It’s important to stay healthy while pregnant. This will allow your baby to grow and stay healthy.
A balanced diet is the best way for your body to get all the vitamins it needs to ensure a healthy pregnancy. It can also help to lower your risk of major birth defects such as spina bifida.
Get a Flu Shot
A flu shot is a simple, expert-recommended way to protect yourself and your baby from the seasonal influenza (flu). Everyone should get the flu vaccine each year. However, pregnant women are more at risk of serious complications due to normal immune system changes during pregnancy.
According to the CDC, getting a flu shot is the best preventative measure you can take to reduce your chances of getting sick with the flu. The flu virus infects up to 3% of the population each year and can lead to severe complications including pneumonia and respiratory illness.
The CDC recommends everyone aged 6 months or older to get a flu vaccine. The flu shot can also protect seniors and people who have chronic medical conditions such as diabetes or asthma, who are at higher risk of serious complications.
While the flu is not dangerous for most healthy individuals, it can be life-threatening or even fatal if you have chronic health problems or are pregnant. The CDC urges those at high risk to get a flu shot every year.
Pregnant women should receive the inactivated flu vaccine as opposed to the nasal spray flu vaccine, which contains a weakened active flu virus (“live vaccine”). This is because the live vaccine could cause birth defects and other complications in pregnancy.
Some multi-dose flu vaccines may contain a small amount of thimerosal (an ethyl-mercury-based preservative). Thimerosal is safe for your baby and you, but it can cause some minor reddening and swelling at the injection site.
Ask your doctor if you have a history thimerosal allergy. This is especially important for women who are expecting their first child.
The CDC states that there is no evidence to suggest that a woman getting a flu shot during pregnancy increases her chances of miscarriage. According to the CDC, it’s one the most safest things you could do for your baby during pregnancy.
Exercise is one of the best things you can do during pregnancy. It helps you feel better and your body stays healthy. It can help you feel more energy and ready to go for labour and childbirth.
During your first trimester, it’s best to choose low-impact exercises that are easy on your joints. These include walking, swimming, and water aerobics. Your second trimester will be less energetic so you might need to decrease the amount of exercise you do.
It’s also a good idea to start working with a fitness expert or online prenatal workout program to ensure that you’re exercising in a safe and effective way. This is especially important if you have high blood pressure or gestational diabetes.
Another important point to remember is to drink plenty of fluids during your exercise routine. This includes drinking water before, during, or after your workout. It is important to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day, but it is even more important to stay hydrated throughout your pregnancy.
Many women fear that exercising during pregnancy can be dangerous. Research shows that exercising during pregnancy is safe and can be beneficial for both you as well as your baby.
Regular exercise during pregnancy can help lower the risk for certain medical conditions like gestational diabetes and heart disease. It can help you sleep better and manage stress.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends women do moderate-intensity aerobic exercise at least 150 times per week. This includes 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five days per week. It is important to not overdo it as you don’t want injury or strain to your body.
You can also do strength training but you should not lift too much weight. Ask your provider if you can do it safely and what weight.
You can participate in many activities such as dance classes, gymnastics and basketball, tennis, horseback riding, and tennis. Tell your instructor that you are pregnant. Avoid contact sports such as downhill skiing or hockey while you are pregnant.
Get Plenty of Sleep
A healthy pregnancy is dependent on getting enough sleep. Not only will it make you feel and function more well, but it will also help you and your baby through labor and delivery.
Women need more sleep during the first trimester because of increased progesterone levels and blood volume. They also need sleep because their placentas are growing and they have an increased weight.
It is important to have a consistent bedtime and a wake time and to not use electronics for at least one hour before bed. This will help you relax before you go to sleep.
Meditation or guided imagery can help you relax if you are constantly tossing around at night. These relaxation techniques may help you sleep better and decrease your anxiety about becoming pregnant or having a child.
Other factors that can disrupt your sleeping patterns include frequent urination and aches and pains. These conditions can also cause sleep breathing problems and disrupt your snoring.
One study found that women who slept less then six hours per night were 4.5 times more likely than those who slept seven hours or more each night to have a C section during pregnancy. The average length of labor was also 10 hours longer than those who slept seven hours or more.
Another study showed that sleeping on your side rather than your back can help you sleep better because it puts less pressure on your spine. Use pillows to provide extra support and comfort. Also, keep hydrated to avoid urinating as often at night.
Objective sleep measurements, such as polysomnography, can reduce measurement errors when estimating how much sleep a woman gets each day. Numerous studies have shown that women’s sleep durations are significantly shorter as reported by doctors and researchers.
Get Your Prenatal Tests Done
Prenatal tests are done to give you and your baby important information about your health or the health of your baby. They include screening tests to identify certain birth defects and diagnostic testing that can identify a specific gene disorder or abnormality in your child.
Screening tests can tell you if you are at high risk of having a child with Down syndrome, a condition, or a defect. These tests include blood tests, an ultrasound, and prenatal cell-free DNA testing.
First-trimester maternal serum screening measures the levels of b-hCG, intact, beta hCG and PAPP-A in blood. It also includes measurement of nuchal translucency. It is used to detect chromosomal problems such as Down syndrome and neural tube defects such as spina biifida.
Second-trimester screening uses a different kind of blood test called the quad screen to measure levels of four substances in your blood. These are used to detect chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down syndrome, as well as neural tube defects — serious abnormalities of the brain or spinal cord.
During this time, your doctor can also check for group B strep. To reduce the risk that your baby will get this infection during pregnancy, your provider may be able to treat you.
Your doctor will swab the skin in and around your vagina to check for this bacteria. If you are diagnosed with group B strep by your doctor, you may need antibiotics during pregnancy to reduce your baby’s chance of contracting it.
A non-invasive prenatal testing, known as NIPT, may be necessary. This test is used to test for Down syndrome and other chromosomal issues from 10 weeks into your pregnancy.
Talk to your doctor or midwife if you have difficulty deciding which prenatal test should be taken. They can help to weigh the benefits against the risks of knowing the genetic status of your baby.
Prenatal testing is not a must, and you might decide that it’s not right for you. However, if you are concerned about your future or a family member’s health, talking with your doctor or genetic counselor can help you decide if prenatal testing is right for you and your baby.