You’ve no doubt been elated to find out recently that you are going to have a baby! Whether it’s your first time having a baby or not, one thing’s for certain: you want to make sure that you have a healthy and happy baby. You also want to make sure that the things you do during your pregnancy won’t cause any potential problems as you progress towards your due date.
To that end, take a look at these steps that can help you to ensure you have a healthy pregnancy:
1. Make sure you’ve seen your doctor
When you discover that you are pregnant, the first step is to schedule an appointment with your doctor. That way, he or she can ensure that you’ve got the right antenatal care and that you can get any ultrasound scans and tests scheduled in the future as needed.
It’s important that you’re registered with a competent doctor and have a first-class midwifery team. After all, the last thing you want is for things to go wrong and then needing to organize medical malpractice attorneys to pursue compensation for negligence!
2. Eat a healthy and balanced diet
It goes without saying that the food you consume during your pregnancy should be healthy and balanced. That means eating a varied selection of the following:
- Five portions of fruit and vegetables per day;
- Starchy foods such as bread and pasta;
- Foods that are rich in Omega-3 fats like nuts, seeds, and soy products.
You should also drink plenty of water as it’s crucial that you remain well-hydrated. In fact, you must keep hydrated even when you’re no longer pregnant as being dehydrated often can cause numerous health problems.
3. Be sure to take folic acid supplements
During the first three months of your pregnancy (i.e., your first trimester), it’s essential that you take folic acid supplements each day. Folic acid is very important for your baby, as it significantly reduces the risk of he or she developing medical conditions like spina bifida.
Also known as Vitamin B9, folic acid ensures the production of healthy red blood cells in the body. It helps your baby to develop his or her’s skull, brain, and spinal cord properly.
4. Make hygiene your top priority
As you can appreciate, having a good hygiene routine reduces the risk of becoming ill from various bacteria. When you’ve got a baby growing inside of you, it’s vital that you aren’t passing on any harmful bacteria inside the womb as it can potentially lead to a plethora of medical conditions.
Be sure to wash your hands each time you’ve used the toilet, handled raw meat or poultry, or handled a pet or any other kind of animal. Also, make sure your store ready to eat meals away from raw food.
5. Avoid foods and drinks that can contain listeria
Listeriosis is an infection caused by the bacteria listeria and can sometimes prove fatal to unborn babies. There are certain foods and drinks that can contain listeria bacteria, so it’s best to avoid them. They are as follows:
- Undercooked TV dinner meals;
- Moldy cheeses like brie;
- Unpasteurized milk.
When you are preparing meals with fruit and vegetables, it’s crucial that you ensure they get washed before you consume them. Listeria bacteria can sometimes be present in unwashed fruit and vegetables.
6. Keep up with your exercise regime
Even though you’re pregnant, it doesn’t mean that you have to stop your regular exercise. Sure, you might need to tone down the type of exercise you do, but you don’t have to stop exercising altogether.
There are numerous benefits to gentle exercises when you’re pregnant. For example, it can help you to deal with posture changes and joint strain, and even lower the chance of getting high blood pressure. Other advantages to exercising while being pregnant include a healthy, more positive mood, and reduced risk of pregnancy complications.
Some examples of gentle exercises that you can take up include power walking, swimming, yoga, and pilates. You should also consider antenatal classes.
7. Start doing pelvic floor exercises
In case you didn’t know, your “pelvic floor” is essentially a collection of muscles that are located at the bottom of your pelvis. Those muscles are there to support a variety of things like your bladder, vagina, and butt. When you are pregnant, those pelvic floor muscles weaken and can result in incontinence. Wearing incontinence protection undergarments is a temporary measure for bladder leakage, but it does nothing to treat the underlying issue, which is the weakening of pelvic floor muscles.
The good news is you can strengthen your pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy by doing some pelvic floor exercises. It makes sense to do at least eight pelvic floor “squeezes” in series, three times each day.
8. Give up smoking and drinking alcohol
Let’s face it: you want to give your unborn child the best possible start in life. As such, that will mean making a few sacrifices to your usual lifestyle. For instance, if you smoke cigarettes or vape, or you drink alcoholic beverages like wine, it’s best to give them up. At least, for the duration of your pregnancy.
There is research to show that smoking during pregnancy can cause complications such as premature birth or low birth weight, and could even lead to ectopic pregnancies or miscarriages. When it comes to alcohol, it can increase the risk of miscarriage during the first trimester and severely affect your baby’s brain development during the third trimester.
9. Get plenty of rest
Lastly, it makes sense for you to stop leading such a busy and hectic lifestyle, and to cut down on the amount of work that you’re doing. Instead, what you should be doing is getting plenty of rest for the duration of your pregnancy.
During the early stages of your pregnancy, you’ll feel a lot more tired than usual. That’s because there are a plethora of pregnancy-related hormones circulating your body at that time.
Hopefully, these steps will help all you ladies to have healthy, happy pregnancies. Thanks for reading!