Pregnancy is one of the milestones not only for a mother but for the entire family. With pregnancy comes great responsibility for the family. Good care during and after pregnancy is crucial for both mothers as well as the child. The best way to make sure that the child gets a head start on a healthy life is by taking good care of the mother.
Here we will discuss some dos and don’ts during pregnancy for helping the unborn to grow in a nurturing and healthy environment.
- Eat healthy foods.
A healthy diet is very vital for pregnant women. The baby in the womb needs nutrients to grow strong and healthy.
Some healthy eating habits during pregnancy are:
a. Do not eat for two
The mother may feel more hungry than usual, but that does not mean she needs to eat for two. She should avoid snacking on foods high in fat and sugar.
b. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals. They are also rich in fiber that helps digestion. The mother should have at least five portions of different fruits and vegetables every day.
c. Diet rich in carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are a source of energy. They help you to feel full without consuming too many calories. The carbohydrate-rich diet should make a 3rd of the food a pregnant woman is taking. Instead of having refined (white) carbohydrates, give more preference to wholegrain or higher-fiber options.
Some rich sources of carbohydrates are:
- Breakfast cereals
d. Diet rich in protein
The mother should have protein-rich foods every day, such as:
- meat (but avoid liver)
e. Dairy food in pregnancy
Dairy foods contain calcium and other essential nutrients that the mother and the baby in the womb need.
Always try to have low-fat varieties such as semi-skimmed and low-fat & low-sugar yogurt. You can also use unsweetened, calcium-fortified dairy alternatives, such as soya drinks and yogurts.
f. Cut down foods high in fat and sugar.
Food high in fat and sugar has high calories, which can cause weight gain. Try to cut down the consumption of foods such as
- Fizzy Drinks
- Ice Cream
g. Avoid certain foods
Consumption of some foods can harm the baby in the womb.
- Raw meat
- Raw eggs
- Soft cheeses
- Unpasteurized milk
- Some fish that are maybe high in mercury
- Prenatal vitamins
Prenatal vitamins give pregnant women an adequate amount of the key nutrients needed for a healthy pregnancy. They cover any nutritional gaps in the diet of the pregnant woman.
Prenatal vitamins have:
- Folic acid
- Vitamin d
- Vitamin c
- Vitamin b12
- Vitamin e
- Stay hydrated
During pregnancy, the body needs more water than other times. A pregnant woman should have more than 8 cups of water every day. Some of the key benefits of water during pregnancy are:
- Aids in the digestion
- Helps in the development of amniotic fluid around the baby in the womb
- Helps in the circulation of nutrients
- Aids in the removal of waste from the body
- Regular prenatal care check-ups
For a healthy pregnancy, regular prenatal care check-ups are important.
During check-ups, the doctor monitors the baby’s and mother’s health and accordingly provides nutrition and activity guidelines.
Moms without regular prenatal care have higher chances to have a baby with low birth weight or other complications.
- Avoid alcohol
Alcohol during pregnancy increases the risk of having a baby with F.A.S.D. (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder). F.A.S.D can cause physical, behavioral, and learning problems.
A baby with F.A.S.D may have the following signs and symptoms:
- Poor reasoning and judgment skills
- Low body weight
- Speech and language delay
- Intellectual disability or low IQ
- Vision or hearing problem
- Poor memory
- Difficulty with attention
- Hyperactive behavior
- Poor coordination
- Learning disabilities
- Problems with the heart, kidneys, or bones
- Abnormal facial features
- Avoid smoking
Smoking is injurious to every one. A pregnant woman is no exception. Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of:
- Sudden infant death syndrome (S.I.D.S.)
- Premature birth
- Prenatal or postnatal complications in the baby
- Stay active
Exercise is crucial for a healthy pregnancy.
Daily exercises make it easier for a pregnant woman to adapt to changing shape and weight gain. It also helps in coping with labor pain.
- Get ample sleep
During pregnancy, the body needs to produce more blood, and the heart needs to work extra to circulate that blood to the baby in the womb. For all these extra efforts the body needs rest.
The sleep of 7 to 9 hours is important for both, the mother and the baby in her womb.
Reducing stress improves birth outcomes. Anxiety and depression during pregnancy may lead to complications like preterm birth and low birth weight.
Pregnancy welcomes a new routine into the life of not only moms but of all the family members. A few easy steps towards can make this journey memorable for everyone.