You’re pregnant! Now what?

young couple

Everything has been leading to this moment, finally a positive test. You feel accomplished, finished, you achieved your goal. But, this is just the beginning. The first of many to do lists:

Stop drinking and stop smoking. There isn’t a single study that can tell you what a safe amount of alcohol is to drink when pregnant -- so don’t. And smoking is irrefutably bad: 20-30% of low birth weight babies are attributed to smoking, 14% of preterm deliveries and 10% of infant deaths. If you’re having trouble stopping talk to your doctor. It’s that important.

Think twice before stopping your prescriptions. A lot of new moms-to-be will automatically stop taking their prescription drugs assuming that all pharmaceuticals are bad for the baby. Not so. In fact ceasing some meds can be harmful to your health and therefore the baby’s. Medications for heart conditions, asthma, diabetes and psychiatric conditions should be continued until your doc says to stop or offers alternative meds. Be sure to let your obstetrician know about all the meds, supplements and even herbal remedies you are taking.

Folic acid and vitamin D are a must. You should have started on 400 mcg of folic acid while you were trying to get pregnant, but it’s not too late to start now. And don’t forget vitamin D rich foods or supplements. A deficiency in this nutrient is linked to preeclampsia.

Balanced meals and increased calories. But don’t go crazy with it. An extra 300 calories will get you started. Keep your total weight gain to 25-35 pounds. Extra weight is associated with caesarean section and gestational diabetes as well as preeclampsia. And losing pregnancy weight is easier if there is less of it!

Drink water, lots and lots. Being dehydrated can lead to uterine contractions. Proper hydration helps with digestion, the circulatory system regulation and weight gain.

Take out the toxins. Do a walk through on your home and make sure you have green, non-toxic house cleaners and pesticides. Air filters could be a nice addition. Think about a kitchen or whole house water filtration system.

Exercise. Moderate exercise six days a week for 45 minutes appears to lower risks of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and miscarriages. Swim, bike and absolutely walk - rest when you do and drink water.

Source: Conceive Magazine


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