Few events in life are as life-altering and exciting as finding out that you’re pregnant. You can’t wait to share the news and start preparing for your new chapter in life. But before you get to all the shopping, redecorating, and designing your baby’s nursery, it is important that you take all the necessary steps to make sure that your little one is developing properly and getting everything they need to grow healthy and strong.
Of course, a big part of that is ensuring that you yourself stay healthy while expecting. With that in mind, here are some of the things you can do to give your little bundle of joy the best possible start in life.
Ditch any bad habits that you may have
First things first, ensuring your and your baby’s health starts by quitting bad habits. Even before you find out you’re pregnant, your best bet is to quit sooner rather than later. Women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to give birth prematurely and are at a higher risk of miscarriage. When it comes to babies, they’re more likely to have low birth weight and weaker lungs if the mother smoked during pregnancy.
There are similar risks associated with drinking alcohol while pregnant. In addition, heavy alcohol intake also affects the developing fetus by causing intellectual disabilities and birth defects. In some cases, it can cause fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. What’s more, both smoking and drinking alcohol during pregnancy increase the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). The earlier you stop with these bad habits – preferably, before you even conceive – the better off you’ll be.
Stay on top of all of your health checkups for optimal wellness
From bi-annual dentist appointments and annual physicals to blood pressure tests and mammograms – these are just some of the health musts every woman should have. Once she is pregnant, there’s also another thing to add to the lengthy list of health checkups – prenatal care. It goes without saying that staying on top of all these is vital to ensuring your and your baby’s health, but checkups regarding your and your baby’s health is something you definitely don’t want to miss.
Prenatal care is a vital component of ensuring a healthy pregnancy. A detailed talk with a trusted obstetrician will provide you with plenty of information that comes from a reliable source. They’ll also keep everything in check and recommend certain medical tests that they deem needed. If they detect any problems, they will address them early on while also preventing others from arising.
Avoid constipation by staying hydrated and eating right
Reducing the risk of pregnancy complications and ensuring a safe pregnancy is in part achieved through healthy dietary choices. Not only does a well-balanced diet ensure you and your baby get all the nutrients you need, but it also helps with some common pregnancy-related complaints such as constipation. Foods high in fiber along with vegetables and fruit are ideal for preventing that clogged-up feeling many pregnant women experience. Staying hydrated also helps with preventing unpleasant constipation symptoms and promotes the formation of amniotic fluid for the developing fetus.
Many women also experience vitamin deficiency during pregnancy. To address them, your doctor may recommend prenatal supplementation containing calcium, iron, and folic acid. By supplementing, you’ll manage to maintain optimal levels of vitamins and ensure a healthy pregnancy.
Make moderate exercise and plenty of sleep a priority
These two things are easier said than done, particularly when you’re in your last trimester of pregnancy when just moving around starts to feel like a chore. However, exercising during pregnancy is a vital component of staying healthy when expecting. Along with a balanced diet, regular physical activity helps keep your weight in check. This helps you gain a healthy amount of weight while lowering your risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure.
Aside from being active on a daily basis, you want to ensure you get enough rest each night. As challenging as it can be, try to find a comfortable sleeping position for each trimester, and get enough shut-eye every night to prevent pregnancy fatigue.
A healthy pregnancy for a healthy and optimal start
Preparing for your baby’s birth starts long before you even conceive. This is why you want to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to ensure their optimal health. By following the tips above, you’ll be able to navigate your nine month-long journey with more ease and give your baby an optimal start in life.
About The Author
Taylor Parker is an American based writer and blogger. She is very passionate about family, fashion, health and lifestyle. Taylor writes mostly lifestyle articles, but also you’ll find her in home improvement and other niches.