How Can I Stay Healthy After My Baby Is Born
After you deliver your baby, your health may be better if you try to return to a healthy weight slowly. Not losing your baby weight may lead to overweight or obesity later in life. Slowly returning to a healthy weight may lower your chances of diabetes, heart disease, and other weight-related problems.
Healthy eating, regular physical activity, adequate sleep, and other healthy habits after your baby is born may help you return to a healthy weight and give you energy.
After your baby is born
- Consume foods and beverages to meet your calorie needs.
- Regular physical activity will continue to benefit your overall health. Moderate-intensity physical activity will increase your fitness and can improve your mood.
Also, physical activity does not appear to have bad effects on how much breast milk is produced, what the breast milk contains, or how much the baby grows.
How Can Stress Affect Your Pregnancy
Feeling stressed is common during pregnancy because pregnancy is a time of many changes. Your family life, your body and your emotions are changing. You may welcome these changes, but they can add new stresses to your life.
High levels of stress that continue for a long time may cause health problems, like high blood pressure and heart disease. During pregnancy, stress can increase the chances of having a premature baby or a low-birthweight baby . Babies born too soon or too small are at increased risk for health problems.
Truth: Trying Too Hard Doesn’t Cause Infertility
“Youre trying too hard to get pregnant,” someone may say, “If you stop trying so hard, youll get pregnant.” Thats not true.
Theres no evidence to say that “trying too hard” will make it take longer to get pregnant. In fact, someone who is trying to get pregnant is likely using fertility awareness methods to track ovulation and is more likely to have sex when they are most fertile. If anything, they may be more likely to get pregnant.
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Can I Take Vitamins
Pregnant women should take at least 400 micrograms of folic acid each day. It can help prevent problems with your babys brain and spine. Ask your doctor if you need more than 400 mcg.
Its best to start taking folic acid before you get pregnant. You can get folic acid from taking a prenatal vitamin. You should take this every day. Dont take other vitamins or supplements without your doctors approval.
Environmental Exposures: Medium Risk
We all come into contact with environmental toxins every day, but you have to be extra careful during pregnancy. Its best to avoid unnecessary X-rays and exposure to lead, mercury, and pesticides, all of which may be associated with birth defects and miscarriage.
If you have an outdoor cat or do a lot of gardening, take proper precautions to avoid toxoplasmosis: wear gloves while changing your cats litter and gardening or be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after these activities.
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Tanning Beds And Self
Like hot tubs and saunas, tanning beds likely increase your temperature too much for a developing babe to handle. Additionally, too much UV radiation can deplete folate, which is vital to your babys development.
Tanning also comes with plenty of risks that arent specific to pregnant folks including an increased risk of skin cancer, possible damage to your eyes, and immune system suppression. Why take the chance?
Self-tanning lotions and gels arent necessarily a no but more of a maybe. While these products are generally considered safe, there hasnt been much research on whether theyre specifically OK during pregnancy.
The ingredients do absorb into your skin and will likely pass to your baby in some capacity. The same goes for spray tans and avoid inhaling the spray at all costs, because the dihydroxyacetone in tanning products can be harmful if ingested.
Take Folic Acid And Vitamin D Supplements
Folic acid significantly reduces your babys risk of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.
If you are pregnant, start taking 400 micrograms of folic acid as a supplement as soon as possible until the end of the first trimester .
Some people may need a higher dose of folic acid, for example if you have diabetes or epilepsy. This is only available on prescription. Find out more about folic acid.
You are also recommended to take a Vitamin D supplement during pregnancy and during breastfeeding. This helps your baby develop healthy bones, teeth and muscles.
These 2 supplements are the only ones you need in pregnancy, alongside a healthy, balanced diet.
Find out more about pregnancy supplements.
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Drinking Herbal Tea While Pregnant
Many herbal teas are safe during pregnancy, but you should be cautious. Large amounts of some herbs such as peppermint and red raspberry leaf are thought to cause contractions and increase the risk of preterm labor. While pregnant, be sure to steer clear of teas that have unfamiliar ingredients instead, look for those teas that are made from ingredients that are a part of your normal diet . Remember that “natural” doesn’t always mean “safe.” If you are unsure, talk to your doctor.
Dont Sit In A Hot Tub Or Sauna
Though relaxing, the high-heat environment of hot tubs, Jacuzzis, and saunas may be too dangerous for expecting mothers.
In fact, research suggests that using one of these during your first trimester may double your risk of miscarriage. Soaking in hot water can raise body temperature and this causes problems with the baby including increasing the risk of birth defects.
