Monday, June 4, 2012

Healthy mom/Healthy newborn - guest bogger, Katie Moore

What Expectant Moms Can Do to Have a Healthy Newborn

There are many things pregnant women can do to give their newborns a healthy start. Beginning as soon as a woman finds out she is pregnant and up until the days before she delivers and even into the first few weeks of life there are a number of preparations a mom-to-be can make to help bring a healthy newborn into the world. Here are just a few:  

1. Get prenatal care. As soon as a woman thinks she is pregnant, she should make an appointment to confirm and create a plan of care. How often she is seen will depend on her age, risk factors and overall health. In the first trimester or so, most women go about once a month. This increases with time; most see their doctor every week in the final weeks of pregnancy.

2. Eat well. Expectant moms should eat a balanced meal with enough protein and plenty of vegetables and fruit. They should also stay away from fish that might contain mercury. Take vitamins with folic acid. This B vitamin lowers the risk of brain and spine defects. Pregnant women should take prenatal vitamins with 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid a day.

3. Don’t smoke or drink alcohol. Not surprisingly, research shows nicotine and alcohol can cause health problems for newborns. Women should also protect themselves from secondhand smoke.

4. Exercise with moderation. Women who’ve always worked out should ask their doctors whether they need to adjust their routines. Those who don’t usually exercise should ask about how to introduce mild exercise. Each pregnancy is different and doctors will advise patients based on their risk factors, overall health and fitness background. Walking is one of the best forms of exercise for expecting moms.

5. Take a childbirth class. A childbirth class can help educate an expecting mother about necessities like pain management available and what to expect during delivery. It can also educate mothers about optional procedures available post-deliver, like circumcision and cord blood banking that can potentially benefit your child’s future health. Cord blood banking involves collecting the umbilical cord blood for the stem cells contained within. Stem cells from cord blood are used to help treat nearly 80 diseases today.  
6. Prepare your home. Putting together a nursery in your home is a big step in getting your home ready for baby. Having items like a crib, changing table and dresser filled with baby clothes and supplies will help you feel confident that your home is ready for your newborn. It is also never too soon to baby proof your home with outlet covers, cabinet locks and moving furniture that has sharp edges.

7. Lastly, make sure to give in to any body signals and get plenty of rest. Going into the delivery room well rested, prepared and relaxed with help delivery go smoother and you will be holding your newborn in your arms before you know it.

"This article was written by Katie Moore. Katie is an active writer within the blogging community who discusses maternity, motherhood, prenatal health, childbirth and other topics within this niche.  If you have any questions or would like to connect with Katie please contact by visiting her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter @moorekm26."
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