If you are an expecting mother you can be overwhelmed by the number of instructions provided to you on your pregnancy. Not to forget the various myths that revolve around pregnancies. What to eat? What not to eat? Should I exercise? Can I travel during pregnancy? Should I consume seafood or avoid it? Are all the supplements necessary? Is caffeine bad for the baby? What kind of cheese is harmful? Am I supposed to eat for two?
You might have various such doubts revolving around your pregnancy. We have made a comprehensive list of the basic dos and don’ts that will guide you through your pregnancy.
The do’s of pregnancy:
Do take folic acid
Folic acid is an essential supplement to be taken during pregnancy. It reduces your baby’s risk of neural tube defects. You should ideally start taking folic acid supplements three months before conception. If realize about your pregnancy later, start taking the supplements after a consult with your gynecologist until the end of the first trimester.
Do get a daily dose of vitamin D
Vitamin D helps maintain your bones and at the same times is essential for the baby to develop healthy bones, teeth, and muscles. Taking a daily vitamin D supplement is even more critical if you get less sunlight if you stay inside a lot if you cover your skin for cultural reasons.
Do get zinc supplements
Your zinc requirement during pregnancy increases by 50 percent to 15 milligrams per day. Zinc deficiencies have been linked with congenital disabilities, restricted fetal growth, and premature delivery. Good sources of zinc are nuts, whole grains, and legumes, meat, and seafood.
Do include fiber in the diet
Fiber is particularly essential for you during your pregnancy..pregnancy hormones can make your bowel movements slow and sluggish. Fibers help in reducing constipation, a common pregnancy complaint that can lead to hemorrhoids. Consume fruits, green leafy vegetables, and whole grains.
Unless advised by your doctor, you should stay active throughout your pregnancy. The recommended amount of activity is 30 minutes a day five times a week for pregnant women. Daily activity reduces the chance of too much weight gain, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and varicose veins. It helps keep your muscles in action and prevents lower back pain.
Monitor your baby’s movements
The movement of the baby is a sign that they are well. They settle into a regular pattern at around week 24. Start monitoring this pattern and if you notice a reduction in movement seek help immediately.
Sleep on your side in the third trimester
Sleeping on your back in the third trimester increases the risk of stillbirth. If you go to sleep on your side, it will be safe for your baby.
Do remember your mental health
One in ten women suffers from psychological ill health when they are pregnant. Do not ignore it, if you are getting anxious and depressed at any time during your pregnancy. Consult your physician.
Do carry your pregnancy notes
It is recommended to carry your medical and pregnancy history if you are consulting a new physician. This is important if you need to go to the maternity unit on short notice.
Do travel but during the second trimester
The best time in pregnancy for overseas holidays in the middle of pregnancy, the second trimester. The risk of a miscarriage is higher in the first trimester. Traveling is not recommended in the third trimester. Long-distance travel carries a small risk of deep vein thrombosis, drink plenty of water and move around during the flight.
Also be aware of these symptoms,
Bleeding from the vagina
Sudden, sharp or continuing abdominal pain or cramps
A persistent or a severe headache
Sudden swelling of face, hands or legs
Blurred vision, spots in front of eyes
Itching throughout the body
Baby’s movements slowing down or changing
The don’ts of pregnancy:
The myth that you have to eat for two will increase your chances of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Eat in moderation and watch your weight. Your dietician will recommend the exact amount of weight you need to gain depending on your pre-pregnancy weight.
Smoking is a significant and major risk factor for all sorts of health problems for your baby. If you are an addict and have nicotine dependency, consider getting support.
Don’t drink alcohol
Drinking alcohol, especially in the first trimester when increases the chance of congenital deformities in the baby. You need to quit alcohol and seek help if you have a dependency.
Don’t take drugs
Cocaine, meta-amphetamines, cannabis, psychoactive substances are all likely to increase risks of health problems. Babies born to drug addict mothers also have drug dependencies and show withdrawal symptoms.
Don’t go for adventure sports
Excersing is safe during pregnancy, but adventure sports and a handful of activities can cause injury to the baby. Swimming, walking and other simple exercises can be practiced during pregnancy.
Don’t drink too much caffeine
Consuming high amount of caffeine during pregnancy increases the risk of low birth weight in babies, this can increase the risk of health problems in their later life. Too much caffeine also increases the chance of miscarriage.
Listeria infection is rare, but on contraction, it can severely harm your unborn baby. Dairy products that are more likely to carry listeria are mold-ripened soft cheese, such as Camembert or Brie, and soft blue‑veined cheese, pâté (even vegetable pâté), unpasteurized milk. There is no risk of listeria with cheese such as cheddar, parmesan, or with cottage cheese or processed cheese. But be careful while consuming cheese and always ask for the variety of cheese added to your meal.
Don’t eat raw or undercooked food
Avoid eating raw or undercooked eggs, or food containing them such as mayonnaise during pregnancy. Toxoplasmosis infection and salmonella infection can be contracted by eating raw and undercooked food. Also, avoid uncooked or undercooked ready‑prepared meals, raw or partially cooked meat, especially poultry. Unwashed vegetables and salad, cured or fermented beef should also be avoided. Avoid eating roadside food and do not consume ice made from tap water.
Don’t eat too much seafood
Kinds of seafood are often polluted with mercury and other toxins such as dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls.
Consuming seafood on a daily, or raw fish can increase the risk of overeating mercury and other substances which can harm your growing baby.
Don’t diet in pregnancy
Dieting in pregnancy and weight watching during pregnancy can be harmful to the development of the baby. Cutting out certain food groups can deprive your baby of nutrients they need for growth. Instead of dieting, it is best that you consume a healthy balanced diet.