Your mother has do’s and don’ts for you, your girlfriends do too. Maybe even your grandmother chimes in. What should you eat? Should you take vitamins? Can you still run or work out hard? What about an occasional glass of wine? Or a cigarette, or being around smokers? Drugs or daily medicines, are they ok?
There are so many questions when you are either trying to get pregnant or are. For example, questions about weight. If you are very thin, is that preventing you from getting pregnant? And if you become pregnant, how much weight gain is advisable? How much is too much? And when during the pregnancy should the pounds be added on?
Recently I interviewed Brittany Olsen-Boblitt. She’s a 25-year-old speech pathologist who lives near Seattle. She was in her thirteenth week of pregnancy and trying to do everything right for her baby. She was very excited, but also a little confused by the advice she had gotten from so many sources. That’s why we also interviewed two very “with it” ob-gyns from the University of Washington: Drs. Wendy Lorentz and LaVonne Simmons. Doctors like them can be, and should be, your partners every step of the way. That’s why you need a doctor you can feel comfortable with. They are your educational resource as well as your clinical detective to make sure everything is going right. You can hear this very informative interview: Tips for Having a Healthy Baby & Staying Healthy During Pregnancy at http://goo.gl/u9tBq
What impressed me is how the best chance of having a healthy baby is by being a healthy mother. That may require changes in some of your habits. Some things may have to be cut out. Some things may have to be increased (like how long you sleep!). The good news is there are very knowledgeable docs to help you. Of course, not everything is physical. Some changes are mental or emotional. Experts agree you shouldn’t “stuff” these feelings but rather speak up about them. Some women experience depression during pregnancy or after. It is something to get help for and not uncommon.
Pregnancy is an adventure and it is not at all a routine experience. Every day and every week can be different. But, as you will hear from Brittany and the two doctors I interviewed, there are clear do’s (take vitamins and eat a balanced diet) and don’ts (don’t smoke and don’t drink). And there are good resources to help you every step of the way.
While a small percentage of pregnancies become “high risk,” the odds are, if you take care of yourself and have a good medical partner, things will go just fine and you’ll celebrate a healthy baby before long.
About the author: Andrew Schorr is a medical journalist, cancer survivor and founder of Patient Power, a one-of-a-kind company dedicated to bringing in-depth information to patients with cancer and chronic illness. Audio and video programs, as well as transcripts, help patients make informed decisions to support their health in partnership with their medical team. Patient Power is at www.PatientPower.info and on Facebook. Schorr is also the author of “The Web Savvy Patient: An Insider's Guide to Navigating the Internet When Facing Medical Crisis."
Edited by Jody Smith