Pregnancy And Your Health

Written by Beth Marlin Lichter
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Now that your pregnancy has been confirmed, it’s time to swing into action, in order to insure as healthy a gestation period as possible. Your body is undergoing daily changes and challenges and you are now responsible for the safety and well-being of two people. This is the time to be thoughtful about a healthy lifestyle and proper medical attention.

Choosing a medical professional who can provide you with good prenatal care is very important. Prenatal vitamins should be prescribed immediately, which include folic acid, a necessary ingredient in the extra production of blood. Folic acid, a B vitamin, helps prevent neural tube deformities such as spina bifida. Four hundred micrograms daily is the recommended dose. Regular exams to track the progress of your pregnancy should be scheduled, during which problems and concerns can be addressed, and questions answered.

Many women complain about fatigue during pregnancy and find it difficult to get through the day without resting and/or napping. Is there a couch in the workplace where you can lie down at lunchtime and put your feet up? Any changes in your schedule to accommodate the enormous task the body has embarked upon, should be considered. Dragging yourself through the day, exhausted, is not good for you. Build in more time to rest and sleep. However, getting proper rest does not mean giving up exercise. It is important to continue moving the body. How about a pregnancy yoga class or periodic walks throughout the day?

Of course, a well-balanced diet, rich in nutrients contained in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats and fish, is ideal. Cut out empty, fatty calories found in junk foods, and try to be disciplined about sugar intake. Health risks increase, when a woman gains too much weight during pregnancy. Smoking should be cut out altogether, as it can lead to low birth weight babies and other problems. Likewise, an occasional glass of wine is acceptable, but regular consumption of alcohol is inadvisable.

If you use this time to develop healthier habits, both you and your baby will benefit. Most importantly, become attuned to what your body is telling you and use common sense. Before you know it, you and your trusted medical practitioner will be celebrating the miraculous arrival of the child who grew inside your belly.

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