15 Top Pregnancy Care Tips

Pregnancy care tips are practical and essential pieces of health information on pregnancy, which you can use to increase your chances of having a healthy course of conception and baby.

Pregnancy is a very unique and precious journey for every lucky lady who has        gone through it.

Whether yours is a planned or unplanned pregnancy, there are few things for you to consider.

This article is divided into...

  • Preconception preparations
  • Prenatal vitamins
  • Taking care of your current medical conditions... and medications
  • Home Pregnancy Test.... and Conception
  • Pregnancy calculator
  • Symptoms and signs of early pregnancy
  • Hand  and Food Hygiene 
  • Healthy Pregnancy Diet
  • Pregnancy exercises
  • Pregnancy pains and discomfort
  • Weight management
  • Yoga 
  • Alcohol , Smoking , Caffeine use

1)  Preconception Preparation- Pregnancy Care Tips

Planning for pregnancy involves a lot things like getting ready physically, emotionally and financially.

Both partners must discuss fully, and be ready to take this major responsibility... even more, if you are planning to be a single parent. This is a lifetime commitment.

 For most ladies this entails... among others...

  • Stopping of contraception
  • The use of prenatal vitamins like folic acid 
  • Discussion and preparation with your own doctor
  • Getting in good preconception physical shape
  • Stopping smoking
  • Stopping the use of alcohol...
  • Eliminating home and work chemicals and/ or hazards
  • Eating healthy nutritious meals.

2)  Pregnancy Care Tips for Prenatal Vitamins

Prenatal Vitamins are supplements used to support your diet and nutrition.           They are not meant to replace healthy nutritious meals. Sometimes in early           pregnancy, some pregnant ladies has nausea and vomiting and appetite is poor.

What prenatal vitamins do, for your body is to replenish it with lost vitamins, iron, calcium and other elements and to meet the growing needs of expectant mothers.

What prenatal vitamins do for your unborn baby, is provide the essential vitamins needed for development and growth.

The best questions to ask is, "What prenatal vitamins do I need ?.., Since everyone is unique and different, this is the question you should ask your doctor and healthcare professionals... they will be more than happy to help you, with all the necessary pregnancy advice, with care tips and information.

Most importantly, your healthcare provider will be able to suggest the best prenatal vitamins with DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)... these prenatal vitamins with DHA helps the baby development, while in the womb, with vision and proper brain development.

A study published in The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition-- Feb 2013, suggests that, DHA Supplementation during pregnancy may Lower the Risk of Premature Birth... of course, further research in this area is needed.             

         

It is best when it contains...

  • Iron ... to prevent anemia
  • Calcium for proper baby growth, also bone and teeth development

Vitamin D helps your body to absorb calcium, will also help, in blood pressure control.

3)  Taking Care of Your Existing or Current Medical Condition

Discuss fully with your doctor and get your existing medical conditions under control, this may include...

  • Anemia
  • Diabetes
  • Migraines
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Lupus
  • Asthma
  • Seizures  /  Epilepsy
  • Hypertension 

You and your doctor will decide which medications are SAFE to take pre conception and during pregnancy. Take all your medications as prescribed and report any side effects to your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

4)  Pregnancy Care Tips for Chemicals at Work, and at Home


 Be aware of the chemicals and other environmental hazards around you.

  • Be careful, in the use of chemical cleaning solutions, ensure good air           ventilation at home
  • Get other people to do your wall paintings, to avoid chemicals in the paint and aerosols.
  • Avoid emptying "cat litter" to prevent the parasite of Toxoplasmosis
  • If visiting hospital or need to have X Rays done, please let the X Ray Technician know... that you are pregnant... they generally ask anyway...
  • Some occupations, can expose you to toxic chemicals like the beauticians who handles nail polish removals all day... nurses working in the hospitals handling potentially dangerous materials such as "chemo drugs", that can be harmful to them and their unborn child(ren) in the womb.

