How To Keep My Baby Healthy During Pregnancy

What Else May Help

Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby: Expert Advice for a Healthy Pregnancy

Pregnancy and the time after you deliver your baby can be wonderful, exciting, emotional, stressful, and tiringall at once. These feelings may cause you to overeat, not get enough calories, or lose your drive and energy. Being good to yourself may help you cope with your feelings and follow healthy lifestyle habits.

Here are some ideas that may help.

  • Sleep when the baby sleeps.
  • Ask someone you trust to watch your baby while you nap, bathe, read, go for a walk, or go grocery shopping.
  • Explore groups that you and your newborn can join, such as new moms groups.
  • Dont feel like you need to do it all on your own. Seek help from friends, family members, or local support groups.

How May Breastfeeding Help

Breastfeeding may or may not make it easier for you to lose weight because your body uses extra calories to produce milk. Even if breastfeeding does not help you lose weight, its linked to many other benefits for mother and child.

For mothers who breastfeed, experts advise feeding their babies only breast milk for the first 6 monthsno other foods or drinks during this time. Experts suggest that those women continue breastfeeding at least until their baby reaches 12 months.

Calorie needs when youre breastfeeding depend on how much body fat you have and how active you are. Talk with your health care professional about your calorie needs while you are breastfeeding.

Benefits of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding your baby

  • likely gives him or her an appropriate mix of vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients in a liquid that is easy to digest
  • helps boost his or her immune system
  • helps protect your baby from common problems, like ear infections and diarrhea

Reduce Your Risk For Infections

Certain infections during pregnancy can lead to birth defects. Many infections can be prevented by staying away from people who are sick, frequent handwashing, and thoroughly cooking meat. Furthermore, certain vaccines protect a person from infections that can lead to birth defects. The seasonal flu vaccine is always recommended for pregnant people.

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Healthy Diet And Exercise

With regular prenatal care, women can reduce the risk of pregnancy complications. This is done in part through following a healthy diet, getting regular exercise as advised by a health care provider, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding potentially harmful substances, such as lead and radiation.

Bacteria Enter The Blood And Affects The Baby

Secret Method of How To Keep Your Sleeping Baby Safe

Increased levels of bacteria in the mouth, especially P. Gingivalis is the culprit of all gum infections during the pregnancy phase. Gum infections now start spreading and start swelling. This makes it more bulky and lose their attachment with the teeth. This makes may for P. Gingivalis to penetrate deeper into the tissues and reach the bloodstream.

Also, when the mother swallows the food these bacteria are ingested along with it. After ingesting these bacteria reach the gut and enter the bloodstream. These bacteria and the toxin released by them now circulate in the blood targeting the health of the baby.

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Starting Healthy Habits For Pregnancy

  • 1Discontinue habits that are harmful for the fetus. The most important step for a healthy first trimester, and a healthy pregnancy in general, is changing lifestyle habits that are dangerous and damaging to the fetus. While there are many foods and behaviors that are discouraged during pregnancy, the most important to discontinue immediately are:XResearch source
  • Drinking all forms of alcohol, which can cause birth defects, miscarriage, stillbirth, and low birth weight.
  • Smoking tobacco products, which can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and low birth weight.
  • Using even small amounts of street drugs like cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamines can cause serious defects or be fatal to the baby. The effects of marijuana on a fetus are currently not fully understood, but it is recommended that you also discontinue use.
  • Limit caffeine intake to one cup of coffee per day.
  • 2Keep hydrated. It is important to drink at least eight 8 ounce glasses of water each day to keep your body well hydrated. Pregnant women experience an increase in blood volume as the body prepares to support the mother and the fetus, and good hydration is needed for this. Drinking plenty of water will also help alleviate symptoms of fatigue, constipation, and preterm labor.XResearch source
  • Eat smaller nutritious meals more frequently instead of the typical “three meals a day” approach to keep your blood glucose stable and help keep your energy up.
  • Eat lean sources of protein like poultry and fish.
  • Make Sure Youre Prepared If You Travel Abroad

    If youre flying abroad make sure your travel insurance covers you for any pregnancy complications and take your maternity notes with you.

    Long-distance travel may increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis or blood clots. Try to:

    • wear compression or support stockings , which will help reduce leg swelling
    • drink plenty of water
    • move around often.

    If you intend to fly after 28 weeks check the airlines policy. They may ask for a letter from your doctor or midwife confirming your due date, and that you aren’t at risk of complications. Find out more about flying in pregnancy.

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    How Much Should You Eat Each Day During Pregnancy

    Most pregnant women need only about 300 extra calories per day during the last 6 months of pregnancy. A glass of skim milk two small crackers and a tablespoon of peanut butter have approximately 300 calories. The exact amount depends on your weight before pregnancy. If youre underweight before pregnancy, you may need more calories. If youre overweight before, you may need less. Talk to your provider about whats right for you.

    Use this sample menu to plan healthy meals.

