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Best 18 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

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If you’re pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, you probably know some of the basic pregnancy advice about taking care of yourself and the baby: don’t smoke or be around secondhand smoke, don’t drink, and get your rest. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Best 18 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy


1
Best 18 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy
2
  • Staying Healthy During Pregnancy
  • If youre pregnant or thinking about
    getting pregnant, you probably know some of the
    basic pregnancy advice about taking care of
    yourself and the baby dont smoke or be around
    secondhand smoke, dont drink, and get your rest.
    Here are more pregnancy tips, from taking
    vitamins to what to do with the kitty litter,
    that can help ensure safe and healthy prenatal
    development.

3
2. Take a Prenatal Vitamin Even when youre
still trying to conceive, its smart to start
taking prenatal vitamins. Your babys neural
cord, which becomes the brain and spinal cord,
develops within the first month of pregnancy, so
its important you get essential nutrients, like
folic acid, calcium, and iron, from the very
start. Prenatal vitamins are available over the
counter at most drug stores, or you can get them
by 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.
4
3. Exercise Staying active is important for your
general health and can help you reduce stress,
control your weight, improve circulation, boost
your mood, and sleep better. Take a pregnancy
exercise class or walk at least 15-20 minutes
every day at a moderate pace, in cool, shaded
areas or indoors in order to prevent
overheating. Pilates, yoga, swimming, and
walking are also great activities for most
pregnant women, but be sure to check with your
doctor first before starting any exercise
program. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise most days
of the week. Listen to your body, though, and
dont overdo it.
5
4. Write a Birth Plan Determined to have a
doula? Counting on that epidural? Write down your
wishes and give a copy to everyone involved with
the delivery. According to the American Pregnancy
Association, here are some things to consider
when writing your birth plan - Who you want
present, including children or siblings of the
baby- Procedures you want to avoid- What
positions you prefer for labor and delivery-
Special clothing youd like to wear- Whether you
want music or a special focal point- Whether you
want pain medications, and what kind- What to do
if complications arise
6
5. Educate Yourself Even if this isnt 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. Youll
also become more acquainted with the facility and
its staff. Now is also a good time to brush up on
your familys medical history. Talk to your
doctor about problems with past pregnancies, and
report any family incidences of birth defects.
7
6.Practice Kegels Kegel exercises 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. The
best part No one can tell youre doing them, so
you can practice kegels in the car, while youre
sitting at your desk, or even standing in line at
the grocery store. Heres how to do them right -
Practice squeezing as though youre stopping the
flow of urine when you use the bathroom- Hold
for three seconds, then relax for three- Repeat
10 times
8
7. Change Up Chores Even everyday tasks like
scrubbing the bathroom or cleaning up after pets
can become risky when youre 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 (hooray!) take
off your to-do-list - Heavy lifting- Climbing
on stepstools or ladders- Changing kitty litter
(to avoid 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
9
8. Track Your Weight Gain We knowyoure eating
for two. But packing on too many extra pounds may
make them hard to lose later. At the same time,
not gaining enough weight can put the baby at
risk for a low-weight birth, a major cause of
developmental problems. Recently the Institute of
Medicine (IOM) issued new guidelines for weight
gain during pregnancy. Heres what the IOM
recommends, based on a womans BMI (body mass
index) before becoming pregnant with one baby -
Underweight Gain 28-40 pounds- Normal weight
Gain 25-35 pounds- Overweight Gain 15-25
pounds- Obese Gain 11-20 pounds Check in with
your doctor frequently to make sure youre
gaining at a healthy rate.
10
9. Go Shoe Shopping At last, a perfect excuse to
buy shoes! As your bump grows, so may your
feetor at least they may feel like they are.
Thats because your natural weight gain throws
off your center of gravity, putting extra
pressure on your tootsies. Over time this added
pressure can cause painful over-pronation, or
flattening out of the feet. You may retain
fluids, too, which can make your feet and ankles
swell. So its important to wear comfortable,
nonrestricting shoes when youre pregnant. Many
expectant moms find they need a larger shoe size
even after they give birth, so go a step up if
you need to. And be sure to put your feet up
several times a day to prevent fatigue and
swelling of the feet, legs, and ankles.
11
10. Rethink Your Spa Style Pregnancy is
