Good health prior and during pregnancy will help you reduce your risk of complications. Here are some general recommendations.
- Be sure to get enough folic acid in your diet. The current recommendation for women of childbearing age is to take a daily supplement containing at least 0.4 mg of folic acid, in addition to consuming foods naturally rich in folic acid. Folic acid is naturally contained in leafy green vegetables, dried beans, liver and some citrus fruits.
- Limit your caffeine consumption. Do not have more than 300 mg of caffeine per day. The caffeine content in various drinks depends on the beans or leaves used and how it is prepared. An 8-ounce cup of coffee has about 150 mg on average while black tea has about 80 mg of caffeine. A 12-ounce glass of caffeinated soda contains anywhere from 30 to 60 mg of caffeine. Remember, chocolate contains caffeine -- the amount of caffeine in a chocolate bar is equal to 1/4 cup of coffee.
- Maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet and eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients you need. Choose foods high in starch and fiber. Make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals in your daily diet. Eat and drink at least four servings of dairy products and calcium-rich foods a day, choose at least one source each of Vitamin C, Vitamin A and folic acid every day.
- Exercise regularly. Review your exercise program with your health care provider. Generally, you may continue your normal exercise routine throughout pregnancy unless you are instructed to decrease or modify your activities.
- Don't drink alcohol during pregnancy and don't use any medications unless recommended by your doctor.
- Don't smoke during pregnancy.
In addition, be sure to obtain prenatal care, especially early in your pregnancy. The first eight weeks are especially critical in your baby's development. Early and regular prenatal care (health care during pregnancy) can increase your chances of having a healthy baby.
Regular appointments with your health care provider throughout your pregnancy are important to monitor your health and prevent or control any problems that develop during pregnancy. In addition to medical care, prenatal care includes education on pregnancy and childbirth, plus counseling and support.
This answer should not be considered medical advice...This answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.
Archived: March 20, 2014
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