Expecting mothers often have many questions about diet, nutrition, and the assorted dos and don’ts that they’re expected to follow in the build-up to delivering a healthy baby. Read on to learn about common sense steps you can take and the basic due diligence to exercise in order to maintain your health and retain peace of mind.
The first thing you need to do is to ensure that your nutritional requirements are fulfilled. A balanced diet will ensure not just your physical well-being but also proper development of the fetus. Apart from nutritional feeding, you may want to take prenatal vitamins after consulting an obstetrics and gynecology practitioner.
Aim for 60 grams of protein per day. Lean meats, eggs, and legumes are good sources of protein.
1,000 milligrams of calcium each day will ensure strong bones for both mother and child. Dairy products are an excellent source of vitamin D.
Meet your daily requirements of complex carbohydrates by consuming at least six servings of fruits, vegetables, rice, and cereals.
Folate is an essential nutrient for pregnant women. 400 micrograms of folate is the minimum intake to target. Orange juice, spinach, and enriched food products will help you meet the daily recommended dose.
Apart from diet, you need to exercise to ensure that your energy levels are up and your limbs don’t grow stiff from spending too much time on the couch during pregnancy.
Exercise will help to regulate your weight and keep the abdominal muscles in shape. Toned abdominals help prevent backache as the uterus expands with pregnancy. A strong abdomen will help push the baby out and contribute to safe and natural childbirth.
Don’t stress your joints. Walk, swim, or go cycling. Avoid running. Hormonal changes can make you susceptible to sprains and injuries. Half an hour of exercise every alternate day should suffice.
Hormones acting up during pregnancy can increase the chances of plaque deposits on gums. Maintain oral hygiene. Dental issues during pregnancy have been linked to premature deliveries and low birth weight. Visit a dentist if your gums become tender and swollen. Use an alcohol-free mouthwash. Brush twice a day and floss daily.
Alcohol consumption and smoking are known risky behaviors to avoid during pregnancies. Consult your doctor before using any medicine. Your medical history may preclude you from consuming even safe drugs such as acetaminophen and over-the-counter cough medications. If you’re already on prescription medication, inform your doctor the moment you learn about your pregnancy or better still consult an ob-gyn in advance to know about what you should do.
If you’ve got cats and dogs at home, take necessary precautions when cleaning litter. Cat litter can be particularly risky because cat feces may contain the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis. The condition can lead to hearing, vision, and brain damage in fetuses. Wash hands with a disinfectant before touching food. Cook meat to at least 160 degrees before consuming.
Avoid unpasteurized drinks and soft cheeses. These consumables, along with salads, can carry the listeria bacteria that has been linked to miscarriages. On similar lines, you may want to exclude raw seafood from your diet, sushi and oysters may lead to hepatitis A.
Caffeine is a diuretic and you may want to consume tea and coffee within limits. Caffeine also leaches calcium from the body.
Choose an ob-gyn to consult after some research. Ask for references from friends and specially labor and delivery nurses, because they interact with doctors. When you visit the doctor, ask questions. If you’re not satisfied about having received sufficient information, you may want to continue with research.
Childbirth and the addition of a new member to the family comes with accompanying costs. If you’ve got debts to pay off, the pregnancy period is a good time to do so. Cut out on superfluous expenses. Plan your spending. Repay debts in a structured manner. Consider transferring loans into a single low-interest rate account.
Find out about the maternity leave policy in your company. Can you save up on leaves and holidays so that you can use them during the pregnancy? Talk to colleagues who’ve taken maternity leaves. Would it be possible to ease yourself back into the job by working part-time?