I first want to first thank Asiya, photographer of Long Island, New York, USA, for her spectacular and dramatic pregnant mom picture, above.
Congratulations on your baby to be welcomed into the world soon! Now is the time to do the best healthy lifestyle for the baby, you, and your family.
Be sure your obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN) doctor is the best person for you and your baby. Go to her as soon as you know you are pregnant, especially if this is your first baby.
Take Vitamins and Folic Acid
Your doctor knows the best vitamins and minerals for you to take over your next 9 months’ journey. Along with those prescribed vitamins, be sure to take a folic acid supplement at 400 mcg (micrograms) each day if not included in your daily vitamin tablet or capsule. You can eat folate found in cereal, pasta, oatmeal, tortillas, and bread that are enriched. Folate is also in green leafy vegetables, kidney beans, lentils, Brussels sprouts, avocado, asparagus, seeds, nuts, peas, oranges, okra, beets, cauliflower, meat, and fish in addition to those in the picture. With that said, folate is not absorbed as well as folic acid making it difficult to get all the folic acid you need from food alone. As a result, take your vitamins as instructed and a B vitamin.
Stick to A Healthy Diet
Decide on an assortment of fresh, frozen, dried, or canned fruits and vegetables for diversity and not becoming bored with eating the same things. Fruit or vegetable juice made of 100% pure juice tallies into your fruits and vegetables as well. You can also use your blender to make your own juice. The same goes for veggies: perhaps you have them fresh from your garden, or fresh from the grocery, with frozen being the next best followed by canned. Drink lots of water too.
Eat Safe Foods
Do not eat raw fish or raw fish in Sushi. It’s best to avoid deli cuts with lots of salt and preservatives. Read more about deli meats here.
Cheese must be pasteurized. Unpasteurized cheese uses raw milk that can contain Listeriosis, an intestinal infection that is not too common, yet be safe and do not eat this type cheese when pregnant. Exclude feta, Brie, blue-veined cheese such as Roquefort, Camembert, and Mexican cheese, for example, quesó pañela also called quesó cañasta or quesó de la cañasta (basket cheese), similar to cottage cheese, quesó fresco (fresh cheese), and quesó blancó (white cheese). Read the label for pasteurization.
About fish and mercury. Most pregnant women care about this toxic poison that is a metal in a liquid state at certain temperatures. Specific fish have methylmercury caused by bacteria changes in the metal mercury. The fish eat food that contains it, and as it goes, we are what we eat, even the fish. When you eat the fish, you are consuming the methylmercury that has permeated all of its cells.
The larger fish that are long-lived and high on the food chain, such as marlin, tuna, shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish (Gulf of Mexico), and northern pike, contain higher concentrations of mercury than others. This highly toxic poison can damage the central nervous system not only in the developing nervous system in the fetus in a pregnant woman, but also is toxic for nursing mothers, young children, and all people.
Pregnant women can eat fish and shellfish with low levels of methylmercury says the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). The allowable amount is up to 12-ounces a week. Those fish are salmon, shrimp, and light tuna in a can. The white Albacore tuna has more methylmercury so moms-to-be should only eat 6-ounces or less each week. For more information about this read fda.gov here.
Say No to Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drugs
You might think that a glass of wine once in a while will not harm the baby you are carrying. You run the risk for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs), and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Read more about SIDS at our website here.
When you smoke cigarettes while pregnant, your baby will be addicted to the nicotine and will cry non-stop when born for about 3 months. I watched this happen with a friend’s baby girl.
Drugs? That’s a real no-brainer! Why would anyone want to see their precious baby suffer in agony when born having withdrawals that are horrific to watch the heart-rending excruciating pain for the infant. Check with your OB-GYN for any over-the-counter (OTC) meds you want to take too. Read more about medication and pregnancy here.
You put your baby’s life in danger for potential behavior and developmental problems using alcohol, smoking, and using illicit drugs not prescribed by your doctor. Birth defects increase as well.
Medications and Other Health Maintenance
Discuss all medications you take and need to take with your doctor during pregnancy. Let her know the OTC meds, prescription meds, herbs, and vitamins you are taking. Some can harm the fetus. Opiates can cause serious risks to include still born births. Be sure you are getting enough vitamin B12. Read more about medication and pregnancy here.
Have dental checkups regularly and keep your gums strong, pink, and healthy.
Be sure your vaccinations are up to date and discuss the history with your doctor.
Thinking of Taking a Jet Plane?
You might be thinking of a faraway vacation or a trip to visit someone. It is safe to fly when pregnant. Be sure to discuss this with your doctor when you are less than 28 weeks into your pregnancy. Take your meds with you, wear a comfortable and lose outfit with flat shoes.
Get up and walk around every half hour or so and sit on the aisle for frequent bathroom trips. It’s good for your circulation to move about and not risk Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). You might want to talk with your doctor about compression socks for reducing swelling in your legs. Strappy flat sandals (never wear thongs) will help your feet if they are inclined to swell at the ankles and top of your arch. You can rotate your ankles in circles, up and down, and sideways when sitting in your seat.
Airport scanners use a low-frequency electromagnetic field (EMF) and are safe for everyone including pregnant women.
If you’re travelling out of the U.S., discuss the Zika virus with your doctor for guidance. This is one virus you never want carrying a baby—it causes deformities.
Maintain a healthy weight, exercise when you can, eat well, take naps and drink water to stay hydrated for you and your baby. Eat smaller meals more often. Pamper yourself and get a relaxing massage by a therapist who knows your growing belly well. Soon you will be shopping for baby clothes and enjoying your new baby with your youthful grace and figure once again!