Care Starts Early

CareStartsEarly2The decisions you make during pregnancy will have a lifelong impact on the health and well-being of your kids, so it’s vital that you be extra vigilant about your health during this time. Here are 7 ways you can do that.

#1. See an OB-GYN. This is the number one thing you should do when you’re pregnant. Your OB-GYN will be an invaluable resource to you during this time. He or she can help monitor your progress, make the best dietary and lifestyle recommendations, answer your questions, and help you manage discomforting symptoms. If you have any alarming symptoms, you can just give them a call.

#2. Have your medications checked. Be sure to discuss any and all medications you’re on with your doctor (both over-the-counter and prescription!). He or she can help you determine which ones are safe to continue taking, and which ones you’ll need to put on hold for a while.

#3. Say no. Certain things are no-brainers when you’re pregnant, like not drinking alcohol, not smoking, and not being around secondhand smoke. Just don’t do it! The health and wellbeing of your child is at stake.

#4. Eat well. Don’t forget that what you’re eating is what your baby is eating too. Limit coffee to one cup per day or less, and try to get the most nutrition you can from every calorie you intake. Work toward a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, lean meats, dairy, and fiber-rich carbohydrates.

#5. Get your vitamins. Your doctor will probably give you a prescription for prenatal vitamins or recommend an over-the-counter version at your first visit. Take them!

#6. Get moving. It might be tempting to let pregnancy be your excuse for laying around, but exercising will actually help you be healthier during this time. It can also eliminate certain discomforting symptoms like sleeplessness and back pain. Shoot for around 30 minutes of light to moderate activity a day – that is, unless you know you’re at high risk. If that’s the case, talk to your doctor about what’s appropriate for you.

#7. Do your research. Learn what to avoid and eliminate. Steer clear of paint fumes, raw meat, raw eggs, seafood with high mercury content, and foods that may contain the bacteria listeria. Of course, you don’t want to become paranoid! But a little education can go a long way in protecting your baby.

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