10 Ways to Support a Healthy Pregnancy
Pregnancy is an important time for parents-to-be to prepare for the arrival of their new baby. The health and well-being of women during pregnancy is important, for both mother and baby - below are some positive ways to help ensure a happy, healthy pregnancy!
1. Enroll in a prenatal class. Ask your partner, or a friend or family member to attend with you.
2. Eat healthy foods every day. Foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and milk will help your baby grow strong, and will provide you with energy as your body works hard over the coming months.
3. Drink plenty of water everyday - your baby is thirsty too! Water helps nutrients travel to, and waste to travel away from the baby.
4. Take a prenatal vitamin every day once you know you are pregnant, and if trying to conceive. Folic acid, Vitamin D, iron, and calcium are especially important during pregnancy. Health Canada recommends that all women of childbearing age are take a folic acid supplement at all times to prevent up to 70% of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida and ancephaly, from forming prenatally. Folic acid is particularly important during the earliest weeks of pregnancy, before many women realize that they are pregnant.
5. Exercise regularly, with your doctor's approval. Don't overdo it - you should be able to carry on a normal conversation while you exercise. Remember to drink plenty of water when you exercise. Learn about the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region's guidelines for Prenatal and postnatal exercise.
6. Relax. While some stress is normal, too much stress can be harmful for you and your baby. While you are pregnant, expect your routines and your emotions to change and to vary. By accepting these changes, you will limit stress and pressure on yourself.
7. Have fun. Plan and prepare for the baby with your partner, family, or friends.
8. Make and keep prenatal appointments. Prenatal appointments are important components in monitoring your pregnancy, and in ensuring that potential problems in pregnancy are identified early and receive timely treatment.
9. Limit your intake of caffeine. Health Canada recommends that women of childbearing age limit caffeine to no more than 300mg per day (about two 8 ounce cups of coffee). Remember that caffeine is also found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, chocolate, and some medicines. Click here for Health Canada's caffeine fact sheet, which lists caffeine levels in several common foods and beverages.
10. Limit your intake of artificial sweetners. Health Canada recommends that pregnant wormen limit their consumption of sweetners such as aspartame, sorbitol, malitol and others to no more than 40mg per kilogram of a pregnant woman's weight.
Health Canada Resources
To learn more about pregnancy, visit Health Canada's Healthy Pregnancy website.
To create a personalized Health Canada Pregnancy Calendar, click here.
To get a free copy of Health Canada's Sensible Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy, which includes a 10-month pregnancy calendar, click on the icon below or call 1-800-0-CANADA.