Pregnancy can be an exciting, yet overwhelming time, especially for first-time mothers. In addition to preparing your home and your family for the arrival of your newborn, there are other important health practices to implement into your daily routine to keep you and your unborn child healthy throughout the pregnancy. Below are six do’s and don’ts to help you navigate this beautiful journey.
Follow your doctor’s dietary guidelines.
While dietary guidelines may vary depending on your health concerns and family history, doctors generally recommend avoiding unpasteurized milk, as well as raw meat and deli meat, which can cause illnesses such as toxoplasmosis and listeriosis. Expectant mothers are also often told to limit their coffee intake to just one cup per day to keep their baby’s heart rate from increasing.
Get plenty of sleep.
Sleep is essential to maintaining your health and sanity during a demanding pregnancy. Sleep is critical in managing your anxiety and hormone levels. It’s recommended to get between seven and nine hours of rest each night, as well as a few naps throughout the day when your body is feeling overly-fatigued.
Make time for gentle exercise.
Gentle exercise during pregnancy is one of the best ways to combat excessive weight gain and insomnia. For women who exercised regularly before pregnancy, doctors often recommend continuing your routine, making adjustments as the baby grows (particularly during the second and third trimesters). For expectant mothers who didn’t exercise previously, ask your physician to help you create a program that will keep you and the baby stay safe and healthy.
Smoke or consume alcohol.
Mothers who continue to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol put their newborn at risk for serious problems. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome has been shown to cause learning disabilities and behavioral and developmental problems later in childhood. Children born to smoking mothers will often experience lower birth weights and learning disabilities due to the physiologic nicotine addiction instilled during pregnancy.
Neglect pain and discomfort.
Over 50 percent of women report low back pain during pregnancy. Chiropractic care is a safe alternative to pain medications that can reduce morning sickness, heartburn, and constipation. Additionally, pregnancy chiropractic services can also contribute to an easier delivery and reduced incidences of postpartum depression.
Treating patients’ chronic pain since 2001, Dr. Michael Magwood and his chiropractic and wellness team at Pure Balance in Manhattan will work with you to develop a personalized pregnancy chiropractic treatment plan. In addition to his International Chiropractic Pediatric Association-certified chiropractic services, Dr. Magwood’s team also helps patients embrace overall wellness through mental health and nutritional counseling. Call (212) 661-5656 to schedule an appointment or visit their website for a list of their services.