1. Start Your Prenatal Visits Immediately
During your very first prenatal visit, you will be screened for many of the most common medical issues that could complicate your pregnancy. Catching these issues as early as possible is vital to a healthy pregnancy and will give you time to start making lifestyle changes.
2. Improve Your Diet
Even women that have a relatively healthy diet might have to take a look at exactly what they are eating and how it will affect their pregnancy and their baby. The average woman only needs 300 additional calories per day for the first few months, but they also need nearly double the protein to keep the growing fetus healthy.
3. Begin Taking Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins and traditional multivitamins are relatively similar with large quantities of vitamins A through D. What sets prenatal vitamins apart is the fact that they are also packed with folic acid and iron which are essential nutrients during a pregnancy.
4. Find a Fun Exercise Program
It is an unfortunate fact that many pregnant women stop exercising altogether, and this can lead to some serious complications down the road. Around 150 minutes of light exercise per week will help pregnant women with a variety of issues including common aches and pains.
5. Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule
The reason that many women feel fatigued in their first trimester is because they are not used to the changes taking place inside their body. Most specialists suggest that pregnant women try to take at least one short nap a day or simply raise their feet and relax for 30 minute periods.
6. Stay Away From Alcohol
Every single thing that you ingest will get to your baby, and this means that there is no safe amount of alcohol to drink. Studies have shown that even one drink a day will increase a mother’s risk of birthing an underweight baby, and this can lead to serious medical complications for the child.
7. Say No to Illicit Drugs
Both illicit and prescription medication can have a serious impact on the child’s health. Any mothers that are struggling with substance abuse should speak with their doctor immediately about finding help from a specialist.
8. Give Up Tobacco
Women that smoke while pregnant will put an incredible amount of strain on their own body and increase their risk of a variety of serious problems. This includes their risk of a miscarriage, low birth weight, premature birth, and placental abruption.
9. Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
There are two reasons that you should reduce your daily caffeine intake to less than 200 mg per day. The first reason is that caffeine makes it harder for your body to absorb iron. Studies have also shown that women who consume more than 200 mg per day increase their risk of premature births.
10. Remove Environmental Dangers
Every pregnant woman should take some time to find and remove environmental dangers that they come into contact with. Some of the most common environmental dangers include toxins in the workplace and unsafe cleaning products at home.
11. Don’t Skip Dental Appointments
Changes to your hormones are going to have a big impact on your oral health, and it is important that you schedule at least one dental appointment during your pregnancy. Pregnant women have higher rates of tender, bleeding, and swollen gums (gingivitis).
12. Protect Your Mental and Emotional Health
Finally, you will also want to be mindful of your mental and emotional health during your pregnancy. If you ever feel completely overwhelmed or have long periods of depression, then it is important to seek out a counselor or caregiver to share your feelings.