PREGNANCY HEALTH

While considering your options, it’s important to take care of yourself. Your body is experiencing some big changes. Your health and your baby’s health are top priority.

pregnancy health

CHOOSING A DOCTOR

Feeling comfortable about your healthcare provider will help you feel more at ease throughout your pregnancy and on delivery day. Who you choose might be based on what kind of delivery you want. If you plan to deliver in a hospital or birthing center you will select an obstetrician. If you want to deliver at home or have a water birth, you’ll generally work with a midwife— although a midwife can practice in any setting. Another factor in your decision might rest on your insurance provider. Here are some considerations:

  • If you have a private insurance, they can direct you to an OB/GYN in your area.
  • You may be entitled to public assistance or insurance benefits during your pregnancy.
  • If you have chosen adoption and you do not qualify for assistance, the Adopting Parents will cover your medical expenses.

STAYING HEALTHY DURING YOUR PREGNANCY

What you take into your body is what the baby receives for nourishment. It is important to eat right for your baby’s growth and development. Healthy eating includes a well-balanced diet. This means eating a variety of foods and drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

Now, don’t worry about doing everything perfectly. Don’t panic if you give in to an occasional craving. There is a lot of conflicting information out there and choosing what and how to eat during pregnancy is a personal decision. The goal is to keep up good health habits over the course of your pregnancy.

Not only is it important to know what to eat, it is also important to know foods to avoid or limit.

AVOID

  • Cigarettes
  • Drugs
  • Unpasteurized foods — soft cheeses such as brie, feta and blue cheese, unless clearly marked they have been pasteurized or made with pasteurized milk
  • Raw fish — sushi, sashimi, raw oysters, scallops or clams
  • Fish that contain high levels of mercury — swordfish, shark, king mackerel, tilefish
  • Undercooked meat can cause food poisoning — make sure meats are fully cooked

LIMIT

  • Caffeine
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Very salty or fatty foods

MORNING SICKNESS

Many pregnant women experience morning sickness. Morning sickness is a feeling of nausea caused by an increase of hormones in the body.

Symptoms of morning sickness may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Food aversions
  • Enhanced sense of smell
  • Aversion to odors
  • Fatigue

If you’re experiencing morning sickness you might not feel like eating at all. However, it is important to eat to provide the nutrition your growing baby needs. Try eating foods in smaller amounts and avoid foods with strong odors which might trigger morning sickness.

Tricks to alleviate morning sickness:

  • Eat small meals throughout the day
  • Eat soda crackers before getting out of bed in the morning
  • Eat well when you feel like eating to get the nutrients you need
  • Try real ginger—ginger ale, ginger snaps, pickled ginger
  • Try peppermint – peppermint tea, peppermint candies
  • Drink water

If your morning sickness is severe, be sure to consult with your medical provider. They may be able to direct you to other foods you can eat, suggest some additional remedies or give you other supplements or medication to try.

Remember, morning sickness will not last forever. Typically morning sickness subsides around the start of the second trimester when hormones level out as the placenta starts taking over.

The goal is to keep up good health habits over the course of your pregnancy.

Exercise

Exercising during pregnancy has many benefits. Not only will you feel better, it can help you have a better labor and delivery as well as maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy. Do not exercise in extreme temperatures or attempt strenuous workouts. And if at any point you feel pain, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, stop exercising and talk to your doctor or other health care provider.

If you were exercising regularly before your pregnancy, you should be able to continue exercising in moderation. If you haven’t been exercising it’s not too late to start. Still, it is important to consult with your health care provider before starting an exercise program.

Many women also have questions about having sex while pregnant. Consult with your medical provider if you are experiencing pain or if you have specific questions.

Rest and Relaxation

During your pregnancy, rest and relaxation will be important. It is normal to have times of stress, but if you feel stressed every day you need to talk to your health care provider. Give yourself permission to rest and relax. Relaxing provides multiple health benefits for your baby just as diet and exercise do, and may aid in a better labor experience.

*This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Seek answers from a medical provider.