Planning a pregnancy can lead to a whirlwind of emotions- fear, confusion, joy, excitement. But the number one concern of expectant or planning parents is the health of their unborn child. To this end, we have compiled a series of the most common maternity questions and their answers below!
- What can I do before conception to have a healthy baby?
The best way to have a healthy baby is to be fit and healthy several months before conception. Women should take a daily multivitamin or over-the-counter prenatal vitamin three months prior to getting pregnant; many studies have shown that maintaining the appropriate vitamin levels before your pregnancy can lower the chance of birth defects and developmental delays in your baby. Once pregnant, the prenatal vitamin is just as important to help the baby grow.
Exercise is also important when planning a pregnancy. Women who are a normal weight (based on their BMI) are less likely to have complications like gestational diabetes or hypertension. While you will have to consult with your ob/gyn about your personal exercise regimen during your pregnancy, most women can stay active by walking 30 minutes a day, to make sure they are healthy at delivery.
- How should I eat while pregnant?
Being pregnant doesn’t mean you get to eat twice as much. Pregnant women often feel hungrier, but that doesn’t mean that you should reach for the nearest snack. High protein snacks (like nuts) and minimized carbohydrates are good for your baby’s development. Fish can be a great source of protein, but you should limit your fish consumption to 2-3 servings per week. Pregnant women should avoid processed foods, alcohol, and smoking. They should also drink at least 64 ounces of water every day.
- Should I keep working through my pregnancy?
It depends on your work environment. Most women can continue to work until labor, unless their doctor advises otherwise. If you do work, make sure to get up every hour or so to stretch and walk around – getting active will help decrease swelling in the legs and varicose veins.
- Is it safe to have sex?
As long as your doctor gives you the OK for intercourse during pregnancy, you should be fine. If you have a history of pre-term labor symptoms or abnormal bleeding your physician may recommend against it.
Remember that this information is not substitute for medical or professional care. Every woman and every pregnancy is different. If you have a question about your pregnancy, call your physician directly for advice, course of treatment, and diagnosis.
Source: “Your Most Common Maternity Questions” at HealthGrades