Pregnancy changes your life in more ways than you would have imagined. Besides the adventure of bringing a brand-new soul into the world, it changes your body, your thoughts, your feelings, and your lifestyle choices.
One of the changes you will notice is a sense of heightened self-responsibility. You’ll feel charged with the responsibility of taking care of your developing baby and the idea of maintaining your health will become of paramount importance. The healthier you become, the healthier your baby will be, too.
Fortunately, acquiring good health is all about adopting some good practices, and here are four you should consider
Get Antenatal Care
When you find out you’re pregnant, you must get antenatal care. See a doctor, a midwife, or a maternity service. The sooner you organize your health care, the easier it will be to get the best advice on how to stay healthy pregnancy. You’ll also be able to access medical tests and technology. Ultrasound scans will play an intrinsic role in your growing self-awareness of your journey — because they’ll give you glimpses of the miracle of new life forming inside you.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Your goal is to eat healthy meals every day and avoid unhealthy snacks.
Here are some dietary suggestions for healthy eating:
- Enjoy at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, especially large helpings of leafy green vegetables.
- Eat whole grain varieties of rice bread and pasta.
- Get enough protein. If you’re vegetarian, eat beans, nuts, and seeds. Otherwise eat seafood and lean meats. Mackerel, sardines, and salmon are considered excellent for pregnancy because they contain omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D which support the development of a baby’s nervous system.
- If you’re not lactose intolerant then you might benefit from milk, butter, cheese, and yogurt in moderation.
Take Essential Supplements
In an ideal world, you would be able to get all your nutrients from food, but unfortunately many foods do not contain all the nutrients you need. For this reason, it’s a good idea to take supplements as insurance against accidental nutritional deficiencies.
The following two supplements are important for pregnant women:
- Folic acid for the first three months. This will prevent spina bifida, which is a neural tube defect.
- Vitamin D during all 9 months. This helps your baby develop strong bones.
Practice Kitchen Hygiene
It’s often easy to overlook kitchen hygiene because it requires extreme diligence to stay on top of it. But it’s especially important for pregnant women to avoid bacteria and parasites that could compromise a baby’s health.
A simple practice is to always wash your hands before food preparation and meals. Also wash all utensils and cutting boards, especially after slicing raw meat.
Although it’s rare, one dangerous bacterium is listeria. This causes an infection called listeriosis which can cause serious problems—a miscarriage, a stillborn child, or a baby having serious health problems after birth. To stay safe, avoid eating under cooked meals, moldy cheese, unpasteurized milk, and all types of pate.
Another dangerous bacterium is salmonella, which can cause food poisoning. People pick up the salmonella infection by eating under-cooked meat and raw shellfish. To stay safe, thoroughly cook all premade packaged meals and meats, avoid cold cured meats like salami, and wash any fruits and vegetables picked up from the garden.
4 Basic Ways to Stay Healthy
Staying healthy during your pregnancy can make a world of difference to you and your baby. By attempting to follow these four basic practices, you will maintain your good health throughout your pregnancy.