- Women's Health
Things to do to have a healthy pregnancy
Make sure you eat nutritiously at all times - Good nutrition during your pregnancy is vital. Children grow more rapidly during the prenatal period than at any other phase of development and during this time they depend totally on the mother for nutrients to support their growth. A healthy diet for the pregnant mother-to-be that results in a weight gain of 25 -30 pounds (or 11 -14 kg approximately) helps ensure the health of mother and baby.
Exercise regularly - In healthy, physically fit women, regular moderate exercise is related to increased birth weight. Moderate exercise suitable for pregnancy includes walking, swimming, biking and aerobics. On the other hand very frequent and vigorous exercise - working up a sweat four or more times a week - often brings out the opposite outcome - lower birth weight than in healthy, moderately exercising pregnant women.
Keep a positive frame of mind - Emotional upheaval isn't good for your baby so try to stay out of emotionally reactive situations as much as possible. Relax and make effort to stay positive. Create a relaxing, soothing environment for yourself.
Eating well during your pregnancy
Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables can help protect against heart disease, some cancers, and help maintain a healthy weight. It also helps reduce blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels and improve diabetes control. It is recommended adults eat at least 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetable every day.
What you should know about prenatal malnutrition
Prenatal malnutrition can cause serious damage to the central nervous system. Autopsies of malnourished babies who died at or shortly after birth reveal fewer brain cells and brain weight as much as 36% below average. The poorer the mother's diet, the greater the loss in brain weight, especially if malnutrition occurred during the last trimester. During that time, the brain is growing rapidly in size, and a maternal diet high in all the basic nutrients is necessary for it to reach its full potential. An inadequate diet during pregnancy can also distort the structure of other organs, including the pancreas, liver, and blood vessels, thereby increasing the risk of heart disease and diabetes in adulthood.
Pregnancy and exercise - is it right for you?
Should you exercise while pregnant?
Exercise - In healthy, physically fit women, regular moderate exercise such as walking swimming, biking, and aerobics, is related to increased birth weight. However, very frequent, vigorous exercise - working up a sweat four or more times a week - predicts the opposite outcome - lower birth weight than in healthy, non-exercising controls. During the last trimester, when the abdomen grows very large, mothers have difficulty moving freely and often must cut back on exercise. In most cases, a mother who hasremained fit during the earlier months is likely to experience fewer of the physical discomforts that arise at this time, such as back pain, upward pressure on the chest, and difficulty breathing. Pregnant women with health problems, such as circulatory difficulties or a history of miscarriage, should consult their doctor before beginning or continuing a physical fitness routine. For these mothers, exercise (especially the wrong kind) can endanger the pregnancy.