If you have found yourself in an unplanned pregnancy or in a planned pregnancy, it is important to educate yourself on staying healthy during this time. Not only does your body need you to stay healthy, but also your baby. The following these tips from Parents.com help ensure a safe and healthy prenatal development.
- Prenatal Vitamins – As a little kid, I was always told “take your vitamins, take your vitamins”, well a pregnant woman is told the same thing! The baby’s neural cord (which eventually turns into the brain and spinal cord) develops at the beginning of the pregnancy so getting the essential nutrients right off the bat is so important. Prenatal vitamins will give you those nutrients – folic acid, calcium, and iron.
- Exercise! Exercise! Exercise! – The biggest piece of advice when it comes to exercising pregnant is to listen to your body and not to overdo it. Pilates, yoga, swimming, and walking are all great ways to exercise while pregnant. By exercising, some women notice less stress, weight control, circulation improvements, happier, and better sleep at night.
- Birth Plan – During your labor and delivery, you are a tad preoccupied with having your baby and you might forget something very important. This is why having a birth plan can be so helpful for you and your baby during delivery. Here are some things to consider when creating your birth plan:
- Do you have a doula?
- Do you want an epidural?
- Who do you want to be in the delivery room with you?
- Anything special you want to wear or what the baby will wear leaving the hospital?
- What if complications arise?
- Anything you want to avoid during labor.
- No Drinking. No Smoking – Smoking and drinking during pregnancy can lead to a birth defects, miscarriages, stillbirths, and other longterm issues for you and your baby. Click here to learn about Smoking & Pregnancy. Click here to learn about Drinking & Pregnancy.
- Check All Medications – If you were taking any type of medicine, supplements, or vitamins before your pregnancy, check with your doctor to ensure everything you are taking is healthy for you and your baby.
- Eat Healthily – In addition to drinking 8 – 10 glasses of water each day, make sure you are eating well-balanced meals. Folic acid is crucial for your baby’s development, for example, eat foods like fortified cereals, asparagus, lentils, and oranges. Studies have shown eating fish during pregnancy has increase motor and communication skills in babies compared to mothers who did not eat fish. Fish is very high in omega 3s which is another crucial nutrient for brain development. To be safe, the FDA recommends that pregnant women eat no more than 12 ounces of fish per week. Stick with canned light tuna, shrimp, salmon, pollack, or catfish. Avoid swordfish, shark, king mackerel, and tilefish, which are all high in mercury.
- Limit Caffeine – This is one of the harder tricks to follow, limit caffeine! This can be harmful to you and the baby during pregnancy. To replace your morning cup of coffee, try eating a bowl of fruit. Fruits have natural sugars that can help lift energy levels.
If you have additional questions about having a healthy pregnancy, call/text Choices today at 423.892.0803.
Nurse Practitioner - APN,CNM
The content on this page has been reviewed and approved by our Nurse Practitioner Stephanie Huskins-Darnell.