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I'm Pregnant! - Now What?

One of the best things to do as soon as you become aware that you are pregnant is to increase the amount of protein you are eating and decrease the amount of sugar/carbs/unhealthy fats in your daily food routine. If you snack, snack on protein, not carbs. Do not accidently skip, miss meals or diet when pregnant as this can cause health problems for both baby and mom. Make sure you plan time to eat, even with a busy schedule.

Another important thing to do is to increase the amount of water you are drinking. Always have water at your side to sip on as your body is continually replenishing and replacing your amniotic fluids. Extra water will also help to reduce nausea during pregnancy. Switch to water as your main beverage for the healthiest pregnancy and baby.

If you are not already taking prenatal vitamins and minerals, begin taking them right away, you do not need a prescription from a doctor for prenatal vitamins. Go to a health food store on your own and spend extra for a high quality prenatal vitamin and mineral and begin to take them every day. This is important for the health of both you and baby.

Your placenta is being formed within the first few weeks and you want to make sure you have plenty of building materials at hand: like extra protein, extra water, extra vitamins and minerals, while your placenta, baby and the amniotic fluids are being put into place.

Look at reducing stress in your life by adding in daily gentle exercise like walking and add in some soothing or favorite activities throughout the day. Pregnancy is also a good time to add a daily nap to your schedule if you you are able. Pregnancy is hard work and pregnant moms need to schedule extra time  for themselves during busy days. Pregnancy is a great time to pamper yourself.

You can prevent morning sickness by reaching for a protein snack and a glass of water as soon as you feel nausea coming on. Morning sickness is a signal from your body to refuel as quickly as possible. Protein includes beef, chicken, seafood, milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, nuts and seeds. These are the types of foods that build healthy babies and healthy moms. A protein snack and a glass of water at night before bed will help you to sleep better throughout the night and help to prevent or eliminate morning nausea.

To calculate your due date, take the first day of your last period and count forward 42 weeks if you are a first-time mother. Most healthy babies are born ten days after an estimated 40 week due date. Your physician or midwife will want to know the first day of your last period when you go in to confirm your pregnancy with a blood or urine test.

Now it is time to create you and your baby’s new health team. You will decide on your primary caregiver and preferred birth setting. You can use a physician or a midwife,  add in a birth doula to assist either physician or midwife and you, you can choose to give birth in a hospital, at a birth center or you plan on having an assisted or unassisted birth at home. You can research drug-free births to find out why more of today’s women are choosing this healthy drug-free birth alternative for their babies. Each setting and caregiver choice is right for different reasons by different women at different times of their lives. Choosing where and with whom to birth is a personal decision. Read as much as you can about childbirth now so that you can create your health team and birth plan. Your doctor or midwife will give you a blood test to confirm your pregnancy.

-- Gail J. Dahl, Pregnancy & Childbirth Secrets

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