Being pregnant is one of those points in your life when you need to follow your practitioner's advice, take extra special care of yourself, keep healthy and put you and your baby first. Check out these pregnancy tips to help you enjoy this special period of your life.
· Good prenatal care is important for the health of your unborn child. Make an appointment as soon as you know you are pregnant and don't skip any of your prenatal appointments. If there are to be any problems with your pregnancy the sooner they are detected the better!
· One of the best pregnancy tips I can give you is - stop smoking, preferably before you get pregnant but certainly once you are pregnant. Smoking is bad for the baby's health, even secondary smoke so avoid smoky environments and ask people not to smoke around you.
· Stop drinking. No level of alcohol during pregnancy has been proven safe so stay off the alcohol throughout your pregnancy and while nursing.
· Exercise. Always check with your health care practitioner to make sure you get the amount of exercise that is right for you (in some circumstances exercise is not advisable) but as a general rule exercise is beneficial. It has been shown that exercising while you are pregnant can help reduce the time you spend in labour, aid your recovery following the birth, reduce the need for cesarean, help you return to your pre-pregnancy weight quicker and improve your overall health.
· Swimming is an excellent source of exercise which can help ease your aches and pains.
· Another top pregnancy tip is to change your eating habits as soon as you find out you are pregnant. Eat foods that are high in fibre, eat plenty of vegetables and include foods rich in iron, calcium, protein and folate in your diet.
· Talk to your health care provider about what you should eat and how much weight you should gain. If your diet is unlikely to contain sufficient folate, iron and calcium your practitioner is likely to recommend that you take supplements.
· Eat foods that are high in fibre, eat plenty of vegetables and include foods rich in iron, calcium, protein and folate in your diet.
· Eat a balanced diet and eat regularly. Don't skip meals and don't try and diet during pregnancy. Remember you are eating for two so you need to add 300 - 500 (healthy) calories a day to your diet.
· Limit your caffeine intake (tea, coffee, chocolate and soft drinks).
· Drink plenty of water, six - eight glasses a day.
· Join a prenatal class.
· First hand experience with babies is invaluable experience. If you have any friends or family with a baby offer to baby sit, get some experience and learn the ropes.
· When the nursery is being prepared remember, you as the expectant mum, must avoid all harmful fumes such paint stripper, paint and wall paper glue and delegate the heavy work.
· Don't forget to baby proof your home.
· If you don't have life insurance then now is the time to take out a policy.
· Make sure you have a Family Health Insurance Plan.
· Get your bags packed well in advance, you might have a due date but that doesn't mean that your baby intends to stick to it!
· Pregnancy tip number 1. If you ever have any concerns over the way your pregnancy is developing, or what you can or cannot do, always seek the help and advice of your health care provider.