In the approximately 280 days (40 weeks) it takes from conceiving a child to delivering a healthy, happy baby, everything you do counts double. You have to be healthy not just for yourself, but for your baby, too.
That’s why prenatal care is so important for an uneventful pregnancy and delivery. Regular prenatal visits monitor your health and your baby’s health, too, so you can address any problems immediately. See your OB/GYN:
Sharon Smith, MD, an expert internist at OBGYN Care, offers prenatal and pregnancy care at her offices in Houston, Texas. She also has a few tips to make the prenatal period safe and happy for you and your baby.
Getting all the macronutrients and micronutrients you need is especially crucial now that you’re growing a new life. In addition to a high-quality multivitamin, take at least 400 mcg of folic acid per day. Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects in your baby, such as spina bifida.
In addition to vitamins and supplements, eat the most nutrient-dense foods possible. Lots of vegetables, fruits, and high-quality proteins and fats will keep you and your baby fully nourished.
Now’s the time to ditch the junk food and sugar, too. You have to be extra careful about what you eat when you’re pregnant. Too much sugar could cause you to develop a condition called gestational diabetes, which is dangerous for both you and your baby.
Even though you’re eating for two, don’t add more than about 300-500 calories per day to your diet. Your total weight gain, by the end of your pregnancy, should only be about 24-35 pounds.
Substances and foods that would normally be perfectly safe for you may not be safe for your baby. Avoid anything that may have high levels of bacteria or other toxins, such as:
Take a look at the cleaning and personal care products you use, too. Choose products that are as toxin-free and natural as possible.
You need more water than normal now that you’re pregnant. Add at least a couple of cups a day. Be prepared, though: You may have to urinate more, especially in the final days of your pregnancy.
Even though you have more to do than normal and pregnancy brings its own stresses, take time out for yourself. Spend time every day meditating or practicing relaxation techniques.
Get the 7-9 recommended hours of sleep every night. If you’re not sleeping well, let us know. You may benefit from cognitive behavior therapies that calm your mind. You might also have a sleep disorder that needs treatment.
As your body gets bigger and it’s harder to move around, you may be tempted to cut down on your exercise routine. For the most part, though, you should be able to do your normal activities throughout your pregnancy.
If you’ve never exercised before, now’s the time to start. Exercise strengthens your heart and your cardiovascular system overall. It also increases the circulation of nutrients and oxygen to your tissues and to your baby.
You don’t want to come down with the flu in the middle of your pregnancy. We administer flu shots and other appropriate vaccines during your prenatal visits.
Carrying extra weight puts stress on your feet. Treat yourself to new flats that have enough support and shock absorption to let you move through the world comfortably and beautifully.
Congratulations on your pregnancy! To book your first prenatal visit for a healthy pregnancy, call our team at our Houston, Texas, office. You can also use our online form.