20 Pregnancy Tips for a Healthy Baby

Hi, new moms to be! The countdown has begun and you probably are more ready now than ever. With all the pregnancy advice coming in you realize that some of it is useful and the rest — oh well, not so much.

In order to clear your mind of all the confusion, we have jotted down 20 pregnancy tips to help you ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy. So, here goes:

1) Dehydration is a big NO:

As pregnant women, you need more water than an average individual. Water plays an important role in forming the placenta as well as the amniotic sac later in your pregnancy.

Therefore, it becomes essential to stay well hydrated at all times.

2) Invest in a nursing pillow:

As your pregnancy advances, your baby bump enlarges and it becomes difficult to sleep. Keep the pillow in between your legs while sleeping on your side or use it to support your back.

3) Avoid the following foods:

Make sure that your pregnancy diet does not include the following foods, as suggested by American Pregnancy Association

  • Raw meat and eggs: Raw or undercooked meat and eggs may be contaminated with harmful bacteria.
  • Some varieties of fish: Fish containing the high level of mercury should be avoided. Mercury consumption has been linked to brain damage and development delays.

Some of the fishes known to be contaminated are swordfish and mackerel.

  • High levels of caffeine: Excessive consumption of caffeine has been related to miscarriage. As caffeine is a diuretic, it eliminates fluids from our body. This may lead to water and calcium loss. Limit caffeine consumption to 200 mg per day.
  • Smoked seafood: Refrigerated or smoked seafood could be contaminated with listeria. They can be safely eaten when they are cooked thoroughly.
  • Unpasteurized milk and juices: Like smoked seafood, unpasteurized milk and fruit juices can also contain listeria. So before chugging in that big glass of milk or juice, make sure it is pasteurized.
  • Raw shellfish: Undercooked Seafood, particular shellfish like clams and oysters can cause digestive disturbances. They pose a concern to everybody and should be avoided during pregnancy.
  • Soft cheese: Soft cheeses like Brie, Feta, Camembert, and Roquefort need to be avoided as they may house listeria. However, if you want to indulge in them, you need to be sure that they are made from pasteurized milk.
  • Unwashed fruits and vegetables: Unwashed fruits and vegetables become contaminated with harmful bacteria. Thoroughly rinse them under running water before eating them or preparing them.

As fruits and vegetables are necessary to be included in pregnant women’s diet, completely skipping them is not a solution.

  • Papaya: Unripe or semi-ripe papaya contains high doses of latex that is known to produce uterine contractions. This latex is not found in fully ripe papaya. This latex is said to induce labor and ultimately lead to abortion.
  • Eggplant: Eggplant is a diuretic having phytohormones, which trigger menstruation when consumed regularly. Hence, it should be avoided during pregnancy.
  • Some varieties of edible seeds: Fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds are all known to trigger miscarriage. But any amount more than that is known to stimulate uterine muscles promoting contractions ultimately leading to premature delivery or miscarriage.

So, it would be best to steer clear of these.

4) The ideal pregnancy diet:

A good diet becomes more necessary than ever before. It should contain all nutrients in the right proportion. Following is the list of products that you should try to include in your diet –

  • Dairy products: Dairy products are rich in high-quality proteins like whey and Casey. Not only this, they are abundant in phosphorus, calcium, and zinc.

However, if you are lactose intolerant, you can go in for probiotic yogurt and supports digestive health.

  • Broccoli and green leafy vegetables: Broccoli and greens like spinach and kale are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. As pregnant women often face constipation, these are a great option for them.
  • Whole grains and bread: You need to meet all the calorie deficits that come with being pregnant. These are packed with fiber, vitamins and plant compounds which are frequently lacking in the diets of pregnant women.
  • Proteins like lean meat, beans, and poultry: Eat lean meat like skinless chicken, turkey, and vegetable such as beans, peas. These contain high amounts of protein, fiber, iron, and calcium, all of which is required during pregnancy.
  • Fruits like avocados, berries, and apples: Avocados are great reserves for monounsaturated fatty acids, folate, and potassium, all pregnant women are advised to eat avocados.

Berries are a great snack option for pregnant women as they are rich in healthy carbs and water. They are highly nutritious and flavourful minus the calories. Also, being rich in antioxidants, they protect the body from free radical damage.

  • Dried fruits: It is believed that one piece of dried fruit contains all the nutrients in a fresh fruit, just without all the water and in a much compact form.

Also, as they contain a high amount of natural sugars, they should be consumed in a proper amount.

Keep in mind that you need to at least eat about 300 extra calories per day.

5) Smoking or alcohol consumption is a strict no-no:

There is no amount of smoking or alcohol consumption that is considered safe for pregnant women. Prenatal exposure to smoking or alcohol can interfere with the healthy development of your baby.

Therefore, avoid smoking or drinking during pregnancy at all costs.

6) Exercises during pregnancy:

Gentle exercising or going for a walk are proven effective stress-busters as well as helpful in controlling weight. The safest exercises that can be done during pregnancy are Pilates, Yoga, Swimming and Brisk walking.

However, avoid heavy exercises that put too much load on the abdomen.

7) Practice Kegels:

Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles which increase bowel and bladder control.

You simply have to contract the muscles as if you’re trying to stop the urine flow and then release. The best part is no one can tell you’re doing them.

8) Educate yourself:

Although too much information should be avoided, attending a childbirth class and/or reading and joining mom blogs will equip you with all the information you’re going to need.

Apart from all this, you can even voice your concerns and seek help from the members of the community you decide to join.

9) Take nutrient supplements:

A healthy and a nutritious diet is of utmost importance during pregnancy. Your gynecologist is going to prescribe prenatal supplements, which assist with the fetal development and your dietary requirements.

Prenatal pills contain many different vitamins and minerals like folic acid, iodine, iron, and calcium.

Below is a list of vitamins and minerals required during pregnancy along with their appropriate amounts:

Vitamin A and Beta Carotene: 770 mcg

Vitamin D: 5mcg

Vitamin E: 15 mcg

Vitamin C: 80–85 mcg

Folic acid: 600 mcg

Calcium : 1000–1300 mcg

Iron: 27 mcg

Protein: 71 mcg

Zinc: 11–12 mcg

Remember to consult your healthcare expert before going in for prenatal pills.

Visit the link to read the complete list of 20 Pregnancy tips for a healthy baby.

Originally published at www.babygogo.in on July 26, 2017.

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