Antenatal Care for Pregnant Women

Antenatal Care for pregnant women: 

Many pregnancy complications can be avoided or minimized by taking enough self care. By maintaining low-risk, one can enhance chance of healthy child birth.

Balanced nutrition intake is essential for a healthy pregnancy and for the overall growth of the baby.
Women can avoid vitamin supplement & even can get their required nutrients by carefully chosen food. Although under guidance of health care professional or antenatal consultant, one can take supplements to overcome deficiency of iron, calcium, protein, fatty acids (especially Omega 3 fatty acids for baby’s brain development & nervous system) and choline as per specific requirement. There is always a need to make nutrition intake adjustments under guidance considering nausea or excessive vomiting in pregnancy. Healthy food habit & light routine exercise can help keeping blood sugar in a normal range.
Routine exercise helps you build strength, flexibility and endurance, necessary for dealing with upcoming labor.

Weight gain is an obvious natural occurrence during pregnancy. If women are of average weight and are moderately active, need the same amount of calories in the first trimester as being opted before pregnancy. In second & third trimester, you may need to consult health care professional for needed calories intake per day. 

Emotional health should be maintained to avoid Stress, worry and fear during pregnancy. It is necessary to opt stress-reduction technique of own choice like meditation or yoga under guidance.
Routine precautions taken care of at the time of pregnancy. 

- Avoid unpasteurized milk.
- Avoid excessive heat exposure to the developing baby which can harm baby’s central nervous system.
- Avoid alcohol consumption during pregnancy which otherwise can cause fetal alcohol syndrome.
- Avoid Tobacco intake as it can affect the baby's growth and negatively affect pregnant women’s blood pressure. 
- Consult health care provider before taking any medications, supplements, and herbs.
- Home Remedies : Cooking in either glass or non-coated metal pans & avoid non-stick or Teflon, avoid storing eatable food in plastics, keep yourself away from mobile radiations and opt for best water purifier for drinking purpose. Raise consumption of organic foods. Find & switch to the least toxic products. Keep the living area ventilated.
- Working women concern : Identify any potential risks at work place to overcome it. 

Basic tips to achieve comfort while pregnancy:
Eating a balanced healthy diet, avoiding excessive weight gain and regular light exercise are few must doings to make pregnancy enjoyable. These will help pregnant women to stay healthy and able to handle with the ever increasing demands during pregnancy & corresponding effect on the body and the immune system. One must make a habit to combat stress by opting stress reduction techniques on a regular basis.

A common problem faces by pregnant women & remedies to combat them:
- Acidity : Eating should be in slots of small meals. Avoid sleeping position immediately after eating for about half an hour. Also avoid foods those are high in fat & observe the body responses to particular foods. These practice helps in avoiding heartburn. In case of Nausea, again eat small & frequent meals helps with periodic intake of juices. 
- Back pain : Pay attention to the posture while standing, sitting, driving, or working. Avoid putting all body weight on a single foot & also avoid crossing your legs while sitting. First bend your knees while lifting the body up then try holding the static object near the body. Now use the muscles in your legs to help you in lifting. If you spend a lot of time standing, make sure that the body weight should evenly distribute on both legs. 
Under proper guidance, pregnant women can practice yoga or prenatal exercise, acupuncture, massage & physical therapy.
- Stress / Fatigue : Work pressure, Lack of sound sleep enhances stress level which in turn causes mental fatigue. Meditation like pranayam, light exercise, sound sleep is rejuvenating. 
- Constipation : 10 to 12 glasses of water intake or other non-caffeinated liquid each day. Bowels stimulation by drinking lukewarm water really helps to overcome constipation. Diet should have fibrous fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Regular yoga exercise under expert guidance boost functionality of lever & intestine.
- Foot swelling & body ache : Give rest to legs by periodically elevating throughout the day. Leg massage with prescribed oil should help. This massage increases the blood flow and reduces the swelling. Pain or swelling in wrists and hands can be overcome by massaging at effected portion to increase blood flow there to reduce the swelling & pain. 
- Mood swings : Make sure you are getting enough rest & sleep. Stress reduction techniques like meditation & massage can help. A healthy self expressive discussion with family or a health care professional really worth. 

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