If you have just found out you’re pregnant, you want to make sure you do all that you can to have a healthy baby. Here is Part 1 of our series on the first steps to take.
The first and most important thing to do is to schedule an appointment with a health care provider who specializes in pregnancies, such as an obstetrician or certified nurse-midwife.
Begin taking prenatal vitamins and minerals. Most women don’t get enough calcium, folic acid, and iron in their diets, so it is important to take supplements for you and your baby.
Eating healthy and nutritious food and drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day, as well as getting 8 to 9 hours of sleep a night help improve your chances of having a healthy baby.
If you drink alcohol, smoke tobacco or marijuana, or any other drugs it is imperative to quit immediately! They can harm the baby. As little as one drink a day can raise the odds of low birth weight as well as your child's risk of problems with learning, speech, attention span, language, and hyperactivity. No one knows exactly how harmful even the smallest amount of alcohol may be to a developing baby, so skip the booze altogether.
Let your prenatal caregiver know if you have any of these habits/addictions and need help to quit. They will have tools that can make it easier.
If you're experiencing any of the following symptoms, know that they are normal for the first stages of pregnancy.
Common pregnancy symptoms:
Some nausea/vomiting (morning sickness) usually over by 12 weeks
Fatigue/more tired than usual
More hungry/thirsty than usual
Bleeding gums when brushing teeth
Check out our blog next week for Part 2 which will include information on what to expect at your first prenatal appointment!
Enjoy the journey!
-LaWanda Williams, Client Services Director