Want to work towards a healthy pregnancy? THIS is your go-to guide

A healthy pregnancy is something that every woman on the threshold of motherhood desires. We’ve got an expert to guide you for the journey.
Be careful during pregnancy. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr Ila Gupta Updated: 30 Oct 2023, 13:44 pm IST
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Every woman desires to have a safe, healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Pregnancy is a natural and an amazing phenomenon. Here are a few suggestions and tips which every woman should know to have a healthy pregnancy.

1. Educate yourself about the pregnancy

Educate yourself about the changes your body undergoes as the pregnancy advances. Talk to your family, friends about their experiences. Learn about the do’s and don’ts, what to eat and how much to eat, ways to keep yourself happy, to have a safe and healthy journey with healthy baby. Also try to learn about how to take care of yourself and your baby post-delivery, and about breastfeeding.

2. maintain a healthy weight

Studies have reported that pregnancy complications are more prevalent in overweight or obese women as compared to women with a normal weight, Similarly higher incidence of complications have been reported in underweight women. Therefore, it is important to maintain a Body Mass Index (BMI) in the range of 19-25 for a healthy pregnancy.

3. How much weight should increase during the pregnancy?

Overall, there should be weight gain of 10-12 kg. Gaining appropriate amount of weight during pregnancy is important to have a healthy baby, easy pregnancy and delivery. It also becomes easier to come back to normal post-delivery. If increase in weight gain is less, then there could be chances of having low birth weight baby, intrauterine growth retardation and preterm delivery. 

If weight gain is on the higher side, then chances of a big sized baby, gestational diabetes, pregnancy-induced hypertension and operative delivery risk would also be high. In the first trimester of pregnancy, weight gain is not much as nausea, morning sickness, vomiting and acidity symptoms are very common. Most of the weight gain is during the second and early third trimester.

healthy pregnancy
Your lifestyle plays a huge part in shaping up your pregnancy journey. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
4. Consume a healthy diet for a healthy pregnancy
  • Eat healthy: You will need to eat lots of fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables. Have a well-balanced diet of good protein, carbohydrate and fat, high fiber, and rich on vitamins and minerals. Folic acid-rich food is important to prevent spinal and other neural tube defects in growing fetus.
  • Have water: Drink 8-10 glasses of water, and avoid aerated drinks, alcohol and smoking. Eat frequent, small meals to avoid acidity and gastritis. Avoid eating outside food to prevent gastroenteritis. No extra calories are required in the first trimester. On an average, 350 extra calories a day are required during the second trimester and 450 extra calories per day during the third trimester.
  • Consult: Take the help of your doctor to know how many calories are required for you to gain optimum weight, depending upon your BMI and weight gain during pregnancy.
  • Calcium and iron: The requirement for calcium and iron also increases during pregnancy. Increase food rich in both in your diet.
  • Tablets: Have a calcium tablet (500-1000 mg/day). Also take supplements of iron, folic acid (5 mg a day). Protein are also required depending upon the individual’s need for a healthy pregnancy.
5. Stay physically active

You can consider walking, swimming or prenatal exercises, as recommended by your treating doctor. Regular  exercise will increase the blood circulation for a growing  pregnancy. It will also help in digestion, prevent excess weight gain, reduce bloating, cramp and the risk of hypertension and gestational diabetes. It also reduces the duration of labour and chances of operative delivery. 

healthy pregnancy
A little bit of exercise during pregnancy can do your baby a world of good. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
6. Adequate rest and sleep

This is equally important to have a healthy pregnancy and for the correct growth of the baby. On an average, you should have 6-8 hours sleep at night and a 2-hour break during the day.  This also maintains adequate blood circulation and nutrition to the growing baby. 

7. Maintain the growth record of the baby

Follow your doctor’s advice sincerely, and visit the expert for checkups regularly. Get blood tests and ultrasound done on time to keep track of the baby’s growth. Check for fetal movements from 28 weeks of pregnancy onwards. There should be at least 10-12 movements per 10 hours. In case of any unusual symptoms or warning signs, consult your doctor immediately.

Enjoy your pregnancy and motherhood to the fullest. And involve your partner and family members in this exciting journey!

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About the Author

Dr Ila Gupta is the Director, Ferticity Fertility Clinics, Delhi ...Read More

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