Parenting Tips

Tips On Protecting The Health Of Your Unborn Child

There is much to look forward to when you find out you’re pregnant, not least the day when your baby finally arrives and you have them cradled up in your arms. But you can be fraught with worry too. Lot’s of “what if’s” will enter your mind, such as What If I Never Get To Sleep Again? And other worries will be around health and safety of your unborn child.

There is much you can do to ensure your home is safe for your child after birth. You can add baby gates, hide dangerous products away, and take steps to make your garden kid-friendly. And there is much you can do to protect your baby before they are born too. These include the following. 

#1: Lay off the alcohol

Unfortunately, alcohol is one of the leading reasons behind birth defects during pregnancy. So, if you are prone to the odd tipple or two, you should curb the habit in the months leading up to your baby’s birth. This is because you won’t be the only one partaking of an alcoholic drink. Your baby will be affected by it too, as alcohol crosses the placenta and into the fetus’s blood. This can cause such problems as heart, kidney, and bone defects, as well as growth restriction and various forms of disability. 

#2: Quit smoking

You already know that smoking is bad for you. But when you’re pregnant, it is also bad for the baby, as nicotine can enter the blood of the fetus. This can lead to a number of issues, including growth restriction, low birth weight, and in the worst-case scenario, stillbirth. So, get help to quit smoking if you need support, perhaps by speaking to your doctor. You will do much to protect your own health if you do, and you will minimise any health risks to your unborn baby too. 

3: Avoid infections

A common cause of birth brain injury is physical trauma to the baby’s head during the birthing process. However, evidence has also shown that babies can experience brain damage while still in the womb. Certain infections can be responsible for this, so this is something you need to keep in mind during your pregnancy.  Not every infection will affect your baby but there are those that are more dangerous than others. These include Listeriosis, a type of infection that is triggered by listeria (bacteria that forms in raw food), and Group B streptococcus. It is important to talk to your doctor about these and the steps you need to take to avoid such infections in the first place. Some infections can be prevented with a vaccination so ask your doctor for their recommendations.

4: Maintain a healthy weight

A body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher can put you at a higher risk of complications during pregnancy. For this reason, you should do what you can to maintain a healthy body weight. A BMI between 18.5-24.9 is considered a healthy weight range. Healthy eating and exercise are two ways to reach an optimal weight and your doctor will offer you further advice if you are overweight at the start of your pregnancy.

These are just some of the things you can do to protect the health of your unborn child. So, follow these suggestions and speak to your doctor for more detailed advice on the things you need to do to keep your baby safe. 

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