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Pregnancy brings with it a new set of additional responsibilities. The mother has to be extra vigilant about monitoring and caring for her health. This ensures that sufficient nutrition is being provided to the growing infant, at the same time, ensuring no harm comes through you. Listed below are some simple ways to do the same.
- Prenatal care: As soon as you realize that you are pregnant, it is advisable to talk to a doctor or a midwife about proper prenatal care. This could include anything and everything from prenatal vitamins to food habits to exercise to sleeping habits to periodic scanning – the whole hog.
- Diet: You need to ensure two things: that you are eating enough for two people, and also that everything is healthy and not harmful for the little one that gets all its nutrition through you. The diet should be healthy, nutritious, wholesome, and of course free of junk. Some pointers to a healthy diet include:
- Include a good amount of fruits and vegetables every day; break it into five small portions.
- Sufficient amount of carbohydrates should be the basis of each meal.
- Whole grains are preferred to white grains, which also give good amount of fiber.
- A good amount of proteins including fish, eggs, meat, nuts, pulses, milk, and other dairy products.
- Ensure adequate amount of iron, calcium, and other minerals are included in the diet.
- Avoid eating non-pasteurized dairy products, uncooked or undercooked food, and smoked seafood.
- Folic acid is compulsory for the first trimester as it helps to protect your unborn baby from developing neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Also, it helps to prevent other birth defects, such as a cleft palate .
- Weight gain: If your weight was normal for your age and height before pregnancy, expect to add about 12 to 15 kg during your pregnancy. Consult with your doctor on weight changes and nutritional aspects to monitor weight throughout pregnancy. This could change based on if it is twins, your weight before pregnancy, and body type.
- Exercise: There are specific exercises designed to benefit the pregnant women. Whether it is walking or swimming aimed at improving overall health or Kegel exercises aimed at improving vaginal and perineal muscles, your doctor should be able to draw up a routine. Exercising while pregnancy is being increasingly encouraged for the following reasons:
- Improved energy levels
- Controls back pain
- Improved sleep pattern
- Improves constipation
- Improves muscles strength and endurance
- Lifestyle changes: With pregnancy setting in, it is time to bid goodbye to smoking and drinking alcohol. Continued smoking after onset of pregnancy has many serious complications, including growth retardation, low birth weight. Alcohol can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, and premature delivery.
These are simple ways to monitor and care for your and of course, the baby’s health throughout pregnancy.