Things to Do to Make Sure a Baby’s Development Is Healthy
A mom eagerly awaits the moment she is snuggling with the little bundle she has carried for so long. But nurturing your newborn begins even before he is placed in your arms.
A pregnant mother must take every precaution to give her baby the healthiest start possible. This means caring for your body, since your health could affect the baby.
Receive Prenatal Care
A pregnant ladies should start pre-birth care when she knows or accepts she is pregnant. Developing a relationship with a trusted obstetrician is important, so the doctor can observe both mother and baby’s health throughout the pregnancy.
An obstetrician can answer any questions you have, whether you’re pregnant with your first or your fourth child. An initial prenatal visit may include a health history interview, submitting a urine sample and a weight check.
If the pregnancy is healthy, monthly visits will be scheduled; those will increase to twice monthly and then weekly as the estimated delivery date draws closer.
Consume Nutritious Food
The term “eating for two” is a misnomer. A pregnant mother should not think she has to eat twice as much for a healthy pregnancy. Most women only need to add 300 additional calories to the daily diet.
Consuming foods with empty calories, such as sodas and other sugary snacks, does not provide necessary nutrients for the baby. It is important to maintain a balanced diet with more calcium, iron and folic acid. Folic acid is found in prenatal vitamins, and folate — its natural form — is present in citrus fruits, leafy green vegetables and beans.
Some breads, cereals and pastas are also fortified with it. Folic acid is crucial to a woman’s diet even before conception, since it decreases the risk of neural tube defects, which cause spina bifida and other brain and spinal defects, according to March of Dimes.com.
Exercise to support a healthy pregnancy, as long as you have your physician’s approval. Some women may be able to continue the same pre-pregnancy routine under a doctor’s supervision.
Staying fit through moderate exercise decreases aches and pains, improves sleep and maintains a healthy weight, suggests Mayo Clinic.com. Staying active also helps keep postpartum depression at bay and reduces the chance of developing gestational diabetes.
Start a routine with at least 30 minutes of light exercise, such as swimming, walking and stationary cycling. Try not to get overheated, since this is a sign you’re applying your body excessively. Drink liquids to remain hydrated during and after your everyday practice.
Stress is a “no-no” for the pregnant mom, since it increases the chances of pre-term labor. Premature babies are at risk for complications such as underdeveloped lungs, later developmental delays and even death, according to Dr. Calvin Hobel of Cedars Sinai Medical Center.
It may be impossible to extinguish all stress from everyday living, but a pregnant woman must take the steps to reduce it, to protect her baby’s health. Take short naps throughout the day, if possible or nap after work. Permit relatives and companions to help with day by day family tasks while you put your feet up.