In Pregnancy Care Tips

Having a baby is a dream come true, but it’s also one of the most exciting and (no pun intended!) life-changing events you’ll ever face. Going into pregnancy without any knowledge of its processes can be both intimidating and overwhelming. The information provided here will help you know more about the process of having a baby so that when the time comes, you’re ready for what’s ahead. Pregnancy is an amazing time for a woman. But as you are about to discover, it can also be a time of great stress on the body and mind. It’s important to stay healthy during pregnancy to ensure your baby’s health. Though each person is different and there is no one-size-fits-all plan for pregnancy care, here are some tips that may help you feel better during this special time in your life.

You may have heard that pregnancy impacts your immune system and makes you more vulnerable to colds and other viruses. It’s true: your body is working hard, producing a whole new person! But you can lower your chances of getting sick by taking care of yourself during pregnancy. Learn what foods are best during pregnancy, when to get tested for STDs, how often it’s safe to fly during pregnancy, and more before you become pregnant or right after you find out.

Before you can take care of your new baby, you need to take care of yourself and your unborn child. There’s a lot of advice out there. Much of it is common sense, but some things – like avoiding cat litter – might be news. Your first tip: As soon as you suspect you’re pregnant, see your doctor and visit Pregnancy and Childbirth at UC San Diego Health.

  1. Take a prenatal vitamin
  2. Exercise regularly
  3. Write a birth plan
  4. Educate yourself
  5. Change your chores (avoid harsh or toxic cleaners, heavy lifting)
  6. Track your weight gain (normal weight gain is 25-35 pounds)
  7. Get comfortable shoes
  8. Eat folate-rich foods (lentils, asparagus, oranges, fortified cereals)
  9. Eat calcium-rich foods (dairy, canned fish, soy)
  10. Eat more fish (except those high in mercury )
  11. Eat foods with fiber
  12. Don’t eat soft cheeses (unpasteurized styles like Brie and feta may contain bacteria that can cause fever, miscarriage or pregnancy complications)
  13. Eat your veggies
  14. Eat five or six well-balanced meals each day
  15. But don’t overeat. You only need 300-500 additional calories per day. Keep a food diary.
  16. Limit caffeine
  17. Drink plenty of fluids (six 8-ounce glasses of water per day)
  18. Don’t drink alcohol
  19. Wear sunscreen
  20. Fly smart (avoid air travel if possible early and late in pregnancy)
  21. Avoid changing cat litter (to reduce risk of toxoplasmosis)
  22. Give in to cravings – sometimes
  23. Know when to call your doctor with concerns
  24. Don’t smoke; avoid secondhand smoke
  25. Get enough sleep
  26. Wear your seatbelt
  27. Don’t take over-the-counter medications or herbal remedies without medical consultation
  28. See your dentist
  29. Take a pregnancy class
  30. Baby sit a friend’s baby for some real-world experience
  31. Tour birth facilities
  32. Practice relaxation techniques daily (yoga, stretching, deep breathing, massage)
  33. Don’t overmedicate
  34. Exercise, but don’t overdo it
  35. Stretch before bed to avoid leg cramps
  36. Take a picture of yourself before the baby arrives

Early Pregnancy Care Tips

1. Eat healthy foods.

Eating healthy foods is especially important for pregnant women. Your baby needs nutrients to grow healthy and strong in the womb. Eat plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, calcium-rich foods and foods low in saturated fat.

2. Take a daily prenatal vitamin.

Taking a daily prenatal multivitamin can help ensure you get the right amount of the key nutrients you and your baby need during pregnancy. These include folic acid, iron and calcium.

3. Stay hydrated.

A pregnant woman’s body needs more water than it did before pregnancy. Aim for eight or more cups each day.

4. Go to your prenatal care checkups.

Women should get regular prenatal care from a health care provider. Moms who don’t get regular prenatal care are much more likely to have a baby with low birth weight or other complications. If available, consider group prenatal care.

5. Avoid certain foods.

There are certain foods that women should avoid eating while pregnant. Don’t eat:

  • Raw or rare meats
  • Liver, sushi, raw eggs (also in mayonnaise)
  • Soft cheeses (feta, brie)
  • Unpasteurized milk

Raw and unpasteurized animal products can cause food poisoning. Some fish, even when cooked, can be harmful to a growing baby because they’re high in mercury.

6. Don’t drink alcohol.

Don’t drink alcohol before and during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of having a baby with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). FASD can cause abnormal facial features, severe learning disabilities and behavioral issues.

