Pregnancy is a gift of God and if you are blessed with it, you are lucky. It’s the time when you should think right, eat right and do right and be the best mom to your baby who is growing fast inside your belly.
Pregnancy is one of the many amazing miracles of life, but being prepared for this period is one of the most important jobs a woman will ever have. Being prepared for pregnancy involves balancing a woman’s own body health, as well as outside stress.
Eating a diet rich in necessary vitamins and other nutrients, along with balancing other parts of life is paramount to a successful and healthy pregnancy.
How to Stay Healthy While Being Pregnant
Moms and babies can exercise after birth to become healthier than ever, so it is important to maintain health to have a healthy baby.
Although all essential vitamins and minerals are necessary while a woman is pregnant, some are even more important than others.
Nutritional Needs for Pregnant Women
Are you eating right? Supplements are essential but food in natural form is the best. A balanced diet is all that you need to have during this time and not something that makes you fat or lean.
Being obese and underweight, both are risks during pregnancy.
Diet for Slightly Overweight Moms:
- Add the right amount of protein, little quantity of healthy fat and complex carbohydrate to your breakfast
- Consume whole grains, a lot of fresh and green vegetables, fruits, low-fat food and lean meat.
- Do not eat processed food that comes loaded with sugar, added colors, flavors, and preservatives.
- Eat healthy snacks like low-fat yogurt, hummus, salads and all types of fresh fruits like apple, oranges, bananas, pomegranates etc. Avoid all types of fried foods and junks. You can gorge on popcorn rather than potato chips, just feel the difference.
- Do not have packaged juice or beverages but drink plenty of plain water.
For the Underweight Moms:
- Milkshake with banana, roasted almonds, and cashew nuts is very useful. Do not consume low-fat milk because you are intending to put on mass to support the baby inside.
- Consume all types of healthy fats and foods rich in omega-3 like avocados and nuts.
- Do eat fresh fruits but when it comes to putting on weight, focus more on dry fruits.
- Eat the right amount of protein
- Avoid junk and processed food but keep taking healthy snacks in between meals.
Calcium and Pregnancy
Calcium is one of the absolute most important vitamins for consumption by any pregnant woman, for a variety of reasons.
Calcium is an essential nutrient for proper bone and teeth development, and becomes even more important during this period. Intaking a proper amount of calcium can also help with preventing blood clots, stabilizing and maintaining the nervous system, and stabilizing and maintaining the growth and function of muscles in the body.
If a pregnant woman is not intaking the necessary amount of calcium during her pregnancy, there is an increased risk she will develop osteoporosis (bones beginning to weaken) as she ages.
During the pregnancy, the baby takes its calcium from the mother, necessitating it that the mother intake the maximum amount of calcium needed.
Calcium can be consumed adequately through products such as dairy milk or goat milk, and supplementation is also an option. Before taking any supplement, you should absolutely consult with your doctor, but there are many effective calcium supplements on the market.
Additional Information: Goat Milk vs Cow Milk
Vitamin D and Pregnancy
Vitamin D is another vitamin essential to a pregnant mother. Vitamin D can generally be produced in sufficient quantities within a human’s body with only exposure to sun rays, although certain foods can also assist with intaking this nutrient.
Milk and fatty fish are two of the most prominent sources of Vitamin D in food, and can substantially help a pregnant mother intake enough Vitamin D. There are also a variety of healthy pregnancy snacks which can improve your daily Vitamin D intake.
There are certainly many different nutrients which are crucial to a healthy pregnancy, and these are just two examples.
Read Also: Vitamin D Foods
Specific Tips for Staying Healthy Halfway Through Your Pregnancy
Being 16 weeks pregnant means coming almost halfway through pregnancy and you can hear the baby’s heartbeat in all the pre-natal check-ups.
Your Baby at 16 Weeks
The little life you are carrying inside is just the size of an avocado in 16 weeks. The baby can now hear and recognize the mother’s voice so it’s the time when you can start communicating with your little one.
The best part is you can feel the slow kicks as your baby tries to move inside the womb. The development phase is still on and the nervous system is pretty advanced by this time.
