The key to delivering a healthy baby is to make sure that your baby has a healthy beginning – from conception to birth!
Below we have rounded up the 7 best tips for a healthy pregnancy to ensure that you maintain good health throughout your pregnancy and welcome a healthy baby into the world!
7 Best Tips For A Healthy Pregnancy
1. See your Doctor
The first step to a healthy pregnancy is to make an appointment with your doctor. Not only will the initial appointment confirm your pregnancy, you will also be able to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about your pregnancy with your doctor first hand.
Once you have your appointment set, sit down and take some time to think over any questions you may have for your doctor in regards to your own health, the pregnancy in general as well as your baby. Write these questions down and take them with you so that you can feel prepared and at ease when you see your doctor.
As the pregnancy progresses, it is also vital to stay up to date with your appointments to further monitor your pregnancy as well as the baby’s development and health.
2. Take a Prenatal Vitamin
Whether you are currently pregnant or simply considering it, a prenatal vitamin is a vital part of your baby’s health. During the first month of pregnancy your baby’s neural cord, which becomes the brain and spinal cord, begins to develop, which requires essential nutrients such as folic acid, calcium and iron. A basic prenatal vitamin will ensure that you body has these nutrients readily available for your baby.
Most prenatal vitamins are available over the counter from any drugstore, however you can also get them prescribed to you by your doctor. Depending on your initial consultation with your doctor in regards to your personal health and pregnancy, you may need to take more than a basic prenatal vitamin to ensure that your body is taking in the proper levels of the essential nutrients.
3. Tweak Your Diet
While you may be “eating for two”, this doesn’t give you an excuse to eat in excess or to splurge on unhealthy foods. In fact, your body doesn’t need any extra calories for your pregnancy until the last three months, in which you should be consuming roughly 200 extra calories per day. And though pregnancy cravings are a very real part of being pregnant, it is important to remember that the food you eat is what helps your baby grow and develop.
A healthy diet consisting of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean protein, some dairy as well as fish is the easiest way to ensure a healthy baby. Fish such as salmon is not only full of protein but also vitamin D, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential to the development of your baby’s nervous system. If fish is something that you can’t tolerate, you can always supplement with an omega-3 vitamin or consume other sources of the healthy fat such as nuts, seeds and green leafy vegetables.
Another key element to your diet when pregnant is to ensure that you stay hydrated with water or decaffeinated fruit teas to help you maintain healthy blood pressure levels throughout your pregnancy.
4. Don’t Ignore Exercise
Just like a healthy diet is a vital part of a healthy pregnancy, so is regular exercise. Exercise will help you to control your weight, improve circulation, boost your mood as well as help you to sleep better at night. It can also ensure an uncomplicated birth and delivery while also helping you in your recovery process afterwards.
Check with your doctor first before beginning any exercise program, however light exercise such as Pilates, yoga, swimming and walking are all low impact exercises that are great for most pregnant women. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise per day, however listen to your body and it’s signals so as to not overdo it.
5. Educate Yourself
There are plenty of books, classes and courses available now to help you to educate yourself on your pregnancy. Birthing classes and similar classes are often times offered at the hospital where you will be delivering your baby, which helps you to learn more about the delivery process and infant care as well as become more familiar with the facility and staff. These classes can also help you when it comes to what to expect during your delivery as well as offer relaxation and massage techniques that can help you through it.
6. Create a Birth Plan
A birth plan is a simple outline of your preferences during the labor and delivery process. This may include who you want with you during labor, whether or not you want pain medication or even what music you would like playing. The birth plan includes anything you think will make your labor and delivery more comfortable.
Some things to consider for your birth plan:
- Who you want present, including other children you may have
- Procedures you want to avoid
- Special clothing you would like to wear
- Positions you prefer
- Lighting or music preferences
- What medications you would like or not
- What to do if complications arise
Though a birth plan is a general outline of your preferences, it is also important to remember to remain flexible as you cannot predict what may occur during delivery.
7. Get Plenty of Rest
There’s bound to be some fatigue during your pregnancy, especially in the beginning and towards the end when the baby’s size and movements can complicate sleep, which makes sleeping when and where you can vital to your overall rest quota.
The fatigue you feel during the first and third trimesters is the body’s way of letting you know that you need extra rest, so slow down in your daily activities and nap when you can to help you recover. If you can’t sleep at least put your feet up and relax with herbal tea, a good book or music – anything to allow you body some time to rest!
Now that you are expecting (or are planning on it soon!), it is more important than ever to take care of yourself. Improve your chances of a problem-free pregnancy and delivering a healthy baby with the above simple tips.