Healthy Pregnancy: There are many steps a woman can take before conception for a healthy pregnancy. A woman’s nutritional health, general health, fitness level, and daily routines affect the environment in which her child will grow.
For nine months, a tiny new person relies on their mother to provide a safe and nutrient-rich environment. The better prepared the mother is at the time of conception, the easier it will be for her body to adapt to the demands of pregnancy.
How to maintain a healthy pregnancy?
You are never too soon or too late to take good care of your baby’s first home! You can now take the following steps to prepare for and maintain a healthy pregnancy.
1 For a Healthy Pregnancy, Have A Physical Exam
Visit your doctor and discuss your plans to become pregnant. Any minor or significant health problems should receive proper attention before conceiving.
Your doctor may recommend genetic testing if you have medical risks or a family history of genetic disorders. Have a complete gynecological exam.
This may include testing for sexually transmitted diseases. Review your birth control method. It is usually advised that birth control pills be stopped several months before getting pregnant.
If you take prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, medicinal herbs, or dietary supplements, ask your doctor if they are safe to use during pregnancy. Certain drugs or supplements should be stopped before pregnancy.
Many other common pain relievers are not recommended during pregnancy. Be sure to follow your doctor’s advice about pain relievers, cold medicines, or any other chemicals (natural or pharmaceutical) before attempting to become pregnant.
Make sure that you are up-to-date on your immunizations. Once you become pregnant, it is essential to have regular prenatal checkups.
Your healthcare provider will ensure necessary tests are done on schedule, guide you, educate you on critical issues, and monitor you and your baby throughout your pregnancy.
2 Have A Dental Exam and Complete Needed Dental Work
Have a complete examination and dental cleaning before becoming pregnant. Have any x-rays, procedures, fillings, or dental surgery done before becoming pregnant. Avoid any exposure to x-rays once you become pregnant.
3 Eat A Balanced Diet and Work On Weight Management
· Use the Food Guide Pyramid to balance food selections for good nutritional health. Once you become pregnant, follow the nutrition guidelines for pregnancy.
Food Guide Pyramid
The Food Guide Pyramid was developed to translate nutrition recommendations into a food selection guide. The design highlights the importance of plant foods as the basis of a healthy diet.
The number of servings recommended by other groups decreases as you move from bottom to top.
This message is relevant to healthy diets: grains, fruit, and vegetables should be emphasized, and menus should be low in fat and high in plant foods.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women can follow the pyramid as a general guide but increase servings of milk or other calcium-rich foods and increase calories overall.
Avoiding alcohol is also very important during pregnancy
You will need more calcium, protein, iron, and other vital nutrients for a healthy pregnancy. Cut back on fats and sugars. Now is the time to cut down on “empty calorie” foods and strive to make food choices that are “nutrient-rich.”
Try to achieve and maintain a healthy weight before pregnancy. On the one hand, excess weight can complicate pregnancy. On the other hand, if you are fiercely dieting while trying to conceive, you may lack essential nutrients to start a healthy pregnancy.
Once pregnant, never try to lose weight. Gaining the right weight during pregnancy helps protect you and the baby.
Take a general vitamin-mineral supplement and be sure it contains 400 micrograms of folic acid. Folic acid is needed for healthy brain and spinal cord development early in pregnancy.
For women with a previous child with a known neural tube defect, the recommendation for folic acid intake is significantly higher and should be discussed with your doctor.
· Starting a supplement before you get pregnant will help assure that you have the proper intake of this and several other essential nutrients during the early weeks of pregnancy, a critical time.
Unless otherwise advised by your physician, prenatal vitamins with a higher level of iron are not started until the second trimester of pregnancy since iron will reduce zinc absorption and may cause stomach upset or constipation.
4. Build Your Strength and Fitness
Exercise tones and strengthens muscles. This will prepare your body to carry the baby throughout pregnancy. A higher level of fitness also makes delivering the baby easier.
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and don’t exercise to exhaustion or overheating. Check with your doctor for individual advice about any health conditions that would require you to limit or modify your exercise.
You may need to avoid intense exercise while trying to conceive. Once you become pregnant, there will be certain restrictions to avoid injury and protect the fetus.
5. Avoid Exposure to Hazards
Chemicals and other hazards can reduce fertility and, once pregnant, can be dangerous to your baby. Lead, heavy metals, asbestos, chemical fumes, insecticides, vital household cleaning supplies, paint fumes, and countless other hazards loom in our environments.
Find out about potential hazards in your workplace. Avoid handling or breathing toxic substances. If in doubt regarding a particular substance, ask your physician or pharmacist.
Strictly avoid all illicit drugs. If you use street drugs, get help to quit before becoming pregnant. All street drugs hold dangerous and even deadly consequences for babies.
Stop drinking alcohol. Alcohol intake is toxic to the fetus. Drinking during pregnancy can cause fetal alcohol syndrome, leading to brain injury and other defects.
Quit smoking. Don’t smoke, and don’t breathe other people’s smoke. Smoking reduces fertility and is harmful to you and the baby.
Reduce caffeine intake. Large intakes of caffeine (coffee, tea, and cola drinks) may reduce fertility. If you must have it, try limiting yourself to one cup daily. Too much caffeine can lead to mild dehydration, harming you and your fetus.
It also interferes with proper rest and sleep. Caffeine can interfere with the absorption of certain minerals, so if you drink caffeinated beverages, don’t take your vitamins or minerals simultaneously.
Don’t let your body temperature rise too much. Hot tubs, saunas, electric blankets, heating pads, excessive exercise, or anything else that causes you to get too hot can reduce fertility, may cause miscarriage, or result in other problems for you or your baby.
Step 6 – Rest and Relax!
You are embarking on an exciting journey. Enjoy yourself. Too much tension or stress can reduce your chances of becoming pregnant. It can also create a harsher environment for a developing baby to grow.
Once pregnant, you will need more rest than usual. Your body may or may not tell you this, but it is true. Try to pamper yourself. Prioritize your day and save time for a healthy pregnancy.