Health & Wellness >> Healthy Pregnancy
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In this video, Dr. Huntoon discusses,
"Are symptoms ever normal to have?"
The answer is NO. What you are feeling affects both you and your unborn child. If you are angry, your baby feels that and experiences the energy of that. If you are sad/depressed, your baby feels that too.
If you currently have any symptoms, including morning sickness, Dr. Huntoon will help eliminate the CAUSE of those so you and your baby can be comfortable during your pregnancy.
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For many women pregnancy is a joyous time. Modern medical advances and all the special care we direct to new mothers and their babies have not removed the risks. An expecting mother should be aware of the real risks to herself, and her baby at all stages of pregnancy. You may want to have regular visits with your medical doctor for checkups and tests to make sure that you and your baby stay healthy. Appreciate that more testing does not guarantee anything and over-testing creates stress on the mother and the baby.
If you demonstrate any high risk symptoms during your pregnancy, you will be monitored closer for the rest of your pregnancy. You will be told what to do and when to do it. This, unfortunately, is to create the basis for a "high risk pregnancy" which then essentially doubles the cost of the pregnancy and increases the money the medical profession receives for delivering a baby. For many women this is a very uncomfortable way to go about a completely natural process. To avoid all of this, consider the following information.
Eat this. Don't eat that. Do this. Don't do that. Pregnant women are bombarded with do's and don'ts. Here is help to keep it all straight.
Eating for Two
Eating healthy foods is more important now than ever! You need more protein, iron, calcium, and folic acid than you did before pregnancy. You also need more calories. But "eating for two" doesn't mean eating twice as much. Rather, it means that the foods you eat are the main source of nutrients for your baby. Sensible, balanced meals combined with regular physical fitness is still the best recipe for good health during your pregnancy.
The amount of weight you should gain during pregnancy depends on your body mass index (BMI) before you became pregnant. The Institute of Medicine provides these guidelines:
Check with your doctor to find out how much weight gain during pregnancy is healthy for you.
You should gain weight gradually during your pregnancy, with most of the weight gained in the last trimester. Generally, doctors suggest women gain weight at the following rate:
Where does the added weight go?
If you find that you are gaining weight too quickly, try to cut back on foods with added sugars and solid fats. If you are not gaining enough weight, you can eat a little more from each food group.
Your calorie needs will depend on your weight gain goals.
Most women need 300 calories a day more during at least the last six months of pregnancy than they do pre-pregnancy.
Keep in mind that not all calories are equal. Your baby needs healthy foods that are packed with nutrients — not "empty calories" such as those found in soft drinks, candies, and desserts.
Although you want to be careful not to eat more than you need for a healthy pregnancy, make sure not to restrict your diet during pregnancy either.
If you don't get the calories you need, your baby might not get the right amounts of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Low-calorie diets can break down a pregnant woman's stored fat. This can cause your body to make substances called ketones. Ketones can be found in the mother's blood and urine and are a sign of starvation.
Constant production of ketones can result in a child with mental deficiencies.
A pregnant woman needs more of many important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients than she did before pregnancy.
Making healthy food choices every day will help you give your baby what he or she needs to develop.
The MyPyramid for pregnant and breastfeeding women can show you what to eat as well as how much you need to eat from each food group based on your pre-pregnancy BMI and activity level.
Use your personal MyPyramid plan to guide your daily food choices. Here are some foods to choose often:
Talk to your doctor if you have special diet needs for these reasons:
Most foods are safe for pregnant women and their babies. But you will need to use caution or avoid eating certain foods.
Follow these guidelines:
Clean, handle, cook, and chill food properly to prevent foodborne illness, including listeria and toxoplasmosis.
Do NOT Eat:
Fish and shellfish can be an important part of a healthy diet. They are a great source of protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. What’s more, some researchers believe low fish intake may be linked to depression in women during and after pregnancy. Research also suggests that omega-3 fatty acids consumed by pregnant women may aid in baby's’ brain and eye development.
Women who are or may become pregnant and nursing mothers need 12 ounces of fish per week to reap the health benefits. Unfortunately, some pregnant and nursing women do not eat any fish because they worry about mercury in seafood. Mercury is a metal that at high levels can harm the brain of your unborn baby — even before it is conceived. Mercury mainly gets into our bodies by eating large, predatory fish. Yet many types of seafood have little or no mercury at all. So the risk of mercury exposure depends on the amount and type of seafood you eat.
