Expecting a baby is very exciting, but it takes a lot of effort and attention to ensure both the mother and baby are healthy. In this blog post we will outline some helpful tips for pre- and postnatal care. The information shared may help enhance or maintain your health during your pregnancy and delivery, and after the birth of the baby.
During the Prenatal Period1
Prenatal care is extremely important to ensure good health for you and your baby and decrease potential health risks during pregnancy. Being judicious about monitoring your health can help identify problems early, and allow opportunities for prevention. According to the Patient Education Institute, babies who are born to mothers who lack prenatal care have three times the chance of being born at a low birth weight, along with several other complications1.
Many of the following well-known preventative strategies are good to keep in mind to ensure mother and baby are healthy:
- Stop smoking and limit your intake of alcohol
- Talk to your doctor about any pre-existing medical conditions, dietary supplements (including folic acid), and any over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs you may be taking
- Keep moving (consistent light exercise is important) and focus on healthy food choices
During the Postpartum Period2
Postpartum care starts after the baby is born and lasts about 6–8 weeks. During this time, the mother will focus on getting adequate rest, proper nutrition and other self-care measures as instructed by your family physician. Here are some helpful postpartum care tips:
Diet and Activities: After giving birth, it is recommended that a new mother continue to eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of fluids and slowly get back to normal activities and routines. For the first 2–6 weeks after a C-section, for example, she should refrain from physical exertion such as lifting, pushing and pulling of heavy objects. Ask your family physician or other healthcare providers if in doubt.
Postpartum Checkup: Normally, a healthcare provider will want to see the mother 6 weeks after delivery for a checkup. If there are complications, a visit may be scheduled sooner.
Provided by Canadian Chiropractic Association
1 Robin Madell, “Pregnancy Care.” Healthline. December 15, 2015. http://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy-care#Overview1
2 X-Plain: Patient Education, “Postpartum Care.” The Patient Education Institute, Inc. Last reviewed August 23, 2012. https://www.kaahe.org/en/ArabicSampleModules/modules/obgyn/ogff01a1/ogff0101/ogff0101.pdf.