When you learn that you are pregnant via a home pregnancy kit, the first thing you should do is pencil in an appointment with your doctor. It is crucial to receive proper care, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy, when you are vulnerable to miscarriage. The checkup is vital to make sure that your pregnancy starts on the right track.
Seeing an Ob-Gyne means, you can optimally care for the developing fetus in your stomach. Choose a doctor you’re comfortable with because this person will also be your go-to man in case of any issues, an emergency, and the delivery. This will ensure that you will see a healthy baby after 40 weeks of pregnancy. Here’s what you can do to make sure you stay in tip-top shape the entire time:
Keep All Doctor’s Appointments
You will be seeing your doctor regularly to get proper prenatal care. During the first trimester of pregnancy, this will be once a month. During the second trimester, it becomes bi-weekly. As your due date approaches, towards the last month, it becomes weekly.
During your checkup, they will measure your weight, check your BP, do an ultrasound, and test your urine for protein. Your healthcare worker will ensure you have no underlying issues like eclampsia or gestational diabetes, which can affect your health and the baby. Monitoring the baby is also a priority to check if there are any issues with growth.
Take Prenatal Vitamins
If you are not taking vitamins yet, include this in your supplementation right away. Pregnant women need high doses of folic acid and calcium. Both are necessary to ensure that your growing fetus stays healthy because each passing day means your baby is developing organs, tissues, and bones. Remember, the baby is drawing its nutrients from you!
For most pregnant women, daily exercise is great. If you are already into an intense fitness routine before your pregnancy, you can continue doing so under your doctor’s guidance. Should you be starting, you can incorporate light exercises like walking. It is important to collaborate with your physician to find out which physical activity is best for you.
Workout the Pelvic Floor Muscles
One exercise you must incorporate is strengthening your pelvic floor by doing Kegels, which requires contracting those muscles. Hold and release them for a few seconds a few times each day. Women who give birth vaginally will find it easier to give birth because of better muscle control. Those who deliver via C-section will still benefit as this strengthens bladder control.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is critical for carrying women. Don’t fall into the myth that you have to eat for two. That will lead to massive weight gain and blood pressure issues. Adding about 300 calories to your regular diet is ideal. Your baby needs nutritious food, not sugar or loads of fat from your chips, cakes, cookies, etc. Eat a colorful plate packed with fruits and veggies. Include calcium-rich food like yogurt, spinach, cheese, and milk. Don’t forget your lean protein because these are muscle-building foods that the growing fetus needs.
Drink more than the usual recommended eight glasses of water. Pregnant women need to consume more water a day, especially if you are working out. Avoid alcohol at all possible costs because this can impact your baby’s health. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is a threat if your fetus ingests too much. This can lead to abnormalities in facial features, behavioral problems, and learning disabilities. On top of that, ask your doctor about caffeine intake. Some recommend limiting the amount of tea and coffee per day.
Avoid Certain Foods
There are specific foods that women should avoid during pregnancy. Raw or rare meat, liver, eggs, and sushi are not allowed. Stay away from unpasteurized milk products and soft cheeses like feta and brie. This could lead to food poisoning. Be mindful of eating canned tuna and salmon because even if these are cooked, they contain high doses of mercury, which is detrimental to the baby in your womb.
Don’t Smoke and Keep Away From 2nd Hand Smoke
Smoking is extremely unhealthy for both you and the unborn baby. If you are smoking, now is the perfect time to go cold turkey. If you live or work with chain smokers, it is time to tell them about not lighting up near you because second-hand smoke is also dangerous. Exposure to these elements in tobacco increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, miscarriage, premature birth, and other abnormalities.
Get Ample Sleep
It is important to get sufficient sleep when you’re pregnant. When you’re in bed, avoid looking at your phone because the glare of the blue light is harmful. You must aim to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every day. It is best to sleep on your left side, as this will improve your circulation and the blood flow to your baby.
The baby feels whatever the mom feels. Thus, it is important to reduce your stress when you are “infanticipating” to ensure you have the best birthing outcomes. If you want the best for your child, stay away from emotionally and mentally-draining situations. Don’t be afraid to seek the help of your loved ones for support.
Even if your baby is in utero, you should do your best to give him or her the best possible life. Focus on prenatal care through a healthy lifestyle and by keeping all your doctor’s appointments. The possibilities of having a healthy birth are higher if you focus on maintaining your health while pregnant. This also means you can bounce back faster after delivery, allowing you to care for your newest precious bundle of joy efficiently.