How to Stay Healthy During your Pregnancy

  • How to Stay Healthy During your Pregnancy

    Your growing baby is depending on you to be safe and healthy during its time in your body. Many of these important things to remember will be stressed to you during your prenatal visits, but it is important to continue to follow these rules in order to keep you and your baby healthy!

  • Choose and see a health provider right away

    See a doctor, midwife, or a clinic in order to start receiving prenatal care as soon as you know you are pregnant. Your prenatal care can screen you during these initial visits for any potential complications and make sure you are on your way to have a healthy pregnancy.

    Here is information as to what might happen during your first prenatal visit: Your First Prenatal Visit

    Look here for a list of places that provide prenatal care in the area

  • No smoking, using drugs or drinking alcohol- AT ALL

    No smoking, using drugs, or drinking alcohol- AT ALL!

    Alcohol and drugs are dangerous to the baby during pregnancy and beyond. No amount is safe. Remember anything that you do, eat, or drink, affects your baby. Exposing your baby to harmful chemicals and substances can cause them to be born addicted or with problems, such as birth defects and developmental issues. Every mother wants a healthy baby and for that reason should avoid alcohol and drugs, including cigarettes.

    For more information as to why substance use is harmful during pregnancy, see Tobacco, Alcohol, Drugs, and Pregnancy -ACOG

    Information on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which affects a fetus/baby when a mother drinks during pregnancy: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome -Kidshealth

  • It is important to eat healthy

    It is important to eat healthy!

    Of course, you will have to eat more, about an extra 300 calories a day in order to support your growing baby. These extra calories should come from healthy choices. You should eat more of certain nutrients, such as foods with folic acid, and less or none of the others. For one, you shouldn’t eat any fish during pregnancy because of risks of chemicals in the fish.

    If you are currently overweight or obese, your weight gain during pregnancy might be a little different. Check out this article for some advice: Overweight and pregnant: How to manage weight gain during pregnancy -Babycenter. Also, make sure to speak with your prenatal care provider personally on how your weight gain during pregnancy should progress.

    Here is information on what you should eat and what kinds of nutrients are the most important! Eating During Pregnancy –Kids Health.

  • Take your Prenatal Vitamins

    Take your prenatal vitamins!

    You can purchase them at any drug store. These vitamins contain folic acid, which is important to prevent against neural tube defects in your baby, calcium, iron, and other nutrients, to keep your body healthy and promote growth for your baby. Here is more information on prenatal vitamins:Prenatal Vitamins: Why they Matter, How to Choose -Mayo Clinic

  • Make sure you sleep enough, or at least rest and relax

    Make sure you sleep enough, or at least rest and relax.

    Fatigue is common in pregnancy and both you and your baby need the rest!

  • Continue to exercise during pregnancy

    Continue to exercise during pregnancy which can be beneficial and make you feel better!

    Most of your regular exercise is still healthy to do when you are pregnant- avoid pushing yourself too hard and double check with your prenatal care provider, doctor, or midwife. Here is more information: Pregnancy and Exercise: Baby, let's move! -Mayo Clinic

  • Wait 39 Weeks

    It is important to wait until at least 39 weeks to have your baby, and not schedule a C-Section before 39 weeks unless it is medically necessary.

    The reasons to wait are because your babies’ brain, lungs, and liver are not fully developed yet as well as other important life processes. Reasons to wait and not induce labor can be read about here: Why at least 39 Weeks is Best for your Baby -March of Dimes. If your prenatal care provider tries to schedule your delivery before 39 weeks, don’t be afraid to ask why and if it is medically necessary.

  • Consider Taking Classes

    Consider taking classes on prenatal care, breastfeeding, and childbirth to make you more informed.

    Many of the clinic resources listed provide various classes for pregnant women that may be helpful.

    Be emotionally healthy! Speak to counselors if you are feeling down about your pregnancy and they can send you to further care if needed. Make sure you take time for yourself and relax while you are pregnant- it’s a big job!