Navigating Pregnancy: 8 Simple Tips for a Healthy Journey

2024-03-27 17:28:34 0 By: Jigar Patel Times Read: 547
Navigating Pregnancy: 8 Simple Tips for a Healthy Journey

So, the test says you're going to have a baby, and it's okay to feel all kinds of things right now. First off, congratulations! Being pregnant is a big deal, and it's normal to have a mix of feelings, from excitement to worry about you and your baby's health.

Taking care of yourself is really important for your baby's well-being. You might have a bunch of questions about what to do during the next 10 months, and that's totally normal.

Feeling a bit nervous or emotional? Don't worry; that's normal too. Your healthcare provider or midwife will be there for you every step of the way. You'll be going to a bunch of prenatal appointments in the coming months, and your provider will help you have the healthiest pregnancy possible.

Here are eight important tips to keep you and your baby healthy during this special time.

Tips for Healthy Pregnancy

It's important to plan ahead for a healthy pregnancy. Here are 8 tips to help you and your baby stay healthy:

1. Keep Up With Your Prenatal Appointments

During your pregnancy, you'll have regular visits to the doctor, called prenatal appointments. These visits are important for keeping you and your baby healthy. Your healthcare provider may suggest different pregnancy scans and tests during these appointments to check on your baby's health and development. Here's what your schedule might look like if you're under 35 and don't have any medical issues:

• Once a month from weeks 4 to 28
• Twice a month from weeks 28 to 36
• Every week from week 36 until birth

2. Keep Your Immunisations Updated

Most vaccines are safe to get while you're pregnant. If you have any questions, talk to your doctor during your prenatal visits. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all pregnant women get these vaccines:

• COVID-19
• Flu shot
• Tdap, which protects against whooping cough

Your doctor may suggest other vaccines based on your health history and risk factors for diseases.

3. Eat Healthy Foods

Eating well is crucial for your baby's growth and long-term health. Make sure your meals include foods from all four main food groups:

• Wholegrain starchy foods like pasta, rice, and bread
• Fruits and vegetables (the more variety, the better)
• Protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, beans, and nuts
• Dairy foods or calcium-enriched alternatives

Try to eat fish at least twice a week, including one portion of oily fish. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fresh filtered water and herbal teas throughout your pregnancy.

4. Take Your Prenatal Vitamins

Even though there's been talk in the media about pregnancy vitamins being unnecessary, it's essential to stick to certain ones before and during pregnancy. Folic acid (400mg a day) helps prevent neural tube defects like spina bifida, while vitamin D (10 micrograms a day) is crucial for your baby's bone and tooth development and calcium absorption. These recommendations come from the NHS and Department of Health.

5. Exercise Regularly

Discuss your exercise routine with your healthcare provider to ensure it's safe for you and your baby during pregnancy. Keeping up with regular exercise is good for your overall health and can help you get ready for childbirth. It's also a fantastic way to lower stress and feel great. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ACOG), aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week, unless there are medical concerns or complications with your pregnancy.

6. Stay Healthy During Pregnancy

It's important to avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, or using drugs while you're pregnant. Smoking and using drugs can harm your baby's health, so it's best to quit now. If you need support to quit smoking, talk to your doctor about finding a program that can help you.

Alcohol poses risks during pregnancy, and any amount is considered unsafe. Drinking can lead to learning and behaviour issues for your child. If stopping on your own is challenging, discuss it with your doctor for guidance.

7. Prioritise Mental Well-being

Pregnancy brings a lot to think about and may feel overwhelming. It's common to experience depression during pregnancy, affecting about 1 in 10 pregnant women.

It can be challenging to differentiate between typical pregnancy mood swings and depression. If you've been feeling consistently sad or depressed for more than two weeks, it's important to inform your doctor. Signs of depression include changes in sleep or appetite, persistent sadness, fatigue, loss of interest in activities, or thoughts of suicide.

Therapy and medication can both be beneficial in addressing depression and helping you feel better. Additionally, it's essential to be aware that mental health concerns may be more significant for women of colour, with Black women facing a higher likelihood of prolonged mental health struggles post-childbirth than non-Black women.

8. Take Enough Rest

Feeling tired during the early and late stages of pregnancy is normal. It's your body's way of saying you need to take it easy. Your body requires extra rest during this time, so you may find yourself needing more sleep each night. Whenever possible, try to rest and take naps without feeling guilty about it.

Closing Thoughts

Embrace this journey, mama-to-be! These simple tips will guide you through your pregnancy, ensuring a healthy and happy ride for you and your little one. Remember, you've got a whole team cheering you on – from your healthcare provider to loved ones. Don't forget to document your journey in your personal health record – it will be a cherished keepsake for years to come, filled with precious memories and milestones. Here's to a beautiful journey ahead!"

Author Bio:

Jigar Patel is the Founder of Health-e, a HealthTech app that simplifies health records management along with providing personalized and preventative healthcare solutions. Although he has 20+ years of operations and management experience in the EPC domain, Jigar’s true passion lies in making healthcare simpler, faster and more accessible for doctors and patients alike. He strongly believes that people need to be empowered to participate in their own healthcare and is constantly thinking of ways to build this into his app. He loves to keep things simple be it in life, product design, his work or the content he develops. Being married for 10 years and having 2 kids have taught him that perspective matters, so you can always count on him to share new perspectives on various topics.

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