    Knowing how big each of these serving sizes is can be tricky. Here are some everyday items that can help:

    • 1 cup is about the size of a baseball.
    • 1/3 cup is about as much as you can fit in your hand .
    • ½ cup is about the size of a tennis ball.
    • ¼ cup is about the size of a golf ball.
    • 1 tablespoon is about the size of ½ a ping pong ball.
    • 1 ounce of meat is about the size of two thumbs.
    • 3 ounces of meat is about the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand.
    • A small fruit is about the size of a tennis ball.

    Go to website to learn more about how to make healthy food choices during pregnancy. ChooseMyPlate shows the amounts and foods that you may want to eat at every trimester during your pregnancy. They break down food into five groups:

    Follow these ChooseMyPlate guidelines:

    Other ways to eat healthy and make sure youre getting enough nutrients are:

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  • See your practitioner before becoming pregnant.
  • Start changing your food habits to include a healthy variety of foods.
  • Exercise! Starting now will help you stay in shape during pregnancy, can lower your risk of miscarriage, and has been proven to help reduce labor complications and length.
  • Educate yourself!
  • Eat a new vegetable you’ve never tried.
  • Check out a book on pregnancy.
  • Decide what you’d like to do about birth control. You may need to find out how quickly after stopping birth control you can get pregnant, or how you would plan to get pregnant in conjunction with stopping your current contraception pills or birth control devices.
  • Quit smoking. There are many programs to help you.
  • Take a prenatal vitamin. They can be prescribed by your practitioner or you can buy them over the counter. Ensure it contains 0.4 mg of folic acid.
  • Ask your partner to join you on your new healthy habit changes.
  • Track your cycles. Learning what you can about your cycles will help determine when you ovulate and when you conceived. These make for more accurate due dates.
  • If you need a new practitioner, interview before you become pregnant.
  • Ask your friends about pregnancy and parenthood.
  • Avoid chemicals that could possibly harm a developing fetus. Learn about the common dangerous chemicals that could be lurking in your home, work place, and community.
  • See your dentist before you get pregnant and brush your teeth daily.
  • Announce your pregnancy when you’re ready.
  • Rest when you can. Nap!
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    Why Do I Need More Calcium When Pregnant

    Calcium is a nutrient needed in the body to build strong teeth and bones. Calcium also allows blood to clot normally, muscles and nerves to function properly, and the heart to beat normally. Most of the calcium in your body is found inside your bones.

    Your growing baby needs a considerable amount of calcium to develop. If you do not consume enough calcium to sustain the needs of your developing baby, your body will take calcium from your bones, decreasing your bone mass and putting you at risk for osteoporosis. Osteoporosis causes dramatic thinning of the bone, resulting in weak, brittle bones that can easily be broken.

    Pregnancy is a critical time for a woman to consume more calcium. It may help prevent high blood pressure while you’re pregnant. Even if no problems develop during pregnancy, an inadequate supply of calcium at this time can diminish bone strength and increase your risk for osteoporosis later in life.

    The following guidelines will help ensure that you are consuming enough calcium throughout your pregnancy:

    Myth : Youre Eating For Two

    The popular mantra Go ahead, youre eating for two! can cause extra weight gain if we take it to heart. Instead, staying within the recommended range for weight gain will make weight loss easier post-birth and give you increased energy throughout your pregnancy.

    Remember, everyones journey with pregnancy is different. Keep these tips in mind. At the end of the day, dont forget to listen to your body.

    Jenna Jonaitis is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, HealthyWay, and SHAPE, among other publications. She recently traveled with her husband for 18 months farming in Japan, studying Spanish in Madrid, volunteering in India, and hiking through the Himalayas. Shes always in search of wellness in mind, body, and spirit.

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    How Can Having Genital Herpes Affect Pregnancy

    If you are pregnant and have herpes, tell your health care provider. During pregnancy, there are increased risks to the baby, especially if it is the mothers first outbreak. Women who are infected for the first time in late pregnancy have a high risk of infecting the baby because they have not yet made antibodies against the virus. Although rare, when a newborn is infected, it most often occurs when he or she passes through the mothers infected birth canal. A herpes infection can cause serious problems in newborns, such as brain damage or eye problems.

    If you are infected with the herpes virus for the first time during pregnancy, there are medications you can take to reduce how severe the symptoms are and how long they last. If you have herpes but it is not your first infection, your health care provider may give you medication that makes it less likely that you will have an outbreak of herpes at or near the time your baby is born.

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    How Can I Stay Safe While Being Active

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    For your health and safety, and for your babys, you should not do certain physical activities while pregnant. Some of these are listed below. Talk to your health care professional about other physical activities you should not do.

    Safety dos and donts

    Follow these safety tips while being active.

    Do Dont
    Choose moderate activities that arent likely to hurt you, such as walking or water or chair aerobics. Dont engage in sports where you could fall or injure your abdomen, such as soccer or basketball.
    Drink fluids before, during, and after being physically active. Dont overdo it. Avoid brisk exercise outside during very hot weather.
    Wear comfortable clothing that fits well and supports and protects your breasts. Dont use steam rooms, hot tubs, and saunas.
    Stop exercising if you feel dizzy, short of breath, tired, or sick to your stomach. Avoid exercises that call for you to lie flat on your back after week 12 in your pregnancy.

