Planning for your baby's arrival is one of the most exciting times when becoming a Mom. Staying healthy by going to all your prenatal care checkup, eating healthy and reducing stress are some of the essential elements for keeping a healthy pregnancy.
Prenatal care meant going to your health care provider the moment you find that you're pregnant. Checkups can vary from once a month to once a week depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy, your age, or health condition.
Eating healthy is another important factor during your pregnancy. Being pregnant doesn't mean that you have to radically change your diet altogether but it does put the spotlight on certain nutrients. The Mayo Clinic recommends these 6 essential nutrients when you're pregnant.
- Folic acid - prevent birth defects
- Calcium - strengthen bones
- Vitamin D - promote healthy bones
- Protein - promote growth
- Iron - prevent anemia
- Prenatal Vitamins - health supplement
Stress is normal during pregnancy. For expectant mothers, there's always the "added" stress related to the physiological and hormonal changes occurring during pregnancy. Luckily, our bodies have ways to cope with stress from experiences we learn in our normal daily lives. But what do you do when your stress levels become high or a daily part of your pregnancy? Do you throw in the towel?
We hope not. The March of Dimes, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to improve the health of babies has these to say to relieve stress.
- If you’re really stressed and feel like you can’t cope, tell your health care provider right away.
- Figure out what’s making you stressed and talk to your partner, a friend or your health care provider about it. Cut back on activities you don’t need to do.
- Stay healthy and fit. Eat healthy foods, get plenty of sleep and do something active every day (with your health care provider’s OK).
- Know that the discomforts of pregnancy don’t last forever. Ask your provider how to handle these discomforts.
- Have a good support network, including your partner, family and friends. Ask your provider about resources in the community that may be able to help. Ask for help from people you trust and accept help when they offer.
- Try relaxation activities, like prenatal yoga or meditation.
- Take a childbirth education class so you know what to expect during labor and birth.
- If you’re working, talk to your supervisor about working during pregnancy. Make plans together to get ready for time away from work for prenatal care visits and after your baby is born.
With these things in mind, it's important to find out what works and do what's best for you and your baby. And remember, becoming a Mom doesn't have to be perfect or too difficult either.