24 Nov 7 Tips on How to Avoid Pregnancy Complications
Having a smooth pregnancy is the ideal goal for any new mother, isn’t it? When becoming pregnant, your doctor will recommend you to stay healthy to help avoid complications. This list will help you keep a healthy, happy pregnancy for you and your baby.
1. Importance of Prenatal Care
Prenatal care is the most important thing you can do to have a healthy baby. If possible your prenatal care should start before you conceive. If not, then once you become pregnant, schedule your appointment with your OB right after. Be prepared, even as a labor and delivery nurse, I was surprised at what happens at some appointments. For example, my first appointment, I needed a transvaginal ultrasound to see the fetus. When receiving prenatal care, many complications are caught early on. Be sure to schedule ahead of time and leave time in the day for blood work or ultrasounds, if needed.
2. Nutrition from you to baby
Pregnancy is a time you may want to eat more, and crave foods that are low on nutrition. However, proper pregnancy nutrition is an important key to a healthy baby and also decreases complications. Always keep in mind that the wellbeing of the baby in your womb depends on your nutrition intake. Imagine the nutrients needed for growth of the baby’s nerves to muscles, bone and brain. When you don’t eat the right foods, you are low on nutrients, how then will your baby get the nutrient out of your body? Remember, your baby is fed through the placental circulation so that nutrients from the mother’s bloodstream are received by the baby.
3. Healthy Weight Gain
It’s easy to say, “I’m eating for two”, but, you need to eat normally, until the last trimester when you may need an extra 200 calories or so a day. Protein and calcium are two essential components of your diet.
You need high quality protein from lean meats or vegetarian combinations. You need more sodium in pregnancy and your body regulates how much sodium stays and how much is excreted, in pregnancy you need milk and eggs. You also need whole grains over refined and processed grains.
Try foods like: Milk, Cheese, Chicken, Turkey, Nuts
A healthy weight gain for most women is 25-35lb throughout the pregnancy. Make sure to talk with your doctor as you decide a healthy weight gain for you. Also eat fresh fruits, vegetables, and real juices. Make sure to drink plenty of water when you’re thirsty.
It is common for many women to enter pregnant overweight or accumulate during pregnancy but be mindful that excess weight might increase the risks for pregnancy complications including gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, and increased chances for cesarean delivery. Weight gain in pregnancy is normal but make sure to discuss with your OBGYN if you notice sudden changes of weight.
On the other side of eating, never go without eating. It can lead to low blood sugar levels and make you feel miserable.
4. Be Aware of Food Safety
One rare complication you can avoid is a bacteria that can make you very ill called Listeria. Listeria can lead to a miscarriage or preterm delivery. To avoid it, stay clear of moldy cheese and unpasteurized milk.
Another safety concern is toxoplasmosis. If you can, avoid changing the cat’s litter box. You can also get this by eating undercooked meats.
Toxoplasmosis can also lead to premature birth, low birth weight, fever, jaundice, abnormalities of the retina, mental retardation, abnormal head size, convulsions, and brain calcification
I remember when I was pregnant making my husband scoop the cat’s litter box, but as soon as I delivered, it was my duty again. When I instruct my patients not to scoop the litter box, they look at me funny, until I explain the risks.
5. Exercise & Reduce Stress Levels
Check with your doctor before exercising to see if exercising is safe for you during pregnancy. If you have never exercised before, start by walking every day for 30 minutes. Swimming is also a great exercise, and it feels good for the pregnant woman.
I remember when I swam when I was 37 weeks pregnant, I didn’t feel pregnant. I was, like most women, very uncomfortable while pregnant.
If you need to de-stress, prenatal yoga classes are beneficial to your health and will teach you how to effectively breathe — which can help you during labor!
Studies have shown that music has a calming effect for your baby as well. It can help you relax to be sure you are getting enough rest. Try watching this Kachy TV ABC Lullaby video ABC. You’ll find many more soothing songs or check here KachyTV
Try to take walks, and to take a 10-minute break as much as possible. It is important to take naps. At night make sure to go to sleep early and sleep in and wake up late. Getting more rests now will also make you rested for when they new baby arrives.
6. Don’t Smoke, Avoid Alcohol
Smoking has terrible side effects to our health. Most smokers know this, but now that you are pregnant it’s an even better time to quit. Smoking can lead to: Preterm labor, Ectopic pregnancy, Bleeding from the vagina, Placental abruption and Placenta previa, as well as Low birth weight, Birth defects like cleft lip or palate and Higher risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It is not only when you smoke but make sure to remove yourself from smoke-filled environments during your pregnancy.
It is recommended by many health organizations that alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy. During pregnancy is the time to abstain from alcohol. This is especially to avoid Foetal Alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) which occurs as a result of heavy drinking and leads to learning difficulties to physical deformities. You don’t want anything that may interfere with the development of your baby especially in the early weeks of pregnancy. If you can abstain from alcohol it is recommended that you do so.
7. Keep a positive outlook
It is not uncommon for many women to hate their body when they are pregnant or for many other people to want to tell you what to do or what you should not. If possible involve your partner as much as possible in this journey. Make sure to resolve stress and avoid becoming depressed during your pregnancy. Keep a positive outlook. You can remind yourself of how happy you are and privileged to be carrying a new life. Try to enjoy the ups and downs of this journey. Always remind yourself that you are beautiful even in pregnancy, and that the changes your body is undergoing is the right changes for the baby. You need supportive relationships, people you can lean on. You need to have a positive outlook which will help you keep all appointments and follow through with everything you need to do to stay healthy. Your positive outlook will help make your pregnancy a time of joy for you and your family and support you to have a safe delivery.
These tips can help you avoid many complications of pregnancy. Some pregnancy complications cannot be avoided but preventative care and actions go a long way. Remember, every choice you make during your pregnancy can affect your baby. Your body is a home to grow and nurture your tiny little human. Try to rest and relax as much as possible.
About the author:
Janine is an RN who has worked in labor and delivery since 2006. She is also a freelance writer using her ‘nurse’ brain in a different way. Janine continues to write and inspire and educate other women and men on how to grow their skills and business. She Janine is a wife, a mother and a contributor to www.kachytv.com/blog. You can find more of her writing at: www.writern.net