Eating healthy, exercising, not smoking or drinking, are some of the most common pregnancy rules. But what about the other rules?
You may have heard the regular pregnancy advice like 'don't drink or smoke, try to eat healthy and exercise'.
But there are a few tips for having a healthy pregnancy that you may not know of. Read on to find out more about these rules.
1. Don't eat for two!
Many people may suggest to a pregnant woman that since she is carrying another human in her belly, she would have to eat for two.
But, you may not need to do that.
If you have started your pregnancy at a healthy weight, then you only need about 300 extra calories per day for your baby's growth and also to keep yourself healthy.
That's like eating three apples with some peanut butter, or skimmed milk with some chutney, or humus and baby carrots or capsicum.
Gaining more weight during pregnancy can in fact, increase your baby's weight, and this can make your delivery rougher for the two of you. It may also make you more likely to have a Cesarean section. Talk to your caregiver and doctor about an ideal weight gain goal.
2. Sleeping on your side
Starting early during pregnancy can make it easy for you to get used to sleeping on your side. That's because once you reach your second trimester, lying on your back can put pressure on your growing belly and even cause you back pain.
In fact, your growing uterus can compress a large vein called vena cava. If this vein gets compressed, it can affect your body's blood circulation. You may even experience a drop in blood pressure and feel nauseated. Sleeping on your side eliminates these problems.
3. Keep a check on the pets in your house
It's wrong to say that one cannot have pets if they are pregnant.
If you own a cat, remember that cat faeces carry a parasite called toxoplasmosis. If you get toxoplasmosis during pregnancy, it can affect the growth and development of your child's motor skills. It can also cause your child to be born blind or even worse cause stillbirth. However, this infection can also come from other sources like contaminated food.
So make sure you cook and wash your food more carefully than before. In fact, have someone else change the litter box. If that's not an option, use gloves and wash your hands after the procedure.
Remember to wash your hands each time after you pet the animals in the house.
4. Give importance to your oral care
During pregnancy, remember to brush, floss and get regular dental care. That's because, as a result of hormonal changes your gums tend to become extremely sensitive and make you more susceptible to gum diseases.
Many pregnant women also become sensitive to bacteria in plaque, which leads to swollen, tender or bleeding gums. This is a part of a condition called pregnancy gingivitis.
Untreated gum problems can lead to other more serious problems that affect other parts supporting your teeth. If you haven't visited your orthodontist in the last six months, schedule a meeting right away!
5. Get vaccinated at the earliest
Make sure to get your vaccinations as soon as you get pregnant or before that, if needed.
You can ask your doctor for the shots you need immediately, but the basic ones you can get include shots for Hepatitis A and B, and the flu shot.
In fact, getting a flu shot during pregnancy can protect the baby from flu, especially when he is too young to get a shot himself.
During the second trimester, you can get the Tetanus, Diphtheria and Acellular Pertussis (TDAP) booster.
Lead image used only for representational purpose.
Photograph courtesy: Helen Taylor/Creative Commons