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Seven Tips for a Safe Pregnancy
Now that you are pregnant, it is the best time to start thinking how you can take care of yourself, both physically and emotionally. If you follow the following seven tips, you’d surely have a safe, trouble-free pregnancy and a healthy baby.
1. Prenatal preparation
As soon as you become aware that you are pregnant, you should undergo a special prenatal program, by getting in touch with your doctor. During this period you may be advised to undergo some tests such as ultrasound scans to identify conditions that may lead to complications during pregnancy. You can also establish close contact with other parents in the making who can support each other.
2. Eat healthy
During pregnancy period, it is very important to have a balanced and healthy diet. Forget the myth that you need to eat “for two”. In fact, during the first six months of pregnancy you should not change your menu at all. In the last three months of pregnancy, you can go for additional 200 to 300 calories per day. Make sure your diet contains fruits and vegetables. Do not forget protein-rich foods and try not to go for unhealthy snacks in between meals.
Oily fish contains proteins, minerals, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids necessary for growth and development of the child, but also mercury and other toxins, so you can eat fish like mackerel, shark, or tuna at the most twice a week. You can eat other types of white fish like pomfret, sear fish, trout or snapper without much restriction. If you do not like fish, you can go for fish oil supplements.
3. Pay Attention to Food Hygiene
To prevent yourself from the Salmonella infection, you must always cook eggs, fish and meat. A raw diet is not recommended at this time.
You should also be aware that Listeria bacteria found in some contaminated food can cause miscarriage or severe illness in newborns. Under cooked ready meals, unpasteurized milk, soft cheese, and raw meats may harbor listeria so stay away from such foods.
You should also be aware of toxoplasmosis, a disease that can affect your baby. To avoid this infection, you should use gloves when handling the litter box, sand or soil from the garden and wash fruits and vegetables to remove all soil and dirt.
4. Take Folic Acid Supplements
The only supplement that is considered vital in pregnancy is folic acid, folate or vitamin B9, which can help prevent spina bifida (spine rupture) and other neural tube defects in babies.
Folic acid can be found in green vegetables (spinach, lettuce, broccoli) and vitamin-enriched cereals. Do not forget calcium and iron supplements, as these nutrients are also important for your health and for your future baby.
5. Take Regular Exercises
Regular exercises will give you the strength and endurance to easily bear the extra pounds you gain during the pregnancy. Exercises will also help you to handle physical stress of labor at childbirth and can keep you calm after the baby is born.
Regular exercises also remove depression during pregnancy and cheer you up. If you already practice a sport or have an exercise routine, you can continue it as long as you do not put your life or your baby’s life in danger. You can choose light exercises such as walking outdoors, swimming, water aerobics or yoga.
6. Limit alcohol, coffee and sodas and Quit smoking
Alcohol consumed by pregnant can reach the child through blood and placenta, so it would be best to limit alcohol intake or cut it completely.
Coffee, tea and cola are milder stimulants, and their consumption in pregnancy may increase the risk of having a baby with low weight or having a miscarriage. Of course a small cup of coffee will not harm your baby, but it is better not to take any risk.
If you can not survive without coffee, try decaf version. You can drink fruit juices, especially in the first trimester. A quick and healthy alternative is light lemonade: a glass of water and some lemon juice / lime.
Women who smoke have increased chances of miscarriage, premature birth or birth of a dead baby. Smoking during the first trimester of pregnancy increases the risk of having a child with birth defects.
7. Take enough rest
Fatigue felt especially in the first and third semester gives you a clear message: Take Rest! A midday nap may seem like a luxury that you can afford, but you and your baby will definitely make the most of this rest. If you can not sleep, just lie down and relax for half an hour; surely you’ll feel much better after.
During pregnancy it is possible to experience back pain. Try massage, water exercises for pregnant women, special exercises, yoga or stretching.
Are you already pregnant? Or, just delivered a baby? Feel free to share your experience in the “Comments” section below.