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Category:  Health
Related Links | Healthy Living | Stress | Emotional Well-being | Cutting Medical Costs |

How To Have A Healthy Pregnancy

By Gen Mason

In order to have a healthy pregnancy, a number of factors must be taken into consideration. Healthy pregnancies start with healthy people. Before making the decision to be parents, couples should be agreed upon the decision and be planning ahead.

With careful preparation, not only will you be healthier, but your baby will get a better start in life. The parents, not just the mother, should eat nutritious foods, eliminate the use of any harmful substances such as alcohol and tobacco, begin an exercise program, control weight, and address potential concerns such as a family history of diabetes or lupus. If x-rays or other medical tests such as a pap smear, an Rh-factor test, or a mammogram are needed, they should be completed before conception. You should also consult with your doctor regarding needed medications which you are taking and whether doses should be eliminated or diminished.

Before attempting to conceive, the woman should refrain from using oral contraceptives for at least 2-3 months in order for the effects of the hormones to leave the body. During the interim, alternative birth control methods can be used.

During pregnancy, the mother-to-be, in particular, should pay close attention to both her body and her mind. Each is important in maintaining a healthy pregnancy.

The Body

1. Diet and nutrition – Complete and healthy diet suggestions which meet or exceed all the nutritional guidelines established for pregnant women of your height and weight can be found from many book, magazine or internet sources. Your medical professional may also distribute brochures or informational pamphlets on the subject. Refrain from all harmful substances such as alcohol, tobacco and drugs. Particularly during the first trimester when morning sickness may be a factor, it may be difficult to maintain proper nutrition. Maintain a healthy habit of drinking at least 8 ounces of water each day.

2. Rest – Maintain a schedule which allows for period of rest and relaxation, perhaps while pursuing other activities such as reading. Any exercise or activities which were normal before pregnancy can be continued on the advice of your medical professional.

3. Medical care – Regular visits with your doctor are vital. Not only are they an opportunity for prospective parents to ask questions, but for the doctor, nurse or midwife to make trained observations about the course of the pregnancy. If the fetus growing at a normal rate? Is the mother’s weight and general health satisfactory?

4. Clothing and footwear -- As the body changes shape and proportions, it’s important to be aware of posture. Sometimes swelling of the feet can result in shoes no longer fitting properly. The mother should be wearing comfortable, properly fitted shoes and may want to consider setting aside temporarily any shoes which will affect the center of balance. Tripping and falling is not healthy for either mother or baby. Clothing should be comfortable and non-constrictive. There are many attractive and fashionable clothing designs which help the pregnant woman feel good about how she looks during the pregnancy.

The Mind

1. Cheerful spirit – Parents who are generally cheerful and maintain a happy outlook on life tend to be healthier than those who are pessimistic, angry or bitter.

2. Rest and relaxation – Both the body and the mind are revitalized by periods of rest and relaxation. If the parents enjoy listening to music, that’s an activity they can continue throughout the pregnancy. If the sound of waves or waterfalls is soothing, go for a walk on the seashore or buy a CD of waterfall or forest noises.

3. Planning and anticipation – Looking forward to the event can do much to help maintain a healthy pregnancy. Preparing the nursery, attending childbirth classes, picking out names—all these activities contribute to a happy and content mother.

Gen Mason is a loving mother of 2 beautiful children. To learn about losing weight during and after pregnancy go to Pregnancy Without Pounds


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