The news of a first pregnancy is exhilarating and maybe a little terrifying, especially when a close friend or family member has struggled with pregnancy-related health issues or miscarriages in the past. Fortunately, most pregnancies progress rather uneventfully and ultimately result in the normal birth of a healthy infant.
Making the best use of prenatal care is a proactive way in which expectant mothers can increase their odds of enjoying a healthy pregnancy and normal delivery.
Stay active throughout the pregnancy
Pregnancy is a normal condition that women have gone through since the beginning of time. While it is normal to experience some fatigue or nausea in the first trimester, it is important to strive to remain as active as possible. Maintaining healthy activity help maintain body condition during stressful months of pregnancy. Muscles, bones, and ligaments kept healthy by regular exercise will be better prepared for the work of labor and delivery.
Eat well to supply nutrients
The old adage of eating for two is not the best advice for the expectant mom. While it is fine to indulge a little to satisfy the occasional craving, your growing fetus requires a steady supply of nutrients. When a pregnant mother's diet is poor, her body cannot easily supply enough key nutrients like calcium, iron, and magnesium for both the mom and her fetus to enjoy optimal health, so a healthy diet is important.
Rest when necessary
Even though activity is safe and beneficial, expectant mothers should expect to need more sleep, either at night or by adding daytime naps. When feelings of fatigue develop, consider rearranging the daily schedule to add a nap or a few hours of extra sleep as often as possible.
Eliminate potentially harmful substances
If you have just found out you are pregnant, eliminating any potentially harmful substance use is critically important for the health and development of your child. Alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, prescription or street drug use can all potentially put developing fetuses at risk of low birth weights, mental and physical impairments, and serious birth defects.
Expectant mothers should also be wary of taking over-the-counter (OTC) drugs such as aspirin, consuming herbs or herbal teas, or taking supplements, especially those that could act as blood thinners or those that have been linked to miscarriage or other pregnancy-related health issues.
First-time mothers-to-be are sure to have many questions. To get the answers you need, make an appointment to meet with a medical care provider and begin prenatal care as soon as possible. They can provide you more information regarding prenatal care.