Healthy Pregnancies: How to Have One and Maintain Yours

Pregnancy No-No's

Don't smoke. If you haven't already, stop smoking. Even if you're not a smoker, you'll want to look for ways to reduce you and your baby's exposure to second and third-hand smoke.

Don't Drink. Most experts recommend that you stop or limit drinking while your pregnant. We all know that heavy drinking during pregnancy can result in a baby with fetal alcohol syndrome. Experts aren't certain if lighter drinking affects your baby in subtle ways. Others suggest that drinking during specific times could be harmful.

Don't expose yourself to toxins. Detoxify and green-up your environment. Remove radiation, heavy metals and toxic chemicals from your environment as much as you can. They can affect your growing baby.

You can battle toxins by performing a "healthy home makeover". This includes using natural cleaning products, minimizing your exposure to BPA and phthalates, using stainless steel cookware and eating foods low in toxins.

Healthy food helps grow a healthy baby: Are you eating a wholesome diet? If you're unsure, ask your doctor or midwife to schedule a visit with a registered dietician. He or she can help you build an eating plan around your specific needs, likes and dislikes.

While you're pregnant, you'll want to avoid certain foods even if they were okay before. A few on the list include raw cheeses, deli meats and fish that could contain mercury.

Monitor Your Pregnancy's Well-Being

One last way you can ensure your pregnancy stays at its healthiest involves keeping an eye out for signs of a problem. Here are two ways you can accomplish that:

Schedule and go to all of your prenatal appointments. Women who keep their appointments tend to have less complicated pregnancies. You'll be able to see and hear your baby and discuss everything about pregnancy and birthing. Your midwife or doctor can watch out for any problems or complications and nip them in the bud.

Take advantage of wellness programs. Your company's human resources representative, insurance company or doctor's office might have a wellness program where you can get individualized one-on-one care. They'll help you monitor and overcome risk factors during your pregnancy.

We always recommend discussing any challenges, concerns, issues or emergencies with your healthcare provider. How will you ensure you have a healthy pregnancy?