctor
Being pregnant can be confusing, especially if it’s your first time. How do you know which twinge is normal and which one isn’t? You should call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms like Pain of any kind, Strong cramps, Contractions at 20-minute intervals, Vaginal bleeding or leaking of fluid, Dizziness or fainting, Shortness of breath, Heart palpitations, Constant nausea and vomiting, Trouble walking, edema (swelling of joints) and Decreased activity by the baby.
You may think you’re busy now, but once the baby comes you’ll have even fewer precious moments to yourself. Treating yourself to a lunchtime manicure, spending a much-needed night out with the girls, or simply taking a quiet walk can help you relax and de-stress – and that’s good for both you and the baby.