First of all, congratulation if you finally get to the edge of getting pregnant – which is not always easy to achieve – after waiting for quite a while, or maybe after a long lasting struggle. However, you are now about to entering a new horizon of your life carrying a new baby while preparing yourself to be a loving mother.
You will enter around a 42-week gestation period and should really be prepared for everything required to nourish and keep the healthy development of your coming baby as well as your own health. Your own health is very important, since your health condition will affect the progress of your baby. Not only your physical health, but also your psychological aspect since both will affect the condition of your baby.
Here are a few tips as a starter to get you set. But it is always best to consult everything with your doctor or obstetrician which I strongly suggest to do routinely or as requested by her. Being under supervision and care of a professional will provide you with a peace of mind, something that is needed very much in a healthy pregnancy.
Get professional care
This should be your first thing to do, find a doctor or other health care provider who is known to be professional. These professionals know very well on how your prenatal care should be. You will have to see her or him on a regular basis as scheduled. In every visit the doctor will make a series of exams and tests to monitor your health and the baby.
Your doctor is your reliable resource person where you can discuss or ask question pertaining your pregnancy. It is important to be honest and do not leave anything left when discussing your medical history including past illness, drugs or bad habits which probably might affect your pregnancy or labor in the future.
Ask many questions and make everything clear. Do not leave the doctor with a question in your mind or some hesitation. This include questioning information that you may get from somewhere else like a chat with your friends or neighbor, the internet, magazines, books and so fort.
It is necessary to make a little twist on your mind. You now have to eat and drink for two. There is baby in your tummy that needs nourishment too. Every time you take something, it should be enough for two and at the same time beneficial for the growth of your baby.
Keep your appetite. A pregnant woman needs an additional of 300 calories per day to maintain a healthy fetal growth. A complete balanced diet plus protein, whole grains, vegetable and fruit with less sugar and fatty foods should be administered.
Avoid possible infection
You should stay away from potentially dangerous infection. If you have a cat in your house, be aware that cat stools may be the source of Toxoplasma gondii the cause of Toxoplasmosis. This is a very serious threat to your baby which may lead to death.
This parasite can also contaminate raw meat. So, cook every meat dish thoroughly. Well cooked food will also avoid the possibility for other infection like meningitis, pneumonia, diarrhea and vomiting which in some extend may cause serious complication and death.
Stay relax and manage stress
Although it is easier said than done, you should try to move away from things that make you stressful. The things that make you stress are always there, hence it is more important to manage your stress. Change the perception about things that winds you up.
Be aware that stress will aggravate the problems which you may encounter during pregnancy, like morning sickness, headache, back pain, fatigue and indigestion. It is important to practice some relaxation techniques or yoga to create a peace of mind which will keep you away from everyday life.
Take medication carefully
Take any medication with caution, even those over-the-counter medicines like cough and colds, anti-diarrheal, analgesics etc. which are stated save for normal conditions. It is best if you always consult or check with your doctor whether it will be harmless or not.
If you are under a course of medication due to a specific ailment like high blood pressure, asthma, epilepsy or lupus you should let your doctor decide on how the treatment should be continued.
The benefit of exercise is very clear. It keeps your body fit and facilitates the smooth functioning of your entire body system. It is also beneficial for pregnant women. But please check with your doctor first if you want to exercise. If it is okay, you can start exercising. The recommended exercise by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology is a 20 minutes exercise for at least three times a week.
Physical exercises that can be performed is walking, swimming, or riding a static bike. You can also join a prenatal aerobic class which might be able to design a customized session for you. You can also purchase some exercising videos for pregnant women and enjoy exercising at home.
Avoid smoking and alcohol
The danger of smoking and alcohol has for long being campaigned with very little progress. You can easily find people smoking or drinking around you. If you are one of them, please quit for the sake of your poor and pity baby.
Nicotine increases the risk for pre-term birth, low weight birth, and stillbirth. Babies born from smoking mothers tend to have poor lung development, respiratory infection, asthma and are prone to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
Alcohol can be directly exposed to the baby. In fact, if the mother drinks alcohol, it passes through the placenta and enters the blood system of the fetus which may cause fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) indicated by a mental retardation and facial disorders in born babies.
Take enough vitamins and minerals
Neglecting the requirement for vitamin and minerals will cause unhealthy development of the baby and may impair mother’s health as well. Do not miss to take prenatal supplements which are specially designed to fulfill the requirement during pregnancy.
Minerals which you should attend to are calcium, iron and folic acid. Calcium is essential in the forming of fetal bones and teeth. Inadequate intake of calcium will cause osteophorosis in the mother where calcium is taken from the mother’s bone. Iron is vital in the forming of blood cells of both the mother and the baby. Blood cells are the vehicle to transport oxygen to the entire body. Folic acid (one of the vitamin B group) is required to prevent possible spinal cord defects.
Again, discuss this vitamins and minerals requirement with your doctor, since she is the one who knows very well what you need and what you don’t need after considering you condition at a time during a visit
So, keep doing well. Stay healthy and fit. A new happy world is waiting for you.