Even the most carefully planned pregnancy can have complications. But working closely with a health care provider and following some helpful tips, along with your doctor’s recommendations, can go a long way in promoting a healthy pregnancy.
Here at the Center for Women’s Health, board-certified OB/GYN Sharon Breit, MD, and our OB/GYN nurses Elizabeth Conkle, APRN, and Amy Sharp, APRN, provide comprehensive prenatal care.
When you choose the Center for Women’s Health in Wichita, Kansas, as your prenatal care team, you’re choosing exceptional care for your pregnancy journey.
While each pregnancy is unique, there are things you can do to feel as good as possible and remain healthy as you move through each trimester.
Laying the foundation (first trimester)
The first trimester is a time of rapid development for the baby and major changes for you. That’s why it’s vital to start regular prenatal visits as soon as you find out you're pregnant.
Eat a nutritious diet and avoid risky foods
Start prenatal vitamins. You especially need folic acid for your baby's health. During this time, nutrition is key. A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean protein is essential.
While taking care to eat a nutrient-dense diet, start avoiding risky foods from the first trimester on. Some foods can harbor bacteria, parasites, or toxins that are particularly harmful to you and your developing baby.
Here’s what to steer clear of:
- Raw or undercooked fish (especially shellfish)
- Unpasteurized milk and cheeses
- Processed meats (unless thoroughly cooked)
- Unpasteurized juices
- Raw sprouts
- High mercury fish (shark, swordfish, king mackerel)
- Unwashed fruits and vegetables
- Raw or undercooked eggs
- Excessive caffeine (limit intake)
It's not just about eliminating these foods but also about being mindful of how you prepare food to ensure safety during your pregnancy.
Attend regular prenatal checkups
Regular prenatal visits are essential for a healthy pregnancy. These appointments monitor the well-being of both you and your baby. During these visits, you can rely on our team to check for and manage any potential health concerns early.
These checkups also provide an opportunity for you to discuss any questions or concerns you might have about your pregnancy. We’re here to provide the education and support to guide you through a healthy pregnancy.
Adjusting and growing (second trimester)
Most women find that the second trimester is the most comfortable. This is when you really start to feel pregnant. Here are a few things you can do to sail through this phase:
Monitor your weight
Monitoring weight gain is important as your baby grows. While gaining weight supports a healthy pregnancy, carrying too much weight increases the risk of complications such as gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia.
Stay active and continue eating healthily
Staying active with safe exercises helps maintain your health and prepares you for the coming months. Your nutritional needs shift during the second trimester toward a focus on calcium, iron, and vitamin D. Keep this in mind when planning healthy meals during this trimester.
Preparing for arrival (third trimester)
The final stretch of your pregnancy is all about preparation. Here’s how to keep things smooth in the last trimester:
Keep track of the baby’s movements
Monitoring your baby's movements becomes crucial; report any decrease in activity to our team. Preparing for birth, both physically and mentally, is key. Pack your hospital bag, finalize your birth plan, and practice relaxation techniques.
Prepare your body
Get plenty of rest to prepare your body and familiarize yourself with the signs of labor. It helps to perform Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, and support the uterus, bladder, and bowels.
Strengthening these muscles can help you have a smoother delivery and helps with postpartum recovery. It's also beneficial to practice prenatal yoga or stretching to maintain flexibility, which can be helpful during childbirth.
Gentle exercise, like walking, improves circulation and boosts stamina needed for labor. Additionally, practicing good posture and using support pillows can alleviate back pain as your body adjusts to carrying the extra weight of your growing baby.
Prioritize your mental health
Pregnancy is not just a physical journey, but an emotional one as well. Shifts in hormones during pregnancy can have a profound effect on the way you feel.
Make your mental health a priority. Engage in stress-relieving activities and don’t hesitate to seek support from a counselor or support groups if you feel overwhelmed.
Exceptional prenatal care
Each phase of pregnancy is distinct. With the support of our prenatal care team, you can transition through without missing a beat.
To schedule a prenatal appointment and for all of your prenatal needs, contact us at the Center for Women’s Health. We’re excited to accompany you on your pregnancy journey.