Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it is also a time when it is especially important to take care of your own health and the health of your baby. There are many things that pregnant women can do in order to ensure a healthy pregnancy and birth.
This article elaborates on some of these important points so that you can welcome the healthiest baby into this world.
Take Prenatal Vitamins
These are specially formulated vitamins that provide the extra nutrients that a growing baby needs during pregnancy. They typically contain higher levels of the following nutrients, which are important for fetal development.
Folic acid is important for the proper development of the neural tube, which becomes the baby’s brain and spinal cord. Adequate intake of folic acid before and during pregnancy can help to reduce major birth defects of the brain and spine by more than 70 percent.
Iron is crucial for the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to the body’s tissues. When you’re pregnant, your body’s need for iron increases to support the growing baby and the expansion of the blood volume. Insufficient iron can lead to anemia, which can cause fatigue and other health problems.
Calcium is essential for building the baby’s bones and teeth. Adequate calcium intake during pregnancy can help ensure that the baby has enough calcium to build strong bones and teeth.
Prenatal vitamins can help to ensure that both you and your baby get the necessary nutrients for a healthy pregnancy. However, it is important to note that prenatal vitamins should not be used as a substitute for a healthy diet. You should aim to eat a varied diet that includes a variety of nutrients rather than relying solely on supplements.
Avoid Certain Substances
Avoiding certain substances during pregnancy is important because some substances can be harmful to the developing baby. Substances such as tobacco, alcohol, and certain medications can increase the risk of birth defects, developmental problems, and other health issues for the baby.
According to World Health Organization, smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of sudden infant death and birth defects in newborns. Exposure to second-hand smoke during pregnancy has been linked to a 23 percent increased risk of stillbirth and a 13 percent increased risk of congenital malformation. It can also cause problems with the baby’s growth and development, such as learning and behavioral problems.
Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to serious health problems in the baby, including physical and mental abnormalities. This is known as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). The risk of FAS and other alcohol-related problems increases with the amount of alcohol consumed and the frequency of alcohol use.
Certain medications can also be harmful to the developing baby. For instance, Tylenol(acetaminophen), an over-the-counter pain reliever and fever reducer, has been suggested as possibly contributing to the development of autism in children whose mothers took it during pregnancy.
One study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that pregnant women who used acetaminophen at least once per week had a slightly increased risk of having a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
This situation has led parents to file Tylenol Autism Lawsuit against the concerned authorities. You can contact a Tylenol lawyer to file Tylenol Autism Lawsuit if you or a loved one took Tylenol during pregnancy and your child has developed Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Pregnant women need to talk to their healthcare providers about any medications they are taking, including over-the-counter medications and supplements. Some medications may be safe to use during pregnancy, while others may need to be adjusted or stopped.
Staying hydrated is necessary for the health of both you and your baby during pregnancy. Water is necessary for the proper functioning of all the body’s systems, and it is crucial during pregnancy when the body’s need for fluids increases.
Adequate hydration can help:
- Maintain the volume of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby: Amniotic fluid helps to protect and cushion the baby, and it is essential for the baby’s proper growth and development.
- Prevent constipation: Pregnancy causes constipation by increasing hormone levels in the body, but drinking plenty of water can prevent it by keeping stool soft and easier to pass.
- Support the production of breast milk: Staying hydrated can help to ensure that the mother has an adequate supply of breast milk after delivery.
- Maintain the mother’s energy levels: Dehydration can cause fatigue and weakness. Staying hydrated can help the mother to maintain her energy levels and feel more alert.
It is generally recommended that pregnant women aim for at least 8-12 cups of water per day, depending on their level of activity and the climate in which they live. It is important to listen to the body’s thirst signals and drink water as needed to stay hydrated.
Get Regular Exercise
If you are pregnant, regular physical activity can help improve your overall health and well-being, which benefits both you and your baby.
Here are a few ways in which exercise can be beneficial during pregnancy:
- Improves mood: Exercise can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, which are common during pregnancy. It can also help to improve sleep and boost energy levels.
- Increases strength and endurance: Exercise can help to increase strength and endurance, which can be especially important during labor and delivery. It can also help to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal problems, such as back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Reduces the risk of gestational diabetes: Regular exercise reduces the risk of developing gestational diabetes, a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy.
- Improves fetal development: Some studies have suggested that regular exercise during pregnancy can positively affect fetal development, including enhanced fetal heart rate and brain development.
You should consult with your healthcare providers before starting or continuing an exercise routine during pregnancy. If you’re pregnant, aim for moderate-intensity exercises, such as walking or swimming, for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week.
Avoiding certain substances and taking necessary precautions can help ensure the best possible outcome for your baby’s health.