Your body and mind undergo dramatic changes during pregnancy. Some of these changes are caused by the growth of your baby while others are caused by hormonal changes within your body and the emotional ups & downs that you will undoubtedly experience as you prepare to welcome new life into the world. Here are 10 tips to ensure you have a healthy pregnancy:
- Stop Tobacco and Alcohol: Smoking and drinking during pregnancy can cause complications such as low birth weight, developmental abnormalities, or miscarriage.
- Take Your Prenatal Vitamins: It’s a good idea to take your prenatal vitamins when still trying to conceive and continue to do so regularly throughout your pregnancy. They are essential for the proper development of your baby’s neural cord which occurs in the first month of pregnancy.
- Exercise: Staying physically fit and active during pregnancy will improve your blood circulation, control your weight, boost your mood, and help you sleep better. Try to get at least 20 minutes of moderate exercise every day. A brisk walk, swimming, yoga, and Pilates are generally considered safe exercises, but it is a good idea to check with your doctor before beginning a new fitness routine.
- Practice Kegels: These are special exercises that strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. They help support your uterus, bowels, and bladder, and are used during the delivery of your baby. Kegel exercises are easy to learn and can be done at virtually any time. To practice Kegels, simply squeeze the muscles that stop the flow of urine when you have to go to the bathroom. Hold the contraction for 3 seconds and then relax for 3 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
- Avoid Certain Chores: To protect your pregnancy, certain activities which may have been part of your daily routine will have to be avoided. These include heavy lifting, climbing ladders or stepstools, using harsh chemicals, and standing for a long time (especially next to a hot stove).
- Watch Your Weight: Check with your doctor regularly regarding the rate at which you are putting on weight during your pregnancy. Too much or too little weight gain can negatively impact your baby’s growth and development.
- Buy Comfortable Footwear: As your baby grows, your ankles and feet may swell a bit. The excess weight will also change your center of gravity putting more strain on your toes and flattening your feet. Being pregnant is the perfect excuse to buy new shoes!
- Eat Folate-Rich foods: Folic acid is crucial for the proper development of your baby. Cereals, oranges, lentils, and asparagus are great natural sources of folic acid.
- Cut Down on Caffeine: Too much of caffeine can increase your heart rate and blood pressure, both of which are not good during your pregnancy. Try to substitute your morning cup of coffee with an apple or banana. The natural sugars in these fruits will provide a healthy energy boost to get your day started.
- Know when to contact your doctor: You should contact your doctor if you have painful cramps, contractions that are 20 minutes apart, vaginal bleeding, sustained dizziness or heart palpitations, or sense decreased activity in your baby.
ReproMed fertility clinics are located throughout Dallas, Grapevine, McKinney, Rockwall and in Tyler, Texas, giving patients convenient access to experienced, knowledgeable, and compassionate reproductive health specialists. Contact us for an appointment today.