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Top Ten Dos and Don'ts for Pregnant Women

The Simple Guide to Having a BabyPregnancy is an exciting time, filled with anticipation and wonder. But keeping track of all the changes that are occurring to mind, body, and spirit – not to mention routine – can be hard, especially with a woman’s first pregnancy. “What you do (and don’t do) during pregnancy can help you and your baby stay healthy,” says Janet Whalley, registered nurse and co-author of The Simple Guide to Having a Baby.

From the Simple Guide, Whalley offers ten dos and don’ts to help expecting women stay on track for a healthy pregnancy and birth:

1. Do have regular prenatal care appointments with a health caregiver who can check on you and your baby.

2. Don’t smoke, drink alcohol, or take street drugs.

3. Do take your prenatal vitamin each day.

4. Do follow your caregiver’s advice about taking medications.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask your caregiver or healthcare professional questions you have about your health, your pregnancy, or your baby.

6. Do try to stay away from toxic chemicals, like pesticides and some cleaning agents, by washing fruits and vegetables, wearing protective gear such as gloves or a mask, or asking someone else to do the task.

7. Do keep a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, and wearing a seatbelt.

8. Do get enough sleep and rest and try to reduce stress.

9. Don't take too much caffeine. Caffeine reduces calcium and water in your body, raises stress hormones, and can change your baby’s heart rate. Do limit caffeine consumption to 1-2 cups a day.

10. Do create a birth plan describing your wishes, concerns, and how you’d like to be cared for during labor and birth.

Resources:

The Simple Guide to Having a Baby by Janet Whalley

Related Links:

Tips to Healthy Pre-Pregnancy Planning

Harmful Environmental Agents for Pregnancy

Sex During Pregnancy

2nd Trimester of Pregnancy

3rd Trimester of Pregnancy

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