definitely a time for pampering, but you need to
be careful. Avoid saunas, which can make you
overheated. Ditto for hot tubs According to the
American Pregnancy Association, it takes only 10
to 20 minutes of sitting in one for your body
temperature to reach 102 degrees Farenheitnearly
the limit of whats considered safe for pregnant
women. Also, certain essential oils can cause
uterine contractions, especially during the first
and second trimester, so check with your massage
therapist to make sure only safe ones are being
used. On the taboo list juniper, rosemary, and
clary sage. The same goes for over-the-counter
medicines and supplements containing these herbal
remedies dont take them without first
consulting your obstetrician or midwife.
12
11. Eat Folate-Rich Foods In addition to
drinking 8-10 glasses of water each day, you
should eat five or six well-balanced meals with
plenty of folate-rich foods like fortified
cereals, asparagus, lentils, wheat germ, oranges,
and orange juice. Folic acid is crucial for the
proper development of the babys neural tube (it
covers the spinal cord), and its vital for the
creation of new red blood cells, says Frances
Largeman-Roth, R.D., author of Feed the Belly.
13
12. Recharge with Fruit Most doctors recommend
limiting caffeine during pregnancy, since it can
have harmful effects on you and the baby. Cutting
back can be tough, though, especially when youre
used to your morning java. For a quick
pick-me-up, try nibbling on some fruit. The
natural sugars in fruits like bananas and apples
can help lift energy levels, says registered
dietitian Frances Largeman-Roth.
14
13. Go Fish In a 2007 study of more than 12,000
children, researchers found that youngsters whose
moms ate the most fish during pregnancy had
higher I.Q.s, plus better motor and communication
skills, than those whose mothers did not eat
fish. Scientists say thats because fish is high
in omega 3s, a nutrient critical to brain
development. Theres just one catch Some kinds
of fish contain mercury, which can be toxic to
both babies and adults. To be safe, the FDA
recommends that pregnant women eat no more than
12 ounces of fish per week. Stick with canned
light tuna, shrimp, salmon, pollack, or catfish.
Avoid swordfish, shark, king mackerel, and
tilefish, which are all high in mercury.
15
14. Wear Sunscreen Being pregnant makes your
skin more sensitive to sunlight, so youre more
prone to sunburn and chloasma, those dark,
blotchy spots that sometimes appear on the face.
Apply a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher
(many brands now offer chemical-free formulas, if
you prefer a green option) and wear a hat and
sunglasses. While no studies prove spending time
in tanning beds can hurt your baby, the American
Pregnancy Association recommends you avoid them
while youre pregnant.
16
15. Travel Smart Go ahead book that flight, but
take some precautions. The Mayo Clinic say
mid-pregnancy (14 to 28 weeks) is usually the
best time to flyby this time youre probably
over morning sickness, and the risk of
miscarriage or early delivery is low. Still,
check with your doctor about any travel plans,
and make sure the airline has no restrictions for
pregnant women. On the plane, drink plenty of
water to stay hydrated, and get up and walk
around every half hour to reduce the risk of
blood clots. An aisle seat will give you more
room and make trips to the bathroom easier. In
the car, continue to wear a safety belt.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration, the shoulder portion of the
restraint should be positioned over the collar
bone. The lap portion should be placed under the
abdomen as low as possible on the hips and across
the upper thighs, never above the abdomen. Also,
pregnant women should sit as far from the air bag
as possible.
17
16. Say Yes to CravingsSometimes Truth be told,
no one knows why cravings happen. Some experts
say they may be natures way of providing
nutrients an expectant mom may be lacking. Others
say theyre an emotional thing. Regardless, as
long as youre eating an overall healthy diet,
its usually OK to give in to your cravings. Just
be careful to limit portionsdont down all that
ice cream at once!and know which snacks to steer
clear of. A few foods to avoid raw and
undercooked meat or eggs brie, feta, and other
types of unpasteurized cheese herbal teas and
raw sprouts.
18
17. Know When to Call the Doctor Being pregnant
can be confusing, especially if its your first
time. How do you know which twinge is normal and
which one isnt? According to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, you should call
your doctor if you have any of these symptoms -
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)- Decreased activity
by the baby
19
18. Indulge Yourself You may think youre busy
now, but once the baby comes youll have even
fewer precious moments to yourself. Be sure to
get at least eight hours of sleep a night, and if
youre suffering from sleep disturbances, take
naps during the day and see your physician if the
situation doesnt improve. Treating yourself,
too A lunchtime manicure, a much-needed night
out with the girls, or simply taking a quiet walk
can help you relax and de-stressand thats good
for both you and the baby.
20
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