You can increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy if you take good care of your health. Pregnancy care includes care before birth (prenatal care), during pregnancy, and care after-birth (postnatal care). A healthy pregnancy, labor, and delivery for mother and baby are ensured by treatment and training. Throughout pregnancy, you and your baby will be happier and healthier if you do the following.
Prenatal care aims to reduce the risks related to pregnancy and increase the chances of safe delivery of the baby. Prenatal care helps prevent potential health problems throughout pregnancy.
Are regular prenatal visits required?
Yes, regular prenatal visits are required to monitor pregnancy and identify any complications or problems related to pregnancy. Prenatal care should ideally begin three months before women try to conceive.
Following habits needs to be practiced during this period:
Take folic acid supplements daily (400 to 800 micrograms)
Discuss with your doctor about medical conditions, dietary supplements or any other medications that you take
Avoid contact with harmful toxic or chemical substances at work or home
Avoid eating undercooked and/or overcooked foods, junk food, etc.
Avoid alcohol, smoking, caffeine, and products with artificial colors.
Before you can take care of your baby, you need to take care of yourself and your unborn child. After conceiving, regular visits are necessary throughout each stage of pregnancy. During these visits, doctors will monitor the health of the mother and the baby.
Regular health check-ups include-
Routine screening tests
Monitoring blood pressure
Weight gain measurement
Monitoring the baby’s growth
Your doctor will also guide you about different stages of pregnancy which may include:
Guidance on what to expect during pregnancy
Preparing you for childbirth
Discussing basic skills on how to care for the baby
Here are a few tips which help stay active during pregnancy
Wear comfortable footwear and watch your step to avoid a fall
Wear seat belts while driving and ensure that you sit far away from the airbag
Avoid taking medicines without consulting the doctor
Avoid alcohol and smoking. Passive smoking is also harmful
Avoid dehydration by drinking lots of water
Eat moderately to maintain a healthy weight (as suggested by your doctor)
Rest your feet to prevent fatigue. Your legs and ankles are prone to swelling. During the day, ensure that you put up your feet at a raised level frequently
Get adequate sleep and take naps, if required. A minimum of eight hours of sleep is necessary to keep you healthy
Postpartum care begins right after the baby’s birth and can last for about 6 to 8 weeks. During this period, the mother goes through a plethora of emotional and physical changes. This period is all about getting proper rest and the right diet.
Be patient with yourself as you learn to breastfeed. It can take 2 to 3 weeks to get the hang of it.
There is a lot to learn, such as the following:
How to care for your breasts
Positioning your baby for breastfeeding
How to overcome breastfeeding problems
Breast milk pumping and storage
Timing of breastfeeding
Schedule an appointment with your doctor after delivery if you experience:
Urination problems like pain or a frequent urge to urinate
Discharge, including small blood clots
Contractions during the first few days after delivery
It’s essential to stay as healthy as possible during pregnancy and the postpartum period.
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