Pregnancy is a period when women need to take care of themselves more than ever. An expectant woman always puts the interest of her child first which inadvertently means taking good care of herself too. This would prevent unnecessary complications and makes way for a problem free delivery of a healthy baby. So how does one take care of expectant women?
The first step towards a healthy pregnancy is getting early prenatal care which is essential for the mother and the baby. As soon as you conceive or you think you’ve conceived, call your health care provider and schedule a visit for screening tests to identify conditions that might cause problems. Talk about any medications you’re currently on or any recurring medical conditions to take necessary precautions so that the baby is not affected by them.
Vitamins/ iron supplements
Expectant mothers must necessarily take prenatal vitamin and iron supplements every day. 0.4 mg of folic acid a day is the dosage recommended. Folic acid is necessary in that it prevents spinal cord defects and reduces the chances of a premature birth. 30 mg of ferrous iron is the iron supplement recommended for normal non anemic women every day while anemic women must get double the dosage two times every day because of the low red blood cells count in their blood. Anti acne drugs and vitamin supplements are to be avoided being taken in excess to prevent birth defects.
The normal weight gain of an expectant mother during her pregnancy is dependent hugely on the pre-pregnancy weight. While weight gain during pregnancy is normal, excessive weight gain may cause complications like gestational diabetes. If your weight gain during pregnancy is too low, you’re at the risk of having a pre mature delivery while sudden gain of weight in the third trimester may point towards pre-eclampsia. Therefore, it is important to watch your weight, eat healthy without skipping your meals and definitely no fasting.
No smoking/ alcohol
Expectant mothers MUST quit smoking entirely as smoking may cause carbon monoxide poisoning in the baby and cause side effects like low birth weight, asthma and other respiratory disorders, faulty intellectual development and also attention deficit disorder. And drinking alcohol has been found to be the major cause of mental retardation in babies.
An expectant mother’s physical activity should be as it was before pregnancy. If you’re not very active physically don’t start during your pregnancy and keep up to just light exercising to gather strength and flexibility. Don’t start on anything without your physicians consent. Don’t carry out heavy work that might cause fatigue and try to avoid long travels outside of home especially during the last trimester. Sexual intercourse can be continued throughout the pregnancy unless advised otherwise by your doctor.
Pregnant women must take care not to take showers and baths in very hot or very cold waters as they may increase or decrease temperatures adversely. Being careful while walking on slippery surfaces is also advised.
Feature Image Source: Google