If you are pregnant and are not sure what is best for you and your baby – here are some helpful tips for you!
Follow these simple do’s and don’ts to take care of yourself and the precious life growing inside you:
HEALTHCARE DO’S AND DON’TS
1. Get early and regular prenatal care. Whether this is your first pregnancy or third, health care is extremely important. Your doctor will check to make sure you and the baby are healthy at each visit. If there are any problems, early action will help you and the baby.
2. Take a multivitamin or prenatal vitamin with 400 to 800 micrograms (400 to 800 mcg or 0.4 to 0.8 mg) of folic acid every day. Folic acid is most important in the early stages of pregnancy, but you should continue taking folic acid throughout pregnancy.
3. Ask your doctor before stopping any medicines or starting any new medicines. Some medicines are not safe during pregnancy. Keep in mind that even over-the-counter medicines and herbal products may cause side effects or other problems. But not using medicines you need could also be harmful.
4. Avoid x-rays. If you must have dental work or diagnostic tests, tell your dentist or doctor that you are pregnant so that extra care can be taken.
FOOD DO’S AND DON’TS
Eat a variety of healthy foods. Choose fruits, vegetables, whole grains, calcium-rich foods, and foods low in saturated fat. Also, make sure to drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
Get all the nutrients you need each day, including iron. Getting enough iron prevents you from getting anemia, which is linked to preterm birth and low birth weight. Eating a variety of healthy foods will help you get the nutrients your baby needs. But ask your doctor if you need to take a daily prenatal vitamin or iron supplement to be sure you are getting enough.
Protect yourself and your baby from food-borne illnesses, including toxoplasmosis and listeria.
Wash fruits and vegetables before eating. Don’t eat uncooked or undercooked meats or fish.
Always handle, clean, cook, eat, and store foods properly.
Don’t eat fish with lots of mercury, including swordfish, kingfish, mackerel, shark, and tilefish.