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Prenatal Habits You Can Embrace Today

Prenatal Habits You Can Embrace Today

How you care for yourself during pregnancy greatly impacts your pregnancy experience, labor, delivery, and you and your baby’s long-term health. Infants born to mothers who don’t receive prenatal care are three times more likely to have a low birth weight and are five times more likely to die in infancy compared to infants of mothers who do get prenatal care. 

Women who don’t receive prenatal care are also three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications when compared to women who do get prenatal care. 

At South Plains Rural Health Services, we provide comprehensive OB/GYN care that includes prenatal services to support your pregnancy and any complications that may arise. There are prenatal habits you can adopt on your own that also support a positive pregnancy experience. These habits are smart to adopt if you’re trying to conceive or just found out that you’re pregnant. 

Stop drinking alcohol 

Alcohol can damage a developing fetus, so it’s recommended you avoid drinking the strong stuff completely during pregnancy. 

Drinking alcohol increases the risk that you’ll suffer a miscarriage or premature birth. Your baby may also have a low birthweight. 

When you drink during pregnancy, you put your baby at risk of developing fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), which causes problems with learning, behavior, joints, muscles, bones, organs, development of social skills, impulse control, and communication. 

Eat a healthy diet

A healthy diet keeps your weight gain during pregnancy on track; plus, it provides you and baby with essential nutrients. Beans and leafy greens provide folic acid, a nutrient that helps prevent certain birth defects. You also benefit from high-calcium foods like yogurt or milk and foods high in vitamin C like oranges and broccoli. 

Exercise regularly

Exercise helps regulate your mood and makes it easier for you to sleep at night. You also boost circulation, which discourages uncomfortable swelling and joint pain. 

If you’re new to exercise, choose gentle options like walking, water exercise, and yoga. If you already exercise, talk to us about how you might need to modify depending on the trimester and your body. 

Take prenatal vitamins

You don’t have to be pregnant yet to benefit from taking prenatal vitamins. These supplements have many of the nutrients necessary to ensure your baby’s healthy development. We can help you get a quality vitamin supplement that meets your needs.

Reduce your caffeine intake

Moderate consumption of caffeine is OK, but don’t overdo it. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends no more than 200 mg per day (about the amount in two 6-ounce cups of coffee). 

Stay hydrated

Proper hydration helps prevent preterm contractions and relieves leg cramps. It also keeps things moving in your digestive tract, so you avoid uncomfortable constipation that often strikes in early pregnancy. If you plan on breastfeeding, good hydration habits now will pay off when you need to keep hydrated to keep up your milk supply.

Use pregnancy as an incentive to create healthy, balanced habits now! Make calling South Plains Rural Health Services a priority, too, if you’re pregnant. We provide the needed medical support required during your pregnancy. Call the nearest location today, or use the online tool to set up an appointment.

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