Alcohol can impact a baby’s health in the earliest stages of pregnancy, before a woman may know she is pregnant. Therefore, women who may become pregnant also should not drink alcohol.

7. Don’t smoke.

Smoking is unhealthy for you and your unborn child. It increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), premature birth, miscarriage and other poor outcomes.

8. Get moving.

Daily exercise or staying active in other ways can help you stay healthy during pregnancy. Check with your doctor to find out how much physical activity is right for you.

9. Get a flu shot.

The flu can make a pregnant woman very sick and increase risks of complications for your baby. The flu shot can protect you from serious illness and help protect your baby after birth, too. Ask your doctor about getting a flu shot.

10. Get plenty of sleep.

Ample sleep (7 to 9 hours) is important for you and your baby. Try to sleep on your left side to improve blood flow.

11. Reduce stress.

Reducing stress is crucial for improving birth outcomes. Pregnant women should avoid, as much as they can, stressful situations. Recruit your loved ones to help you manage stress in your life.

12. Plan the right time to get pregnant.

“If you are choosing to become pregnant at a time when you know that you’re at your healthiest, that increases your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy birth,” says Dr. Meadows.

This not only means that women should make sure that they are healthy before they become pregnant, but they also should consider their age before getting pregnant. Mothers who have children early in life (earlier than 16-years-old), or late in life (older than 40) are at greater risk for having a premature birth. Also, women who become pregnant again too soon (less than 18 months in between births) are even more likely to have a premature baby.

Twin Pregnancy Care Tips

Got more than one baby on the way? Your pregnancy is bound to be different from a single-baby pregnancy. Here are the answers to your most pressing questions about expecting twins or multiples.

How Did I Become Pregnant With Multiples?

In vitro fertilization (IVF) and some fertility drugs can increase the chance of having multiple babies, and so can a family history of twins.

Multiples or twins can either be identical or fraternal, and, in a higher-order multiple pregnancy, you can have both identical and fraternal babies in the same pregnancy. Identical babies are conceived when one fertilized egg splits into two or more embryos. In case of fraternal babies, two eggs are fertilized simultaneously, resulting in more than one embryo.

What Are the Symptoms of a Twin or Multiple Pregnancy?

When you’re pregnant with twins or multiples, you may notice that’s something’s different early in your pregnancy. Signs you’re pregnant with two or more babies usually include:

  • Severe morning sickness, due to higher quantities of the hCG hormone being produced in the body
  • Rapid weight gain over the first trimester
  • A bump that may appear larger or show earlier, as moms expecting twins will usually have a larger uterus than moms pregnant with only one baby
  • More breast tenderness than women pregnant with singles.

How and When Can a Multiple Pregnancy Be Confirmed?

Your healthcare provider may suspect you’re pregnant with twins or multiples if your uterus is larger than normal and if there seems to be more than one fetal heartbeat. An ultrasound exam − which uses sound waves to create visual images of your babies − can usually detect multiples by 12 weeks.

What Types of Twin Pregnancy Are There?

There are two types of twin pregnancies:

  • Identical twin pregnancy. When you have identical twins, this means you had one fertilized egg that split into two very early on in your pregnancy. They will be the same sex and look very much alike with the same eye color, hair color, and blood type.
  • Fraternal twin pregnancy. This is the most common twin type. Fraternal twins can be thought of as two separate pregnancies happening at the same time while sharing the same womb. When two eggs are fertilized, these can develop into fraternal twins. This means genetically your babies are related to each other the same way siblings are related. You can have same sex twins, or a boy and a girl. You can see how fraternal twins are different from identical twins in the image below.

How Is a Multiple Pregnancy Different?

You may feel fine, but carrying twins or other multiples is automatically a high-risk pregnancy. You’ll likely be referred to a specialist and have more prenatal visits, blood tests, and ultrasounds than you would with a singleton pregnancy.

For more information, check out our twin week-by-week guide.

What Are Twin Pregnancy Risks?

  • Premature delivery. The risk of premature delivery is higher in a multiple pregnancy. Calculate your approximate due date, but keep in mind your little gang might arrive early, possibly before 36 weeks. In this case, your babies might need special assistance with breathing or sucking for a while.
  • Low birth weight. Each baby tends to be smaller in a multiple pregnancy, weighing on average 5.1 pounds at the time of birth.
  • One of the babies can get tangled in the umbilical cord. In very rare cases, some twin babies can share the same amniotic sac. This can be risky if one of the babies becomes tangled up in one of the umbilical cords. Should you have this kind of pregnancy, your healthcare provider will monitor you more frequently, and it is likely you will have to give birth via a c-section.
  • Twin-twin transfusion syndrome. Another risk is twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), where one baby gets too much blood flow, and the other baby doesn’t get enough. Your doctor will discuss with you how to overcome these challenges.