5)  Home Pregnancy Test


If you have taken one of those Home Pregnancy Tests... and it is POSITIVE... congratulations

 A lot of activities and development are underway inside your body now....


Early home pregnancy test is used mainly, when...

  • there is missed or late period
  • and when pregnancy is suspected and / or expected.... when ladies ask themselves...could I be pregnant or Am I pregnant?

 This test is obviously done in the privacy of your own home.

In most cases, the exact date of conception is not known until several days or weeks after...!!! This is one of the reasons to start taking Folic Acid in preparation for conception

Keep in mind, you still have a few more tests to confirm whether you are truly pregnant.

These tests include

  • Blood Pregnancy Test ... this test, may actually tell you, how many weeks pregnant you are...
  • Ultrasound for Pregnancy... which will tell you, how many weeks and days ...pregnant you are...By the way, you will have different types of ultrasound for pregnancy at different stages of your conception

As soon as your conception is properly confirmed, your maternity care begins. It is of major importance to keep all your prenatal / antenatal care visits and appointments as arranged, with your doctor, midwife, or healthcare provider.

She or He will perform a host of other Prenatal tests, including checking your...

  • Height
  • Weight at every appointment day
  • Blood pressure to check for hypertension during pregnancy
  • Urine tests ... to check for sugar (glucose), blood, or protein in the urine.

6)  Pregnancy Calculator

Pregnancy calculator is used to calculate, from the last date of your menstrual period, to the "due date" or the expected day of delivery, but keep in mind, as highlighted above...your qualified pregnancy doctor, midwife, or healthcare provider, will generally rely on the most reliable use of blood tests and specific ultrasound for pregnancy.

7)  Symptoms and early Signs of Pregnancy

Symptoms and early signs of pregnancy varies from one individual to the other, but this may include:

  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Tiredness
  • Abdominal cramps or bloating
  • Sore breasts and / or  fullness
  • Light vaginal spotting during early pregnancy
  • Fatigue
  • Increased vaginal secretions.

8)  Food Hygiene and Hand Washing

Practice food safety and hygiene.  Wash your hands, before any food preparation and after.


Take time to wash your fruits and vegetables, under running water if possible, before preparation. This will decrease your chances of food borne illnesses

9)  Diet in Pregnancy Care Tips

Diet in pregnancy care tips for healthy eating...keep in mind, this is when you eat nutritious healthy meals.

Have at least three meals a day, and several healthy snacks in between

Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, at least seven servings a day
           
It is best to eat fresh produce, instead of canned ones.


Eat small frequent meals


Know what foods to avoid, during pregnancy

Do not follow the advice that, you are "eating for two" and gain unhealthy weight...
Work with your healthcare provider to use nutrient dense food items ... that are
easily available in your area, which will supply all the necessary proteins, vitamins,
elements for you and your growing baby.

Oral hygiene and dental care is also very important....

Avoid junk food

10)   Pregnancy Care Tips Regarding... Exercises

Pregnancy exercises refer to all the activities, safe and suitable for a pregnant lady.

If you have been active pre pregnancy, there is no reason not to remain active. Please discuss with your doctor and care givers, about what kind of exercise is safe for you.

Dancing is a form of physical activity. We are talking about regular low rhythm dance, no jumping, or sudden movements or twirls....

It is best to use the physical activities with low risks of injury, like walking and
swimming.

Use flat comfortable shoes, free and less restricting clothing, well fitted maternity bra, during your physical activities or exercises.


          Pregnancy exercises and good diet.... will help you:

  • With weight control
  • exercising while pregnant will improve your circulation
  • Make your joints supple and eases some body aches
  • with proper sleep
  • prevent  varicose veins, and constipation while pregnant
  • recover as fast as possible after delivery

Take the time to drink lots of fluids... if you do not have any fluid restriction

If you have history of Pre eclampsia or diagnosed heart disease ... please get proper approval and instructions from your doctor.

11)   Pains and discomfort.

