Being pregnant is a very exciting and happy time in a women’s life! Before your little bundle of joy arrives, you are responsible for helping him or her grow in a healthy environment. This list of dos and don’ts can shed some light on what you should focus on.
- Don’t smoke, drink alcohol or do drugs. Babies born to women who smoke during their pregnancy are more likely to have lower birth weight and are at greater risk for learning disabilities than children born to non-smoking moms. Like smoking, alcohol can greatly impact your baby’s development. If you need help to quit drinking while you’re pregnant, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.
- Eat healthy! It’s important to avoid junk food and pop, as well as undercooked meat that carry the risk of food-borne illnesses (i.e., heat up lunch meat and don’t eat rare red meat such as hamburger and steak). We recommend eating small frequent meals.
- Drink extra fluids, especially water. This keeps you hydrated.
- Do get plenty of rest. We recommend you get 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Pregnancy is demanding, especially during the third trimester, and you will need your sleep.
- Be active. Exercise 3-4 times a week. Exercising is good for mama and baby! Regular exercise can help many of the issues that arise during pregnancy including mood problems, excessive weight gain and muscle pain. Talk to your doctor about what’s right for you.
- Wear your seatbelt at all times. The lap strap should go under your belly, across your hips. The shoulder strap should go between your breasts and to the side of your belly. Make sure it fits snuggly!
- Use mosquito repellant and sunscreen. Protect yourself when you’re outdoors.
- Don’t clean or change the cat’s litter box. This could put you at risk for toxoplasmosis, an infection that can be very harmful to the baby.
- Don’t stop any prescribed medications without talking to your doctor. You should always consult your doctor before you stop taking any prescription medication.
- Don’t sit in a hot tub. Though relaxing, these high heat environments may be too dangerous for expecting mothers.
Most of all, enjoy this time in your life and if you have any questions or concerns talk to a trusted health professional.
Gary Milius, MD, OB/GYN
You’re Pregnant. Now What?
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