if you’re expecting a baby, you can ensure your child has the best start in life if you focus on adopting the healthiest habits for your body. This important responsibility can give your baby a better chance of being born at a healthy weight and having no medical problems at birth or beyond. Your child’s future in school, relationships, and more can be shaped by the healthy lifestyle you adopt while pregnant. Here are the essentials for expecting moms who want to give their babies the best start at birth.
The first essential to an excellent healthy start for your child is proper prenatal care. If you suspect that you’re pregnant or have gotten a positive on a pregnancy test, it’s time to find the right provider to guide you through a healthy pregnancy. Some women opt to stick with their current ob-gyn, and others choose a midwife to monitor their health during pregnancy. Your provider will confirm the pregnancy and then schedule you for monthly visits throughout the course of the 40 weeks.
Vitamins and Nutrients
Next, make sure you are getting enough of the right vitamins and nutrients during this important time. Pregnant women should choose a prenatal vitamin that provides folic acid, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, calcium, iron, and other essentials. Taking a daily prenatal vitamin can help ensure you and your baby get enough nutrients throughout the pregnancy. Folic acid is especially important in fetal development during those first few months. This nutrient provides support to your baby’s neural tube growth.
Proper hydration is another big part of feeling good during pregnancy and avoiding complications. Pregnant women need at least 10 cups of water per day to keep up with their body’s growing needs. During pregnancy, proper hydration helps form the amniotic fluid, remove toxins, and increase the blood volume in the body. Getting enough water can also make a pregnant woman feel better as she experiences the many different body changes throughout pregnancy.
Foods To Avoid
Next, be sure to avoid certain foods to help prevent problems during pregnancy. Doctors recommend that women skip any type of raw meat, such as sushi, to avoid bacteria infections like salmonella. Deli meat is another food pregnant women should avoid due to listeria concerns. Soft cheeses also carry a listeria risk and should be avoided. Additionally, if you’re pregnant avoid fish with high levels of mercury, unpasteurized milk, pate, and too much caffeine.
Throughout pregnancy, it’s also vital to get a daily dose of exercise. During your pregnancy, it’s not a good idea to begin a brand new routine of strenuous activity, such as martial arts, but it’s safe to continue with your regular exercise program. While it’s true that early in the pregnancy, you may feel tired, take advantage of that second trimester energy boost and get moving. Exercising during pregnancy helps your body feel good and makes it easier to lose the baby weight.
Quitting Smoking and Drinking
If you are a smoker or drink alcohol, it’s necessary to stop once you find out you’re pregnant or when you start trying to conceive. Mothers who smoke may give birth to babies who have lower birth weights or problems with asthma. Smoking also increases the chances of SIDS. Alcohol can also cause complications, such as intellectual disabilities, birth defects, and other serious health issues.
Diagnostic screening tests are also very helpful to providers when a woman is pregnant. Typically, women will have screenings for sexually transmitted diseases once they begin seeing a prenatal provider. Your doctor or nurse may also order other screenings to monitor the health of the baby, such as genetic tests and DNA testing. Dr. Harry Stylli, a leader in biotechnology and health testing, has worked to create new types of screening tests for a variety of conditions.
If you’re experiencing a lot of stress during your pregnancy, that could also impact your baby’s health. Work with your doctor or midwife to find a way to manage your stress. Some women have found doing yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises to be beneficial during pregnancy and beyond.
Finally, before getting pregnant, women should also make some lifestyle changes to ensure the best possible outcome for their child. It’s recommended to be at a healthy weight before trying to conceive. Women who are overweight or obese before getting pregnant may experience more complications, such as stillbirth, miscarriage, or gestational diabetes. It’s also wise to be in a stable economic situation when you decide to conceive a child. Doing so could give your child a much better chance of success in life.
Pregnancy is a special time in a woman’s life, and she can improve her child’s chances of having a happy and healthy start in life if she practices these habits. Work with your health care provider to focus on your body’s wellness during this important time.