3 Keys To A Healthier Pregnancy
Whether you just found out you are pregnant or are planning to start a family, the sooner you focus on your health, the better chance you have of experiencing a safe and healthy pregnancy. There are three major considerations that influence you and your baby throughout pregnancy.
Ideally, women of child-bearing age should always take at minimum a multivitamin. If you plan to become pregnant, you may want to switch to a prenatal vitamin. Since it can be impossible to intake adequate nutrition throughout your pregnancy, especially if you struggle with morning sickness, supplementation is the only option to be confident you and your growing baby have enough nutrients. Adequate nutrient can prevent some birth defects and can prevent women from feeling weak and tired throughout their pregnancy. When you are pregnant, your body will naturally allocate different vitamins and minerals to the baby, which can leave you with low iron and calcium.
Diet And Exercise
Talk with your doctor about a good diet throughout pregnancy, which is often based on your current weight and any medical problems. Some women will need to be more conscientious about their salt and carbohydrate intake if they already have hypertension or diabetes, or are at an elevated risk of developing these issues during pregnancy. You may be surprised to find out you only need a few hundred extra calories for your baby. Major cravings can cause you to overeat or eat poorly throughout your pregnancy, which is often the culprit of significant weight gain. Adequate nutrition may help reduce some pregnancy-related cravings.
What is appropriate exercise will depend on your fitness level before pregnancy, so it is always advisable to speak with your doctor throughout your entire pregnancy. Walking is generally a safe form of exercise and can help mitigate some of the unnecessary weight gain. Many people are surprised to see women who are nearing the end of their pregnancy and are still powerlifting or doing other intensive workouts. Since these women were fit before pregnancy, their doctor did not find any reason to restrict their activities, but this is highly individualized.
Regular Obstetric Visits
Keeping all your appointments with your obstetrician and making your first appointment as soon as you have a positive pregnancy test will also help. Many problems that can occur to an unborn baby can happen during the first few months of gestation, well before many women know they are pregnant. If you even suspect you are pregnant, it is always better to have a test done so you can avoid alcohol and medications that are potentially harmful to your baby. As part of your prenatal visits, you will have regular blood and urine tests. Some of these tests are used to detect gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia, which are potentially dangerous conditions that can develop at any time during pregnancy. The earlier these conditions are diagnosed, the safer it will be for you and your baby.
Although every pregnancy is different, the key components to a healthy pregnancy include adequate nutrition, good physical conditioning, and regular testing for issues that may develop along the way. Contact your obstetrician today for more information about prenatal health care.