Precautions During Pregnancy

Generally speaking, the average pregnancy lasts for a maximum of 40 weeks, which are demarcated into trimesters. The first 12 weeks of your pregnancy are known as the first trimester and it is during this time that your body starts making several adjustments in order to accommodate the baby inside. This is why it becomes extremely important to take several precautions during pregnancy so that you can offer both your baby and yourself a safer and healthier future.

Precautions During Pregnancy

Prenatal Visits

If you’re pregnant for the first time, it’s vital for you to know when to visit your healthcare provider for prenatal visits. The visit schedule of a typical pregnancy is as following:

  • 4th-28th weeks: 1 visit for every month
  • 28th -36th weeks: 1 visit twice a month
  • 36th-40th weeks: 1 visit four times a month

However, this is a generalized schedule and the best schedule to follow is the one given to you by your doctor. Statistics reveal that mothers who don’t get prenatal care are 3 times more likely to give birth to babies with low weights. Prenatal visits ensure that if something is wrong with you or your baby, the doctor can immediately spot it and share the proper course of treatment with you. So always adhere to your schedule, no matter how hectic it becomes for you.

Immunizations

Live viruses present in vaccinations are to be avoided at all costs, and the list includes yellow fever, mumps and rubella. It’s imperative that you consult your doctor in detail about which immunizations are okay for you.

Dietary Dos and Don'ts

  1. Keep hydrated

You must have heard everybody around you say this and gotten tired of it, but science backs this claim up. Make sure you hydrate your body by consuming at least 8 ounces of water every day. Your blood’s volume increases during your pregnancy to support your child, and water intake ensures the process moves forward smoothly. Water also keeps symptoms of preterm labor, constipation and fatigue at bay.

  1. Include fiber rich food

One thing to always include in your diet is fiber rich food. Fruits like strawberries have a lot of folic acid in them, helping you regularize your digestive functions and ease any constipation problems. Other fiber rich foods include cereals, sprouts, legumes and spinach. The best way to let your body absorb all possible nutrients is by dividing your meal into several smaller portions every day.

  1. Be careful about fish and seafood

Seafood is good if you are looking for nutrients without packing on the fat in them. But keep in mind that not every type of fish or seafood is advisable to eat when pregnant due to high levels of mercury contained in some. Keep in mind the following precautions during pregnancy:

  • Avoid tilefish, king mackerel, shark and swordfish.
  • Set a maximum limit of 12 ounces of cooked fish for every 7 days.
  • Eat no more than one plate of tune and limit albacore tuna to only once a week.

4.  Limit caffeine consumption

Excessive use of caffeine during pregnancy can result in anxiety, irritability, sleeping trouble and irregular heartbeats. Some scientists are of the opinion that caffeine can cause premature babies or even babies born with birth defects. Be mindful of these precautions during pregnancy:

  • Get rid of drinks and food items that contain caffeine, including chocolate and cocoa.
  • If you’re used to consuming a lot of caffeine, reduce your intake gradually. Cold turkey can result in fatigue, headaches and nausea. Don’t forget to discuss this in detail with your doctor.

Healthy Lifestyle

  1. Avoid tight clothes and high heels

In order to remain in good health, you have to allow breathing space for your body, and that can be done only by wearing loose fitting garments. The same goes for your feet – balancing a pregnant body on heels is restrictive to your feet and dangerous as you may trip and fall. It’s best to stick to flats.

  1. Increase sleeping hours

Your body undergoes a lot of changes during pregnancy, which means you begin experiencing discomforts that you’ve never had before. This is why it’s imperative that you sleep for at least 8 hours every night to ensure you’re not exhausted during the next day. Remember – you need to sleep for 2 now!

  1. Do not smoke

Smoking during pregnancy can cause babies being born under-weight, making them more susceptible to medical complications. In fact, studies reveal that even second-hand smoking can result in severe health complications for your baby and may even go as far as giving your child sudden infant death syndrome.

  1. Avoid alcohol consumption

Are you aware that drinking alcohol during pregnancy may result in the fetal alcohol syndrome of your baby? Children with this condition might:

  • Display problems in learning
  • Show slower growth
  • Have abnormal facial features

Since not much is known about the safest maximum limit of alcohol a pregnant woman can consume, to be on the safer side, pregnant women should avoid drinking any alcoholic beverages.

5. Regular exercise

You need to be active while you’re pregnant, otherwise your system may not function normally. Opt for exercises that won’t tire you, like walking or yoga for pregnant women. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Positions that make you do a backward bend or use your abdominal muscles should be avoided.
  • If you feel pain, immediately stop exercising.
  • Avoid sudden jerks by changing your position slowly. 
  • If you’re unwell, don’t exercise.
  • Avoid wearing slippery shoes when exercising.

Medications and Herbs

Precautions during pregnancy certainly concerns medications. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking any medicines or herbs while pregnant, because they may end up harming your baby. If you’re suffering from common illness, then try and resolve the issue with home treatments. Here are some common medicines that you need to avoid:

    • Baking soda for heartburn is a big no. Instead, soak some almonds in water and eat them.
    • Ibuprofen, acetaminophen and aspirin.
    • Diuretics and laxatives.

Sex

There’s no problem in having sex during pregnancy, just make sure you perform sex in positions most comfortable to you. However, if you have light bleeding during the first few weeks of pregnancy or have previously suffered a miscarriage, avoid having sex.

Travelling

Typically speaking, travelling is not a cause of concern for pregnant women, but do keep in mind the following precautions during pregnancy:

    • Travelling will make you feel motion sickness easily.
    • Avoid flying after your 7th month.
    • Carry water when travelling long distances and avoid cramping yourself in one position for too long.
    • Keep yourself updated about immunizations and their impact on your child if you’re travelling internationally.
 
 
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