Prenatal care is the health care a woman receives during pregnancy. This involves checkups with a physician and regular prenatal testing to make sure that the pregnancy is going well.
A doctor may prescribe multivitamins to prepare and strengthen the mother’s body during pregnancy. Usually, the multivitamin will include folic acid, which is very essential especially in the early stages of pregnancy. As for other strong medication like antibiotics, it is always best to ask your doctor whether you can continue or should stop taking these medicines.
The mother should also consume all the nutrients that she can, each day. These include iron, Vitamin C, Calcium, Zinc and Vitamin D.
The best and easiest way to consume these nutrients is by keeping a very healthy and balanced diet. This means eating a variety of healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and calcium-rich foods, like milk.
Milk is highly recommended for women, since it contains many of the above-mentioned nutrients needed by the mother. These nutrients are as follows:
Calcium: Since the baby gets its calcium from the bones of the mother, including milk in her diet will strengthen both her and her baby’s bones. Apart from this, milk also helps increase the height of the baby.
Proteins: Aside from calcium, milk also provides essential proteins that serve a number of important functions during pregnancy like the buildup of the uterus, blood supply and the baby’s tissues. Studies have shown that insufficient protein intake while a woman is pregnant has resulted in decreased birth weight and health problems for the baby.
Vitamin D: Milk is also one of the few sources of Vitamin D which is another essential nutrient for pregnant women and their babies to prevent neonatal problems or low birth weight.
Apart from a proper diet, a healthier lifestyle should be observed by mothers during pregnancy:
- Proper weight (not too much and not too little) should be kept, and will be determined by the health care provider.
- Alcohol, smoking and drugs should be avoided. Even second-hand smoke can be harmful to the mother and the baby’s health.
- The mother should have at least 2 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercises every week, unless a doctor recommends against it.
- Sleep should be regular.
- Stress should be kept at a minimum.
These are just some of the many suggestions that can be followed during your pregnancy, but it is always best to consult your health provider/ doctor.