If you’re expecting, first of all—congratulations! Of course, you want the best for your child and a life of health and happiness. You can do a lot to start them off right before they’re even born. Here are some very important steps to take during your pregnancy to protect and ensure your baby’s health.
Start Your Prenatal Care ASAP
The sooner you begin your prenatal care, the better the chances are for a healthy baby. As soon as you find out you are pregnant, establish care with an obstetrician. Keep to your appointment schedule and feel free to talk with your obstetrician about any questions or concerns you might have.
Keep Yourself Healthy
During your pregnancy, your body is your baby’s whole world. The condition of that world is dependent upon your own health. Keeping yourself healthy keeps your baby healthy.
First and foremost, immediately stop any unhealthy bad habits. Quitting tobacco or marijuana use is the most critical step to take. Even a single cigarette a day can have an enormous negative impact on your unborn child’s health. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor. They can offer several options to assist you.
Also, avoid all alcoholic beverages during your pregnancy. It’s not totally clear if there’s a “safe” level of alcohol consumption for pregnant women, so it’s best to completely abstain.
Finally, make sure you’re getting proper nutrition and exercise. Eating a healthy diet and engaging in low to moderate regular exercise will benefit both you and your baby. Your personal primary care physician or obstetrician is an excellent source for diet and exercise advice.
Prepare for Breastfeeding
Multiple studies have shown that babies who are fed breast milk instead of formula are generally healthier, not only in infancy but throughout childhood and adolescence. Breast milk provides many natural immunities and nutrition to your child that formula simply can’t replace.
If you have anxieties or questions about breastfeeding, speak with your physician. He or she will be able to recommend a lactation center and provide information about breastfeeding. You’ll also be able to find facilities where you can purchase or rent breast pumps. Your local pediatric clinic or hospital will be able to recommend useful resources.
Start Your Search for a Pediatrician
Once you know you’re pregnant, it’s never too early to begin looking for a pediatric clinic for your future baby. A great place to start is to simply ask your friends and family who they use. If the pediatrician they recommend is not accepting new patients, perhaps one of their partners at the same clinic is available.
You can also search online for reviews and references. Once you find a suitable pediatrician in Littleton, go ahead and let their office know your due date and the name of the hospital where you plan to deliver. That way, you will already have a specialist on hand to evaluate and care for your new bundle of joy from the very beginning.