Pregnancy Health

Ensuring a healthy pregnancy

A healthy pregnancy will depend on both your physical and emotional well-being from the very beginning; the choices you make will have a huge impact on how your baby grows, both during your pregnancy and after birth. Find out how to adjust your nutritional habits and lifestyle choices to experience a healthy and happy pregnancy.

Healthy Habits during Pregnancy

Most would agree that a nutritious diet and regular exercise are important features of a healthy lifestyle, but the roles they play in pregnancy can be a bit more complex. A balanced diet will provide many of the essential nutrients for fetal development, but many women supplement their pregnancy diet with vitamins and minerals like folic acid and vitamin B6 to boost the baby's development and even decrease some discomforts of pregnancy. Water will also be very important for mother and baby; a well-hydrated body will be able to function more easily, and adequate hydration may even defend against pregnancy stretch marks.

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Keep up your energy and prepare for delivery with moderate aerobic and strengthening exercises. Many healthcare providers recommend a regular pregnancy exercise routine that consists of low-impact cardiovascular activity like walking and swimming, plus light toning and stretching to build up stabilizing core muscles. Although strenuous exercise should be avoided, sex during pregnancy will be a completely safe activity for most women, provided that their pregnancy is not considered to be high-risk.

Health Risks during Pregnancy

Since soaring estrogen levels will typically result in full, lustrous hair, hair loss during pregnancy can be a sign of a health condition or nutritional deficiency. Although 40 to 50 percent of women may experience some temporary hair loss after pregnancy, some women experience pregnancy hair loss as a result of an iron deficiency or a thyroid disorder. If you find that you are losing more hair than usual while you are still pregnant, you should visit your physician to test for hormonal and nutritional imbalances.

Although you may not be able to control hormonal conditions that can threaten your pregnancy health, a big part of your baby's overall-well being can be controlled by the choices you make. There is a firmly established connection between alcohol and pregnancy health: as little as one drink a day can incite physical and behavioral defects in your baby, while several drinks a day will dramatically increase her chances of developing fetal alcohol syndrome. Smoking during pregnancy leads to low birth weight and tendency towards sickness throughout childhood, while hard drug abuse during pregnancy will often result in miscarriage or critical infant illness.