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Increasing Your Odds For A Healthy Pregnancy

Increasing Your Odds For A Healthy Pregnancy

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You are responsible for both yourself and your baby during your pregnancy. That means eating nutritional foods, staying away from alcohol, drugs and tobacco, and getting proper prenatal care. There are many things that you can do to increase the odds that your baby will have a healthy development.

Before you even become pregnant, you should schedule an appointment with your health provider to make sure that you're in top physical health. As soon as you become pregnant, you should also see your doctor so that he or she can make sure that your reproductive organs are functioning, you don't have any medical conditions that are interfering with the pregnancy, and to discuss genetic testing options.

A quality prenatal vitamin is essential to your baby's well being. You should begin taking a folic acid supplement at least a month before you plan on conceiving, and continue after you're pregnant. Folic acid greatly reduces the risk that your baby will be born with a neural tube defect like spina bifida, which develops in the first few weeks of pregnancy.

Avoid your exposure to toxins or other chemicals, both at home and in the work place. If you have a cat, you'll need to have someone else clean the litter box as pregnant women are susceptible to toxoplasmosis, a disease found in cat feces and uncooked meat. If you work somewhere with pesticides or paint, you need to remove yourself from that environment for the duration of your pregnancy.

The Food Guide can help you select nutritious foods to eat each day, and you should follow their guidelines as you'll need more protein and calcium. Cut back on fatty foods and sweets, but never try to diet when you're pregnant as this can have serious health consequences for you and your baby. Get regular exercise, but don't overdo it. Stop immediately if you feel dizzy or sick, and consult your doctor before you start a new workout routine.

Smoking, drinking alcohol and drugs can cause things birth defects, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, premature birth or miscarriage. No amount is safe during pregnancy, so seek help if you can't quit these substances. You should also stop drinking caffeine, as it has been linked to hyperactivity in children, and may increase your risk of miscarriage.

Finally, limit stress as much as possible in your life. Your emotional health is important to the health of your baby, so take a deep breath, have a hot bath, or do yoga when you start to feel overwhelmed.


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