March 3, 2015

Do you know the best practices for a healthy pregnancy?

It’s an important question, one that many don’t consider until they’re pregnant. But knowing how to prepare for your pregnancy and what to do once it’s underway can greatly affect your health and your child’s health, too! Even with these tips, always check with your physician.

Share these tips from the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, courtesy of Dr. Cynthia A. Moore, Director, Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (CDC), with anyone who may benefit from them now or in the future.

1. Planning is key

As I just mentioned, the first tip provided by Dr. Moore is to plan your pregnancy. Unplanned pregnancies sometimes go undetected for weeks or months, and preparing ahead of time will increase your chances of having a healthy baby.

Of course, unplanned pregnancies can–and will–happen, and these next three tips will help you whether your pregnancy was expected or not.

2. Get your daily dose of folic acid

Here’s a number to shoot for: 400 micrograms. That’s how much folic acid pregnant women should ingest every day to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Folic acid helps in vital stages of a baby’s development, forming its brain and spine very early in the pregnancy, often before the mother is aware she’s pregnant, according to Dr. Moore. This means whether you’re expecting to get pregnant or not, you should focus on getting your daily dose of folic acid.

You can do this by taking a multivitamin containing the nutrient or by increasing the amount of folate in your diet. Beans, peas, lentils, oranges, broccoli, dark, leafy green vegetables, and asparagus are great places to start!

3. Develop your healthy habits

As your health improves, so does your unborn child’s.

By focusing on healthy daily habits such as exercising, quitting smoking, cutting out alcohol, and eating right, you can drastically affect your baby’s health. And you’ll feel better, too! As is the case with folic acid, it’s not a bad idea to focus on your own health today whether you’re expecting or not!

4. Get help from local organizations and your healthcare provider

If you’re pregnant or expecting in the near future, talk to experts in your area. Let them know if you’re on any medications, as they can tell you how these substances may or may not affect the development of your child.

This simple step can cut back on birth defects and allow you to have the healthiest pregnancy possible.

Additionally, I highly recommend you check out Text4Baby.

Expectant mothers are provided with periodic text messages to help them through their pregnancy. These messages provide knowledge and resources as you progress through the process, and the information is tailored to where you are along the way. Text4baby also has an app where you can go for more in-depth information about any topic.

Getting started with this service is easy! Just click this link and follow the instructions to link your phone up with a network of experts and health providers in your area.  It’s free!  

I hope these tips helped you learn some simple but effective techniques for assuring a healthy, happy pregnancy.

What did you take away from this post? Do you think Text4Baby sounds like something you’d like to try in the future?

I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment, and we’ll discuss!

Nancy-BigSmile– Nancy Sasaki, Executive Director
Allaince Healthcare Foundation




About Alliance Healthcare Foundation

Alliance Healthcare Foundation is a San Diego-based nonprofit which works with nonprofit, government and community agencies to advance health and wellness throughout the San Diego and Imperial Counties. AHF works to serve the most vulnerable – the poor, working poor, children and homeless by providing grants, advocacy and education to support its region.

To learn more about AHF visit:   AHF on FacebookAHF on LinkedinAHF on Google+AHF on YoutubeAHF on Twitter

To learn more about our grantees visit here: AHF’s Grantee Page 

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