Mothers - Pregnancy Care and Tips

Ah, pregnancy - that very special time in a woman's life when she contemplates the meaning of being a mother and wonders how she will successfully get through the next few months. Many expectant mothers try to balance pregnancy and career, most do so without problems and some find that maternity leave can't come soon enough.

Prepregnancy and Prenatal Care

Pregnancy demands specific care for a mother, and the care changes over the course of the pregnancy. Early pregnancy care actually begins about three months before conception, when a couple is thinking about having a baby. A prepregnancy check-up during which important family history issues as well as medical problems and medications being taken, are discussed means there is good footing going into the pregnancy.

Prenatal care also includes establishing a health pregnancy diet, determining what additional nutrients are necessary and boosting them with a multivitamin that is specially formulated for pregnancy and ensuring enough folic acid is being taken to prevent spina bifida. Other lifestyle changes are part of the prepregnancy and prenatal care for mothers, including smoking cessation and testing for STDs.

A Healthy Diet Helps Baby

Enlarging upon what's already been said, pregnancy care tips for the diet include ensuring that plenty of fresh fruits, veggies, and leafy greens are part of the diet. Calcium-rich foods like broccoli and low-fat milk and yogurt help build baby's bones and teeth. Avoid fish with high levels of mercury, which can damage a baby's brain. Check the listings for unsafe fish (swordfish, tile fish, shark and others) and just cut back on the quantities of other types of fish - because most fish has too much mercury in it. Get your protein from chicken and turkey as well as dairy. Baby care begins in the womb and continues after the baby is born, so the way a mother cares for herself during her maternity is vitally important to the health of her baby.

Charting Your Course...

A pregnancy calendar will give a mother excellent information as to the development of her baby, day by day or week by week. They can be accessed in books or on the internet. Pregnancy calendars usually have pictures of where the baby is in terms of development and a mother can watch, from the outside, what's going on inside. It helps to understand fetal development so a mother can understand what her body is going through and how it is changing in order to accommodate the growing baby.

The best strategy for pregnancy care for any mother is to keep stress levels low, eat well, exercise, and rest. Sometimes these things are easier said than done, though, and it may require a change in lifestyle or changes to daily routines in order to ensure a mother is taking good care of herself and her unborn baby.

...And Changing Your Course

As the pregnancy moves forward, the changes in prenatal care move as well. Exercising may have to be changed from very active to something more passive - depending upon how the pregnancy is going and how the mother is feeling. The closer the time comes to birthing the baby, the more changes take place. By the third trimester the body is cumbersome and often uncomfortable. Sleep is elusive and so sleep aids, like pregnancy pillows, become necessary. Heartburn, some swelling in the feet and legs, and cramping may all appear in the last trimester. The good news is that it's only a few weeks until the baby is born.

Abortion Care

Pregnancy care also extends to women who have experienced abortion, either spontaneous or planned. It is normal for a woman who has had an abortion to feel a wide range of emotions, including grief, guilt, anger, shame and regret. This is where abortion care is especially important. With turbulent emotions creating sadness and sometimes depression, and other feelings generated by the reasons for the abortion, a woman may need help dealing with the fallout.

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