Continuing our post on the ABC’s of a healthy pregnancy A-G (July 10), here are guidelines H-Q to help increase your chances of having a healthy baby.
H: History can teach us a lot! Understanding your family history can make an important difference in your life and the lives of your children.
I: Iron is a mineral that helps create red blood cells, which are needed to carry oxygen to your baby. Be sure to get enough iron in your diet to prevent getting anemia.
J: Join a childbirth education class to help you understand what to expect during labor and birth.
K: Keep you and your baby safe during a disaster by planning ahead of time. Prepare for a disaster by making a list of medications you’re taking and having a handy contact sheet with your health provider’s information.
L: Lots of back pain? Backache is one of the most common problems for pregnant women. Avoid heavy lifting and standing for long periods of time. Wear comfortable shoes and consider a pregnancy massage to ease some of your pain.
M: Medical conditions, such as gestational diabetes and high blood pressure, should be carefully monitored by you and your health provider. Also, talk to your provider about any medications that may need to be adjusted during pregnancy.
N: Nausea is very common during pregnancy and certain foods can trigger the feeling. Try substituting other nutritious options for the foods that make you feel ill. Eat 5-6 small meals a day, rather than three large ones.
O: Oh, baby! Get ready to care for your baby before you bring her home from the hosital. Choose a health provider for her and make sure your home environment is all set and safe for your new baby.
P: Prenatal care is essential for having a healthy baby, so be sure to make all of your visits. During these appointments, prenatal tests will be given to help your provider know how you and your baby are doing.
Q: Quit bad habits such as smoking and drinking. Smoking can cause your baby to grow more slowly and gain less weight in the womb. Drinking alcohol while pregnant can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome, which can cause your baby to be born with both physical and mental birth defects.
Visit us next Thursday for the final part of our series, the ABC’s of a healthy pregnancy R-Z.