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10 Things You Must Do For A Healthy Pregnancy

Pregnant woman in a clinic

A healthy pregnancy begins with you; what you eat, your environment and most importantly, your mental and emotional state of mind.

The first thing is to get prepared – set your mind for the journey ahead, and start taking your folic acid from the very moment you become aware you are pregnant or as soon as you begin trying for a baby, so your body can be healthy and ready.

Here are other guidelines to steer you in the right direction:


1. Healthy Eating


It is essential that expectant mothers choose foods carefully and follow a balanced and healthy eating plan.

Eating the right foods, especially foods which are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, will provide great benefits for the growing baby and mother.

Avoid raw meats, alcohol, smoking, toxic ingredients, etc., as all these are bad for your health, especially during pregnancy, and could affect your baby’s health.

Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Fresh vegetables and fruits are very rich sources of vitamins and because these foods are low in fats, they can be chosen as a snack any time of the day. Since fruits are light foods, the occurrence of bloating will be at a bearable minimum. Fruits like apples, strawberries, or avocado being rich in fiber, will prevent constipation. Drink plenty of water too, as much as 8 glasses per day.

Minimize eating junk and sugary foods like pastries and deep fried foods. Eat as many as 6 times a day but in small quantities to help stem food cravings and keep healthy snacks around to reduce cravings, nausea, and vomiting.

2. Be Informed


This is especially important for first-time mothers. Since the pregnancy experience will be your first, you would need to keep up with the many changes occurring in your body. Many expectant mothers because of lack of knowledge endanger their health and that of their unborn baby. Necessary and helpful information can be gotten first hand from your doctor or midwife.

Other sources of information include books, websites, and blogs touching on pregnancy and pregnancy related issues.

Note that whenever in doubt you should get information verified by your doctor.

3. Get Quality Medical Support


It is important that expectant mothers seek medical help and support during pregnancy, especially from the very start. Regular visits to the doctor are advised so you can be placed on antenatal care and other birth programs designed to help you have a safe delivery and fast recovery.

4. Avoid Non-Prescribed Drugs


Pregnant women must remember that during pregnancy, whatever you ingest is also shared by your unborn baby. Therefore, it is advisable to stay off over the counter medications or herbal remedies. Only take drugs prescribed by your doctor and as prescribed.

5. Visit A Dentist


Most people rarely visit the dentist and only do so when they need to remove a tooth or have serious issues with their teeth.

6. Get Enough Rest


Fatigue is commonly experienced during pregnancy. It is therefore very important that you make time to rest during the day and get a lot of sleep at night. Try to get as much as 8 – 9 hours of sleep. Avoid sleeping on your back as your pregnancy progresses, but try sleeping on your side while using pillows for support.

7. Sitting Support


At work or wherever you can, use a pillow to support your back as this will make you more comfortable and generally reduce back pain. Make sure the seat is firm and can hold your weight. Avoid prolonged standing also as excess blood supply to your legs puts pressure on your back. Also, remember to wear comfortable shoes and put your feet up several times a day to prevent fatigue and swelling of the feet, legs, and ankles.

8. Stress Control


Another important thing is the mental health of the mother which will, in turn, affect her emotional and physical health as well as the baby's. It is exigent therefore that the mother minimizes all stress factors during this period. When stressed, practice deep breathing and listen to calm, refreshing and wholesome music to lift your spirits and provide encouragement. Sing to your baby if you can, this can help calm both of you and put you in a good mood.

9. Take Proper Job Precautions


Depending on the nature of your job, please avoid excessive working hours, prolonged standing, heavy lifting, loud noises, heavy vibrations, high levels of stress, as well as excessively cold or hot environments. At home, avoid exposure to harmful substances especially cleaning materials. This list is not exhaustive, but the general idea is to always be in comfortable environments and conditions, bearing best safety and health practices in mind.

10. Exercise


Check with your doctor if you are fit to go ahead with exercising and stretches.

As long as you are in good health and there are no complications attached to your pregnancy, it is advised that every expectant mum do relevant exercises and stretches during pregnancy to facilitate easy delivery and recovery.

One good way to achieve this is to join a pregnancy exercise class if your hospital provides such opportunity. However, you can engage in light exercises such as walking, dancing, swimming, and light stretches.

Engaging in exercises during pregnancy, can help boost your strength and endurance level, keep your weight in check and improve blood circulation.

Finally, towards the end of your pregnancy, cut back on rigorous activities and get help with as many things as possible. Rest as much as you can and take short breaks to nap or move around, even when you’re busy. Remember, a healthy mother signals a healthy baby.

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