Preparing for the birth of your child can provide you some peace of mind and make the labor and delivery process go as smoothly as possible. Here are a few things you can do to prepare.
1. Get proper prenatal care. Prenatal care monitors both your health and that of your baby. Prenatal testing may include blood tests, ultrasounds, chorionic villus sampling to test for chromosomal abnormalities and other problems, amniocentesis, a glucose test for gestational diabetes, trimester screenings and other procedures.
2. Eat a healthy diet. Remember, eating for two means that what you eat affects both you and your baby. So, consume a balanced diet, drink plenty of water and take a daily prenatal supplement to be sure you get the necessary vitamins and minerals. Steer clear of foods that are considered unsafe during pregnancy, including:
• raw eggs, meat, fish and shellfish, including sushi
• deli meats, unless reheated until steaming
• fish high in mercury including king mackerel, shark, swordfish, tile fish, or canned chunk light tuna
• smoked seafood
• soft cheeses
• unpasteurized milk or juice
3. Exercise. Exercise can help you develop the strength and stamina necessary for childbirth. After getting your doctor’s okay to begin or continue an exercise routine, take part in safe activities that can help you tone muscles, improve circulation, reduce swelling and avoid excessive weight gain. Consider walking, swimming or prenatal yoga. Avoid activities that put you at high risk for injury, involve extreme heat, require you to lift weights over your head or require lying on your back.
4. Don’t smoke. According to the American Lung Association, smoking during pregnancy is responsible for approximately 25 percent of all low-birth weight babies, up to 14 percent of preterm deliveries and approximately 10 percent of infant deaths.
5. Talk with your doctor. Ask questions, discuss possibilities and even consider writing a birth plan.
To learn about Central Florida Regional Hospital’s childbirth education classes and baby suites, visit us online or give us a call at (407) 321-4500 Ext. 5613.