Monday, December 3, 2012

Top 20 pregnancy health tips

As soon as a woman gets pregnant, she is bombarded with advice; granted that most of this advice comes from good intentions, it's still riddled with myths and half-truths.

So the question arises, would all these tips work? Today, we ask Dr. Shilpa Mittal - Nutritionist, Diet Consultant and Founder of Nutrilife Health Management and Ms. Sunita Pathania - Sr. Registered Dietician and Diabetes Educator, Healthy Living Diet Clinic, Mumbai, to share some healthy and best tips for the moms-to-be.

Pregnancy Health Tips: Check your thyroid
According to Dr. Shilpa, now-a-days there are several cases of underactive metabolism commonly known as hypothyroidism reported all over the country. This problem often goes undiagnosed.

This problem can cause miscarriage or learning disabilities in the baby. Be safe, check for thyroid as soon as you know that you are pregnant, because treating a low thyroid is safe and easy during pregnancy.

Pregnancy Health Tips: Hydration is important
In order to have a healthy pregnancy period, the intake of sufficient amount of water is essential - says Ms. Sunita. Drinking fluids can help in preventing miscarriage, digestive problems and urine infections. Hence, make it a point to drink more than 12 glasses of water every day.

Pregnancy Health Tips: Stay away from cat poo
Avoid cleaning cat feces, because it contains a parasite that causes infection toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis can cause major health problems like brain damage and blindness in your baby.

Pregnancy Health Tips: Eat bananas to treat cramps
Leg cramps are common during pregnancy and can be excruciatingly painful. In order to heal cramps, make sure to eat a banana at bedtime. Banana being rich in potassium helps to relieve cramps and pain.

Pregnancy Health Tips: Pre exercise tips
Always consult your doctor, before starting an exercise regime. Also make sure that the instructor knows that you are pregnant, in order to avoid injuries. Wear well supported shoes and bra.

For the safety of your child don't try heavy weight exercises and avoid changing position quickly, as this will cause strain and make you dizzy. Lastly, avoid holding your breath for too long, as this will affect the flow of oxygen to your baby.

Pregnancy Health Tips: Exercise
Exercising during pregnancy is the most important thing to do to have a safe delivery. Thus, exercise everyday for your health and to reduce stress.

Pregnancy Health Tips: Recommended exercise
Dr. Shilpa recommends exercises like walking, but not more than an hour and outdoor group exercise in fresh air with other moms and to-be-moms. Practice yoga and Pilates but under a trained instructor, for quick stress relief and back pain relief.

Pregnant women can also try water exercises like swimming or walking in the water to support the growing weight of your body.

Pregnancy Health Tips: Consume a diet rich in Folic Acid
Folic acid is essential for the proper growth of the baby and to avoid birth problems. Make sure that you get at least 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid per day.

Include deep green leafy vegetables, dried beans, and citrus fruit to get your daily quota of folic acid. But make sure you don't consume beyond limit, as too much folic acid has its own risk too.

Pregnancy Health Tips: Reduce alcohol, caffeine and quit smoking
Trim down the consumption of alcohol, caffeine and smoke, because consumption of all these three things can cause serious birth problems to you and your baby. Stay away from secondhand smoke as well, because nicotine present in cigarettes can cause weight related problems in the baby - says Ms. Sunita.

Pregnancy Health Tips: Wear a safety belt
Always wear a safety belt, to avoid unwanted injuries. Dr. Shilpa recommends, the shoulder portion of the restraint should be positioned over the collar bone and the lap portion should be placed under the abdomen below the hips and across the upper thighs. Also make sure you're not sitting too close to the air bag.

Pregnancy Health Tips: Get adequate sleep
Make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep, while you are pregnant to make yourself relaxed and energized throughout the day. A good night's sleep is essential for the health of both mom and the baby.

Most pregnant women suffer from insomnia, hence try buying pregnancy pillows or some other mattress to get sound sleep.

Pregnancy Health Tips: Reduce the risk of salmonella
Always separate cooked and raw foods, make sure you don't mix knives, plates, spoons, or cutting boards when handling raw meat or eggs to reduce the risk of salmonella and other harmful bacteria.

Pregnancy Health Tips: Take oral care
During pregnancy, be extra vigilant with your oral health, as your gums might get inflamed, causing them to bleed. Brush regularly, twice a day, with the use of a good fluoride toothpaste and visit your dentist regularly.

Pregnancy Health Tips: Care for your feet
Wear proper fitted, comfortable shoes in order to prevent fatigue and swelling of the feet and legs.

Pregnancy Health Tips: Limit animal fat
Reduce meat and animal fat in your diet. Animal products, from unreliable sources, may contain various types of chemicals like DDT and other pesticides, which can linger in your body and cause serious damage - says Dr. Shilpa.

This holds particularly true in countries where the meat sold is not put through rigorous quality checks. Therefore, if you aren't sure about where it's coming from, abstinence may work in your favour.

Pregnancy Health Tips: Overheating is bad
Avoid saunas or hot spas during your pregnancy period. Being in an extremely hot temperature can cause harm to you and your baby.

Pregnancy Health Tips: Try acupuncture
This fine needle therapy has its own healing technique to heal constipation, insomnia and anxiety. This therapy is completely safe, reliable and very effective in treating pain.

Pregnancy Health Tips: Stay away from cosmetics
Many personal care products contain various chemicals and other carcinogens that can affect your baby's development. The best thing you can do to protect your baby is to opt for safe products or simply avoid cosmetics for 9 months.

Pregnancy Health Tips: Gain weight steadily
Dr. Shilpa says, that you should gain only about a pound in your first trimester. And add only 135 calories to your diet per day. In order to fulfill the 135 calories mark, add a glass of milk, nutritious foods and one egg daily in your diet.

Pregnancy Health Tips: Avoid carrying heavy loads
Follow the guidelines laid down by your healthcare provider as to how much weight your body can lift from one trimester to the next. You're already undergoing a lot of back strain because you will be carrying your growing baby. Due to which there will be sudden change in how you hold yourself because your centre of gravity moves forward.

Therefore objects like your older child, a bucket of water, a bagful of groceries, a gas cylinder, etc will increase the strain on your back even more.

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