Pregnancy can be a very confusing period of a woman’s (and a man’s) life. Different theories about healthy pregnancy abound. Everyone has something to say – friends, family, and possibly even workplace acquaintances. Because of this information overload, pregnant mothers, particularly those who are pregnant for the first time, can feel overwhelmed.
That said, here is a list of what to do and what not to do for the pregnant mother.
What To Do
DO see your doctor regularly. Even when there is nothing wrong, make monthly appointments to consult with your doctor. This helps to alleviate any potential problems before they occur – should they occur, both for you and for your baby.
DO try to get enough sleep. Easier said than done but an average of between 7 and 9 hours sleep each night is ideal. Carrying a child around all the time is no easy task and imposes a real physical demand on your body. Sleeping on your left side helps improve blood flow.
DO eat healthily. Calorie demands don’t actually change much for pregnant mothers but your body does become a store for vitamins and minerals. It’s now more important than ever before that you stock up on protein rich dairy foods, on fruits, and on vegetables on a daily basis. What’s more, consult with your doctor in order to get a multivitamin to supplement your diet.
DO get enough iron. You should also consult with your doctor about which foods you need to consume in order to boost your iron intake. A lack of iron is common among pregnant women, so it’s particularly important to monitor this because a lack of iron can cause anemia for both you and your baby.
DO get ample fluids. Taking in plenty of fluid when pregnant is most important. It helps to relieve the ever-present constipation and improves blood flow, which in turn helps to transport essential nutrients to the fetus. Ideally, pregnant ladies should carry around a bottle of water. It’s then easy to take sips between meal times. Fresh fruit juices and milk can also be consumed.
What Not To Do
DON’T consume alcohol. Although health professionals will tell you that there is no established limit as to how much alcohol is safe to consume if you are pregnant, it’s wise to avoid it altogether. Alcohol can cause miscarriage and is also known to induce birth defects of a varying nature.
DON’T consume too much seafood. This is a little more tricky to deal with since many people will say that fish fats such as omega-3 are essential for a baby’s brain and vision development. However, on the other side, it’s known that every single piece of seafood contains mercury. Mercury can completely destroy a baby’s nervous system. Nevertheless, occasional seafood consumption is fine. Further, do also be sure to take omega-3 oil supplements.
DON’T smoke or take drugs. There’s no need to discuss why it’s important to avoid taking drugs. Smoking can harm you as the mother, but it can also induce respiratory problems in the baby among a number of other birth defects, not to mention that smoking heightens the potential for miscarriage.