Dos and Don'ts for a Safe and Joyful Pregnancy
By Dr. Nutan Pakhare
The pregnancy period plays an important role in the development of your baby & your health. To ensure your baby’s health and safety during pregnancy, you should take many precautions and follow pregnancy dos and don’ts. During pregnancy, you should focus on both your physical and mental health, as it is a time of great change and growth.
Your prenatal care should start as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. Your doctor will give you a list of things to watch for: changes in eating habits, mood swings, trouble sleeping, etc. These are all signs that something could be wrong with either you or your baby. If any of these symptoms occur during pregnancy, it’s important to let your doctor know right away so they can determine whether or not there is cause for concern.
In all aspects of your life, such as personal health, social interactions, and medical appointments, it is imperative that you take extra precautions & follow importantly dos and don’ts.
1. Do eat healthy foods: Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products. Avoid processed foods and sugary drinks as much as possible. Limit caffeine intake to less than 200mg per day (the equivalent of about 2 cups of coffee)
Eat healthy foods that are moderate in fat, and sugar, low in salt and cholesterol. Try eating five small meals a day instead of three big ones—this will help keep your blood sugar levels steady throughout the day.
A healthy lifestyle during pregnancy can help prevent gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy), improve sleep quality for both mother and child, reduce stress levels that may adversely affect the fetus’ brain development, and lower the risk of preterm delivery for low-risk mothers who exercised regularly before becoming pregnant. Ideally, you should be physically active before becoming pregnant if you haven’t already been.
2. Do exercise: Make sure you exercise regularly! Do some stretches while watching TV during commercial breaks, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or even walk around the block twice a day! You will be able to relieve stress and lower your blood pressure by being active while pregnant, which will help reduce stress on your body.
3. Do have sex: Sex during pregnancy is perfectly safe and healthy during the middle trimester—it can even help you feel more connected to your partner and bond with your baby.
Having sex during pregnancy is a great way to get your partner in on the action and encourage bonding. However, it’s important to be careful about the position you choose. Your doctor may recommend that you avoid positions that require deep penetration or are too strenuous. The best positions for pregnancy include:
- Lying on your side with your partner behind you
- Missionary (man on top)
- Side-by-side with your partner resting his or her weight on a pillow placed between your bodies.
4. Gain weight: During pregnancy, your body needs extra calories to support itself and grow a baby! You should gain 25-35 pounds during pregnancy, but if you’re gaining more than 40 pounds, talk with your doctor about ways to help you lose weight before delivery day arrive. Just make sure to eat healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables and limit junk food!
A healthy weight gain during pregnancy is 25 to 35 pounds (13-15kg), but it’s okay if you gain more or less than that. You should always talk to your doctor before changing your diet or exercising habits so he or she can help make sure you’re gaining at the right rate for your body type and lifestyle.
Do take care of your health, including getting enough rest and exercise.
1. Do not dehydrate or overhydrate: Water is essential for preventing dehydration. Drink at least 8 glasses a day. It’s more likely that you’ll get dehydrated during pregnancy, so make sure you stay hydrated.
Hydration in pregnancy is key to the well-being of both mother and child. Maintaining adequate hydration is important for a number of reasons: it helps prevent constipation, which can lead to hemorrhoids, as well as urinary tract infections (UTIs). It also keeps your skin hydrated and looking healthy, which can help you feel better about your appearance and even boost your mood.
The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink 10 cups of water per day, but many experts recommend more than this. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women drink 16 cups per day. If you have trouble remembering to drink enough water throughout the day, try carrying a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go. You can also use a smartphone app or website to track your intake so that you don’t end up consuming too little or too much fluid. You may also find juice and milk appealing if you are looking for fluid-rich beverages.
2. Don’t Smoke or Drink Alcohol: Alcohol and smoking are harmful to your baby and can cause birth defects. There is a risk of premature birth and low birth weight during pregnancy. Your baby’s oxygen flow will also be reduced when you drink alcohol due to its constrictive effect on your blood vessels. It is possible to protect your unborn child from the harmful effects of smoking during pregnancy if you quit smoking before getting pregnant. The best time to quit is now!
3. Don’t have caffeine-free drinks: Your blood vessels can constrict, making it difficult for your baby to receive oxygenated blood through the placenta.
Keep caffeine intake under 200 mg per day (about one cup of coffee).
The intake of too much water can dilute your electrolytes and make you feel dizzy and lightheaded.
4. Don’t get near heat sources like hot tubs or saunas since they can raise body temperature and cause preeclampsia (high blood pressure) during pregnancy.
Joy and excitement accompany pregnancy, but there are also many responsibilities that come with it. It is important to take care of yourself during pregnancy to ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby.