Healthier women, healthier reproductive outcomes. This is a book by Moos, Merry-K, a renowned author who recommends excellent routine care for women of reproductive age.
Well, I couldn’t agree more with the author.
Everyone knows that pregnancy is a vulnerable period. The hospital trips, emotional roller-coaster, and of course, not to mention the tight daily work schedules for moms.
All these factors can be demanding. As such, you need to be proactive and deliberate in committing to what matters. This may help you to avoid worsening the already delicate situation.
While most women are keen to accomplish daily duties, especially those that pertain to their surroundings, there is a tendency to neglect simple pregnancy health practices.
In the long run, you compromise on your health and the health of your baby. Here are common mistakes you should avoid if you want to have a healthy pregnancy for a healthy baby.
1.Being inconsistency with your folic supplements
According to CDC, folic acid is essential in forming the neural tube. It’s a supplement that helps your baby’s neural tube to fully develop.
If this tube does not develop well, you risk giving birth to a baby with significant birth defects. These defects can be anencephaly and spina bifida, which affect the brain and spine consecutively.
I know it’s hard to consistently take your folic especially if you’re having nausea. In fact, a recent study suggests that only 32.7% of pregnant women were IFAS Compliance.
However, for the sake of your baby, try taking your folic every day. If your nauseatic, try taking your supplements after meals or before you go to bed. This may ease the severity of that nastic feeling in your mouth.
My rule was no matter how bad they make feel, I purposed to take them at least five days a week.
This not only helps to enhance your baby’s complete brain and spinal development but also enhances your irons and boosts your energy for the day.
Related: Here are 21 Best Practices to Deal With Nausea During Pregnancy
2. Skipping on your vaccinations
Your body endures so many changes during pregnancy. From weakened immunity to tearing and stitches during delivery. You thus need vaccines to boast your defense mechanism and lower the possibility of contracting common infections.
Normally, there are certain vaccines recommended for pregnant mothers. You may be vaccinated either before, during or after Pregnancy.
If you are planning for a pregnancy,take a proactive step. Talk with your healthcare provider about getting up to date on all your vaccines.
Try to inquire about the vaccines you need to take before conception. Similarly, there are those like tetanus that help to prevent infections after the aftermath of delivery, like perianal tears.
Whether it’s an injection or administered orally, you should not shy away from taking them on time. It’s saddening how some well-informed mamas can skip an injection based on myths, rumors, or fear of the unknown
According to doctor Taaka, vaccines for expectant mothers are developed with the highest safety concerns to protect both mothers and babies.
After vaccination, the woman develops antibodies that protect them again the disease. Similarly, these antibodies in a mother can cross over to her baby via the placenta and form part of its defense mechanism against some illnesses in its early years.
3.Remaining oblivious of your baby’s development milestones
Tracking your baby’s development can give you a hint on whether your little one is fine in their tiny world.
I’ve had horror stories of women who carried dead babies in their wombs for a while without realizing the anomalies. I feel so sorry that such kind can happen during this advanced technological edge.
Please make it a personal responsibility to listen to your baby’s movements and responses.
Be as inquisitive as possible about alarming factors to watch for in each trimester on your antenatal visit. For instance, you may not be able to notice anything during your first trimester, but your doctor can detect anomalies.
Also, doing Obstetric scans can help reveal your baby’s position, height, weight, and umbilical code status.
4 Neglecting your mental health
As insignificant as it may feel, mental health plays a significant role during Pregnancy. Its how you feel, think, and act in response to life.
According to NCBI, antenatal depression or anxiety may arise from factors like;
- Lack of partner or of social support
- History of abuse like domestic violence;
- History of mental illness
- Unplanned Pregnancy
- Adverse events in life leading to stress
- Pregnancy complications
- Pregnancy loss
Whereas we have no control over everything or people’s decisions about our life, we have a conscious mind that can choose what to focus on.
Learn a little bit of self-love and focus on what builds you.
If you’re in a toxic relationship, try seeking counseling. Walking out of a violent home may be a better decision for you and your baby. It’s better to live and tell the horror stories than dying and not experience the possibilities ahead of you.
Related:12 Things I Wish Knew Before Going into Labor and Childbirth
5. Poor sleeping position
Dr Okello, a retired clinical officer at KEMRI, recommends that pregnant women normalize sleeping on their sides. The officer suggests that sleeping on your back can be fetal as you transfer all the baby weight to vital organs like the liver and kidneys.
This impairs their functionality, resulting in possible swellings in your ankles and feet.
Additional, a 2019 study associates stillbirth to women who slept on their back in the second and third trimester. According to the study, sleeping on your back increases the possibility of having odd stillbirths than the left side.
Health professionals advocate for pregnant women to sleep on the left side since it leaves room for optimal blood flow from the inferior vena cava vein to the heart and your baby. It also takes the pressure off your vital organs.
Worth noting is that the research does not prohibit you from sleeping on your right side due to a lack of conclusive results on the effect.
Most women are guilty of this sin. We try to treat abnormal headaches, yeast infections, and recurring back pains.
But do we succeed? Most of the time is a No.
Pregnancy is a delicate period, and with reduced immunity, you will probably experience recurrent infections. While some may go away after a short period, others can be stubborn, prompting you to look for solutions.
Research indicates that self-medication can cause structural and functional adverse effects in developing embryos. The effects may include premature birth, respiratory problems, malformations, and other fetal toxicity to both mother and the baby.
This potential risks of self-medication may occur due to incorrect diagnosis of diseases, dangerous drug interactions, wrong dosages, and delays in seeking medical attention. All this can result in adverse reactions on you and your baby.
7. Being oblivious of your family history
Your family health history is like a mirror. It can help you see the past for a better tomorrow.
Learning about your medical history and providing your doctor with adequate information may help them make informed decisions in providing better care during Pregnancy.
For instance, It can help identify whether you have a higher risk for some diseases and take timely action to avert the situation. For example, if you have a history of miscarriage, your doctor may recommend a bed rest together with medication that can help save your baby.
Related: 12 Ways to Prepare for Delivery in Your Final Trimester
8. Overlooking on your pregnancy nutrition needs
I cannot overemphasize the importance of good nutrition during Pregnancy. Although you may experience nausea and a low preference for some food type, always ensure that your diet consists of vital minerals like iodine, iron, folate, calcium, and zinc.
Consuming this mineral will help prevent conditions like anemia and foster good fetal development.
Have a meal plan that includes micro nutrients and macro nutrients in your dietary components.
Eating proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals in a balanced way ensure that you remain healthy while promoting your child’s healthy growth.
Avoid smoking cigarettes, alcohol, and excessive caffeine drinks. This can affect your baby, like low birth weight and delayed developmental milestones.
9. Performing activities that are physically demanding
Heavy lifting or even standing for too long can increase your chances of miscarriage. Sometimes, repeatedly bending on your waist to pick up stuff is not recommended for pregnant women, especially in the final trimester.
This is because overindulging in physical activities that pressure your tummy may lead to preterm birth or injuries during Pregnancy.
Remember that during Pregnancy, you may have high chances of falling and injuries due to differences in posture and balance that affect your inability.
CDC recommends a weight limit you can lift during Pregnancy. And in case you must lift, follow this protocol.
- Bend from the knees and not waist
- Try to keep your back straight
- Keep your load close to your body
- Be extra careful to avoid twisting
- If the load is too strenuous, ask for help
10.Wearing high heels
Sometimes you wish to rock in heels with an open belly like your favorite celebrity.
Well, I admire it too.
But do you know wearing heels during pregnancy can be fatal? Just a slight twist in your ankle may cost you a baby, and this can happen because of the following;
Change in your center of gravity; yes, mama, you may have been modeling before Pregnancy, but as your tummy grows, your body’s center of gravity shifts forward too. This shift in your center of gravity can affect your stability, making you vulnerable to falls.
Loose feet ligaments; Also, Changes in a pregnancy hormones may have an effect on ligaments and joints. Relaxin, a pregnancy hormone responsible for uterus relaxation, may cause other body parts to relax. This happens to allow the accommodation of your baby’s growth and subsequent birth. During Pregnancy, you may notice some increment in your feet. They may loosen too, especially in joints leading to instability and muscle strain when wearing heels.
Besides, there is usually an abnormal increase in pelvic, back, and hip discomforts during Pregnancy. Please be kind to yourself by getting a comfortable flat shoe that will support your foot arch.
One study suggests that sleeping continues for more than 9 hours in your final trimester increases the risk of stillbirth.
The study that involved 153 women who had experienced a late stillbirth at least after 28 weeks of Pregnancy-associated the unfortunate occurrences with lengthy periods of undisturbed maternal sleep.
Quite controversial, right?
But again, you better be on the safe side.
I know how sweet the sleep can be during Pregnancy. Always try to wake up between and use the toilet. Walk right into your kitchen for a glass of water before going for round two. These mid-breaks are all that you need.
This research is not conclusive and advocates for further studies for better understanding.
12.Wearing tight pants
Tight pants can not harm your baby, or at least no study has concluded that you should avoid them during Pregnancy.
However, as a mom of three, I can confidently advise expectant moms to wear loose clothes or atleast stretchy, soft material pants with an elastic band around the stomach.
Remember when you are just walking in your tight pants, and hmm, you fall short of breath. What is your first reaction? Well, for me, I want to undress and feel my freedom.
Similarly, NCBI health care professionals advise pregnant women to avoid constrictive clothing around the trunk to improve the quality of their life. Though the study is not conclusive and more research needs to be done, you better not gamble with your health.
13 Inadequate water intakes
Inadequate water intake leads to dehydration –a state that may interfere with the normal functioning of your cells.
In Pregnancy, water is used to form an amniotic sac, a crucial medium of exchanging nutrients between mother and baby. Other complications associated with dehydration in Pregnancy include neural tube defects, birth defects, and premature labor.
Various symptoms occur with low water intake. These include;
- Thirsty feeling
- Dry, sticky mouth
- Infrequent urination
- Persistent headache
Try taking eight glasses of water per day. If you don’t finish this in a day, you may also choose to make up for your water needs by consuming lots of other healthy drinks and fruits.
I love Pregnancy. It’s a God-given opportunity to bring forth life, but these common pregnancy mistakes can cost you dearly. If you’re planning to, or maybe you’re already expectant, why don’t you get a pregnancy planner or journal to keep track of your events? They may go a long way in reminding you about your to-do-list so that you don’t miss out on important things.
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