"Good Nutrition and Pregnancy" is a great example of a paper on pregnancy. A woman needs to be prepared for the birth of a new life well in advance. It starts even before the conception when the future parents decided that they would like to have a baby. So the first step of the mother-to-be would be to visit a practitioner and find out everything possible about her health and treat anything that could be an obstacle to having a stress-free easy pregnancy and a healthy baby. The woman’ s body will be influenced a lot during pregnancy, so visiting a dentist is necessary, as well as updating immunizations.
It is a good idea to review one’ s family tree as well as the history of previous pregnancies. A woman should start improving her diet before conception. It is especially important to increase the intake of folic acid. Folic acid is found naturally in whole grains and green leafy vegetables, and by law, it is also added to most refined grains. It is good to reduce caffeine intake as well. It is also recommended that a woman would take a pregnancy supplement containing 400 mcg of the vitamin two months before conception.
It should reduce the risk of having vomiting and nausea during pregnancy. There are many natural symptoms of the pregnancy, the first and most common is missing of the period, though it is not the only one. Missing of the period should be accompanied by one or more of the following bodily changes: the enlargement and tenderness of the breasts, a feeling of unusual tiredness, nausea in the early morning, or sometimes before mealtimes, vaginal secretion, feeling an extra hunger during the day.
Of course, the surest sign would be taking a pregnancy test. Good prenatal care is one of the most important things in having a healthy baby, so a woman must visit her practitioner as early in the pregnancy as possible. Choosing a good practitioner could be not an easy task, but it is well worth the effort. A woman should have a very good connection with the doctor, and an open line of communication. It is important to talk about the issues that are essential to a pregnant woman and find out the doctor’ s position on matters, such as unmedicated childbirth versus pain relief if necessary, induction of labor, cesarian deliveries, breastfeeding, etc.
Future parents should also explore the hospital where the delivery would take place, and see if everything fits their preferences. Good nutrition is one of the most important factors in a normal healthy pregnancy. As a common rule, a good diet must contain a generous supply of first-class protein such as meat, beans, nuts, whole grains, cheese, fish, and eggs.
Three servings of proteins should be consumed daily. The liver is excellent and high in iron and good nutrients to build the blood. A woman should have one liter of milk a day, either by drinking or by consumed in another form – yogurt, cheese, etc. Milk gives the necessary calcium that pregnancy robs the woman’ s body. Calcium foods should be four servings daily. A fresh supply of vitamin C is needed daily – three servings are preferable. Vitamin C is contained in grapefruit, orange, grapes, lemon, papaya, bell pepper, broccoli, tomato, lettuce, etc. Fresh vegetables are excellent.
A pregnant woman should have three or four servings of green and yellow leafy vegetables daily. These fruits and vegetables supply the body with vitamins A and E, and calcium. One or two servings of other fruits and vegetables are also essential (apples, cherries, plums, avocado, zucchini, etc. ) Whole grains (oats, rye, whole wheat, barley, corn, etc. ) and legumes (beans, peas, and peanuts) should constitute six servings per day. They are packed with nutrients, such as vitamin B, iron, magnesium. Pregnant women should decrease their intake of starches and carbohydrates, such as bread, potatoes, pasta, etc.
Intake of any forms of refined sugar should be limited to a minimum – these are empty calories that bring no nutritional value to a woman’ s body or her future baby. Sugar can be substituted by fruit, dried fruit, or honey. Processed food should be avoided. A future mother should take at least eight glasses of fluids daily. The baby’ s body is composed mainly of fluids, and a mother needs more fluids than ever during these nine months. Fluids make the skin soft, easy constipation, rid the body of toxins. A pregnant woman is eating for two, but a fetus does not need as many nutrients as a woman does, so only about 300 more calories are needed for a pregnant woman of average weight.
Eating more calories will lead to excessive weight gain. Eating fewer calories can seriously slow down the baby’ s growth and development. Exercising is as important for a pregnant woman as good nutrition. Regular exercise can help to build up a woman’ s stamina, so she would feel less tired; it will improve sleep and make the woman feel more rested.
There should be about 30 minutes of exercise daily. Brisk walking, using the stairs instead of the elevator, cycling, swimming, or water aerobics – these are the types of exercise that a pregnant woman can incorporate into her daily routine. Gaining the right amount of weight is vital. A practitioner will help to calculate an ideal weight gain individually. Gaining weight is not only about getting the needed amount of food, it is also about individual metabolism, genes, level of activity.
A gradual weight gain is the best for the body. A baby needs a steady supply of nutrients and calories. Gradual gain also allows for gradual skin stretching, and it means fewer stretch marks. A good goal for the first trimester is 2-4 pounds. During the second trimester, the baby starts growing more and the mother should gain about 12-14 pounds. During the third semester, the weight gain should be 8-10 pounds. Perhaps the most important exercise for a pregnant woman is the Kegel exercises. These exercises help strengthen the pelvic floor in preparation for labor and delivery, which will help avoid an episiotomy or a tear.
In strengthening this muscle through daily exercise a woman strengthens the support of the uterus: it will prevent a prolapsed uterus. After the delivery Kegal muscle will help the healing in general. An expectant mother needs more rest than she is normally used to. Work during pregnancy is fine, as long as it excludes any heavy work, such as lifting heavy objects. It is good to take an hour nap daily, especially in the last trimester.
The rest should be taken in a lying position, if a woman has cramps or various veins it is good to elevate the legs slightly when sitting or lying. Sex during pregnancy is one of the issues pregnant women and their partners should consider. First of all, it is not needed to stop any kind of sexual activity once the woman gets pregnant, but each couple needs to figure out what would be the most comfortable for them. A woman shouldn't make love at the time when her normal periods would have been due.
At all other times, sex life can continue. One should not worry about hurting the baby inside – it is well protected. Sex could be restricted under the following circumstances: if a woman experiences signs of pre-term labor, or if there is a history of preterm labor; if a woman was diagnosed with the incompetent cervix or placenta previa; if the woman experiences bleeding or has a history of miscarriages. When a woman is pregnant her body changes a lot, and it is good to be aware of those changes and not to be afraid of them.
The veins could get visible, there could be breakouts, like in the teenage years, the skin could get dry. Women can experience backaches, or abdominal pains, or have trouble sleeping. Though these things are uncomfortable, it is inevitable that one of them would happen, so the best is to be prepared for them morally. As time passes, after the delivery, most of the inconveniences will get back to normal. In the last trimester of the pregnancy, a woman should attend some labor preparation classes.
Attending childbirth classes is a chance for future parents to communicate with other couples that are in the same situation, to share helpful tips, or talk about their worries. It is a great chance to learn about labor and delivery from a knowledgeable coach. A future mother could learn breathing and relaxation techniques, which will help a lot. Knowledge is power, being knowledgeable about the delivery process will make the delivery as stress-free and enjoyable as possible.
Exercise during Pregnancy. Web. Retrieved from http://www.babycenter.com. 18 March 2012
Murkoff Heidi, Mazel Sharon. What to Expect When You Are Expecting. Workman Publishing Company (April 10, 2008). Print. 4th edition. Kegel Exercises. Web. Retrieved from http://www.parentingweekly.com. 18 March 2012
Elizabeth M. Ward. Pregnancy Nutrition: Good Health for You and Your Baby. Wiley (1998). Print