Becoming a mother might be the most exhilarating experience in the entire world. The anticipation of looking at your baby’s beautiful face for the first time dismisses all the hardships you face during the nine-month pregnancy period.
Whether it is eating certain foods, avoiding certain activities, or limiting their life, a mother is ready to do all it takes to keep their unborn child healthy.
As the baby grows inside the womb, a mother starts to feel increased discomfort. Difficulty sleeping, eating, walking, heartburn, and frequent urination are just a few of a long list of problems a mother might face. Still, their priority remains the health and safety of their child.
If you are a first-time mother constantly fretting about the safety of your unborn child, here are some tips for ensuring your unborn baby’s health.
- Avoid alcohol
Alcohol is the leading cause of birth abnormalities in babies. Alcohol reaches your baby’s blood through the placenta. If you drink during pregnancy, the alcohol concentration in your and your baby’s blood will be approximately the same.
When it comes to alcohol intake during the gestation period, there is no safe limit. Also, there is no safe type of alcohol; all types of liquor, whether wine or beer, is bad for the unborn baby and the mother.
Alcohol consumption leads to low birth weight, premature birth, and developmental and behavioral problems in the baby. When the baby does not develop adequately, there is a high chance that its weak body won’t be able to bear the pressure of birth. Therefore, if mothers are not careful during pregnancy, their baby can suffer a birth injury.
When a birth injury happens due to medical negligence, you are eligible to get legal assistance from reputable institutions. Birth Injury Justice Center is one of those reputable organizations that help their clients seek justice. They listen to their client’s grievances and help them determine the next step.
But if your negligence causes birth injury in your baby, you won’t be eligible for legal help. And your baby will have to live with an abnormality their entire life. Therefore, make sure to stop alcohol before you even conceive the baby. It takes approximately one month to six weeks to detect pregnancy, so it is better to quit alcohol when you stop taking birth control pills.
- Quit smoking
Tobacco is another foreign element that is bad for your baby’s development. Smoking leads to stillbirth, cleft lip, preterm labor, intrauterine growth restriction, and tremors, to name a few. If you want to keep your unborn baby safe from the detrimental effects of smoking, quit the habit before getting pregnant. When you quit early, your body gets enough chance to eliminate the toxins and their adverse effects. When you eventually conceive, your body is ready to undergo the baby’s development process.
Nicotine in cigarettes can affect your baby’s brain and lung development. The nicotine concentration is more in the fetus’ blood than in the blood of a gestational mother. Therefore, the more you smoke, the greater the perils of intrauterine growth restriction.
- Stay away from sick people
During pregnancy, your body is weaker and more prone to disease attacks. The diseases and infections a mother suffers from also affect the developing baby. Infections often travel from a sick person to a healthy person. You can keep yourself and your unborn baby healthy and safe by maintaining distance from unhealthy and sick people.
If staying near sick people is absolutely necessary, always wash your hands after paying a visit. Your hands are the easiest medium for germs to travel to your body and harm you and your baby.
- Eat a healthy diet
Eat a healthy and well-adjusted diet during pregnancy. Be aware that you must eat for two (sometimes more!). Therefore, your diet should reflect that you are caring for the development and growth of a little one too.
During the third trimester, you must consume 450 more calories daily in addition to your normal diet. These additional calories must come from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, proteins, and fats.
When your baby’s size increases, it compresses your stomach, and you may feel full after consuming small portions of food. To address this problem, keep high-protein stacks nearby to eat in between meal times.
Also, don’t forget your prenatal vitamins; they help fulfill your daily vitamin requirement, which is often impossible with only a food-based diet.
- Take care of your mental health
Feeling stressed and uncertain is not unheard of during pregnancy. The fear of the unknown often creeps up, preventing you from thinking straight. But you must understand that stress is unhealthy for your unborn baby.
Acute stress and depression during pregnancy can result in premature birth or a baby with low birth weight. Acute stress faced by the mother increases the concentration of stress hormones in the amniotic fluid.
You can avoid stress during pregnancy by not being hard on yourself and avoiding unnecessary self-criticism. If you cannot do things as you used to, ask for help.
If you want to share your feelings, reach out to other people. Social media is a great source to anonymously post your issues and get recommendations and support from others who might have had similar plights in life.
- Stay active
There is a general notion that exercise is not safe for a pregnant mother’s health. But in reality, there is no truth to this claim, except that you should not engage in intense physical activity such as jumping, etc.
The National Institutes of Health states that mothers must remain active during pregnancy as much as possible. Physical exercise helps the body prepare for labor pains and delivery.
Your aching body may feel more comfortable and relaxed after a daily low-intensity physical exercise session. Research shows that exercise reduces leg cramps, gestational diabetes, bloating, backaches, and postpartum depression. So consider adding moderate exercises, such as a walk in your residential complex and prenatal yoga, to your routine.
During pregnancy, a woman goes through the toughest period of her life. For them, their unborn baby’s health and safety take precedence over everything else. If you are a mother-to-be with the responsibility of an unborn child, consider following the health tips mentioned above to keep your baby healthy during gestation.