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Things To Do After Finding Out Youre Pregnant
1. Wait to announce your pregnancy. While you may want to shout from the rooftops that youre expecting a baby, be aware that 80% of miscarriages happen during the first trimester of pregnancy. While most pregnancies do come to term successfully, it would be more prudent to wait before making the announcement.
2. Schedule an appointment with your OB-GYN. Once you see the positive sign , you can schedule an appointment with a general practitioner to confirm whether you really are pregnant.
If youre pretty sure you are, you need to schedule your first prenatal appointment around 8 weeks since your last period.
3. If you drink, now is the time to quit alcohol. If you drink alcohol while pregnant, it will reach your baby through the umbilical cord. This can cause serious complications, such as premature birth, brain damage, birth defects, alcohol fetal syndrome, or miscarriage.
4. If you smoke, now its the time to stop . If despite all the warnings against smoking you are still doing it, now is the perfect time to reconsider. For the sake of your baby, its essential to quit smoking during pregnancy. Just like with alcohol, smoking while pregnant may cause a wide range of issues: birth defects, low birth weight, cleft lip, birth defects, miscarriage, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, to name a few.
While water is an obvious choice, you can also mix it up by consuming foods with a high water content, such as watermelon, cucumbers, and soups.
Fun Things To Do While Pregnant A Bucket List
What are fun things to do while pregnant? Or an even BETTER question: how do you pamper yourself when pregnant?
You of all people know how pregnancy is like the biggest waiting game of all time. That said, it also can seem like the ultimate countdown of preparing for baby to-dos, especially for first time moms:
.anxious doctor visits, maternity clothes shopping , prenatal class taking , hospital tours, doll-sized clothes shopping, uber nesting frenzies , baby registry making , and baby shower craziness .
PHEW. Among ALL those things there are pregnancy checklists galore! First trimester, second trimester.blah, blah, blah.
This list is for pregnant mommas-to-be who are TIRED of all-the-things to do!!! That pregnancy checklist can wait. You are a badass pregnant momma who deserves a break . You deserve the world. I mean it.
Here are 29 FUN things to do while pregnant, the ULTIMATE bucket list. Because once baby is here, your life will change forever. Now is the time to pamper yourself, pick some awesome date ideas and live life to the fullest. Relish in the freedom of no-baby life and distract yourself from the ultimate waiting game.
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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.
How Long Can I Keep Working
How late you work in pregnancy varies for each person. Your job and work environment play a big role. For instance, jobs that involve radiation, lead and other materialssuch as copper and mercurycan be harmful to your baby. If your job is active, you may not be able to work as long. Desk jobs arent thought to cause harm to your baby. However, you should not rest a computer on your stomach or uterus.
Your overall health also plays a part in how long you work. If youre at risk of certain issues or preterm labor, you may be on bed rest and not able to work.
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Have A Cervical Screening Test
If you are aged between 25 and 49 you should have a cervical screening test every three years. Its best to get tested before you get pregnant because pregnancy can make the results of your test harder to interpret.
If youre planning a pregnancy contact your GP surgery to find out if your screening is due now or within the next year.
How Does Stress Cause Pregnancy Problems
We dont completely understand the effects of stress on pregnancy. But certain stress-related hormones may play a role in causing certain pregnancy complications. Serious or long-lasting stress may affect your immune system, which protects you from infection. This can increase the chances of getting an infection of the uterus. This type of infection can cause premature birth.
Other ways stress can cause pregnancy problems include:
- Normal pregnancy discomforts, like trouble sleeping, body aches and morning sickness may feel even worse with stress
- You may have problems eating, like not eating enough or eating too much. This can make you underweight or cause you to gain too much weight during pregnancy. It also may increase your risk of having gestational diabetes and preterm labor.
- Stress may lead to high blood pressure during pregnancy. This puts you at risk of a serious high blood pressure condition called preeclampsia, premature birth and having a low-birthweight infant.
- Stress also may affect how you respond to certain situations. Some women deal with stress by smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol or taking street drugs, which can lead to serious health problems in you and you baby.
Many women worry that stress may lead to miscarriage, the death of a baby before 20 weeks of pregnancy. While extra stress isn’t good for your overall health, there’s no evidence that stress causes miscarriage.
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Ner Support During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is usually a time of excitement but sometimes you may feel anxiety along with the joy. You and your partner likely have a long list of to-dos, all while coping with the changes and unknowns that come with pregnancy.
