Pregnancy, even a healthy one, can take a toll on your body and on your mind. Preparing for pregnancy and taking steps during pregnancy to help ease the journey can lead to a happy and healthy experience for both you and your partner.
Here are some tips to help set you up for success.
Schedule an appointment with your OB/GYN provider:
If at all possible, do this before you become pregnant. Let your OB/GYN know that you will be trying to conceive so that your provider can look at risk factors with you. Some things that will most likely be discussed are menstrual history, genetic history, healthy diet, exercise, age, medication use, smoking, and obesity.
Start taking a Prenatal Vitamin with DHA:
The sooner you start doing this the better. This helps to ensure that, when you do conceive, your baby is getting the necessary vitamins needed to grow and develop. The recent addition of DHA has been shown to help a baby’s brain and neural tube develop and also aids in the development of the eyes.
What’s the deal with Fish?
Fish that have high mercury content should not be consumed during pregnancy. This includes Tuna, Mackerel, Orange Roughy, and Sea Bass. Too much mercury in your bloodstream can have a damaging effect on the baby’s brain and nervous system development.
What is Listeria and what carries it?
Listeria is a bacteria that pregnant women may be more susceptible to. It can cause major complications in pregnancy including miscarriage, preterm labor, and stillbirth. Avoid unpasteurized milk, cheese, ice cream, unprocessed vegetables, raw chicken, sausage, hot dogs, deli meats, and raw or smoked fish.
Exercise is very beneficial in pregnancy. It can help to regulate your blood sugar. You’ll want to avoid exercises that impact the abdominal wall and exercises that rely heavily on your center of balance. Walking, weight bearing exercise and pregnancy centered yoga are a great option.
For most women a healthy weight gain goal is between 25 – 35 pounds. You only need an extra 300 – 500 calories/day for the baby to thrive and to grow.
- Limit caffeine
- Drink at least 6 8 oz glasses of water daily
- Don’t drink alcohol
Can I keep my cat?
Suddenly changing the cat litter is someone else’s job! Cat’s can get a parasite called Toxoplasma from eating infected rodents, birds and other small animals. The parasite is passed in the cat’s feces. Toxoplasmosis can cause serious problems in pregnancy including miscarriage, premature labor and stillbirth. The parasite can be given to the baby, most babies born with Toxoplasmosis have no symptoms. Long term studies show that over time infants can develop problems such as vision loss, seizures, hearing loss, or developmental delays.
Get plenty of rest
As your pregnancy progresses it might be more difficult to find a comfortable position for sleeping. Sleep/rest when you can. Listen to your body, it will tell you when too much is too much.
For the majority of women, pregnancy is a healthy, vital state. You are growing another human! How magical that our bodies are designed to do this. Even if your pregnancy journey takes a detour here or there, it is truly amazing to bring a new life into the world.
If you would like to learn more, or have any specific questions or concerns, schedule an appointment or give us a call at (920) 749-4000