Whether this is your first pregnancy or fourth, these four simple tips can help support every expecting mother.
One of the most important relationships to establish as an expecting mother is with your health care provider. You will need to find a women’s healthcare center that can support you through your entire pregnancy journey. Make sure the facility is accessible and easy to get in touch with when needed. A good women’s health care center will provide a wide range of services from family planning to gynecological care, prenatal care, and post-natal care. When you go in for your first appointment, be prepared to discuss your previous medical history and have some basic labs drawn. It is typical for your provider to perform a full physical, collect a urine sample, and draw blood during this appointment. You can also use this time to discuss any personal concerns or questions you may have about your pregnancy. Your provider should be willing to answer your questions, ease concerns, and help you feel comfortable.
It is especially important for pregnant women to get proper vitamins and minerals for a healthy pregnancy. During this time, you need to consume enough nutrients for yourself and your developing baby. When you see your doctor, ask about what prenatal vitamins are best for you. Many prenatal vitamins will include things like folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin, D, vitamin E, Vitamin B12, Zinc, Magnesium, Copper, and some other important vitamins and minerals for pregnant mothers. Your doctor may prescribe prenatal vitamins during your first prenatal appointment, or you can obtain prenatal vitamins over the counter at your local store. Before taking any new vitamins, make sure to tell your doctor what other vitamins, supplements, or medications you currently take or plan on taking. It is important to discuss everything with your doctor in case any of your supplements have interactions and to make sure they are all safe for use during pregnancy.
In addition to taking vitamins and supplements, it is important to build your nutrition from a healthy foundation. Try to eat a well-balanced diet full of whole foods from natural sources. Eating a diet rich in healthy fats, protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals is essential for a healthy pregnancy. You can get these things from foods like whole grains, berries, leafy vegetables, legumes, and lean meats. Avocados, sweet potatoes, and salmon, for example, provide an excellent source of healthy fat and essential vitamins. Try avoiding fish high in mercury or undercooked foods like eggs, sushi, swordfish, or tuna. To help properly digest everything you are taking in, make sure to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water each day.
As you clean out and balance your diet, make sure to continue eliminating any additional exposure to toxins. When you are pregnant, you must stop drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes as these things can be detrimental to you and your baby’s health. Limit any exposure you might have around others who also smoke, as secondhand smoke can be extremely harmful when inhaled. To avoid any complications during your pregnancy, review any other drugs or medications you might be exposed to with your doctor during your prenatal exams.
Take care of yourself and your baby during your pregnancy journey with the proper vitamins, nutrition, and supportive health care.