Pregnancy Tips, Causes & Risk Factors
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Pregnancy Tips, Causes & Risk Factors

Even women who are healthy before pregnancy can develop risk factors once their baby is conceived, according to MedlinePlus. Women over 35 are especially susceptible to developing a high-risk pregnancy. While not every pregnancy problem is preventable, learning tips as well as potential risk factors can help you and your baby get through this essential time in your lives much more smoothly.

Diet Tips

You do not need to change the number of calories you eat during your first three months of pregnancy, according to the Weight-Control Information Network (WIN). During the last six months of pregnancy, you should add about 300 calories of healthy food choices to your daily diet. Great ideas for pregnancy nutrition include vegetables, fruit, lean proteins, whole-grain breads and pastas and skim milk. If you are obese when you first get pregnant, you should aim to gain only about 15 lbs. during this time. Underweight women should target a weight gain goal of about 28 to 40 lbs., while women of a normal or overweight pre-pregnancy weight can usually safely gain about 25 lbs.

Avoid all alcohol while pregnant and call your doctor immediately if you start craving non-food items, like clay or laundry starch.

Physical Activity Tips

A common misconception is that pregnant women should not be physically active, according to WIN. Virtually all pregnant women can safely engage in moderate exercise and should strive to do so on an almost daily basis, according to WIN. Exercises that don’t directly impact the stomach and don’t cause excessive overheating or fatigue are best suited for pregnant women. Some communities offer special prenatal yoga classes or water aerobics activities; check with your doctor if you’re not certain which activities you can safely participate in during your pregnancy.

Potential Risk Factors

If you already have an existing health condition such as high blood pressure or a sexually transmitted disease, you may sustain a high-risk pregnancy, according to MedlinePlus. Other pre-existing risk factors that could impact your pregnancy include cancer, diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune disorders and kidney problems.

Keep in mind that even previously healthy women may develop gestational diabetes while pregnant; you can reduce the risk of such ailments by eating healthy food, exercising regularly and staying committed to a full menu of prenatal care including regular doctor’s visits.

If you are carrying twins or other multiples or have a history of problematic or miscarried pregnancies, then prenatal care is even more essential.

(Reference 1)

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