Are you pregnant or planning for pregnancy? If yes, there are chances that you are confused with the endless information on pregnancy. You get bombarded with a list of dos and don’ts when you are pregnant. Everyone turns out to be an expert on pregnancy and you are flooded with advice. Relax, here are the top tips for a trouble-free healthy pregnancy.
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1.Safe And Nutritious Diet
You might have already started working on this. But, here are a few more guidelines to make sure that your diet is healthy and safe. Include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products, so that your growing baby gets all the required nutrients. A great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, fish and shellfish should be an important part of your diet.1 Omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in your baby’s brain and eye development, according to research studies. But, pregnant women like you should avoid fish with high levels of mercury such as swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. Also, avoid certain foods such as undercooked meat and unpasteurized cheeses. 2
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Exercise boosts your energy level and helps you stay fit during pregnancy. It also provides relief from pregnancy troubles such as constipation, varicose veins, and backaches. Do you struggle to get a good sleep? Regular physical activity will help you solve it. Try walking, swimming, yoga, water aerobics, or pilates. It is wise to avoid exercises that require you to lie flat on your back. According to some research studies, exercise may even lower a women’s risk of complications like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.3 However, talk to your doctor before you start exercises, to make sure they are safe for you. If you experience vaginal bleeding, unusual pain, dizziness, or fluid leak, consult your doctor immediately.
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3.No Alcohol/ Caffeine/ Nicotine
Drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes are harmful habits that will have an impact on your unborn baby. Whenever alcohol gets into the blood, it reaches your baby’s blood through the umbilical cord and affects the baby’s growth and brain, causing birth defects. According to a research, smoking tobacco or marijuana may double or even triple the risk of stillbirth.4 If you cannot omit caffeine at all, this is a good news for you. Less than 200 mg of caffeine per day appears to be safe for you during pregnancy.5
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4.Take Folic Acid
Folic acid reduces the risk of neural birth defects in your baby. 6 Expectant moms like you should take at least 400 micrograms of folic acid. Sometimes, you may not get all the nutrients from the food. Take prenatal vitamin and mineral supplements. Always stick to vitamin and mineral supplements recommended by your doctor because taking too much will be harmful.
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This is the best way to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles support your rectum, vagina, and urethra in the pelvis. With strong pelvic muscles, you will find it easy to push the baby during delivery. Kegels are easy to do. Tighten the pelvic floor muscles for a count of 3, then relax for a count of 3. Do this 10 to 15 times, thrice a day.
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6.Watch Your Weight
Your weight gain should depend on your body mass index before you became pregnant. Check with your doctor whether your weight gain is within the limit. If you do not gain appropriate weight, there is an increased risk of low-weight birth. And if you are overweight or obese, there can be many serious complications. Also, it will be hard to shed those extra pounds after pregnancy. Cut back on foods with added sugars and solid fats to restrict weight gain.
No amount of preparation is good enough to get you ready for childbirth. But, these basic guidelines will help you avoid a bumpy ride for the next nine months. Attend childbirth classes to educate yourself. And develop healthy habits to keep your little one safe and strong. Have a healthy pregnancy!