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July 2010
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There is no normal, healthy condition as stressful and dangerous as pregnancy. Many parts of a woman’s normal lifestyle can become a health risk when a woman is pregnant. Every woman should see her doctor as soon as possible when she suspects she may be pregnant and she should follow the doctor’s suggestions; maintain good nutrition and much more.

The good thing is that usually, the things a pregnant woman gives up are bad for her and the things she needs to do are good for her. Usually, women’s health and pregnancy go hand in hand.

Health Times Two

A woman who expects to become pregnant should already be living a healthy lifestyle. Smoking is possibly the worst thing for women’s health and pregnancy. Smoking increases a woman’s risk of heart disease, lung disease and can adversely affect just about every physical system in the body. Don’t wait until you are pregnant to quit. You wouldn’t invite a stranger into a smoke-filled home, don’t do it to your child. Begin your prenatal vitamin regimen as soon as possible including folic acid and iron.

And remember, the vitamins are all the “eating for two” you need to do for quite a while. Avoid toxic substances. Even paint fumes can be harmful to women’s health and pregnancy. Don’t eat undercooked meats or clean up after your cat while pregnant. Toxoplasmosis is very dangerous to an unborn baby. Increase your hand washing, too.

Weight gain is normal during pregnancy. If you are over- or underweight normally, you may need to consult a nutritionist during your pregnancy to monitor your weight gain and diet. If morning sickness is a problem, try eating six small meals instead of three large ones. Don’t let the queasy feelings make you skip too many meals.

Medication can be a problem during pregnancy. If you have a chronic disorder that requires medication, consult your doctor as soon as possible – even before becoming pregnant if possible. Sometimes women’s health and pregnancy become a tradeoff temporarily. That goes for over the counter medications, too. Check with your doctor before taking pain killers or cold medication. Cold medication can contain alcohol which is harmful to the baby. That also means cutting out alcoholic beverages while pregnant and nursing. Consult your doctor about physical activity.

Usually, the amount and type of exercise that was normal prior to pregnancy will be safe during at least most of the pregnancy. New types of exercise should be monitored by your doctor. By taking the sensible precautions, women’s health and pregnancy can get along just fine.

Roland Parris Jefferson III is an online researcher based out of Los Angeles, California. For free tips, resources and expert advice on Women’s Health, please visit our Womens Health and Pregnancy Resource.
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