Expecting mothers frequently have questions about how to stay healthy without negatively impacting their babies. Here are seven areas to keep in mind to ensure a strong pregnancy.
A balanced diet is important. The Mayo Clinic especially recommends incorporating whole wheat, fresh fruits and veggies, salmon, chickpeas or black beans, and yogurt into your daily meal plan. Remember to avoid fish with high mercury content, raw meats, soft cheeses, unpasteurized milk, and raw fish.
Proper hydration is important for the development of a baby. If the mother is dehydrated, a number of health complications can ensue. American Pregnancy reminds expecting mothers to drink 8-12 glasses of water a day. Also, keep an eye on the color of urine being produced. If it is yellow or dark in color, cutting out caffeine and increasing water intake are recommended.
Maintaining some level of exercise while pregnant is recommended. Exercise can help maintain muscle tone, improve your mood, and increase your stamina. All of these factors are useful during a pregnancy. We encourage moms to spend a few minutes warming up and a few minutes stretching before their workouts. Don’t work out to the point of exhaustion. A good tip is that you should be able to comfortably talk while exercising.
Even before the baby is born, many women experience trouble sleeping. Try to take one or two 30 minute naps between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. if you are feeling drowsy, and after 6 p.m., limit your fluid intake. If you work out, do so in the morning rather than the evening. Keep crackers next to your bed to ward-off late night queasiness.
Many prenatal vitamins include extra folic acid, iron, and calcium to support the baby’s health. We recommend including these in your daily routine and suggest incorporating omega-3 fatty acids into your diet or supplement regime. Always consult your healthcare provider about what supplement program is right for you. If you feel queasy after taking vitamins, try drinking plenty of water, adding more fiber to your diet, and taking your supplements with food.
Sitting during pregnancy can be difficult over long periods of time. Make sure your weight is evenly distributed between both hips, and align your hips and knees to remain at 90 degree angles. Avoid sitting for more than 30 minutes at a time. Try not to twist at your waist; use your whole body instead. Bring your chair as close to a table or desk as possible (when applicable) so you don’t have to lean forward.
Of all the things pregnant women have to think about, many don’t consider kitty litter. Toxoplasmosis is a disease passed through parasites in cat feces. This can be dangerous and even fatal to unborn children. Be sure someone in your household is cleaning out the litterbox daily to minimize exposure. However, pregnant women shouldn’t be the ones to do it. Doctors recommend expecting mothers stay as far away from the litterbox as possible.
If you have more questions about proper prenatal care, please contact Women’s Medical Associates of Nashville.