Health and Fitness in Pregnancy and Delivering a Healthy Baby

Pregnancy is when women are most beautiful, when there’s another life being nurtured inside the mother’s womb. This act of creating life, though, is not without its complications, and expectant soon-to-be mothers should do their best to keep their health in optimal condition, for their sake as well as the unborn child’s. Even the common cold can affect the pregancy. So what are the steps to take during pregnancy? Here are a few tips and suggestions.

The first step in pregnancy is to visit a doctor and have yourself examined for any possible complication, get your pap smear, blood test, the works; also make sure that you get as much information as possible to help make sure your pregnancy is being handled properly. Of course, it is best to take great care in choosing a physician, a midwife, a hostpital, and all the necessary staff in the pregnancy. Make sure that they are just as concerned for the baby as you are

Pregnancy makes it all the more important to maintain a healthy diet especially since there’s another life at stake. The intake of folic acid (necessary for embryo development and cell growth) should begin as soon as possible. Another important supplement that might be needed is iron, for healthy blood, and for the development of the bones and teeth of the baby. Do not overdose on the seafood intake as fish tend to have high levels of mercury. The recommended weight gain during pregnancy is around 25 to 30 pounds — on healthy food, of course.

As metabolism increases during pregnancy there is larger loss of water, which should be compensated by drinking more water than usual.

Exercise is an important part of a healthy pregnancy, though, of course, pregnant women shouldn’t exert extreme amounts of effort. It is best for expectant mothers without complications to work out at moderate intensity for 30 minutes a day. It is important, though, to first consult with your physician before working out.

While it’s important to keep physical health at an optimum, emotional health should also be taken into consideration. Disorders such as depression can lead to loss of appetite and weight, sluggishness, irregular sleeping habits and disturbances in motor activity, as well as an intensified presence of feelings of worthlessness, incapability, or guilt. Pregnant women are more susceptible to this, and they will need an extraordinary amount of support from peers and family. Counseling and meditation have also proven to be successful in treating this disorder. But as an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure, and prevention may just save your pregnancy. Introspection may help; examining your capabilities as a mother, past relationships, etc. Don’t forget to take your needs seriously. Work with your partner and don’t be shy to get professional health.

Pregnancy can be a nine month tribulation of passing gas, nausea, and heartburn. It is a period of bonding with an unborn child, wondering about your child’s purpose in life, feeling every hearbeat and kick with amazement. To avoid any later regrets, take care of your health. And enjoy life.

“In her own interest, every pregnant woman should make a habit of never entering a room without making a note of the quickest way of getting out of it and into either fresh air or a bathroom.” –Audrey Hull

Great advice Audrey!

Healthy Pregnancy – To Deliver Healthy Babies

Pregnancy health of the mother is the prime concern of every physician, as the health of the baby depends entirely on the mother. Diet and nutrition create health. Pregnancy is a condition where the pregnant women constantly feel hungry for food. Your intake will decide whether your baby will be healthy or underweight. Informative women start taking healthy meals even before pregnancy, which results in healthy pregnancy. Healthy women deliver healthy babies.

Pregnant women should start eating healthy food and maintain a strict regimen of exercise to remain healthy, as soon as they have decided to have a baby. Weight control gains significance here as you start eating food rich in fat and protein. The more you will eat the more you will gain in weight if you do not follow a strict routine of exercise. Keeping a strict routine becomes difficult for people with a history of some disease like diabetes, or women on medication. It is important to understand that you should adhere to the advice of your doctor on these issues, and try to recover fully before you take the plunge for pregnancy.

When you begin the journey of motherhood, you are entrusted with the job of developing the mind and body of the baby. In order to have a healthy pregnancy, the mother should stop taking contraceptive pills a few months before pregnancy. The hormones of the body take at least three months to become normal and allow you to conceive a healthy fetus.

Here Are Some Tips To Have A Healthy Body

Begin your day with four glasses of water and continue drinking water throughout the day. Take as many juices as you can like orange juice, apple juice, carrot juice, pomegranate juice and more. Add shakes to your diet as well. Mango shakes, strawberry shakes and more. The idea is to keep enough liquid in your body and never be hypoglycemic. In juices and shakes, you also provide your body with important minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, riboflavin, Vitamin C and Vitamin B. Learn from women’s magazines and TV shows, about the essential ingredients of a healthy and nutritious diet. Do consult your doctor for advice on nutrition as well. During the first trimester of your pregnancy, when you experience morning sickness and constipation, your diet becomes very low. Do not be careless on any account and continue having good nutritious food like almonds, cashew nuts and dry fruits to keep up your energy level.

Keep Your Body Active

Do not undermine the importance of proper sleep during the course of a healthy pregnancy. Sleep as much as you can. When you get up, eat a good nutritious meal and go to sleep again. Do short stretches of morning and evening walks to remain active. Keep in touch with your consultant to monitor your pregnancy health. Do not hesitate to ask questions whenever you are confused. Keep your mind free from tension. Do some meditation if possible.

