This article is part of the Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy.
A healthy baby starts with a healthy pregnancy. Whether you are currently pregnant or planning to start your family soon, we have some tips for a healthy pregnancy to help get mom—and baby—off to the healthiest start possible.
1. Take a prenatal vitamin
From the very beginning, your baby needs folic acid, calcium, and iron. Give yourself the boost you’ll need by taking a prenatal vitamin every day as soon as you decide to try to get pregnant. Already pregnant? Start taking one now. Prenatal vitamins are available by prescription or over-the-counter at your local pharmacy.
Some women find the vitamins make them feel queasy. If this happens, try taking them at night with a small snack. Or, you can try switching to a chewable vitamin. Some women have found it to be easier to take this way.
2. Stay active
Talk with your OB/GYN about exercise options to have a healthy pregnancy. Regular exercise is great for you and your baby. If you were working out regularly before pregnancy, stick with it. Understand, however, that you may need to scale back the intensity of your workouts as your pregnancy progresses. New to exercise? There are plenty of options to get you in the habit. Walking, yoga, and swimming are all low-impact choices that many women are able to do throughout their pregnancy.
3. Sign up for prenatal classes
Logansport Memorial Hospital offers classes to help you prepare for labor, birth, breastfeeding, and early parenting. While in your prenatal class, you can tour the hospital birthing area and obstetric unit.
Prenatal care is what keeps you and your baby healthy. Babies born to mothers who do not get prenatal care are three times for likely to have a low birth weight and five times more likely to die than babies born to mothers who do get early and regular prenatal care.
We know that you want to give your baby a healthy start in life. That starts with knowing how to take care of yourself so you can have a healthy pregnancy, and we’re here to help you every step of the way.
4. Watch what you eat
While pregnant, for a healthy pregnancy there are some food and beverages to avoid and some to add to your regular meal plan. Caffeine and alcohol are out. Foods and drinks with folic acid are in! Make fortified-cereals, spinach, oranges, and orange juice a regular part of your diet.
Undercooked eggs and meat, raw seafood, and cold deli meats are out. Fish and their beneficial omega-3s are in—with a note of caution. Some fish contains high levels of mercury which is dangerous to your baby. The FDA recommends that pregnant women eat 8–12 ounces of fish per week in the form of salmon, shrimp, pollock, tuna (canned in water), tilapia, catfish, and cod.
Watch what you drink too! Do not drink alcohol while pregnant. You should also avoid caffeine and drinks with artificial food coloring. Do be sure to drink plenty of water.
5. Get plenty of rest
Your body is working hard and needs rest. Aim for eight hours of sleep at night. Take naps when you can. Listen to your body, if a chore or activity is unusually tiring, take a break. You have the perfect excuse to take it easy.
6. Stop smoking
Smoking during pregnancy isn’t just bad for you, it’s bad for your baby. Smoking during pregnancy increases the chances of preterm labor, ectopic pregnancy, vaginal bleeding, placental problems, miscarriage, and stillbirth. Children with mothers who smoked during pregnancy are more likely to have limited growth and are at risk for birth defects.
Personalized care to help moms-to-be have a healthy pregnancy
Every pregnancy is different, which is why patient-centric care is essential for having a healthy pregnancy. Here at Logansport Memorial Hospital in north-central Indiana, we’ll be here for you every step of the way to provide comprehensive maternity care and critical support during delivery and after.