With so much information available online these days, it can be easy to overwhelm yourself with conflicting advice on what to do and what not to do when you’re pregnant. At times, it may seem like the majority of the information available is about what not to do when you’re pregnant, making it difficult to know exactly what you should do.
Physicians are committed to providing you with well-rounded information so that you can prepare yourself for the 40-week long journey that lies ahead. The following list provides five key things you can do to put yourself on track for a healthy pregnancy.
1. See a physician as early as possible
As soon as you find out that you’re pregnant, contact your physician or decide on a midwife to organize your prenatal care. Getting started early means that you can get advice directly from a qualified professional to truly ensure that you’ll have a healthy pregnancy right from the beginning. You not only gain access to their advice at an earlier stage, but you have more time and flexibility to organize any ultrasound scans and tests that you may need over the course of the pregnancy.
2. Eat well
Maintaining a healthy diet is a goal for most women. Like many other aspects of life, a healthy diet becomes much more important once a woman becomes pregnant. Strive for a balance of fruits, vegetables, whole-grain carbs and protein. Fish, with its omega-3 fatty acids, is usually recommended during pregnancy since the fatty acids are important for the development of your baby’s nervous system – just make sure you educate yourself about how many servings per week are safe, since many fish contain harmful mercury.
While many women think they are eating for two people when pregnant, you don’t actually need extra calories until your third trimester.
3. Take a prenatal vitamin
Supplementary to maintaining a healthy diet, many physicians and midwives recommend prenatal vitamins to introduce more folic acid and vitamin D into your body. These two nutrients can be included in the same multivitamin or purchased as separate supplements. While folic acid and vitamin D are two of the main nutrients in prenatal multivitamins, calcium, iron, vitamin C, zinc, copper and vitamin B-6 may also be included. Each plays an important role in both you and your baby’s health.
4. Exercise regularly
Not only is exercise recommended for all women, pregnant women can especially benefit in the form of stress reduction and increased circulation. Low impact exercises like walking, yoga classes or specialty pregnancy classes can be extremely beneficial for mommy and baby alike.
5. Drink plenty of fluids
Dehydration is a problem that many Americans face without being aware of it. Mild dehydration can cause fatigue and overall body weakness, two symptoms that already appear during pregnancy. Since many women don’t drink enough water before they are pregnant, it is especially important to drink plenty of fluids once they are.