How Much Weight Should I Gain in a Twin Pregnancy?

When you’re pregnant with twins, it’s natural you’ll gain more weight. It’s important that you gain the weight gradually and steadily to support your babies’ health. Gaining weight while pregnant depends on your height and starting weight before you’re pregnant. In general, if you are healthy and had a normal weight before becoming pregnant, the recommended weight gain with twins ranges from 37 to 54 pounds. This may require an additional 600 calories a day (300 for each baby), on top of the recommended 2000 daily calories in the second half of your pregnancy, depending on your activity level. Ideally you would gain about a pound a week in the first half of your pregnancy, and then a little more than one pound a week in the second half. Read more about gaining weight healthily during pregnancy.

How Can I Prepare for Twins?

  • Find the right healthcare provider. First up, it’s important to choose healthcare providers who are experienced with twins. They’ll be able to answer the questions that are relevant to your pregnancy and offer the appropriate advice and care.
  • Take care of yourself. As it is with any pregnancy, rest is important if you’re pregnant with twins, and, especially during the second trimester, some gentle exercise may help you sleep better. Following a good pregnancy diet helps ensure that you and your little ones are getting all the nutrients needed for healthy growth. Also, make sure you go to all your prenatal visits.
  • Make sure you get ready with plenty of time to spare. Consider taking early maternity leave, if you can. Many twin moms-to-be do this because their babies may arrive as early as 35 weeks, and this gives them more time to get prepared at home. This can mean stocking up on sets of everything from car seats to cribs, clothes and diapers; babyproofing your home; and getting your hospital bags packed nice and early, at around 34 weeks.

Is It Normal to Feel Anxious About a Twin Pregnancy?

It’s natural to feel apprehensive about expecting two or more babies. After all, you’ll have to be prepared, focused, and physically fit to take care of more than one newborn at once. But, although multiple babies will mean more of everything, remember, your growing family will be a whole lot of fun, too, with more children bringing love into your life.

Try to seek out support networks, speak to your doctor, and find other moms of twins for guidance. Be sure to take a childbirth class, too; there are some that are designed specifically for parents of multiples.

Twins may be a challenge, but you’ll get double the joy. They’ll keep each other company and you’ll get the wonderful experience of watching them grow into little people with different personalities.

If you have been struggling to narrow down your baby name wish list, one of the benefits of having twins is that you can choose even more names for your little ones. Try our Baby Name Generator for more ideas. Soon enough, you’ll have not one, but two bubbly little personalities adding joy to your family.

What Should Be Avoided During Twin Pregnancy?

Having a healthy pregnancy is one of the best ways to promote a healthy birth. Getting early and regular prenatal care improves the chances of a healthy pregnancy. This care can begin even before pregnancy with a pre-pregnancy care visit to a health care provider.

Pre-Pregnancy Care

A pre-pregnancy care visit can help women take steps toward a healthy pregnancy before they even get pregnant.
Women can help to promote a healthy pregnancy and birth of a healthy baby by taking the following steps before they become pregnant:1

  • Develop a plan for their reproductive life.
  • Increase their daily intake of folic acid (one of the B vitamins) to at least 400 micrograms.2
  • Make sure their immunizations are up to date.
  • Control diabetes and other medical conditions.
  • Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, and using drugs.
  • Attain a healthy weight.
  • Learn about their family health history and that of their partner.
  • Seek help for depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues.

Prenatal Care

Women who suspect they may be pregnant should schedule a visit to their health care provider to begin prenatal care. Prenatal visits to a health care provider usually include a physical exam, weight checks, and providing a urine sample. Depending on the stage of the pregnancy, health care providers may also do blood tests and imaging tests, such as ultrasound exams. These visits also include discussions about the mother’s health, the fetus’s health, and any questions about the pregnancy.3

Pre-Pregnancy and prenatal care can help prevent complications and inform women about important steps they can take to protect their infant and ensure a healthy pregnancy. With regular prenatal care women can:

  • Reduce the risk of pregnancy complications. Following a healthy, safe diet; getting regular exercise as advised by a health care provider; and avoiding exposure to potentially harmful substances such as lead and radiation can help reduce the risk for problems during pregnancy and promote fetal health and development.4 Controlling existing conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, is important to prevent serious complications and their effects.5
  • Reduce the fetus’s and infant’s risk for complications. Tobacco smoke and alcohol use during pregnancy have been shown to increase the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.6 Alcohol use also increases the risk for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, which can cause a variety of problems such as abnormal facial features, having a small head, poor coordination, poor memory, intellectual disability, and problems with the heart, kidneys, or bones.7 According to one recent study supported by the NIH, these and other long-term problems can occur even with low levels of prenatal alcohol exposure.8

    In addition, taking 400 micrograms of folic acid daily reduces the risk for neural tube defects by 70%.2,9 Most prenatal vitamins contain the recommended 400 micrograms of folic acid as well as other vitamins that pregnant women and their developing fetus need.1,10 Folic acid has been added to foods like cereals, breads, pasta, and other grain-based foods. Although a related form (called folate) is present in orange juice and leafy, green vegetables (such as kale and spinach), folate is not absorbed as well as folic acid.
  • Help ensure the medications women take are safe. Women should not take certain medications, including some acne treatments11 and dietary and herbal supplements,12 during pregnancy because they can harm the fetus.

Initial Pregnancy Care Tips

Pregnancy is a special time in every woman’s life. To help you make the most of your child’s first months in this world, we’ve assembled this list of recommendations to help make your pregnancy as healthy as possible.

It’s important to understand more about your body and the changes that occur during pregnancy. Learn more about the first weeks of pregnancy and what to expect. Pregnancy care tips are some of the most important things you can do for your baby’s health. Follow these tips for a healthy pregnancy, including how to prepare for labor, how to be safe during labor and delivery, and how to care for your newborn after birth. As soon as you find out you’re pregnant, your body needs extra care. It sounds a bit like your mother saying this, but resting is an important part of prenatal care. If you’re used to working long hours — now’s the time to start avoiding those long nights at the office. Experts say that sleep deprivation can affect your baby’s growth and development later in life.

What To Do During Pregnancy To Have a Beautiful Baby

Beauty comes from within—and from good skin care. Pregnancy is a time of beautiful transformations, but your skin may be on the fritz. Luckily, there are simple and smart solutions for even the most frustrating problems: dry patches and irritation, swelling, dark spots, stretch marks and more. The best part? You can start seeing results right away. Eating for two should be a joy, not a chore. Eating healthy and nutritious food during pregnancy can help you have a beautiful baby and enjoy an easier pregnancy. The secret to eating well is to make small changes that affect the whole family. This book will show you how to eat right, work out safely and choose healthy snacks so that everyone–Mother, Father and Baby–can benefit from a healthy new lifestyle in all its stages!

You’re pregnant, which means you’re responsible for taking care of your growing baby. But as far as beauty goes, you’re in charge here too. Your face, your hair, and your nails will all change during pregnancy, but it’s up to you how they look when they do. Here’s the insider scoop on what to do during pregnancy to have a beautiful baby. Beautiful Baby Book is a guide for every mother-to-be who wants a healthy, beautiful baby. This book contains valuable information about how to care for yourself before, during and after pregnancy to protect your health and the health of your baby.

Symptoms of Healthy Baby in Pregnancy

Your baby has already started to form some of the important life process. The baby’s heart starts beating, and their brain begins to develop. Within a few short months, your baby will grow into a fully formed human being! Most of the time, pregnant women are bombarded with different information about what they should do to have a healthy baby. The dangers and warnings can make them feel as if their entire life has to be changed in order to protect the baby. Here’s the truth: Your body has already been working hard for months, developing all of the systems your baby needs to live outside your womb.

Healthy, thriving moms-to-be are at the best possible risk for having healthy babies. Common symptoms include mild but persistent nausea, changes in appetite and thirst, stomach cramps, frequent urination and fatigue. In pregnancy, there are many things that a woman can do to ensure a healthy birth and an easy entry into motherhood. While the list is probably quite long, it boils down to staying positive, eating well and taking care of yourself at all times.

Is My Baby Healthy in The Womb

Is my baby healthy in the womb? A healthy fetus may be defined as one that is growing and developing normally. The baby’s measurements should follow a growth curve established by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). In addition, ultrasound provides accurate information about your baby’s development at all stages of pregnancy. You can rest assured that your baby is healthy and progressing as expected. Your baby is looking more human than ever, with facial features developing and moving about in the womb. You may have a few more signs of pregnancy around this time as well, including carpal tunnel syndrome and hemorrhoids.

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