So, it’s the time when you enjoy your baby bump swelling up with amniotic fluid and the bay inside. Mom, you are gaining the pregnancy weight to support your baby inside. The baby can now produce hiccups and you can feel it inside, it’s like gentle flutters.
What to Expect In 16 Weeks of Pregnancy
Expecting mothers require nearly 300 calories in excess every day in the second and third trimesters. This is very important for the mother’s health and the baby’s nourishment. Do not take big sized meals rather split the meals into smaller parts so that you feel comfortable. Keep some snacks handy so that you can just munch away whenever you feel. You can eat healthy foods like a cup of soup with grated almonds and cheese or an apple with one tbsp of peanut butter.
This time and around there is major growth taking place, your baby needs a lot of blood pumping via her veins.
The heart is already producing 25 quarts of blood at this time. This is the reason for the pregnancy glow that starts showing from mid sixteen weeks. But your hormones are really naughty and you can also get acne due to more oil secretion.
You do not need to take any medicines but use an oil-clear face wash. This is the time when you might discover pigmentation leading to dark spots on your face; you might also get moles, freckles and darker areolas with thicker nipples.
Some would-be mothers get the best skin and hair during this phase. Do not smoke at all and it’s harmful to drink any alcohol during pregnancy.
Some health issues that might be challenging for 16 weeks
- Thick vaginal discharge
- Leg cramps
- Varicose veins
- Gum bleeding
- Nose bleeding
- Mood swings
- Itchy and dry eyes
- Good/rough skin and hair
Oral Health During Pregnancy – Important Information to Know
It is highly recommended that you visit your dentist for an annual check-up and or routine cleaning during your pregnancy. The best time to do your dental treatment is during the second trimester, or from 14 weeks to 20 weeks.
During your pregnancy, you will experience an increase in your hormones such as estrogen and progesterone and others which will contribute to a change in the oral bacteria; and such a condition will cause inflammation of your gums, swelling and redness.
This is what we call pregnancy gingivitis. If you have this condition, a visit to the dentist is a must. If left unattended, this infection of the gums can lead to trapping the food and ultimately will increase the likelihood of decay. If you do not treat this, the cavities become bigger and may reach the pulp chamber where your nerve is; causing more discomfort and pain.
Therefore, I advise that early prevention and visiting the dentist is a must!
During pregnancy, the mother tends to eat frequently. It is recommended that brushing and flossing be done immediately afterwards to prevent the bacteria from increasing cavities.
If your teeth have sensitivity, please consult the dentist.
Choosing the Right Family Dentistry for Dental Needs During Pregnancy
Any condition that may stress the mother should be prevented. You can stop the pain by doing simple fillers. If X-rays are needed, it is important to protect your abdomen with a lead apron to keep your abdomen safe; and you can also use a a lead collar to protect your thyroid. If possible, use digital X-rays which uses the least and lowest radiation as possible. Your safety is utmost concern!
Any cosmetic procedure such as teeth whitening can be performed after the delivery of the baby. For other conditions such as extractions and endodontics, these should be done immediately to avoid any additional stress for the mother.
A proper dentist will always consult your obstetrician and gynecologist before administering antibiotics.
For anesthesia, they will use the least amount to numb you so that you feel comfortable. The best option is lidocaine, which is the safest to use during pregnancy.
For mothers with sleep apnea, good dentists can provide an alternative to CPAP therapy, and do ORAL APPLICATION THERAPY where they simply take your impressions, and a personalized oral device which will help you breathe better and sleep better.
Feel free to consult Toothfairy Family Dentistry located at 1701 S. Cage Blvd. Suite 100 Pharr, Tx. They are happy to help you!
Francesca Barbin, DDS., FAGD
Fellow, Academy of General Dentistry
Stress Factors and Pregnancy
Other factors which are necessary to account for to ensure a healthy pregnancy are external environment factors. One example of this is “maternity leave” from work.
For a mother who is expectant, it is important that she understands her rights and abilities to take time off from work, and still receive compensation.
This can drastically reduce stress from the mother, allowing her to maintain health for her and the baby.
One excellent example of this is the paid California Maternity Leave system. If you do not understand your rights as a pregnant mother when it comes from taking time off from work, it is highly advisable that you look at a resource such as this one for California. Maintaining low levels of stress is vital to your health, and your babies’ health.