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A pregnant woman requires a lot of care to have a healthy pregnancy. One should follow a strict diet to ensure their child does not grow up unhealthy. For the first trimester, the most critical nutrition for an expectant mother is protein and iron. Protein is necessary because it provides the baby with amino acids. Iron is needed for the baby’s blood cells. For the second trimester, a pregnant woman needs food that will help her body absorb calcium from her diet to build strong bones for the baby. A dietitian or doctor can help a pregnant woman design a healthy diet plan for nine months of pregnancy. Moreover, a pregnant woman should have a workout routine to ensure maximum physical health and avoid certain behaviors deemed unhealthy for the fetus. Caring for a pregnant woman to have a healthy pregnancy involves ensuring one gets proper food, nutrition, exercise, and enough rest.
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A Balanced Diet Helps in Keeping Pregnant Mother and the Fetus Healthy
Maintaining a balanced diet during pregnancy is essential for the health of the mother and fetus. Eating various nutritious foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals, lean meat, legumes (beans), eggs, and nuts, can help maintain a healthy pregnancy. A woman should aim to eat at least eight servings of fruit and vegetables every day and be sure to drink numerous glasses of water each day. Water helps in digestion and maintenance of average body temperature. Therefore, a pregnant woman should drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day to maintain the right amount of fluids in the body, especially if one is burning calories rapidly (Moreno-Fernandez et al., 2020). As a result, one’s urine should be very pale or close to colorless, indicating that hydration is maintained with great regularity. Expectant mothers should also include foods such as milk, yogurt, and cheese which are rich in calcium. Calcium is vital for the developing baby’s bones and teeth. Iron is another essential nutrient that promotes healthy blood. Red meat, poultry, fish, legumes, and whole-grain cereals are good sources of iron. Vitamin C helps to repair cells of the body and maintain healthy tissue. Citrus fruits are good sources of vitamin C, but many vegetables, including peppers, contain it. Vitamin B6 helps to ensure a healthy nervous system as well as healthy skin and hair. Foods rich in vitamin B6 include bananas, chicken breast, pork loin chops, and spinach (Wickramasinghe et al., 2020). Vitamin B12 is crucial to pregnant women as it aids in maintaining healthy red blood cells; it is found in fish, eggs, and milk. To promote a healthy pregnancy, women should aim to eat a variety of nutritious foods by spreading their meals and snacks throughout the day and eating smaller amounts of food more often.
Pregnant Mothers Should Avoid Using Harmful Substances to Keep a Healthy Pregnancy
Pregnant women should avoid drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes to promote a healthy pregnancy because they both adversely affect the developing fetus. Alcohol and cigarette contain harmful substance that causes congenital disabilities, stillbirth, and fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS); the main characteristics of FAS are a small head, mental retardation, and difficulty sleeping (Mate et al., 2021). Drugs and cigarettes can affect the fetus through the placenta, causing damage to the growing embryo or fetus. Fetal exposure to tobacco and marijuana is linked to mental retardation. Using drugs during pregnancy causes pregnancy risks such as giving birth prematurely, having a miscarriage, or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Avoiding harmful substances like alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs helps to achieve a healthy pregnancy.
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Prenatal Care Helps in Maintaining a Healthy Pregnancy
Getting prenatal care during pregnancy is integral to achieving a healthy pregnancy. Prenatal care is a service or program provided to the pregnant mother. The goal of this type of care is to assess the mother’s health and the fetus’s health. It helps to realize a healthy pregnancy’s goal and protect your baby from health problems like developmental issues or limb differences later in life. In addition, prenatal care can help avoid common complications caused by the mother’s age, tobacco use, and family history. During prenatal visits, doctors will test for various illnesses such as diabetes, HIV infection, and other diseases. It is also used to ensure that the pregnancy continues without any problems and to prevent complications (Smith et al., 2020). Regular prenatal care is necessary for all expecting mothers, regardless of their educational background or socioeconomic status. A pregnant woman should get regular prenatal care at least four times each pregnancy from an obstetrician or family practitioner who is knowledgeable about high-risk pregnancies or a maternal medicine specialist who is knowledgeable about high-risk pregnancies.
Expectant mothers can achieve healthy pregnancies by ensuring they get regular prenatal care, avoid consuming harmful substances and maintain a healthy lifestyle that involves eating highly nutritious foods. To have a healthy pregnancy, expectant mothers should also get plenty of exercise to stay fit. Furthermore, they must eat a balanced diet to supply their bodies with all the nutrients needed for healthy fetal development and avoid consuming alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. Pregnant women should get regular prenatal care. They should visit their doctor’s office monthly to monitor their progress and determine whether they need additional tests or treatments. Women should receive check-ups from the early months of pregnancy until the final weeks to track how things are going with their health.
- Mate, A., Reyes-Goya, C., Santana-Garrido, Á., & Vázquez, C. M. (2021). Lifestyle, maternal nutrition and healthy pregnancy. Current Vascular Pharmacology, 19(2), 132-140. https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ben/cvp/2021/00000019/00000002/art00004
- Moreno-Fernandez, J., Ochoa, J. J., Lopez-Frias, M., & Diaz-Castro, J. (2020). Impact of early nutrition, physical activity and sleep on the fetal programming of disease in the pregnancy: A narrative review. Nutrients, 12(12), 3900. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/12/3900
- Smith, T., Johns‐Wolfe, E., Shields, G. S., Malat, J., Jacquez, F., & Slavich, G. M. (2020). Associations between lifetime stress exposure and prenatal health behaviors. Stress and Health, 36(3), 384-395. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/smi.2933
- Wickramasinghe, K., Mathers, J. C., Wopereis, S., Marsman, D. S., & Griffiths, J. C. (2020). From lifespan to healthspan: The role of nutrition in healthy aging. Journal of Nutritional Science, 9. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-nutritional-science/article/from-lifespan-to-healthspan-the-role-of-nutrition-in-healthy-ageing/1247A635D5F799F5AE5B855FEC94DC11