Prenatal care helps decrease risks during pregnancy and increases the chance of a safe and healthy delivery.
Some healthy habits to follow during this period include:
- quitting smoking and drinking alcohol
- taking folic acid supplements daily (400 to 800 micrograms)
- consulting your doctor about your medical conditions, dietary supplements, and any over-the-counter or prescription drugs that you take
- avoiding contact with toxic substances and chemicals at home or work
Prenatal yoga is a multifaceted approach to exercise which encourages stretching, mental centering and focused breathing. Research suggests that prenatal yoga is safe and can have multiple benefits for pregnant women and their babies.
Prenatal yoga helps to:
- Improve sleep
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Increase the strength, flexibility and endurance of muscles needed for childbirth
- Decrease lower back pain, nausea, headaches and shortness of breath
- Help you meet and bond with other pregnant women and prepare for the stress of being a new parent.
While most attention to pregnancy care focuses on the nine months of pregnancy, postpartum care is important too. During this period, the mother goes through many physical and emotional changes while learning to care for her newborn. Postpartum care involves getting proper rest, nutrition, and vaginal care.