If you are expecting or planning to have children, you want to ensure that you have a healthy and safe pregnancy. Family planning can be very involved and very stressful despite the positive results having children brings. Having children and growing your family can be one of the most emotionally rewarding things you can do and, for many people, is one of the most important things you can do in your entire life. However, if you have never had children before and are just starting your family, the lack of experience can be a concern. Many future parents alter their lifestyles to ensure that their baby is as healthy as possible. Keeping the following steps in mind can help you ensure a healthy and safe pregnancy and, if this is your first child, help reduce stress.
Six Steps To Ensuring a Good Pregnancy
- Talk To Your Doctor: One of the first steps you should take is talking with your healthcare provider about any questions or concerns you may have. Your physician can help you and provide advice on the best steps to take concerning your unique circumstances. Your physician can also assist with any prescriptions you may need during the pregnancy. Regular checkups also keep you informed on how things are progressing and can help prevent medical issues through preventative care.
- Take Proper Supplements: an important part of ensuring your health and that of your baby is taking the right supplements. For pregnancies, it is recommended you take folic acid and vitamin D supplements. Folic acid is found in many foods, including various grain products such as cereals and bread. Vitamin D is found in deep-sea fish, dairy products, and other fortified food products. Getting the advised amount of vitamins for a safe pregnancy can be difficult, and supplements can help even with a proper diet.
- Avoid Harmful Substances: when pregnant, you should avoid the use of tobacco products, alcohol, and illegal narcotics. The use of such substances can cause you to miscarry, harm your baby, and in some cases, lead to lifelong health conditions. If you have difficulties quitting either drinking or smoking, let your healthcare provider know as they can provide assistance to help you succeed in doing so.
- Consider Your Physical Activity Level: you should speak with your primary care provider about what physical activity levels are safe and healthy for you. In most cases, you can continue your normal daily activity during pregnancy without problems. This can improve your overall health, prepare your body for the birth process, and help you sleep better. Some people do perform light exercise during pregnancy (such as aerobics). However, you should always talk to your doctor before undertaking any exercise routine.
- Watch Your Diet: a healthy diet is an important part of a safe and healthy pregnancy. You should drink plenty of water and eat a variety of healthy foods. Food choices such as whole grains, low-fat dairy, fruits, vegetables, nuts, lentils, and lean meats are advised. You should avoid undercooked meats, unclean foods, unpasteurized dairy, larger fish, and limit your caffeine intake. If you need help planning a diet, your physician can help, and many tools can help you plan your meals.
- Watch Your Weight: when pregnant, your weight needs to remain at a healthy level, and you should avoid losing and gaining too much weight during pregnancy as both are unhealthy. By following a good diet, performing regular physical activity, and following your doctor’s advice, you can keep your weight at a healthy level. A healthy amount of weight gain can vary greatly (often noted as between 11 and 40 pounds) and depends on your weight before pregnancy and your body mass index or BMI. Your doctor can advise what weight is healthy for you based on your existing health and any related concerns or existing conditions you may have.
Pregnancy can be an exciting, unique, and life-changing event. However, it does not have to be something that causes you undue stress or concern. By listening to trained medical advice and doing your best to take care of yourself, you can help reduce the odds of pregnancy complications and protect the health of your unborn child. Remember that everyone is different, and if you have any questions or worries, don’t stay quiet, take them up to your doctor, so you can know what to do next.
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