Women who are nursing, pregnant, or who may become pregnant can safely eat a variety of cooked seafood, but should steer clear of fish with high levels of mercury. Keep in mind that removing all fish from your diet will rob you of important omega-3 fatty acids. To reach 12 ounces while limiting exposure to mercury, follow these tips:
Do NOT eat these fish that are high in mercury:
Eat up to 6 ounces (about 1 serving) per week:
Eat up to 12 ounces (about 2 servings) per week of cooked * fish and shellfish with little or no mercury, such as:
* Don’t eat uncooked fish or shellfish (such as clams, oysters, scallops), which includes refrigerated uncooked seafood labeled nova-style, lox, kippered, smoked, or jerky.
Check before eating fish caught in local waters. State health departments have guidelines on fish from local waters. Or get local fish advisories at the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency. If you are unsure about the safety of a fish from local waters, only eat 6 ounces per week and don’t eat any other fish that week.
Eat a variety of cooked seafood rather than just a few types. Foods supplemented with DHA/EPA (such as “omega-3 eggs”) and prenatal vitamins supplemented with DHA are other sources of the type of omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood.
In addition to making healthy food choices, ask your doctor about taking a prenatal vitamin and mineral supplement every day to be sure you are getting enough of the nutrients your baby needs. You also can check the label on the foods you buy to see how much of a certain nutrient the product contains. Women who are pregnant need more of these nutrients than women who are not pregnant:
Nutrients and Pregnancy
How much pregnant women need each day
400 to 800 micrograms (mcg) (0.4 to 0.8 mg) in the early stages of pregnancy, which is why all women who are capable of pregnancy should take a daily multivitamin that contains 400 to 800 mcg of folic acid. Pregnant women should continue taking folic acid throughout pregnancy.
27 milligrams (mg)
1,000 milligrams (mg); 1,300 mg if 18 or younger
770 micrograms (mcg); 750 mcg if 18 or younger
2.6 micrograms (mcg)
Women who are pregnant also need to be sure to get enough vitamin D. The current recommendation for all adults younger than 71 (including pregnant and breastfeeding women) is 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D each day. Talk to your doctor about how you can be sure to get enough vitamin D and other important vitamins and nutrients.
Keep in mind that taking too much of a supplement can be harmful. For example, very high levels of vitamin A can cause birth defects. For this reason, your daily prenatal vitamin should contain no more than 5,000 IU (International Units) of vitamin A. Some supplements contain much more. Only take vitamins and mineral supplements that your doctor recommends.
All of your body's systems need water. When you are pregnant, your body needs even more water to stay hydrated and support the life inside you. Water also helps prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, excessive swelling, and urinary tract or bladder infections. Not getting enough water can lead to premature or early labor.
Your body gets the water it needs through the fluids you drink and the foods you eat. How much fluid you need to drink each day depends on many factors, such as your activity level, the weather, and your size. Your body needs more fluids when it is hot and when you are physically active. It also needs more water if you have a fever or if you are vomiting or have diarrhea.
The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink about 10 cups of fluids daily. Water, juices, coffee, tea, and soft drinks all count toward your fluid needs. But keep in mind that some beverages are high in sugar and "empty" calories. A good way to tell if your fluid intake is okay is if your urine is pale yellow or colorless and you rarely feel thirsty. Thirst is a sign that your body is on its way to dehydration. Don't wait until you feel thirsty to drink.
There is no known safe amount of alcohol a woman can drink while pregnant. When you are pregnant and you drink beer, wine, hard liquor, or other alcoholic beverages, alcohol gets into your blood. The alcohol in your blood gets into your baby's body through the umbilical cord. Alcohol can slow down the baby's growth, affect the baby's brain, and cause birth defects.
Moderate amounts of caffeine appear to be safe during pregnancy. Moderate means less than 200 mg of caffeine per day, which is the amount in about 12 ounces of coffee. Most caffeinated teas and soft drinks have much less caffeine. Some studies have shown a link between higher amounts of caffeine and miscarriage and preterm birth. But there is no solid proof that caffeine causes these problems. The effects of too much caffeine are unclear. Ask your doctor whether drinking a limited amount of caffeine is okay for you.
