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Healthy choices during pregnancy
- Eat well.
During pregnancy, you'll be eating for two ― you and your baby. But don't think of this as eating twice as much. Instead, think of it as eating twice as well. Most of your baby's major organs form during the first few weeks of pregnancy. Eating well helps create ideal conditions for early fetal development. You'll want to be sure you're consuming more of certain nutrients, such as iron, calcium, folic acid and other essential vitamins and nutrients. It's also important to know which foods to avoid while pregnant.
- Avoid excess caffeine.
Caffeine can cross the placenta and affect your baby's heart rate. Because of the potential effects on your developing baby, your health care provider might recommend limiting the amount of caffeine in your diet to less than 200 milligrams a day during pregnancy. For perspective, an 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee contains about 95 milligrams of caffeine and a 12-ounce caffeinated cola soft drink contains about 33 milligrams.
During pregnancy, certain exercises limber up your joints and muscles you'll rely on during labor and delivery. Certain exercises also can help relieve the aches and pains that often accompany pregnancy, such as back pain or leg cramps. Learn more about ways to get moving during pregnancy.
- Check with your health care provider before taking any medications.
Hopefully, you'll enjoy a smooth and uneventful pregnancy. However, pregnancy doesn't keep away all of the ailments of everyday life. You may still get colds and headaches, and have to deal with allergies and aching joints. As a general rule, it's best to use caution and avoid use of medications during pregnancy when possible. Some drugs can cause an early miscarriage or impair your baby's development. It's best to check with your care provider before taking any medicine, be it prescription or over-the-counter. He or she can help you make the right decision based on your health history and the medication in question.
- Make working while pregnant more comfortable.
When you become pregnant, going to work can seem like agony if you're dealing with morning sickness and fatigue. For some women, work can be a good way to occupy their minds while waiting for baby to arrive. Use these tips to help make working during pregnancy more comfortable. The working during pregnancy tips also can apply to chores you do at home.
- Do not smoke.
Smoking during pregnancy exposes you and your baby to many harmful chemicals, which limit the baby's supply of oxygen and the delivery of nutrients. Nicotine permanently damages a baby's brain and lungs. Smoking during pregnancy has also been linked with many health problems.