Steps Towards Delivering a Healthy Baby
Pregnancy is an exciting, but often nerve-wracking, time for women, especially if they are first time mothers. The instant a woman announces her pregnancy, friends, family members, and even complete strangers begin bombarding her with advice on what to eat, what to avoid, how much to exercise, and whether or not she can enjoy her morning cup of coffee. What can a soon-to-be mother do to improve the odds of delivering a healthy baby?
Perhaps the most important step a mother can take during her pregnancy is to go to every scheduled prenatal appointment. During these appointments, a woman’s blood pressure and other vital signs will be noted. Her weight will also be monitored, and she will give frequent urine samples as well. The baby will be examined via ultrasound on occasion, and the baby’s heart rate will be checked with a fetal Doppler. Between appointments, a woman should take note of any new symptoms about which she would like to speak with the doctor. Of course, if she has any urgent questions, she should call her doctor’s office.
Pregnant women should also eat healthy foods when possible. Although this may be tricky with morning sickness and heartburn, if a pregnant woman can eat healthy the majority of the time, she will increase the odds of a healthy birth. Pregnant women should consume at least 70 milligrams of vitamin C every day. They should also have 0.4 milligrams of folic acid. Consuming two to four servings of fruit and four or more servings of vegetables every day should meet these goals. In addition, three servings of protein, at least six servings of whole grains, and a minimum of 1000 milligrams of calcium are recommended.
Prenatal vitamins are also important for a healthy pregnancy and delivery. These vitamins provide vitamins and minerals that are essential to the healthy development of a baby, such as DHA, which supports brain development. Although prenatal vitamins cannot replace a healthy diet, they can supplement the diet and provide doses of vitamins and minerals when there are gaps in a mother’s diet—such as on those days where she can only keep toast and ginger ale down.
Maintaining a healthy exercise routine also increases the odds of having an uncomplicated pregnancy. With the guidance of her doctor, a pregnant woman should remain active. Walking, swimming, yoga, and light weight training are all great for pregnant women. Exercise during pregnancy has been linked to a reduced risk of gestational diabetes, which may cause complications during pregnancy.
Under no circumstances should a pregnant woman smoke. Smoking may cause miscarriages and birth defects. It is also a risk factor for sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, which is the unexplained death of an infant. If a woman has trouble letting go of her smoking habit, her doctor will be able to recommend smoking cessation strategies.
Pregnant women must also make sure they get enough rest. Failing to get enough sleep has been linked to an increased risk of having a C-section. Poor sleep is also linked to an increased risk of developing preeclampsia. Women are ten times more likely to develop preeclampsia if they do not get enough sleep. Pregnancy is certainly not the most comfortable time in a woman’s life, so if she is having trouble sleeping, her doctor should be able to make suggestions on improving her quality of rest.
By maintaining a healthy lifestyle and frequently seeing her doctor, a woman increases the odds of having an uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery. Taking care of herself will not only help her build her endurance for delivery, but it will also improve the chances of giving birth to a happy, healthy baby.
But even if the mother does everything right during her pregnancy, mistakes and errors in delivery can happen. Through no fault of the mother, any number of things can go wrong. For instance, a doctor could drop the baby during delivery, a nurse could give a drug to the baby at the wrong dosage level, or there could be a delay in delivery of a baby in fetal distress. Should an error like this happen, you need an experienced medical negligence attorney to help you.
Contact our experienced Ohio birth injury attorneys for a free consultation
At The Eisen Law Firm, our Cleveland birth injury attorneys are experienced in representing families who have suffered through complicated births and birth injuries, both to babies and their mothers. If you feel that you or your child’s injuries were caused by the negligence of a medical professional, contact our office to schedule a free consultation to discuss your experience. Call our office at 216-687-0900 or contact us online.