Many women have strong desires for specific foods during pregnancy. The desire for "pickles and ice cream" and other cravings might be caused by changes in nutritional needs during pregnancy. The fetus needs nourishment. And a woman's body absorbs and processes nutrients differently while pregnant. These changes help ensure normal development of the baby and fill the demands of breastfeeding once the baby is born.
Some women crave nonfood items such as clay, ice, laundry starch, or cornstarch. A desire to eat nonfood items is called pica (PYE-KUH). Eating nonfood items can be harmful to your pregnancy. Talk to your doctor if you have these urges.
Fitness goes hand in hand with eating right to maintain your physical health and well-being during pregnancy. Pregnant or not, physical fitness helps keep the heart, bones, and mind healthy.
Healthy pregnant women should get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week. It's best to spread your workouts throughout the week. If you regularly engage in vigorous-intensity aerobic activity or high amounts of activity, you can keep up your activity level as long as your health doesn't change and you talk to your doctor about your activity level throughout your pregnancy.
Special benefits of physical activity during pregnancy:
For most healthy moms-to-be who do not have any pregnancy-related problems, exercise is a safe and valuable habit. Even so, talk to your doctor or midwife before exercising during pregnancy. She or he will be able to suggest a fitness plan that is safe for you. Getting a doctor's advice before starting a fitness routine is important for both inactive women and women who exercised before pregnancy.
If you have one of these conditions, your doctor will advise you not to exercise:
Best Activity for Moms-to-Be
Low-impact activities at a moderate level of effort are comfortable and enjoyable for many pregnant women. Walking, swimming, dancing, cycling, and low-impact aerobics are some examples. These sports also are easy to take up, even if you are new to physical fitness.
Some higher intensity sports are safe for some pregnant women who were already doing them before becoming pregnant. If you jog, play racquet sports, or lift weights, you may continue with your doctor's okay.
Keep these points in mind when choosing a fitness plan:
Tips for safe and healthy physical activity
Follow these tips for safe and healthy fitness:
Stop exercising and call your doctor as soon as possible if you have any of the following:
Your pelvic floor muscles support the rectum, vagina, and urethra in the pelvis. Toning these muscles with Kegel exercises will help you push during delivery and recover from birth. It also will help control bladder leakage and lower your chance of getting hemorrhoids.
Pelvic muscles are the same ones used to stop the flow of urine. Still, it can be hard to find the right muscles to squeeze. You can be sure you are exercising the right muscles if when you squeeze them you stop urinating. Or you can put a finger into the vagina and squeeze. If you feel pressure around the finger, you've found the pelvic floor muscles. Try not to tighten your stomach, legs, or other muscles.
Begin doing all of what is written above ideally, before you get pregnant. This will help to prepare your body for pregnancy and will allow you to have minimal issues during your pregnancy.
Dr. Huntoon has always offered information and treatment for women who are pregnant. Having a Consultation with Dr. Huntoon BEFORE conceiving to get your health in order is vital for a healthy baby. Working with him for 12 months before choosing to get pregnant offers great benefits for a healthy pregnancy.
Woman who experience Morning Sickness need to appreciate the following:
If you have not done that before getting pregnant, after a thorough examination with Dr. Huntoon, begin incorporating any and all of this throughout your pregnancy as you are able.
Remember, everything you are doing affects both you and your baby. This is important to keep in mind.
As you move through your pregnancy, continue to develop a healthy appreciation for your health and what a positive effect it has on your mood and the overall sense of wellness. And habits you start now will sustain you after the pregnancy is over and you begin raising your healthy child.
If you need any insights or advice in maintaining your health while adjusting to your pregnancy and the bodily changes you are/will experience, regular visits throughout your pregnancy is essential. This will help make your pregnancy health challenge free and will make both you and your baby all the more healthy.
Click the link for a description of this week's show and a link to the podcast from:
Advanced Alternative Medicine Center
Serving All Your Heath Care Needs ... Naturally!
Dr. Richard A. Huntoon