Take These Steps to a Healthy Pregnancy

Take These Steps to a Healthy Pregnancy

When you learn that you’re expecting a baby, your first thoughts might revolve around doing all you can to ensure that your baby is healthy. 

Dr. Peter Khamvongsa and our team at The Miami Institute for Women’s Health partner with you throughout your pregnancy and delivery, as well as afterwards, to make them truly exceptional experiences.

In addition to providing a wide range of women’s care services, we advise you on how best to care for yourself and your baby throughout the nine months leading up to your baby’s birth. We’re here to address your many questions during this time.  

What can I do to ensure my healthy pregnancy?

We want to focus on your health and your baby’s health during the rollercoaster that is pregnancy. Taking the best care of both of you includes: 

1. Getting excellent prenatal care

It’s critical to see Dr. Khamvongsa for regular prenatal appointments. He determines your due date, talks to you about how you’re doing and feeling, performs tests like ultrasounds or amniocentesis, monitors your baby’s growth and development, and answers your questions. 

Here’s a basic guide to how often you’ll visit us:

2. Taking a daily prenatal vitamin

Prenatal vitamins give you all you need nutritionally, but they also contain the vital B vitamin folic acid. You always need folic acid, but it’s especially important during pregnancy, as it lowers the risk that your baby will have a neural tube defect, such as spina bifida. 

It’s best to take a prenatal vitamin when you’re planning to get pregnant as well as during pregnancy.

3. Not using tobacco, recreational drugs, or alcohol

All of these pose risks for your baby, because everything you put into your body eventually reaches the baby. 

Drinking alcohol is associated with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), a combination of conditions that can cause learning problems, behavioral issues, and physical challenges. 

Drug use is associated with preterm labor, fetal development problems, miscarriage, and birth defects. Your baby can also be born with an addiction, and opioid use, for example, can lead to premature separation of your placenta from your uterus. 

Like drug use, tobacco use is linked to preterm birth, miscarriage, birth defects, and an increased risk for sudden infant death syndroms (SIDS). It’s also advised to avoid secondhand smoke when you’re pregnant. 

4. Eating well

Making sure you and our baby get adequate nutrients throughout your pregnancy is critical, though this can be challenging if you’re dealing with morning sickness and changing preferences. 

Try to get a balanced mix of fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, lean meats and fish, and nuts and seeds. Steer clear of foods made with unpasteurized milk; undercooked or raw seafood (like sushi), meat, or eggs; processed meat like hot dogs; and refrigerated smoked seafood or meat spreads, such as pâté.

5. Stay active but safe

Daily movement is great for you, whether you’re pregnant or not, but you just have to make a few accommodations as your pregnancy progresses. 

Low-impact activities are ideal when you’re pregnant, like walking, swimming, and riding a stationary bicycle. Yoga and Pilates work well too, and certified teachers know how to make accommodations for pregnant women.

Avoid contact sports, activities that pose a fall risk — like horseback riding and skiing, or anything that causes you to overheat, like “hot” yoga. 

Exercise relieves many of the discomforts of pregnancy, too, including constipation and back pain. It may also lower your risk for preeclampsia, a condition that causes high blood pressure and swelling in your legs, feet, and hands, as well as gestational diabetes. 

6. Take care of any vaccinations you need

If you’re pregnant during the fall and winter, make sure to get your annual flu shot, which is perfectly safe for you. 

It’s also important to get protection from COVID-19, which has been shown to cause more severe disease in pregnant women, by getting the full series of vaccinations, including a booster shot. 

A TdAP shot between weeks 27 and 36 is also advised, to prevent your baby from getting pertussis (whooping cough). 

Conversely, it’s not safe to get vaccines that contain live viruses, like varicella (chickenpox); shingles; or measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccines.

Excellent self-care and advanced prenatal care make pregnancy more comfortable. 

Call our office at 786-220-8664 to make an appointment to discuss prenatal care and start your care journey. You can also use our convenient online booking tool. 

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