Pregnancy is often an exciting time of joy and happiness as you wait to welcome a new bundle of joy into your family–it truly is a feeling like no other! However, this is also a time of great change in your body because of the growth of your baby and the natural shifts in your hormones that occur with pregnancy. This is why prenatal care in Toronto is so important: you need to take extra care of yourself during this time to help ensure you have the healthiest pregnancy possible.
Prenatal care sets the foundation for a pregnancy, labor and delivery that is healthy. Early and regular prenatal care is crucial to your health during the pregnancy and for the health of your baby. If any problems do arise, the regular visits to your OB/GYN will allow them to identify and treat those complications as soon as possible. As noted in a study review published in the National Academies Press (US), several studies have shown that babies whose mothers received prenatal care had a reduced chance of lower birth weight than babies born to mothers who did not get prenatal care (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK214468/).
Other steps in the prenatal care plan
If you set up and followed a regular exercise routine before you got pregnant, it’s time to keep up the good work as you plan for this major life event! If not, there’s still time to start as part of your prenatal health plan. Prenatal yoga and simple activities such as stretching and walking now can help make your labor and delivery easier–it’s all about keeping yourself moving.
Of course, be sure to check with your OB/GYN before changing your current workout routine or starting a new one during your pregnancy. If you have any concerns about your current routine, you can discuss them with your doctor, too. They will offer guidance and advice about what you are considering.
Proper nutrition is also necessary for your health and that of your baby. Nutrients will pass to your baby through your placenta. Generally, women need around 300 to 500 extra calories each day to support their baby’s growth, particularly in the third trimester. Healthier snacks, such as vegetable and fruits, cheese and whole-wheat crackers can help you get those extra calories. Junk foods–particularly the ones high in fat and sugar–are not as filling and are not a healthy choice.
Other things besides good nutrients will pass to your baby though the placenta–harmful elements do pass through, too. Keep in mind that drugs, alcohol, nicotine and tobacco can hurt your baby, resulting in development disabilities and birth defects. Be mindful of taking prescription medicines while you are pregnant as well. Speak to your doctor about which of your medicines are safe and which are not.
Find a provider you can trust
Keep in mind that while prenatal care is somewhat standardized, what makes the difference for many women is the office they go to on their visits. You should feel comfortable with and confident in your providers at all times. Take the time to enjoy this exciting period in your life and ensure you and your baby’s health by receiving prenatal care.