Every child that is born premature will not necessarily suffer from any complications, but it will increase their risk of developing problems with their heart, brain, lungs, gastrointestinal system, and immune system. Some premature births are preventable, however, and this is why all women that have recently found out they are pregnant or seeking to get pregnant should keep these 5 tips in mind for protecting their baby and their own health.
1. Establish a Healthy Weight Before Getting Pregnant
Reaching a healthy weight before you become pregnant and then maintaining a healthy weight throughout your pregnancy is one of the most effective ways to limit the risks that you and your child will face. Every single woman’s body is slightly different, and this is why it is important to first speak with your primary healthcare provider to establish what your weight goals should be. Women that are severely overweight or underweight are especially likely to go into early labor.
2. Consider Prenatal Supplements
Having vitamin or mineral deficiencies is another common reason for premature births. Unfortunately, many woman assume that a traditional multivitamin will be enough when it comes to their daily intake. Instead, choose multivitamins that are specifically made for expectant mothers. These supplements are often rich in both iron and folic acid, two compounds that are very important when it comes to the development of your baby’s brain, bones, cardiovascular system, and immune system.
3. Do Not Use Tobacco Products, Alcohol, or Street Drugs
Mothers that regularly use prescription medication, street drugs, alcohol, or tobacco products should speak with their primary healthcare provider about quitting before getting pregnant. These often leave chemicals in a user’s body for weeks or even months on end, and this is why women must stop as early as possible to prevent any complications. As a general rule, even alcohol should be completely avoided during pregnancy as more than a few drinks can damage the baby’s brain and lead to a variety of other problems such as increasing your risk of a premature birth.
4. Start Exercising
According to Dr. Gilbert Webb, exercising is one of the easiest steps that women can take to drastically improve their own health, the health of their baby, lower stress, and ensure that they stay at the correct weight throughout their pregnancy. Unlike working out before or after a pregnancy, it is important to stick with routines, movements, and exercises specifically designed for expectant mothers. Some of the most popular choices include walks, compound stretching, and yoga. Mothers that are unsure of what exercises are safe for them and their baby should speak with a specialist before carrying out any movements or routines.
5. Get Prenatal Care
From the moment that you suspect you are pregnant you should seek out prenatal care from your OBGYN. During the earliest stages of the pregnancy, your obstetrician can verify that you have no deficiencies, are staying hydrated, and understand what your weight goals will be. As the pregnancy goes on, women with complications or high risk pregnancies may need to visit a specialist.
The average first year medical costs of a “premmie” baby are 10 times more than that of a full-term baby and they will be subject to a long list of potential risks. Keep these five tips in mind to protect your own body and ensure that your child remains as healthy as possible during and after their birth.