11 essentials for a healthy pregnancy is basically a checklist to help you get ready for one of the exciting periods of your life. This is irrespective of whether the pregnancy is planned or a surprise, or whether you’re a first-timer or a third-timer. Primarily, the following 11 essentials for a healthy pregnancy are certain basics for your health and your baby’s, with the support of your spouse.
Take Folic Acid Daily
Even before you try to get pregnant, you can take action to have a healthy baby. You can start by taking 400 micrograms of folic acid every day, the amount in most multivitamins. This B vitamin is present in many foods, like leafy greens, citrus, and beans. But most women need a vitamin pill to get enough. Folic acid helps prevent serious birth defects that can happen before you know you’re pregnant. This is the reason why taking folic acid is one of the 11 essentials for a healthy pregnancy.
Update With a Checkup
Take a visit to your doctor a few months before you start trying to get pregnant. Find out about:
- Vaccines or tests you need.
- Starting a prenatal vitamin.
- How to control any health conditions you may have.
- What medicines you can and can’t take during pregnancy, either prescription or over the counter.
Make a Date With Your Dentist
Did you know your dentist can help you have a healthy pregnancy? Make sure your teeth and gums are as healthy as possible before you get pregnant. That’s a good thing for your baby as well as your smile. This is because pregnancy raises your risk of gum disease, and gum disease may increase the risk of early labour. So it’s important to brush and floss regularly.
Try To Maintain A Healthy Weight
While being too thin can make it harder to get pregnant, being too heavy may also cause problems with pregnancy. Unhealthy weight puts you at risk for health problems including diabetes and high blood pressure. It can also prolong your labour. But, moderate exercise can help you feel your best as you try to get pregnant.
The reality is that getting in shape can make your pregnancy and delivery easier. Therefore, the goal should be 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days. Walking, bicycling, and swimming are all great ways to get a workout. Alternatively, you may join a prenatal exercise class.
Eat Balanced Diet For Baby
Before you’re pregnant, one of the best things you can do is to eat healthy now. Invite your spouse to join you. You’ll need plenty of protein, iron, calcium, and folic acid. As such, stock up on fruits, nuts, vegetables, leafy greens, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. And cut back on fried foods, cakes, sugary fizzy drinks, and other empty-calorie junk foods.
Plan A Baby Budget
Since you’ll want the best for your baby, start planning a budget for essentials. You’ll need to think about formula, baby food, diapers, equipment, pediatrician visits, child care, and baby clothes. Similarly, think about ways to stretch your money gently. For instance, if you’re not a first-timer, you may reuse some old baby stuff to ease the financial impact.
Ease On Caffeine
If you can’t get going without that cup of coffee, you may want to stop at just one. Some experts recommend that you get no more than 200 mg of caffeine a day while trying to get pregnant and during pregnancy itself. That’s about one 12-ounce cup of coffee or four 8-ounce cups of brewed tea. Decaf or even warm, spiced milk can be a soothing substitute for a regular cup of Joe.
If you smoke, now’s the time to quit. Smoking can make it harder for you to get pregnant. And smoking during pregnancy can raise the risk of premature birth, low birth weight, and miscarriage. It also puts your baby at risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Persuade your spouse to quit too. Breathing in secondhand smoke is dangerous, and smoking can also decrease male fertility. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor.
It’s best to stop drinking before you start trying for a baby. In some cases, alcohol can make it harder to get pregnant. And alcohol intake during pregnancy raises the risk for birth defects and learning problems. What if you had a drink before you knew you were pregnant? One drink is probably not a concern, but it’s safest to avoid it entirely.
Learn About Maternity Leave and Pay
Check at work about maternity benefits. Some companies offer paid leave after you give birth, or you may be able to use sick time or vacation time. If your job doesn’t offer paid time off, plan now for a budget adjustment. You’ll want enough time to give your newborn baby a great start. Check your health plan, too, to see what medical costs it covers. And if your local hospital is on the plan.
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