Pregnancy is one of the most exciting times in the life of every woman. It is also a time of apprehension, especially for first-time mums. There are 9 practical things every pregnant woman must know to protect their health and the unborn child. There are important things to consider before planning a pregnancy.
9 practical things every pregnant woman must know.
1. Stop smoking
Benefits of stopping smoking during pregnancy
- Reduced risk of having a stillbirth
- Reduced risk of having a premature birth
- Reduced risk of having a low birth weight baby
- Reduced risk of cot death ( sudden infant death syndrome )
- Reduced risk of your child developing asthma in later years
Beware of passive smoking , if you live with someone who smokes, you are putting your unborn child at the same harmful risk of smoking
2. Cut out the alcohol
Taking alcohol in pregnancy can lead to the risk of having a child with fetal alcohol syndrome ( FAS). FAS can cause poor growth, learning and behavioural difficulties in the child.
3. Watch your diet
Eat healthy diets in pregnancy. If you are on a special diet before pregnancy, you need to inform your healthcare professional because you may require nutritional supplements
Foods to avoid in pregnancy
- unripe soft cheeses
- uncooked fish, meat and eggs
- unwashed fruits and vegetables due to the risk of salmonella
- Raw shellfish
- Unpasteurized milk due to the risk of listeria
- swordfish, shark or marlin due to the risk of a high level of mercury which is harmful to the unborn child
- Liver due to the risk of excess vitamin A
Gentle exercise such as walking or swimming is advisable in pregnancy. When swimming, avoid extreme temperature, avoid saunas or hot baths, avoid high impact exercises such as scuba diving.
5. Maintain a healthy weight
A healthy weight is a body mass index ( BMI) of between 18.5 and 24.9. Use a BMI calculator to work out your weight. It’s best to lose weight before you get pregnant. Do not attempt to lose weight in pregnancy. Your health professional will manage you for risks associated with high BMI in pregnancy.
Folic acid is advisable up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. A higher dose of folic acid is advisable in women with a history of neural tube defect, obesity, diabetes, family history of neural tube defect, sickle cell disease, coeliac disease and thalassemia
Vitamin D is recommended for women at high risk of vitamin D deficiency
High risk of vitamin D deficiency
- Women of African, Caribbean, middle eastern and south Asian origin
- Women with limited sun exposure
- Women with high BMI prepregnancy
- Women with dietary restrictions
Flu jab is recommended in pregnancy to protect you and your unborn child in the first few months of their life.
Whooping cough jab is recommended from 16 weeks to 32 weeks of pregnancy. It will protect your child when they are born up till 8 weeks of life when they will get their own jabs.
8. Ongoing medical condition
If you have any ongoing medical conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy, asthma, thyroid disease, sickle cell disease, mental health disease or if you are on regular medications, it is important you engage with specialists to get tailored advice related to your specific condition.
9. Finally stay on the word
Meditate on God’s promises , think good thoughts and be positive.
Be mindful of your conversation during pregnancy; let the word of your mouth and the meditation of your heart be acceptable in His sight.
You can have a positive experience during your pregnancy and delivery. Remember Galatians 3: 13 says Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by being made a curse for us! We have a new and a better covenant.
Do not give in to fear ,meditate on God’s words , speak the word, pray the word and act on the word.
Enjoy your pregnancy !
To help you with your meditation during your pregnancy, you can download our FREE printable Bible verses to pray during pregnancy .