Pregnancy pains are in different forms, from heartburn, abdominal, back and head pains.

Discuss your pain or discomfort with your doctor, and do not self-administer any over the counter medication without letting her or him know.

Heartburn is partly caused by the growing baby putting pressure on the stomach. It can be resolved with small frequent meals. Drink lots of water. Avoid alcohol or caffeine and greasy foods.

Sore back.... practice proper posture to support your back. Elevate your legs on a stool or pillow while sitting.

Breasts can also be sore due to... a) hormonal changes    b) because of the increase in size for milk production. You can buy the best support maternity bras you can find.

Do not stand in one position for too long.

Use support pregnancy pillow, while in bed to align your legs or get a comfortable position

For stress incontinence... practice Kegel Exercises... this will help you strengthen your pelvic ligaments and muscles. This exercise also help prepare your body for delivery

12)  Yoga for Pregnancy

Yoga for pregnancy may be an option you discuss with your doctor

Safe and comfortable, physical activities when combined with Yoga under supervision can be a good thing.

Yoga for pregnant women may include, stretching and other low impact activities.

An essential pregnancy tip to keep in mind, is that Yoga, involve different breathing exercises, good for stress relieve, blood pressure control and useful practice in preparation for labor

You can buy your own Pregnancy Yoga DVD, and or borrow one from your local library or from a friend.

Enquire about Pregnancy Yoga Classes in the area where you live. There are some Yoga instructors that specializes in prenatal and postnatal yoga.

Once again, ensure your participation in Yoga is approved by your qualified medical doctor, midwife or healthcare professional.

13)   Pregnancy Care Tips Regarding Weight Control

Your doctor will surely keep an eye on your weight, but you also have to be careful of what you eat.

Work with your care providers on a sensible way to achieve and maintain a healthy weight throughout your pregnancy. Follow their advice, professional health information and tips.

Excessive weight is dangerous to your health and the unborn child(ren), but it is also very difficult to lose after delivery.

Severely overweight pregnant ladies are at the risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, pre-eclampsia etc.

Research has shown an average of 25   to   40 pounds (12.5  to 18 kg) weight gain during pregnancy, depending on your preconception body mass index (BMI). 

You will be weighed at each antenatal / prenatal care appointment. Use the opportunity of the appointments to enquire from your caregivers all your options to keep within  acceptable limits.

14)   Alcohol, Caffeine and Smoking.

 Alcohol

The harmful effects of alcohol, during conception, has been extensively documented.

If you are trying to conceive or you are pregnant already. Please stop alcohol.

Scientists has not been able to determine a safe alcohol limit during pregnancy.

Drinking alcohol while pregnant increases your risk of having a baby with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome  and / or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).... which is a big term for a lot of different... permanent birth defects... of mental , physical and emotional disorders....   so avoid alcohol during pregnancy.

 Caffeine

The exact effects of caffeine on a developing fetus is very inconclusive, despite numerous studies and research.

There are so many conflicting recommendations.

What is clear though, is that, caffeine acts like a diuretic... making you to urinate a lot, depleting you, of some of the important elements like calcium.

If it is not a bother, stick with ordinary water to keep yourself well hydrated, and drinking a lot of water, may even prevent constipation.

15)       Smoking


Smoking exposes your unborn child(ren) to over 3000 useless and harmful chemicals....!!!

When you smoke or expose your pregnancy to smoke.... you are reducing the amount of nutrients and OXYGEN to your baby in the womb... a very important pregnancy care tip to remember...

This can lead to premature birth, or babies with low birth weight. These can lead to lifelong problems.

This is the general overview of the Pregnancy Care Tips, obviously, not everything can be covered in one article.

If you have enjoyed and benefited from this article, please share it with your friends and others with your "tweet" or on your "Facebook"... there is an easy link in the Social Box below... also read the related topics below...

RELATED ARTICLES

             Hypertension and Pregnancy Care

             Gestational Hypertension

             Eclampsia

             HELLP Syndrome