National Safe Motherhood Day is observed annually on April 11 as a day to raise awareness about providing care during pregnancy, childbirth, and postnatal period
Pregnancy and motherhood can be a beautiful period in a woman’s life. However, it is essential to take care of your health during this period for safe childbirth and a healthy baby. And that’s why, National Safe Motherhood Day is observed annually on April 11 as a day to raise awareness about providing care during pregnancy, childbirth, and postnatal period.
So here are a few Dos and Don’ts during pregnancy you need to take care of so as you can have safe and healthy motherhood.
1. Do Take Multivitamins and Eat a Balanced Diet.
Eating a balanced diet that’s rich in vitamins and minerals is the best way to provide your body with all of the healthy nutrients it needs to support a growing baby. A healthy diet alone, however, may not be enough for pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins contain higher levels of certain nutrients that expectant mothers require at higher doses, such as folic acid, calcium & iron. These vitamins assist with the proper development of the foetus and help prevent birth defects. Your doctor can help you find a multivitamin or a series of vitamins that are best for you.
2. Do Get Lots of Sleep
Changing hormone levels, anticipation, and anxiety can cause you to sleep less during pregnancy. However, sleep is essential during pregnancy. Take quick naps when you get time or feel tired. Set bedtimes and stick to them. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep every day.
3. Do Work Out
Although you should not excessively stress yourself during pregnancy, a small amount of workout is essential during pregnancy and can help you combat many of the issues that arise during pregnancy, like insomnia, muscle pain, excessive weight gain and mood problems.
4. Do Eat Seafood
Seafood is loaded with vitamins and minerals, such as heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and iron. These are all important for both mom and baby. But, pregnant women should avoid raw fish and fish that may contain high levels of mercury – like shark, king mackerel, swordfish etc.
5. Do Consult a Doctor in Case of a Fever or Flu
If you develop fever or flu symptoms consult a doctor. If you are in your first trimester and have a fever higher than 102 degrees, be sure to seek treatment right away. Pregnant women should not take aspirin or ibuprofen. Do not take medicines without consulting your doctor. And instead of trying home remedies, it is always best to consult with a doctor.
6. Do Gain Weight Smartly
During pregnancy, you are often advised to eat for ‘two people’. But eating excessively and weight gaining can negatively affect your baby. During your first trimester, you only need about 100 extra calories a day to support your growing foetus. By your third trimester, that additional calorie number is closer to 300 to 500 per day.
7. Don’t Take an Excessive Amount of Caffeine
Caffeine can travel through the placenta and increase your baby’s heart rate. Current research suggests that women can safely consume a cup or two of coffee each day, but more than that would harm your baby.
8. Don’t Drink Alcohol
Alcohol may greatly impact your baby’s development. People who drink alcohol while pregnant could deliver a baby with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Symptoms of FAS include low birth weight, learning disabilities, behaviour problems, and lagging patterns in terms of growth and development milestones. Even small amounts of alcohol can be a problem. There appears to be no safe level of alcohol intake in pregnancy.
9. Don’t Smoke
Babies born to women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have a lower birth weight and are at a greater risk for learning disabilities than children born to non-smoking mothers. Additionally, children born to women who smoke are more likely to try smoking at a younger age and become regular smokers earlier, due to physiologic nicotine addiction.
10. Don’t Eat Raw Meat and Raw Eggs or Unpasteurised Milk
Raw and undercooked meat and eggs carry the risk of foodborne illnesses, such as listeriosis and toxoplasmosis. Food poisoning is also a possibility. These conditions can cause serious, life-threatening illnesses that could lead to severe birth defects and even miscarriage. Make sure all eggs and meat that you eat while pregnant are well-cooked. Drinking unpasteurised milk or milk products is not advised either. Specifically, raw milk (unpasteurised) may contain the bacteria Listeria. It can lead to illness, miscarriage, or even life-threatening consequences.
11. Do Not Take Bath in Hot Water
Although a warm bath can be beneficial, hot baths are not safe during pregnancy. The main concern with taking a hot bath while you’re pregnant is the risk of raising your body temperature. Staying in a hot tub or bath for more than 10 minutes can raise your body temperature to higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit. This can prevent the blood flow to the fetus. Therefore, the temperature of your bath water should not be higher than 98 degrees Fahrenheit.
12. Don’t Clean the Cat’s Litter Box
Those who have pets, do be careful. You can pet your furry friend all you want but wash your hands afterwards. And DO NOT clean your cat’s litter box during pregnancy. Feline waste is filled with millions of bacteria and parasites. One, in particular, Toxoplasma gondii, is particularly dangerous to expecting mothers. If you contract it, you may never know until you begin having complications with your pregnancy. A miscarriage or stillbirth is possible. Babies who contract this parasite may face serious health problems, including seizures and mental disabilities.
Take care of these factors and have a safe pregnancy and motherhood.