We all love to hear the good news about how our skin will glow during pregnancy and how our hair will get thicker and more beautiful. But, we’re not nearly so excited to hear about the changes we need to make for a healthy pregnancy.
You’ll hear a lot of noise about what you should and shouldn’t do when you’re pregnant. A good deal of it is rubbish, and an additional amount of it only applies to some women.
In this artucles, however, we’re going to give you the truth about the changes you MUST make in order to ensure a healthy pregnancy. There are just three things we’re going to talk about, but they are all critical.
1. Get Rid of the Poison
Most of us don’t look at some of the things we expose ourselves to as poison, but there are plenty of toxins in our lives that can be just that to an unborn baby.
It’s important that you literally clean up your life before you become pregnant. Here are some of the common poisons you must avoid.
Recreational Drugs – Drug use can kill your baby, can cause birth defects and can even cause your baby to be born addicted, depending upon the drug. It is imperative that you eliminate all recreational drugs before you begin trying to conceive.
Smoke – Smoking is associated with many serious problems for babies, including miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery and low birth weight.
When you smoke, your baby is literally deprived of oxygen and is exposed to dangerous chemicals. Babies born to smoking mothers are also more likely to develop asthma or other respiratory problems after they are born.
Stop smoking before you conceive, and avoid second-hand smoke while you’re pregnant, too.
Dangerous Chemicals: If you work around dangerous chemicals, you may be able to ask for a less hazardous job during your pregnancy, but many chemicals are around us even when we don’t work in a toxic environment.
You should stay away from pesticides during your pregnancy and you may even need to get your water pipes tested for lead if your house was built before 1978.
X-rays: Avoid X-rays during pregnancy too. If an x-ray is necessary, at least wait until after your first trimester.
Medications – Some medications that are safe for you are not safe for your unborn child. If you take prescription medications, you should consult with your doctor before you begin trying to conceive to ensure that your medications are safe for your baby.
Because many women don’t know they are pregnant until their eighth or ninth week, it’s important to stop these medications before conception.
Even some over-the-counter medications are unsafe for your unborn child. Take your doctor’s advice on what you can and can’t take while pregnant.
2. Watch the Alcohol
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is caused from drinking alcohol while pregnant. It can cause birth defects, mental retardation and learning disabilities, but just how much alcohol is too much?
This question can be difficult to answer. We know that Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is most common in women who had five or more drinks per day.
However, in some cases, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effect (a milder form) have been found in women who drank far less than this amount.
The confusing research makes it difficult to tell women just how much they can drink. Most doctors agree that an occasional drink during pregnancy is fine.
However, regular drinking is not healthy for your baby. The healthiest option is to avoid alcohol altogether.
3. Get Adequate Nutrition
Most women realize that good nutrition is an important part of a healthy pregnancy. The confusion comes in determining exactly what good nutrition really means.
Some women take full advantage of the extra calories required during pregnancy and go with the motto “eating for two.” This can result in gaining too much weight, which is unhealthy for mom and for baby.
Other women are afraid of gaining too much weight and try to diet during pregnancy. This is also dangerous and can have adverse effects on the baby.
Women who are overweight should gain less during pregnancy, while women who are underweight need to gain more. Your doctor will tell you how much you need to gain.
The smart approach is to eat nutritionally dense foods, and avoid empty calories. Keep track of how much weight you’re gaining compared to the amount your doctor recommends at each stage of your pregnancy.
Eat a wide variety of foods, and don’t sweat the occasional indulgence, without going overboard either. Get extra iron, extra calcium and be sure to take your prenatal vitamins.
Your doctor will also give you a list of foods to avoid during pregnancy. This list will include fish that are high in mercury, soft cheeses, unpasteurized dairy products and raw or undercooked meats. It is important that you avoid these foods, as they all have the potential to be dangerous.
Taking care of yourself suddenly gains new meaning when you become pregnant. Your vices are suddenly dangerous to someone other than yourself and to someone who has no one to protect him or her except you.
You owe it to your baby to heed these three important pieces of advice, and you’ll be much healthier yourself, too!