The Model Mom
Whether you are pregnant, or planning to get pregnant in the near future, with all the “Eat This, Don’t Eat That; Do This, Don’t Do That” it is hard to keep it straight. Having a baby should be a joyful experience, and besides, being stressed can actually harm you and your baby.
Remember, it may not be easy at times, but getting on the right track to having a healthy pregnancy, and a healthy baby, is as easier than you think. Once you set your mind to taking baby steps each day to improve your health before, during and after pregnancy, you and your baby are on the path to a long healthy and happy life.
Step 1. Stop Smoking & Drinking
Yes, it’s hard to stop smoking and drinking, but it is best ways to protect your health and the health of your baby. We all know smoking is harmful to our health, but smoking – even being around people who smoke – during pregnancy causes health problems for you and your baby even before he or she is born, such as:
- Pregnancy Complications
- Pre-mature (early) Birth
- Low Birth Weight
- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
As for drinking, well there is no known safe amount of alcohol to drink while pregnant, there is also no safe time during pregnancy to drink, and no safe kind of alcohol. Period.
When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, so does her unborn baby. Alcohol in the mother’s blood passes through the placenta to the baby through the umbilical cord. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause harm to your baby including:
- Lifelong disorders, known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs)
Take the first step … Visit the Model Mom Resource Center for phone numbers to call for free help to stop smoking or drinking and tips to keep you and your baby healthy before, during and after your pregnancy.
Step 2. Prevent Infections
Everything you touch, eat, drink, or breathe you are touching, eating, drinking, and breathing for your baby too – especially before birth.
In most cases, protecting yourself and your baby from possible infection is easy – but sometimes it takes a little more effort. By following the tips below however, you are taking the first step to help keep you and your baby safe from potential infection and disease.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water
- Try not to share forks, cups or food with young children
- Cook your meat until it is well done
- Avoid unpasteurized (raw) milk and foods made from it
- Do not touch or change dirty cat litter
- Stay away from wild or pet rodents (mice, hamsters) and their droppings
- Get tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STD) such as HIV, hepatitis B, herpes, and gonorrhea, and take steps to protect yourself from them
- Talk to your doctor about vaccinations and testing for group B strep
- Avoid people who have infections
Step 3. Eat Healthy & Stay Active
Talk to your doctor about your nutritional needs during pregnancy, such as increasing your daily recommended 400 micrograms of folic acid, taking daily prenatal vitamins, and learning about healthy weight and approved exercises.
Visit the Healthy Mom & Baby Blog to read tips from doctors, nurses, and moms just like you. You’ll also want to head over to the Model Mom Resource Center to find great articles you can print, including:
- Foods to Avoid When Pregnant
- Safe Exercise Routines While Pregnant
- Healthy, Low-Cost Recipes Pregnant or Not
- My Pyramid Posters for Pregnant or Breastfeeding Moms
- So Much More!
Step 4. Take Charge of Your Healthcare
When you take charge of your health care, you are taking the first step in protecting you and your baby before, during and after your pregnancy. Speak up and ask questions when you are at the doctor! When you do, you help make sure you and your baby are getting the best possible care.
TIP from other Moms! Many moms suggest when you first find out you are pregnant you buy a notebook and write down exactly how you feel each day so you can take it to the doctor on each and every visit. It’s easy to forget some things, or you may not think they are important. Don’t risk it. Even small things that you feel may be important to your baby’s health.
Click here to print a sample pregnancy notebook page.
If you experience any of the following conditions there may be a problem, call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately.
- Vaginal Bleeding
- Pelvic or Abdominal Pain
- Persistent Back Pain
- Gush of Fluid from Vagina
- Swelling of the Hands/Face Pregnancy
- Severe Headaches, Blurry Vision
- Regular Contractions prior to 37 Weeks
- No Fetal Movement
Step 5. Get Ready For Baby, Before Baby
Becoming a mother is one of life’s biggest joys and responsibilities. While this experience often is filled with excitement, it also may be a time of uncertainty for new parents.
Doing all you can do to prepare now, before your baby is born will make becoming a new mom much easier. One way to prepare to bring baby home is to have all of the needed supplies ready to go before he or she is born, so after nine months of waiting to bring the new baby home, you will already have everything you need.
Visit the Bringing Up Baby Resource Center to read tips from doctors, nurses, and moms just like you on
- Breastfeeding Essentials
- Creating a Safe Sleep Zone
- Childproofing Your Home
- Grandparent/Babysitter Tools
- And So Much More
The information provided through the b4Bb.org web site is obtained from a variety of public resources and includes content provided by members of the Best for Broward Babies Advisory Board, among other reputable sources. This information is intended as a consumer education resource only and should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem as it is not a substitute for expert professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your health care provider. In addition, every effort is made to ensure links to external sites, as well as medical library information and/or medical animations, are current and correct. If you find a link within the website that does not work or contains erroneous or outdated information please contact info@b4Bb.org