Happy and healthy pregnancy – If this is her first pregnancy, she’s probably on a roller coaster of emotions as she prepares to give birth to her first child. It can be exciting, shocking and overwhelming, and it’s normal to feel like your head is full of questions as you peruse countless blog posts, books, and brochures on preparing, caring, and what to expect during pregnancy.
Michael Bradfield, MD, MD, Banner Health Family Physician in Northern Colorado Family Medicine, provides five tips to help ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy for you and your baby.
Table of Contents
1.Feed your Body and your Baby’s
“Taking prenatal vitamins and eating healthy food must cover all the vitamins and nutrients you need daily,” says Dr Bradfield. “Your baby needs healthy food, not just sugar and fat.”
Eat plenty of colourful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, foods high in calcium, and foods low in saturated fat. Dr Bradfield says it’s important to supplement her diet with prenatal vitamins rich in folic acid and calcium.
“Pregnant women need folic acid every day,” he says. “While there is a lot of folic acid and other nutrients in food, it’s important to take a prenatal vitamin to ensure you’re getting the right amount every day.”
If unsure what to take, ask your doctor for advice at your first prenatal appointment.
2. Stay Hydrated
Pregnant women need 50% more water, or about 12 8-ounce glasses daily, regardless of the temperature. Drinking water not only lowers your body temperature but also helps reduce nausea.
Dr Bradfield suggests keeping bottled water by her bed as a reminder to drink and setting the alarm on her phone to pause and drink.
“To stay fit, continue what you were doing before your pregnancy, unless your doctor tells you otherwise, and try to walk every day,” says Dr Bradfield.
Staying active is essential for overall health and can help reduce stress and improve disposition and sleep. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) endorses 30 minutes a day of moderate exercises, such as swimming, walking, Pilates, or yoga. But listen to your body. However, if it’s uncomfortable, don’t do it.
Exercise is also suitable for weight control. We know you’re eating for two, but Dr Bradfield says gaining too much weight can make you more susceptible to gestational diabetes, and not gaining enough weight can also put you and your baby at risk.
Dr Bradfield recommends seeing your doctor often to ensure you’re gaining weight at a healthy rate.
4. Rest and Relax
Getting enough sleep is crucial for you and your baby. “Your body has many higher metabolic demands, so meditation and relaxation during sleep are vital for you and your baby,” says Dr Bradfield. He encourages patients to sleep on the left side to improve blood flow to the baby.
Reducing stress is also crucial to improving birth outcomes. Pregnant women should avoid stressful situations whenever possible. Enlist your spouse, friends and loved ones to help you stay relaxed.
5. Follow Prenatal Care
Preconception and prenatal care can help stop complications and protect you and your baby.
“Make sure you get regular prenatal care from a licensed health care provider,” says Dr Bradfield. “Studies show that women who don’t are much more likely to have a premature and low-birth-weight child.”
Staying healthy during your pregnancy can present unique challenges. As you enter your pregnancy, make an appointment with a doctor to discuss your plan for your baby’s well-being. To find a pregnancy doctor, visit Banner Well-being.
Also Read: TOP 8 WAYS TO IMPROVE SLEEP DURING PREGNANCY