Moms-to-be often ask what they can do to give their baby the best start in life. Fortunately, there are plenty of things that can be done to ensure a healthy pregnancy. It all starts with choosing a physician you trust. You’ll be seeing your doctor regularly so it’s important that you are comfortable asking questions and receiving feedback.
VNA Health Group offers various services for expectant parents, including our Home Visitation Support programs like Nurse Family Partnership, Healthy Families and Parents as Teachers. These three programs provide support, education and resources to pregnant mothers.
In the meantime, here are five of the best ways to support a healthy pregnancy.
1. Eat a Balanced, Nutritious Diet
Eating nutritious foods while pregnant is essential for optimal health and wellness. Some of the things to focus on are protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, complex carbohydrates, fiber and fluids. It’s also important to keep portion sizes in mind. Pregnant women need about 300 extra calories a day, which equates to an apple and peanut butter or plain bagel with cream cheese.
2. Stay Physically Active
Healthy pregnant women need about 2.5 hours of aerobic exercise each week. This activity can reduce pregnancy complications and alleviate common discomforts like back, hip and neck pain. Some activities are not safe while pregnant (horseback riding, hot yoga), but many are. We usually recommend focusing on low-impact exercises like swimming, stretching or walking.
3. Maintain a Strong Support Network
Pregnant women benefit from having a strong support system. This network will also be there for you after you have the baby and are going through postpartum recovery. Your support network can include family, friends, coworkers, neighbors and doctors. Remember, you’ll get a great team of support from VNA Health Group!
4. Take a Prenatal Vitamin Daily
Even if you eat a super healthy diet, your doctor will probably still recommend a prenatal vitamin. Babies require a lot of nutrients to grow, particularly folic acid, calcium, iron and omega-3s. Not only does a prenatal vitamin supply these nutrients to your baby, but also they prevent your baby from taking everything from you!
5. Get Early Prenatal Care
Prenatal care keeps mom and baby healthy. Getting this care early is essential because the doctor will start doing weight checks, physical exams, urine samples, blood tests and imaging. Regular prenatal care also reduces the risk for pregnancy complications and ensures your baby is on track with its milestones.
Enlist Pregnancy Help from VNA Health
If you or a loved one is currently expecting a baby, contact VNA Health Group today. Our Healthy Families Program offers a number of support services designed to help mothers and their babies get the bright, healthy start they deserve.