Once you know that you are pregnant, it is important that you begin to special care of yourself, in order to ensure that you and your baby will stay as healthy as possible. Taking care during pregnancy can help you to cope physically and emotionally during this time and can increase your chances of having a healthy and happy baby.
The first step to taking care during pregnancy is to arrange good prenatal care. As soon as you find out that you are pregnant, you should begin to arrange prenatal medical care. Medical experts will help to provide you with the medical support you need and they will be able to help to answer any major questions that you have about pregnancy. Good healthcare providers will also be able to screen you for certain conditions which are known to lead to complications. Knowing about the risk of these potential complications can help you to adapt your behavior to lessen those risks.
Watching what you eat is an important stage of taking care during pregnancy. As well as needing more energy during pregnancy (only about 300 calories) you also need to be more considerate about what you eat, because your growing baby will be taking its nourishment from you. For example, you are recommended to consume about a 55% more protein when you are pregnant. You also need to be careful to avoid certain foods which can put your baby at risk. Raw meat and seafood should be avoided, as should undercooked eggs. Certain cheeses, such as those which contain mould or unpasteurized dairy products should be avoided too, as they may contain bacteria which could cause a miscarriage. You may want to discuss taking prenatal supplements with your prenatal care provider. These supplements can provide you with the extra vitamins and minerals which are required, but if you do decide to take supplements, it is essential that you follow the instructions on the packet. It is possible to overdose on supplements, and an abundance of certain vitamins may harm you or your baby. You should only take supplements which are specifically designated as prenatal or for pregnant women.
Whilst it is important to exercise regularly, it is also important to get a good amount of rest as well. Gentle exercises such as walking, swimming and prenatal yoga are excellent ways of taking care during pregnancy. These exercises help to build up strength and endurance, whilst building the core muscles. Avoid strenuous exercise and do not let yourself get dehydrated or overheated. Take time to rest because your baby will be able to feel when you are stressed and anxious. If you are struggling to sleep, do another calming, peaceful activity, such as reading a book.
Remember that anything that goes into you will also be felt by your baby, so give up on your bad habits such as alcohol, smoking, caffeine or any other type of drug. Taking care during pregnancy can mean giving up the things which you enjoy for the sake of your unborn child.