A partner’s support is especially important for both you and your baby during this busy time. A woman who feels supported by her partner during and after pregnancy may feel happier and less stressed.
What can a partner do during pregnancy?
Whether you are new to parenthood or have been through this before:
- Learn about pregnancy and childbirth to encourage and support her.
- Go with her to appointments and help make decisions.
- Offer emotional support. Ask her what she needs, show affection, support lifestyle changes such as cutting back on alcohol, eating well, encouraging rest and taking walks together.
- Offer physical support – cleaning, cooking, and offering back and foot massages to ease stress and aches.
- After your baby arrives, talk about what support she needs and help in ways that you can, such as holding, changing and bathing your baby. If you have other children, you may want to handle more of their care. Give her breaks to rest, exercise or do other activities.
How can a partner get support during pregnancy?
Try to support yourself too. Talk to your health care provider if you have concerns about your own health. Your partnership and family will be stronger if you both get the help and support you need.
Avoid Losing Weight During Pregnancy
Cutting out food groups to try to lose weight may stop your baby getting nutrients they need for growth. Instead of restricting your diet, the best thing to do is manage your weight through eating a healthy, balanced diet, with a variety of foods from each of the main food groups.
Find out more about managing your weight during pregnancy.
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If You Eat Healthy Drink Healthy Too
Water is a wonder drink. It addresses many different kinds of health issues and pregnancy is no exception. As much as possible, drink the recommended amount of water every day. Staying hydrated may help alleviate pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness and nausea. In contrast, dehydration, especially if this occurs during your third trimester, can lead to contractions and pre-term labor. Hydrate with water but never with energy drinks.
Cut back on soda and caffeine intake. Switch to fruit drinks and juices as a substitute for soda and caffeine, but still try to limit the amount of fruit juices so you are not taking in too much sugar too quickly. Even better would be to eat a small serving of fruit to help satisfy the sugar or caffeine craving.
And by all means, avoid any kind of alcohol as this will impact your babys health. Even once the baby is born, youll want to follow these same precautions while breastfeeding. Continuing these precautions while breastfeeding is important because unsafe foods, like alcohol, can pass through the breast milk to the baby. We consider this the fourth trimester of pregnancy.
Truth: It Can Take Multiple Months To Get Pregnant
You may have gotten the impression in your high school sex education class that getting pregnant is almost too easy. One time in bed and thats ityoull be expecting. Years of using birth control can also put you into this mindset. When you spend so much time worrying that you might accidentally get pregnant, you may be surprised when you dont conceive instantly.
The truth is that few couples get pregnant the first month they try. Its completely normal to take up to six months to get pregnant. Some couples take up to a year to conceive, and thats also within the realm of normal.
How quickly can you expect to get pregnant? One study found that after three months of trying, 68% of the couples were pregnant. After a year, 92% conceived. Additionally, these women were using fertility tracking techniques. So, it wasnt hit-or-miss intercourse that got them pregnant.
What if youre not pregnant after a year? Go see your doctor. If youre age 35 or older, go see your doctor after six months.
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Truth: Ovulating Is Only One Element Of Getting Pregnant
Ovulation is essential to getting pregnantbut it takes more than just an egg to conceive. For example, the pathway to the egg must be clear. If the fallopian tubes are blocked, pregnancy cant occur. Also, you need sperm. Getting pregnant isnt only about the womans fertility.
Its also important to know that infertility doesnt always have obvious symptoms. Some fertility problems are not detectable without fertility testing. For example, its not possible to tell without lab testing if a mans semen has enough sperm cells to be fertile. There may be no obvious signs if a womans fallopian tubes are blocked. Ovulation is just one piece of the fertility puzzle.
Is Sex Safe During Pregnancy
Sex is a natural, normal part of pregnancy — if you’re having a normal pregnancy. Penetration and intercourseâs movement won’t harm the baby, who is protected by your abdomen and the uterusâ muscular walls. Your baby is also cushioned by the amniotic sacâs fluid.
The contractions of orgasm aren’t the same as labor contractions. Still, as a general safety precaution, some doctors advise avoiding sex in the final weeks of pregnancy, believing that hormones in semen called prostaglandins can stimulate contractions. One exception may be for women who are overdue and want to induce labor. Some doctors believe that prostaglandins in semen actually induce labor in a full-term or past-due pregnancy, since the gel used to “ripen” the cervix and induce labor also contains prostaglandins. But other doctors think that this semen/labor connection is only a theory and that having sex doesn’t trigger labor.
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