When a woman discovers that she is pregnant, it can be a wonderful — yet stressful — occasion. For many women, especially those who are experiencing pregnancy for the first time, there may be fears of issues or complications developing. While some of those concerns may be rooted in genetics, there are steps to take that will encourage a healthy pregnancy.
Early Prenatal Care
Early prenatal care is pregnancy-related care beginning in the first trimester (1-3 months). According to data from the National Center for Health Statistics, 83.7 percent of live births in the United States were to women receiving early prenatal care. Another 12.7 percent were to women beginning care in the second trimester, and 3.6 percent were to women receiving late or no prenatal care.
Eating a healthy diet is obviously encouraged when pregnant. Often, prenatal vitamins are included in the mix, and for good reasons. There are a multitude of vitamins and minerals in prenatal vitamins, the most useful ones being folic acid, iron, iodine, and calcium. These vitamins and minerals may aid in supporting the prevention of neural tube defects, stunted mental and physical growth, deafness and miscarriage, among other issues. Women with restrictive diets, health issues, or complications during pregnancy should speak with a physician about taking prenatal vitamins as a supplement.
Carrying around another person everywhere can be draining enough, but it is important to stay physically active, especially when pregnant unless a physician says to slow down with the workouts.
Pregnant women who already had an exercise routine before conception will likely be told to continue with the current routine, but at a slower rate or performing fewer repetitions of each exercise. Women who weren’t exercising before getting pregnant should talk to a doctor about starting a new exercise routine. Exercising while pregnant may also prevent gestational diabetes, which may develop during some pregnancies.
There are many options and opportunities to encourage a healthy pregnancy. Find out what works best for you!