Pregnancy health

Now that you are pregnant, taking care of yourself has never been more important. You will be probably getting advice from everyone—your doctor, family members, friends, co-workers and even complete strangers—about what you should and should not be doing.

But staying healthy during pregnancy depends on you, so it is crucial to arm yourself with information about the many ways to keep you and your baby as healthy as possible.

Regular check-ups
The key to protecting the health of your baby is to get regular Prenatal care. Getting Prenatal care as soon as you know you are pregnant (or, if possible, before you conceive) and seeing your health care provider regularly as your pregnancy progresses are vital to you and your baby's health.

You should have your first examination during the first 6–8 weeks of your pregnancy, where your doctor will figure out how many weeks pregnant you are based on a physical examination and the date of your last period.

If you are healthy and there are no complicating risk factors, you can expect to see your healthcare provider

Every 4 weeks until the 28th week of pregnancy.
Every 2 weeks until 36 weeks.
Once a week until delivery.

Throughout your pregnancy, your healthcare provider will check your weight and blood pressure while also checking the growth and development of your baby. During the span of your pregnancy, you will also have Prenatal tests, including blood, urine and cervical tests, and probably at least one Ultrasound.

Eat a healthy and nutritious diet

During pregnancy, you should eat a balanced and nutritious diet. You should also increase your calorie intake to meet the needs of your growing baby and your changing body.

Babies need nutrients from the food you eat to help them grow. You do not need to eat twice as much as told by Grandma while you are pregnant, just twice as wisely. Keep in mind the food guide pyramid when choosing meals and snacks each day. Eating a range of wholesome food can help prevent prematurity and Low-birth Weight. A balanced diet also helps you to prevent anemia, infections, difficult labor and poor healing.

Have plenty of fiber and water

It is particularly important to eat more fiber to avoid the common pregnancy problems of Constipation and piles (hemorrhoids). Increase your fiber intake by eating lots of fruit and vegetables, whole wheat bread and cereals, brown rice and pulses. You should also drink plenty of fluids. Increasing fiber without enough fluids can exacerbate Constipation.

Exercise regularly

A good exercise program can give you the strength and endurance you will need to carry the weight you gain during pregnancy and to handle the physical stress of labor. It will also make it much easier to get back into shape after your baby is born. Exercise can boost your spirits and help ward off the pregnancy blues. If you are used to taking exercise in the form of a sport, you can continue with this as long as it feels comfortable for you, unless your particular sport carries a risk of falls or knocks.

Avoid alcohol and smoking

Alcohol is absolutely off limits. Drinking even small amounts of any alcohol, including beer, can lead to mental retardation and facial deformities. It is also a major factor of Low-birth Weight and delayed growth.

Keep infections at bay
It is a must to avoid infections caught from all possible sources like raw food, from pets, atmosphere, workplace or sick people because they can seriously harm the Fetus.

Avoid self-medication
Refrain from taking medication of any kind like antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, or steroids, without consulting the doctor, because they can harm the unborn baby.

Free yourselves from stress

Pregnancy is a stressful time for many women. You may be feeling happy, sad and scared — all at the same time. Very high levels of stress may contribute to preterm birth or Low-birth Weight babies. Hence, you should try to learn how to cope with it.

You can reduce your stress by: What should I be careful about?
Eating regularly and nutritiously and drinking lots of water.
Resting when you can—and when your body needs it.
Exercising (with your doctor’s consent).
Relaxing by meditating, listening to music or yoga.
Staying away from stressful situations, when possible.
Talking—to your partner, friends, relatives and health care professionals.
Going to all your Prenatal care appointments
Avoid activities that increase your risk of falls or injury, such as contact sports or vigorous sports.
After the first 3 months of pregnancy, it is best to avoid exercising while lying on your back, since the weight of the baby may interfere with blood circulation.
Also avoid long periods of standing.

Most women find it hard to feel comfortable as their pregnancy progresses. It is alright to sleep in any comfortable position except on the belly.

Try to rest as much as possible. You may often feel very tired, particularly in the first and third trimesters. Sense of wellbeing will be there between 3rd and 8th month. Even if you cannot sleep during the day, put your feet up whenever you can.

Most important is positive outlook and involvement of spouse. Husband should be empathetic, supportive and proactive. After all you are the blessed one with pregnancy, which is elusive to 30% of couples.
Know About Pregnancy
Healthy Pregnancy
Fertility basics
Planning for pregnancy
Want a smart baby?
Pregnancy health
Eating For Two
Your growing baby
Exercise in pregnancy
Benefits of exercising,Recommended exercises
Pregnancy Weight Gain
Sex During Pregnancy
Travel During Pregnancy
Stress in pregnancy
High Blood Pressure
Diabetes In Pregnancy
New mother care
Healthy Breast Feeding
Postpartum depression
Stretch marks
Diet during Breast Feeding
Birth Control choices
A Pill In Time
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