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    Why Do I Need Complex Carbohydrates While Pregnant

    Complex carbs give your body the energy it needs to keep you going and growing throughout your pregnancy. Theyâre also packed with fiber, which helps with digestion and preventing constipation, often a concern for pregnant women.

    Complex carbs include:

    • Whole grains like oats, brown rice, whole-wheat breads, and pastas

    Should I Take An Iron Supplement During Pregnancy

    Talk to your health care provider about an iron supplement. The National Academy of Sciences recommends that all pregnant women following a balanced diet take an iron supplement providing 27 mg of iron during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy . Your doctor may increase this dose if you become anemic. Iron deficiency anemia is a condition in which the size and number of red blood cells are reduced. This condition may result from inadequate intake of iron or from blood loss.

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    Should I Take A Calcium Supplement During Pregnancy

    If you have trouble consuming enough calcium-rich foods in your daily meal plan, talk to your doctor or dietitian about taking a calcium supplement. The amount of calcium you will need from a supplement depends on how much calcium you are consuming through food sources.

    Calcium supplements and some antacids containing calcium, such as Tums, may complement an already healthy diet. Many multiple vitamin supplements contain little or no calcium therefore, you may need an additional calcium supplement.

    What To Eat During Pregnancy Eating Right For Babys Health

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    A balanced diet is ideal for everyone however, during pregnancy, its important to make dietary adjustments based on your specific needs. Knowing what foods are good to eat during pregnancy will help address your pregnancy symptoms and nourish your baby well.

    There is no one-size-fits-all meal plan for expecting moms. Some do not have problems with the food they eat and others may start experiencing issues. Certain types of food may worsen their symptoms, while some alleviate them. This is one reason why you might seek help from a prenatal nutritionist, who offers sound advice in terms of food restrictions. These food restrictions during pregnancy are based on several factors such as lifestyle, physical changes and hormonal changes. For now, stick to the basics described below:

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    Go To Sleep On Your Side In The Third Trimester

    Our advice is to go sleep on your side in the third trimester because research has shown that this is safer for your baby. This includes night sleep and daytime naps. If you wake up on your back, try not to worry, just settle back to sleep on your side.

    Find out more about sleeping on your side in the third trimester.

    Is It Ok To Eat Fish When You’re Pregnant

    Yes, as long as you eat the right kinds! Most fish are low in fat and high in protein and other nutrients your body needs like omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for brain development.

    You may have heard about mercury in fish. Mercury is a metal that can harm your baby. Fish get mercury from water they swim in and from eating other fish that have mercury in them. Eating the recommended amounts of fish that is low in mercury during pregnancy hasnt shown problems in babies. When you’re pregnant, it’s OK to eat fish as long as it’s low in mercury. And be careful to limit the amount.

    If you’re pregnant, thinking about getting pregnant or breastfeeding, eat 8 to 12 ounces each week of fish that are low in mercury. These include:

    • Canned light tuna
    • Albacore tuna Don’t have more than 6 ounces of this tuna in 1 week.

    For more information on safely choosing fish to eat, you can visit the FDA website. Find out which types of fish are safer to eat and how often you can eat them.

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    When Your Doctor Might Recommend Losing Weight During Pregnancy

    For most women who are pregnant, weight management is a safer option than any type of substantial weight loss. Even though there are some benefits of a lower BMI while youâre pregnant, weight loss isnât always appropriate for all women.

    This concern comes partly from certain traditional methods of weight loss exercise and calorie cutting. Itâs essential to exercise and watch the number of calories youâre consuming while youâre pregnant, but overdoing it can possibly harm your baby. This is why many doctors donât recommend losing weight while pregnant unless you have a significantly high BMI. You should discuss your concerns with your doctor.

    Your doctor will work with you to make the absolute safest choices for you and your baby. After your baby is born, you can always sit down with your doctor and come up with a healthy plan for weight loss.

    Reduce Your Risk Of Stillbirth

    Healthy pregnancy, healthy baby

    Sadly, four babies a week are stillborn in Scotland and its truly devastating for any family to go through.

    Sometimes we don’t know the cause, but we do know there are things you can do to reduce the risk of stillbirth.

    • Go to sleep on your side: From 24 weeks of pregnancy, its safer to go to sleep on your side to avoid reducing the blood flow to your baby . Dont worry if you wake up on your back, just go back to lying on your side.
    • No smoking: Smoking while pregnant reduces the flow of oxygen to your baby, which increases the risk of stillbirth.
    • Get to know your babys movements: If your babys movements change, it could be their way of telling you that something is wrong. If your babys movements slow down or stop, please contact your midwife or maternity unit straight away using the emergency contact information given to you. More about getting to know your baby during pregnancy

    Parent Club have launched a campaign to raise awareness of how to reduce your risk of stillbirth. You can find out more on how to reduce your risk of stillbirth.

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