You are bringing a baby into the world and will naturally, want to ensure you are creating the best environment to nurture your growing baby.
Here are the do’s and don’ts you need to know for a healthy and happy pregnancy:
There are certain nutrients that pregnant mothers need more of but are not getting sufficiently from their diets. These include folic acid, calcium, and iron.
Folic acid is needed for the healthy development of the baby’s nervous system and blood cells. It also helps to reduce the chances of certain birth defects such as spina bifida, anencephaly, spinal cord defects, or brain defects. It is recommended that you take a multivitamin that contains folate for at least the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy.
Many multivitamins also include omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) that aid the brain development of your baby. Vitamin D can facilitate the development of their teeth, muscles, and bones, while also regulating your phosphate and calcium levels to improve your bone health.
Your gynaecologist will be able to recommend an appropriate multivitamin to suit your needs. Follow the instructions as higher doses of certain vitamins can be harmful.
Your body is undergoing a lot of changes and you may feel more tired during your pregnancy especially as you get into the final trimester. Anticipation and anxiety, coupled with the development of your baby and hormone level changes can all contribute to fatigue.
Ensure you get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night and take frequent naps whenever you have the time for it. If you are working, try to get some rest during lunchtime.
It is recommended that you get 30 minutes of exercise 4 times a week. Exercising regularly helps you to bring up your energy levels, manage the emotional and hormonal changes you are going through, and prevent excessive weight gain.
If you exercised regularly before pregnancy, you can continue to do so but do not be afraid to slow down if you are not feeling well. Even if you did not exercise before pregnancy, you can ask your doctor for recommendations on new exercise regimens suitable to do during pregnancy.
Traditionally, some people believe that dental cleaning is harmful to pregnant women. However, it is actually safe to visit the dentist for regular check-ups while you are pregnant.
Your gums and teeth may undergo some changes during pregnancy due to changes in your hormone levels, possibly leading to gingivitis and periodontal disease. Periodontal disease has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
Going for dental cleaning can decrease the amount of bacteria in your mouth and help prevent infections. However, you may want to let your dentist know you are pregnant and avoid any cosmetic procedures for the term of your pregnancy.
Smoking can lead to a higher risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and premature placenta separation.
It can also be harmful to your baby with a higher risk of birth defects such as cleft palates, Sudden Infant Death syndrome, low birth weight, and issues with intellectual development. Your baby may also be more likely to start smoking early in life due to nicotine addiction.
While there has been less research on the effect of second-hand smoke on pregnant women and babies, babies from mothers who were exposed to second-hand smoke may still be at higher risk compared to those from mothers who were not exposed.
Drinking alcohol, especially in the first three months of pregnancy, can cause problems with the baby’s nervous system, abnormal growth, and even abnormal facial features. It has been linked to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders where babies have intellectual and behavioral disabilities such as delays in speech and language, learning disabilities, poor memory and coordination, congenital malformations, vision & hearing issues, and problems with the bones, heart, or kidney.
It can also lead to a higher risk of miscarriage and stillbirth.
It might be tempting to drink more coffee especially if you feel more tired in the first trimester of your pregnancy. However, excessive caffeine consumption can increase the risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, and premature delivery.
Caffeine can pass into the placenta through your bloodstream and affect the heart rate of your baby. If you must have your coffee, the maximum you can go is two cups per day. This also includes drinks that contain caffeine such as soda drinks or caffeinated tea.
Avoid going on a diet during your pregnancy as your baby may not have sufficient nutrients to develop healthily. Focus on having a balanced diet instead.
Get enough sleep, exercise, eat a healthy diet, and take vitamins and supplements for a smooth pregnancy and a healthy baby. On the other hand, you should avoid smoking, drinking, excessive caffeine, or going on a diet as they can lead to increased risks of miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, or birth defects.
It might be difficult to stick to these do’s and don’ts for the entire term of your pregnancy but it will all be worth it when you hold a healthy baby in your arms!
Established in 2011, Singapore O&G Ltd (SOG) was formed with the vision of creating a specialist medical and surgical group catering to the healthcare needs of the modern woman, her children and her family. With clinics strategically located throughout Singapore, we give women and children easy access to high-quality, trusted healthcare services with a personal touch.
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