Pregnancy is a time in a couple’s life that brings uncontrollable joy. No one expects problems with pregnancy, but it is possible. Taking preventive measures before pregnancy will ensure a healthy start for the mom-to-be. This often comes with having to make some lifestyle changes before, during and following pregnancy.
As stated earlier, expecting mothers do not what to hear the news that their pregnancy is taking a turn for the worse. With little to no fault of the mom, some medical conditions can cause a problematic pregnancy. This article will discuss lifestyle changes to help minimize any problems that can occur. But first, let us explore the type of complications that pregnancy can present for couples.
Complications in Pregnancy
- Miscarriages. The reason for a miscarriage is unknown and usually occurs in the first trimester, 13 weeks of pregnancy.
- Ectopic Pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies occur when the fertilized egg is implanted outside the uterus, causing severe pain.
- Gestational Diabetes. Gestational diabetes increases blood sugar during pregnancy, putting the mom at a higher risk for diabetes after pregnancy.
- Incompetent Cervix. The fetus’ growth can cause problems for the cervix, causing the cervix to open and deliver the baby before the due date.
- Placental Abruption. It occurs when the placenta is partially or completely detaches from the uterus before the baby is born.
- Low-Lying Placenta. This rare occurrence usually happens in the second or third trimester, causing the placenta to attach to the bottom wall of the uterus.
- Increase or Decrease in Amniotic Fluid. Amniotic fluid protects the fetus during pregnancy. Too much, although rare, amniotic fluid can cause premature rupture of the amniotic membrane. Whereas not enough fluid can prevent the fetus from developing properly.
- Preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is presented as high blood pressure and high protein levels in the urine.
- Premature Labor. Premature labor occurs between 20 weeks but before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Most premature deliveries are spontaneous.
- Venous Thrombosis. This is when a blood clot develops in the pregnant mom’s leg, usually occurring with women over 30, overweight, and a family history of thrombosis.
- Molar Pregnancy. Occurs from an abnormality of the placenta. Instead of the embryo forming in the uterus, an abnormal mass takes formation instead.
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome(FAS). FAS is the excessive use of alcohol during pregnancy, causing physical and mental defects for the fetus.
- Eclampsia. It is the progression of preeclampsia, attacking the central nervous system causing seizures.
As mentioned earlier, pregnancy can present with problems that can be life-threatening. But a healthy pregnancy can have its rewards for mom and dad-to-be. It is crucial to make some lifestyle changes when considering pregnancy.
Meeting with your gynecologist to discuss the dos and don’ts for a healthy pregnancy is an excellent way to initiate healthy lifestyle changes. If your gynecologist does not monitor pregnancy, this is also an opportunity to discuss recommendations for an obstetrician.
Pregnancy Lifestyle Changes
- Healthy Weight. Being at a healthy weight before pregnancy helps to eliminate any complications that may occur. Consider losing weight if you are obese or overweight. The added weight can cause problems during pregnancy.
- Diet Change. There is nothing wrong with indulging in your favorite foods. The key is to eat more fruits, vegetables, foods high in iron, calcium, and fiber, dark leafy greens, asparagus, seafood such as salmon, shrimp, and catfish. Eat smaller portions at least 5 – 6 times a day and never skip breakfast.
- Use Prenatal Vitamins. Prenatal vitamins have nutrients critical for the baby’s neural tube growth. They also help to create new blood cells.
- Exercise. There are many benefits to exercising while pregnant. One is aiding in preparation for your pelvic floor for delivery and recovery. Exercising also helps to boost your mental health during pregnancy while staying in shape.
- Remove Alcohol, Cigarette, and Caffeine Intake. Sorry coffee lovers, but limiting caffeine during pregnancy to 200 mg per day should be considered. Avoiding alcohol and cigarettes is recommended during pregnancy.
- Stress Management. Cortisol is released when you are experiencing a stressful moment. To help minimize stress, try using essential oils, candles, meditation, yoga, or simply talking to someone.
- Understand Chronic Medical Conditions. Understanding chronic conditions can help you have a healthy pregnancy. Some chronic diseases are inherited, but with the proper management from your obstetrician and primary care provider, you can still have a safe and healthy pregnancy.
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Since no one can foresee the future, planning a healthy pregnancy will help ease any concerns. Including your healthcare providers in your decision can provide you with the necessary advice needed to ensure both mom and baby will be off to a healthy start because this will be the beginning of a beautiful and unbreakable relationship for years to come.
Gemma Hamilton is a marketing enthusiast who enjoys spending time with her family and friends by visiting various natural landscapes and hanging out on beautiful beaches. Besides nature-tripping, she’s also very passionate about writing quality content for Fawn Design, which helps build professional relationships with people and share informative insights to various audiences interested in different types of topics.