women wants to make sure she does the best for her baby after birth,
but what can she do to help with having a healthy pregnancy?
7 Tips For A Healthy
It is always important to take whatever steps you can to be
healthy, but while you are pregnant it is even more important: not
only do you need to take good care of yourself, you are also
profoundly affecting the life of another person – your baby. Here's
7 tips to help you along the way.
1.If you smoke, one of the most important things you can do is to
stop smoking: babies born to mothers who smoke have a lower average
birth weight, are more likely to be born prematurely, and are at
greater risk of death from sudden infant death syndrome than babies
of non-smokers. Sometimes mothers feel having a low birth weight
baby could be an advantage as it will make the baby easy to deliver.
This is not necessarily the case, as it may lead to an emergency
delivery, which can result in all sorts of complications. Even if
you are already pregnant, stopping smoking will benefit the baby for
the rest of your pregnancy. It is not only the baby who benefits.
You are likely to suffer from less morning sickness, experience
fewer complications and have a more contented baby after the birth.
2. It is also important to pay attention to your diet. Many women
feel they should ‘eat for two’, but research has shown that women
only need an extra 200-300 calories a day while pregnant, and you
may be eating those extra calories anyway. What is important is to
ensure that you get the protein, vitamins and minerals necessary to
build another human being. Those extra 200-300 calories should not
be squandered on chocolate or crisps, but should be eaten as fruit,
vegetables, etc. It is also important to increase your water intake,
which will help avoid constipation.
3. It is generally a good idea to take a good quality
multivitamin and mineral supplement too. There are now ones
specially formulated for pregnant women. Ideally these should be
started before you become pregnant, so that you are in the best
shape possible for the pregnancy, and then continued throughout your
pregnancy. An adequate supply of vitamins and minerals is important
right from conception. For example, a deficiency of one of the B
vitamins, folic acid, in the first month of pregnancy may lead to
the baby being born with a cleft lip, congenital heart disease or
spina bifida. Omega-3 fatty acids (obtained by eating oily fish,
flaxseed oil, walnuts, spinach and spirulina, or taken as a
supplement) are important for the development of the baby’s eyes and
brain. Omega-3 also reduces the risk of premature birth and
4. Nobody knows how much alcohol it is safe to consume during
pregnancy, so many health experts feel it is better to avoid alcohol
entirely for the sake of the baby. This can seem hard on the
pregnant woman when everyone else is drinking, but it is important
to remember that alcohol is a poison for the growing baby, and no
caring mother willingly gives her baby poison.
5. Pregnancy is not a time to sit still. Although adequate rest
is vitally important, most experts believe that healthy pregnant
women should be taking 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day.
6. It is also important to minimise exposure
to toxic chemicals while pregnant, so spending a lot of time
the house and
laying new carpets is not a good idea, especially in the early
stages of pregnancy when the baby is particularly vulnerable.
7. Many women find pregnancy stressful, and this can be a
particularly good time to turn to safe, non-invasive options such as
Bach flower remedies, homeopathy, kinesiology and other therapies.
Making a new life is something miraculous. Doing the best you can
for that new life starts long before you have the baby in your arms
for the first time.
About The Author
Jane Thurnell-Read is an author and researcher on health,
allergies and stress. She has written two books for the general
public: "Allergy A to Z" and "Health Kinesiology". She also
maintains a web site http://www.healthandgoodness.com with tips,
inspiration and information for everyone who wants to live a
happier, healthier life.