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5 Pregnancy Health Tips to Prepare for Parenthood

pregnant woman holding an ultrasound

During pregnancy, a healthy lifestyle is more important than ever. Things you do that have a good or bad effect on your body can also affect your unborn child. For example, research has shown that eating a nutritious diet during pregnancy is linked to proper brain development, a healthy birth weight, and a reduced risk of birth defects. A healthy lifestyle can also help reduce symptoms and make pregnancy a more comfortable experience. Here are five pregnancy health tips.

Eat a Nutritious Diet

Good nutrition means eating a healthy and balanced diet to give your body the nutrients it needs. This is particularly important during pregnancy. You need larger amounts of many important nutrients than your body normally requires. Making the right food choices and taking the right supplements can help give your baby what he or she needs to develop. Eat nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, milk and dairy products, and protein from healthy sources, such as lean meats, eggs, beans, nuts, seeds, and seafood low in mercury. Take prenatal supplements as recommended by your doctor.

Get Regular Exercise

Walking, swimming, and water workouts are recommended by experts for pregnant women. Brisk walks give the body a total workout that is easy on the muscles and joints. Swimming and water workouts use many muscles, while the water supports your weight to help you avoid muscle strain and injury.

Watch Your Weight

You should not try to lose weight during pregnancy, but it is essential to gain weight slowly. Ideally, you should gain one to four pounds in the first trimester. After the third month, you should gain two to four pounds each month until delivery. These are general guidelines. Talk to your doctor about how much weight gain is appropriate for you.

Get Regular Prenatal Checkups

Prenatal care is important to monitor your baby’s development and for early detection of any health issues. Get all the medical tests your doctor or midwife recommends. These may include testing for Rh factor, urinary tract infections, signs of past rubella infections, hepatitis B, and other conditions.

Check for Breast Cancer

Breast cancer occurs approximately once in every 3,000 pregnancies, as reported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). It occurs most often in women 32 to 38 years of age. Now that many women choose to delay having children, the number of breast cancer cases during pregnancy will likely increase.

Breast cancer may be more difficult to detect during pregnancy because of normal hormonal changes that cause changes in the breasts. During pregnancy, the breasts may become larger, tender, and denser, making small lumps more difficult to find. Detection methods include:

  • Physical exams
  • Clinical breast exams performed by healthcare professionals
  • Ultrasounds
  • Mammograms

Health insurance is important during any phase of life, from infancy to old age. It is particularly important to have the health coverage you need to get proper health care during pregnancy. Our knowledgeable agent can help you find a health plan that suits your needs.

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