To promote a healthy pregnancy with a healthy baby, the pregnant mother should be looking at some factors including risk factors and health factors to ensure that the unborn baby has an optimal development in life.
Some of these factors include various forms of exercises during pregnancy; healthy eating habits and programs to check the weight gain and optimal nutrition for both pregnant mother and unborn child.
Basic safety measures can be used such as regular hand washing and cooking food techniques.
Visit the doctor and dentist regularly for checkups and get a custom made meal plan as well as an exercise workout plan.
Feel free to ask your doctor and dentist for more advice on healthy living tips.
To increase your chances of getting pregnant and the best thing to do to keep yourself and your unborn baby healthy is getting early and regular prenatal care. Proper nutrition and self-care should be followed to ensure the expected mother and unborn baby develop with no/minimal complications. A good relationship with your healthcare provider and dietitian should ensure proper nutrition intakes are met.
The Following Steps Can be Taken to Ensure a Healthy Baby
- Vitamin supplements such as B12 and iron supplements reduce the risk for anemia. Folic acid; Multivitamin daily and enough Calcium.
- Exercise and staying active will help with:
- improved circulation;
- better mood regulation;
- weight control;
- promote better sleep.
- Good exercise choices for pregnancy should be about 0 minutes per day and include the following exercises:
- brisk walking;
- doing pelvic floor exercises to support your bladder, vagina and back passage which can feel weaker than usual because of the extra pressure upon them.
- No more Alcohol
Experts do not know how much alcohol is safe during pregnancy and the advice is to cut out alcohol completely while pregnant.
- too much caffeine may increase the risk of miscarriage;
- may increase the risk of low birth weight.
About 200mg caffeine a day which is about 2 standard mugs of instant coffee won’t hurt your unborn baby.
- Smoking is harmful
The following complications can be detected such as:
- nausea and vomiting (morning sickness)
- ectopic pregnancy
- placental abruption
- Toxic Exposure
Lead may be present in:
- house paint;
- garden soil;
- some well water ;
- water supplied through lead pipelines.
High levels of lead cause:
- stillborn child;
- low birth weight;
- premature delivery of baby;
- learning behavior problems for the child;
- check lead levels during pregnancy.
Radiation can travel through the air or be attached to materials like:
Low exposure from the sun; microwave ovens are normally not harmful.
Make sure your environment is safe for the pregnant woman and the unborn baby.
- Be safe
Some everyday tasks can become risky and should be avoided such as:
- exposure to toxic chemicals;
- lifting heavy objects;
- coming in contact with bacteria (can harm your unborn baby);
- climbing on step stools or ladders;
- changing kitty litter (disease caused by parasite which cats can carry);
- standing for long periods (especially near a hot stove);
- domestic violence.
Wear gloves when working in the yard and wash hands regularly (especially after handling raw meat).
- Wear a seatbelt
Not wearing a seatbelt can cause death for the pregnant woman and/or the unborn baby
Adjust the lap belt below belly across your hip-pelvis area.
- Regular dental Checkups
- gums likely to become inflamed or infected because of the increased blood flow during pregnancy;
- tell your dentist if you are pregnant;
- it is safe to do dental work on your teeth as there is no harm to the unborn baby.
Tips to Follow for a Healthy Baby
Eat well with a healthy balanced diet whenever you can with:
- 5 portions of fruit and vegetables daily;
- wholegrain carbohydrates ;
- ice cream.
2 Portions of fish a week which is packed with:
- vitamin D;
- omega 3 fatty acids which is vital for the development of the unborn baby’s nervous system.
Some food carry health risk for your unborn baby and course pregnancy or birth complications. Always ensure that only the freshest foods are consumed (No expired/off/rotten food).
- Listeriosis is an infection caused by the listeria bacteria. It is rare and not usually a threat but certain foods can be avoided such as:
- pate (any type);
- unpasteurized milk;
- undercooked ready meals;
- soft mould-ripened cheeses (brie);
- blue-veined cheese (Roquefort cheese);
- undercooked eggs;
- large fish with high levels of mercury.
Listeria bacteria can be destroyed by heat. Be sure to cook food properly.
- Salmonella can cause food poisoning and you can get it by eating undercooked poultry meat.
- Methylmercury is found in foods that fish eat and remain in fish forever. Eating these fish can harm the fetus by developing nervous system problems.
Eat maximum 12 ounces a week of fish and shellfish with low levels of methylmercury such as:
- canned light tuna;
- king mackerel;
- shark .
Normal weight to gain is about 25-35 pounds. Most women gain a lot of weight during pregnancy. There have been reports that obesity in women who are pregnant result in miscarriage as the body cannot accommodate the growth of the unborn baby. Overweight pregnant women are a greater risk for pregnancy complications, including:
- gestational diabetes;
- high blood pressure;
- more likely to give birth to larger babies;
- can have cesarean sections.
Pregnancy is not the time to diet or start skipping meals. Talk to your health care provider (doctor) about the right amount of weight to gain and a healthy eating plan.
Valeria is a blogger, a pediatrician, and a specialist in the field of pregnancy and parenting. She likes to help people with their questions.