What Every Pregnant Woman Needs to Know: When the great news arrives that you’re expectant, many couples are usually full of joy. The excitement that you’ll be bringing in a new life into this world and the changes that parenthood will get in your lives is something anticipated by many. However, the actual job begins after the great news. And that’s where taking responsibility kicks in.
Well, it’s all over the internet that ‘you should take care of yourself to have a healthy delivery’ and ‘eat well to have a healthy pregnancy but is what is expected of you’ clearly stipulated? There are many considerations taken, which are addressed in the tests done during pregnancy. Your age, weight, health, ability to take care of yourself and the baby, among other things, are the overall factors that affect a pregnancy.
The ultimate goal is to have a safe and healthy birth of your child. That involves zero complications, zero unhealthy conditions with the baby, and an instant connection with the newborn. So, before you can get to that point, how do things go down from the start?
The Lifecycle of Pregnancy
It is crucial to note every step of the way as it gives you guidance and a go-ahead on how to carry out yourself through the nine months. So if you probably have the ‘pregnancy feeling,’ the first thing is to call your doctor.
A professional will ask you to visit them after about eight weeks. This is usual unless you have any problem that might result in an earlier call. Upon the visit, you’ll take the pregnancy test to verify the pregnancy. You’ll also be issued with the age of the pregnancy based on the last time you got your periods.
You can also take the pregnancy test on your own to save you time for that part of the process. You might have negative results, even though you have evident pregnancy symptoms. So this is why the test is so important.
On a later date, you’ll be called in for an ultrasound that will help verify the approximate delivery date. Conditions for appointments are that if you are having a healthy pregnancy, then your doctor will see you at intervals of;
· Every month until week 28 of the pregnancy
· Every fortnight until week 36
· Weekly until delivery.
Throughout the entire pregnancy, your doctor will monitor your blood pressure and weight. The growth and development of the baby will also get frequent follow-ups. It can be checked by feeling the abdominal, measuring the belly, and listening to the fetus’s heartbeat.
Prenatal tests are also part of the package. They include blood, cervical, and urine tests. You’ll have to choose your health care provider wisely. Obstetricians or gynecologists, family practitioners, and certified nurse-midwives are the best options that you’ve got. However, doctors will be involved in cases of complications during delivery for a cesarean section (C-section).
With all the facts laid down on what you should do throughout the pregnancy, let’s now head over to how you should take care of yourself.
Healthy Pregnancy Tips
You need to take great care of yourself. There are rules involved when you are pregnant since you are no longer taking care of one person. There are things that you need to track over time, but we’ll get to that later. Let’s focus on what you should constantly be doing.
A healthy pregnancy demands multiple things, from diet to fitness, to good mood and mental health support. So what part do you have to play to ensure that you get a safe and healthy birth?
- Eat Healthily – Every Pregnant Woman Needs
Since you’re eating for two, three, or four, it’s high time to forget about dieting or cutting down the calories. Actually, you will require a surplus of about 300 calories, especially at the late stages when the baby begins to grow quickly.
If you’re underweight, highly active, or you are expecting more than one, then you’ll have to do more. But if you’re overweight, your health care provider will advise you on cutting down the intake of calories properly.
What Every Pregnant Woman Needs?
Eating healthy is very crucial during pregnancy. You need to bulk up on calories from healthy pregnancy foods for the proper growth and development of the baby. What are healthy pregnancy foods? The major components of your balanced diet should incorporate lean meats, fruits and vegetables, whole-grain bread, and low-fat dairy products. These foods will provide what your body needs.
However, you need to add on the essential nutrients. Although your doctor will prescribe some healthy pregnancy vitamins, your meals should not lack any essential nutrients. If you find it hard to eat as much, you can opt for tips on how to make a milkshake without a blender to simplify your work. Some of these nutrients include;
· Calcium – Baby’s demands for calcium are high due to the development of bones. Your bones should also be in good shape to support the weight of the baby. Some healthy sources of calcium include low-fat dairy products, calcium-fortified products, dark green vegetables, tofu, dried beans, and almonds.
· Iron – These nutrients are meant for making hemoglobin the oxygen-carrying components in the red blood cells. Rich sources of iron include dark green leafy vegetables, eggs, red meat, and dried fruits.
· Folic acid (folate) – These nutrients are responsible for reducing the risks of neural tube defects. The neural tube is what eventually develops to become the spinal cord and brain.
On the other hand, there are particular foods and drinks that you should keep away from. Anything that the mother consumes ultimately ends up to the baby, and it is important to watch out for whatever you put into your mouth for a healthy balanced birth. Some of these substances include;
· Alcohol – There isn’t a precise, safe amount for alcohol consumption during pregnancy. It is crucial to stay away from alcohol consumption since the baby doesn’t have the same ability to eliminate alcohol from their system as the mother.
· Nicotine – Pregnant women are advised not to smoke carbon monoxide or nicotine as it had terrible effects on their baby. Some of the causes of exposure to nicotine include prematurity, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), low birth weight, and risk of asthma or other respiratory diseases.
· Recreational drugs – May put your baby in danger of premature birth, congenital disabilities, learning & behavior problems, and poor growth.
· Caffeine–High consumption of caffeine is linked to an increase in miscarriage. It’s wise to reduce the consumption of caffeine.
· Unpasteurized cheese, milk, apple cider, and juices
· Raw eggs and meat
· Processed meat.
- Drink Fluids – Every Pregnant Woman Needs
Plenty of fluids, especially water, is essential during pregnancy. It is because your blood volume will dramatically increase during pregnancy, and drinking water will prevent conditions such as constipation and dehydration.
- Exercise – Every Pregnant Woman Needs
It is recommended to have at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity workout in a week if you are not very active. If you’re very active before the pregnancy, you should keep up with your workout routine as long as it is rendered safe by your doctor. It would be best if you went for the healthy pregnancy exercises to be on the safe side. [Pregnant Woman Needs]
Some of the benefits of exercises during pregnancy include;
· Prevent excessive weight gain
· Improve your sleep
· Boost your mood
· Reduce after-birth recovery time
· Decrease pregnancy-related issues
· Increase your energy
· Prepare the body for labor.
- Sleep – Every Pregnant Woman Needs
Adequate sleep is necessary during pregnancy as the tasks become more challenging as the stages progress. It might not be easy to find a suitable sleeping position as the baby becomes bigger. However, lying on your side and with your knees bent is the ideal position for pregnancy. [Every Pregnant Woman Needs]
Another critical tip that most doctors advise is that you should sleep on your left. The reason behind this is that one of the biggest blood vessels lies on the abdomen’s right side. Sleeping on your left allows proper blood flow to the placenta, thus your baby.
There are other practices that you should note on how to birth a healthy baby throughout the pregnancy. These practices include;
· Don’t miss your prenatal care checkups
· Get a flu shot
· Reduce your stress levels
· Educate yourself on pregnancy matters
· Check your medications
· Check your weight
· If you’re not yet at the healthy age to give birth, use healthy birth control measures to prevent pregnancy.
So how have healthy pregnancy practices contributed to the global tally of successful healthy and safe births? Healthy pregnancies have contributed to an over 40% decrease in deaths during delivery over the last two decades. That standout discovery points out why healthy pregnancy is important.
Are you expecting a baby? Do you know how to take care of yourself for safe and healthy birth? Leave a comment.
Author’s Bio: Rachel Hudson is a journalist and blogger living in California. She has two kids, and she is a victim of depression during her second pregnancy. Ever since she has committed herself to help other women with similar issues. During her free time, Rachel cooks and sings for the old in nursing homes.