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Spring is High Time for Having a Baby: Prenatal Health Tips

Prenatal Health Tips

Spring is such a fantastic time of the year – there are flowers blooming, birds chirping, and the sunshine and rain birthing all sorts of new and wonderful blossoming plants.

Spring is so amazing that many parents feel that it’s the best season of the year to plan for a baby, as the time of year a baby is born can have an impact on your comfort, your child’s education, and many other things.

Here are some of the reasons why spring is a high time for having a baby:

  • When you’re pregnant, it isn’t sweltering outside and you can wear more comfortable clothes
  • The final trimester of your pregnancy will be in winter
  • The baby will be old enough to be taken outside during the summer
  • You will not have any worries about when your baby will start his/her school year

Below are some important prenatal health tips that you should also keep in mind when planning for a baby.

Prenatal Health Tips

Eat smart

Scientific research shows that a mother’s diet during pregnancy has lifelong implications for her baby. A prenatal diet high in fat or protein has been tied to chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Besides following a generally healthy diet of fresh vegetables and fruits, lean proteins and whole grains, eating fish twice a week (sardines, salmon and canned, mercury-safe tuna) will provide omega 3 fatty acids for your baby’s brain development.

Smiling parents kissing cute baby

What you should not eat

To protect you and your baby from parasitic infection (Listeriosis) or bacteria, ensure that all the cheese, milk, and juice in your diet is pasteurized. Do not eat hot dogs or meat from the deli counter unless they are thoroughly heated. Also avoid undercooked poultry, seafood, meat, and refrigerated, smoked seafood. If you have history of allergies, you should seek the advice of your doctor about the foods you should avoid during pregnancy.

Prenatal vitamins

Although most nutrients required during pregnancy should come from food, prenatal vitamin supplements do play an important role. Expectant mothers are often too busy to plan three nutrient-filled meals every day, and a vitamin supplement can provide the extra nutrition that the developing baby needs.

Take 400 micrograms of folic acid (it is a type of B vitamin) every day

If a woman has adequate amounts of folic acid in her body at least 1 month before and during pregnancy, it can help prevent major birth defects of the baby’s spine (spina bifida and anencephaly) and brain. You can boost your folic acid intake by taking supplements, eating fortified foods, or a combination of the two, in addition to adopting a diet rich in folate. Foods containing folic acid include green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans, and citrus fruits.

Take adequate amounts of calcium, iodine and iron

Calcium supplementation is important during pregnancy, because it helps prevent the expectant mother from losing her own bone density as her baby uses calcium for their own bone growth.

Iodine is vital for healthy function of the mother’s thyroid during pregnancy. A deficiency in iodine can cause severe mental disability, miscarriage, stillbirth, stunted physical growth and deafness.  Iron helps blood—in both the baby and mother—carry oxygen.

Make a note of weight gain

The amount of weight that you need to gain every month should be determined by your doctor. You should ensure that you follow the directions as too little or too much weight gain can be harmful to you and your unborn baby.

Avoid alcohol

Alcohol present in the bloodstream of the mother passes through the umbilical cord to the fetus. There is no known safe amount of alcohol use while trying to conceive or during pregnancy. All kinds of alcoholic beverages are equally harmful, including all beer and wine. Drinking alcohol while you are pregnant can cause stillbirth, miscarriage, and various lifelong intellectual, physical and behavioral disabilities. These disabilities can be classified as the fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). The best time to stop all alcohol consumption is when you start trying to conceive.

Avoid smoking cigarettes

The dangers of smoking during pregnancy can include certain birth defects (cleft palate or cleft lip), premature birth, and infant death.

Add Kegel and Squatting exercises to your exercise routine

Kegel exercises focus on the perineal and vaginal muscles. Kegel exercises will help you maintain good muscle tone and control in the perineal area, which can aid in delivery and recovery after birth. Squatting during labor may help open your pelvic outlet to help your baby descend during birth.

See your medical provider regularly throughout your pregnancy

You should keep and complete all prenatal care appointments and recommendations. You should also consult your medical provider about the best medication to take during pregnancy to treat the common pregnancy related discomforts such as: vertigo, headaches, nausea and constipation.

If you feel as if it’s time to plan for a beautiful baby, spring is certainly high time to begin doing so.  Take these tips into consideration as you move forward with this goal!

Image: Flickr

Dominica Applegate

Featured Guest Blogger:

Dominica Applegate is dedicated to the art of self-discovery and creative expression. Earning her BA in Psychology and MA in Counseling, she worked in the mental health field for 12 years before starting her own business. A sought-after author and freelance writer, her work is ultimately about helping people remove blocks that keep them stuck and unleashing massive happiness and potential.

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Max March 18, 2015