Try to laugh as much as you can and do not keep any bitterness in your mind about anybody or anything. If you remain cheerful the baby inside you also remains happy, and happiness is good for growth of baby and healthy pregnancy. Try to wear loosely fit clothes as your body is growing day by day. Also, wear smart and comfortable clothes and keep yourself and your surroundings neat and clean.

Will Pregnancy Be Safe With My Medical Condition?

Pregnancy can be a worrying at the best of times, but if you also have a chronic illness or medical complaint it can be even more so.

Long-term conditions including diabetes, depression and mental health problems, rheumatoid arthritis and epilepsy, often need medication, which may or may not be safe for your baby. This is why it’s so important to see a health professional as soon as possible – ideally before you conceive when you’re planning your pregnancy to discuss the implications of pregnancy for your medical condition. Medical conditions may also affect your pregnancy – for instance having poorly controlled blood sugar can result in you having a large baby.

The good news is that obstetrics specialists can offer highly personalised care for you and your baby with more check-ups and ultrasound scans if needed to check your baby’s growth and development.

If you have a medical condition your GP or midwife will usually refer you for specialist care by an obstetrician and they’ll keep a close eye on you and tell about what medication is safe to take in pregnancy or best avoided. Don’t be alarmed by this – instead be reassured that the likelihood is you’ll still have a healthy pregnancy and baby – they’re just making sure any risks posed by your condition are minimised.

Pregnancy and diabetes

Diabetes is the medical name for when your blood sugar (glucose) is too high. The best way to make sure you have a healthy pregnancy is to get your blood sugar under control before you become pregnant. Experts say you should aim for an HbAlc test score of 6.5 per cent or less.

There are various types of diabetes including:

• Type I: This is where the body stops producing a hormone called insulin which helps regulate blood sugar. It usually begins in childhood and those affected need insulin injections or insulin via a wearable pump.

• Type 2: Caused by your body not producing enough insulin, type 2 diabetes is usually lifestyle-related to obesity. It can be controlled with lifestyle changes and tablets to lower blood sugar.

• Gestational diabetes: This is a specific type of diabetes that develops in pregnancy, in the second or third trimester and is usually detected by a blood sugar test in the 24 – 28 week window. It happens when pregnancy hormones disrupt the production of insulin.

If you have any of the above and your blood sugar is not controlled, there’s a risk you could have a very large baby and need a caesarean delivery. That’s why you’ll be offered more frequent check-ups and blood and urine tests and ultrasound scans to check your baby is not growing too big. Don’t worry too much though – pregnant women with diabetes do have health pregnancies and babies.

Pregnant women with diabetes are also advised to take a higher dose of folic acid supplements, 5mg a day as opposed to the 400mcg recommended by the Department of Health.

Epilepsy and Pregnancy

Epilepsy is the medical name for an intense burst of electrical activity in the brain and can cause disruption to the normal function of the brain or seizures. It affects 600,000 people in the UK and many take anti-seizure drugs to prevent attacks.

Ideally, you should discuss your care with a neurologist before you become pregnant as some types of anti-epileptic drugs do carry a risk of birth defects and you may need to change your tablets before you conceive. You may also be advised to take a higher dose of folic acid of 5mg a day.

However, if you become pregnant while taking epilepsy medication don’t stop taking your tablets without seeing a doctor first. Stopping you medication suddenly could result in an increased numbers of seizures. See your GP as soon as possible and they can recommend you about what to do.

If your seizures are well controlled you may not need specialist care, but if your seizures become more frequent or severe in pregnancy you may need to be under the care of a neurologist and an obstetrician.

Mental health problems in pregnancy

If you are on medication for a mental health condition such as depression do not stop taking your medication without discussing it with your doctor first. Abrupt discontinuation can worsen your condition. Talk through your options with your doctors; although antidepressants are not usually recommended in pregnancy they can be prescribed if the benefits outweigh the risks.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition where the bodies own antibodies attack the lining of joints causing swelling, pain, inflammation and joint damage.

Seventy five per cent of women with RA report their symptoms actually improve and go into temporary remission during pregnancy though, usually in the second trimester. Symptoms usually return about six weeks after giving birth.

Talk to your specialist before you plan to become pregnant though as there are some drugs you may need to stop as they can affect fertility. Many RA drugs are considered safe in pregnancy so discuss the risks and benefits with your consultant.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in pregnancy

MS is a neurological condition, which affects 100,000 people in the UK. It affects three times as many women as men and is commonly diagnosed between the 20 to 40 age groups.

Women with MS can have healthy babies and pregnancies but there are some drugs they may need to discontinue before they try for a baby, so they should discuss this with their neurologist. The usual advice is to wait three months before trying to conceive.