More than 300,000 babies are born each day worldwide. Of those hundreds of thousands of births and pregnancies, a tiny percentage led to a stillbirth or maternal death. Most of the causes are preventable, especially if there’s continuity of care (the same medical professional or group of persons looking after you from pregnancy to birth).
Ensuring a healthy pregnancy
Aside from continuity of care, it’s also crucial for mums to keep a healthy weight, maintain physical activity and a healthy diet and ensure enough sleep on most nights. This way, mums will remain strong throughout the pregnancy until childbirth.
To remain strong and healthy, most mums practice many of the following:
Avoiding ready-to-eat chilled foods, raw eggs and raw seafood (pregnancy can make you more vulnerable to foodborne illnesses)
Avoiding too much coffee, tea and other caffeinated beverages
Refraining from drinking alcohol and smoking (as well as staying away from people who smoke)
Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables (this will also be great for your baby’s growth and proper development while inside the womb)
Sleeping on side (especially in the third trimester, this helps reduce risk of stillbirth and increases flow of nutrients and blood to the baby)
Around 30 minutes of light to moderate exercise for most days of the week (including pelvic floor exercises, but consult with your doctor first to ensure safety)
Getting help especially if mums have trouble coping with their emotions and the huge life transition
Other important matters
Having a baby is a huge step, both emotionally and financially. Here are a few ways to prepare:
Review your work contract especially the statements about pregnancy and paid parental leave
Find out the healthcare and financial benefits you can get from the government
Talk with your partner about the financial costs and budget (note the necessary blood tests, medical checkups, hospital expenses). Also talk about the potential adjustments both of you have to make in the coming months
Financial problems and worries cause stress, which in turn can affect your health and your baby’s. It’s important to plan ahead and write down what bothers you. This will help you clarify the problem and possibly come up with creative solutions.
If you worry about how pregnancy can affect your career or business, you should review your rights and talk with your employer or employees. This way, they can prepare too especially when it’s time for your maternal leave. The transition will be a lot smoother and you can better focus on your pregnancy and the baby.