Prenatal care is a very important step that moms should do to take good care of their unborn baby. Prenatal care is a preventive healthcare throughout the pregnancy that encourages a healthy lifestyle for mom and baby’s benefit.
At this stage, expectant mothers should be very careful of their health. Thus, if you have a bun in the oven you should be mindful of your weight, eating habits and activities to deliver a healthy baby. Child care is a very important matter for moms and dads, that’s why some wish to purchase a baby heartbeat monitor to help them check their baby from time to time because it gives them peace of mind.
However, you should not rely your baby’s condition on any sort of device without the guidance of a professional. You can risk your baby’s health condition by doing so. Aside from regular checkups, moms should take good care of their health. Here are some tips to help you take care of your unborn child.
#1 Prenatal Care
Once you find out that you are pregnant, you should schedule a visit to your health care provider to begin prenatal care. Prenatal visits to your health care include a physical exam, weight checks, and urine sampling. It also includes a blood test and imaging test or ultrasound exams.
Urine and blood tests are usually taken during the first visit and again on your later visits. Urine tests aimed to check for bacteria, sugar levels, and protein levels. Blood tests are performed to check low iron levels, blood type, blood cell count or infectious diseases like syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis.
With a regular prenatal care, expectant moms can reduce the risk of pregnancy complications and the unborn child’s risk for complications. In this way, pregnant moms can also ensure themselves from the medications they are taking if its safe or not.
#2 Take care of your health
Although you do regular prenatal visits, taking care of yourself is a personal choice. You have to monitor what you eat, maintain a healthy weight, take vitamins and engage in exercises or activities that can potentially make your delivery easier. Read the details below.
Eat a balanced diet – One of the best things a mom can do to herself and the baby is to eat a balanced diet. So, if you are expecting, you should be more cautious in every food you take. For instance, you can eat fish but not more than 2 or 3 serving per week. Also, shark, swordfish king mackerel or tilefish are a big no-no. These fishes have high levels of mercury that can potentially harm your child. You can drink coffee or any caffeinated products, but limit it to only 1 or 2 cups a day. Artificial sweeteners are fine, but should be taken with moderation. It is recommended that you eat more fruits and vegetables. You can also eat 4 or more servings of dairy food daily. For other concerns about your diet, we recommend that you talk with your doctor or dietician.
Take Vitamins – It is recommended that you take at least 400 micrograms of follic acid during your pregnancy. This B Vitamin can help prevent problems with your baby’s brain and spinal cord.
Be Careful with Medicines – Now that you are pregnant, you can’t simply take any medicine that way you did before. If you are considering to take pain relievers or over-the-counter medicines better check with your doctors first. There are medicines that you can buy without a prescription but can cause birth defects, especially when taken during the first trimester of your pregnancy.
Get Enough Seep – Pregnancy is a challenging and blissful experience. However, as your body changes, the pregnancy discomfort may make it more difficult for you to stay and fall asleep. Thus, Kathy Lee, a professor of nursing at the University of California, San Francisco recommend that you spend eight hours in bed, so you have at least seven hours of sleep.
Keep Active -Just because you have a baby on your tummy doesn’t mean that you have to stop working or moving. In fact, you still need to get a regular exercise. By doing an exercise you can help yourself ease the discomfort that may arise during your pregnancy and this may also help you enjoy a better sleep. Aim for at least 30-minute of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise. You can also discuss your planned activity or exercise with your physician. Some women claim that exercising makes their labor and delivery easier. It also helps them ease pregnancy discomfort. Thus, as an expectant mom, you have every reason to keep moving.
#3 Avoid Unhealthy activities
Since you have an unborn baby to take care of, it is necessary that you avoid risky activities in all you do, which may include the following:
Smoke – This raises your risk of miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight and several other problems. In fact, as soon-to-be-mom you are also advised to keep yourself away from second hand smoke.
Drugs – Avoid drugs, including cocaine, heroin, marijuana and other similar elements as this can increase your risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and birth defects. This may also result in addiction to your baby, which will cause serious health problems.
Alcohol – Drinking alcohol is the number one cause of preventable birth defects including fetal alcohol disorder. So if you love alcohol discipline yourself and take a break from this drink.
Keep yourself away from toxic substances – It is recommended that you avoid harmful substances, including chemicals or cat and rodents’ feces. You should also stay away from insecticides, solvents, lead, mercury and paint.
Don’t eat under cook meat – Also, avoid eating undercooked red meat. By doing so, you could get toxoplasmosis, a disease that can cause birth defects.
Do not take a hot bath and avoid saunas – Hot baths during pregnancy raises a woman’s core temperature, which can increase your heart rate. As a result, this will cause stress to the baby because it reduces their blood flow. During the early pregnancy, a hot bath is associated with miscarriage or birth defects.
Taking care of your unborn child takes a lot of discipline and patience. As a mom, you have to be more responsible and wiser in all of your choices. From the food you take to the activities you will participate. You can do these activities alongside listening to your baby’s heartbeat through a fetal Doppler. However, it is recommended that you work with a professional or contact your doctor immediately for any pregnancy concern and do not just depend on what you hear from the baby heartbeat monitor. Others claim that fetal Dopplers give them peace of mind, but you can’t leave your child’s safety to chances. So if you feel that something is wrong, visit your doctor immediately. Remember that the professional’s words are more reliable than your home prenatal device, especially if you’re not an expert in using it.