Congratulations for getting pregnant! Good antenatal care optimizes best health for your baby.
Regular antenatal visits
Make your first prenatal visit to your gynae around 6-8 weeks. Don’t go too early unless you have pain or bleeding or history of previous miscarriage. The pregnancy scan can only see baby after week 6-8. The visits are usually 4-weekly till 32 weeks, and subsequently will be 2-weekly after.
Perform prenatal blood tests Your gynae will order blood tests to check for anemia, infections, blood group and progesterone hormone level which assess risk of miscarriage. Down syndrome screening test can also be done to reassure you. Make sure all the necessary screening tests are completed to manage your pregnancy risks.
Eat right and well
Balance your intake of healthy carbs, proteins and fibres, and ensure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium and DHA (fish oils). Folate (vitamin B) is critical for the brain and spine development of your baby, so make sure you’re eating enough green leafy vegetables and take folic supplements.
You will only need to increase 300 calories in second trimester and 450 calories at last trimester. So don’t eat for two!
Quit smoking, alcohol and raw food
Snuff out the cigarettes as smoking can cause premature birth or low birth weight. If any family members are smokers, ask them to give up if they stay with you as second-hand smoke is harmful too. Alcohol is best to be avoided as it causes birth defects in excessive amounts. Uncooked meats, eggs that aren’t completely cooked and raw fish should not be eaten as they could cause infection, which can cause miscarriage, stillbirth or infection in the baby.
Stay active Exercise helps you manage your weight and combat pregnancy symptom of back pain. Aim for 20 minutes of moderate exercise daily. Walking and swimming are best to get your heart rate up without putting too much stress on your joints. If you have a medical issue, check with your doctor to see which exercise is most suitable.