Protecting the Unborn Baby's Health

by Katelyn Schwanke
(last updated September 5, 2008)

Protecting your unborn baby's health can seem a daunting task, but as you follow a few basic guidelines it can be both effortless and effective. The following is a list of things you can do to protect you and your baby:

  • Learn about the variety of diseases that pose a risk to your baby's health. Some important diseases to ask your physician about include: HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), syphilis, toxic shock syndrome, herpes, listeriosis, toxoplasmosis, and group b streptococcus. Many of the diseases that are potentially harmful to your baby are sexually transmitted diseases (STD). Do not be offended if your doctor suggests being tested for a STD, they are not implying that you or your partner have been promiscuous (transmission of these diseases can occur without unhealthy practices or promiscuity).
  • Avoid eating shellfish, soft cheeses, undercooked meat (includes sushi) or raw cookie dough. Many of these foods carry bacteria like salmonella, listeriosis, e-coli or are high risk foods. High risk foods are those that are frequently related to allergic reactions.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are pregnant. Studies show that consumption of caffeine (soda, coffee) may result in low birth weights and premature deliver so these drinks should also be avoided.
  • Avoid handling or petting cats and farm animals. Do not go near litter boxes or cat feces. Cats and other animals carry diseases that can result in fetal death.
  • When gardening, wear gloves so that any toxins or bacteria harbored in the soil do not infect you or your baby.
  • Try to remain calm and patient. Mother's anxiety and contention can cause stress to the baby's heart and cause harm.
  • Avoid ibuprofen and speak to your doctor about more appropriate pain relievers.
  • Exercise and a slow to moderate pace so that when you deliver you will have adequate strength to deliver quickly thus alleviating stress on your baby's heart.
  • Eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low fat dairy, iron and foliate (found in grain products and vegetables). Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to consume a large number of extra calories. Adding just a few calories a day will be sufficient for the growth of your baby.

If you have further questions or concerns, speak to a doctor, midwife or nurse practitioner. Keeping yourself informed will help protect your own health and your baby's.

Author Bio

Katelyn Schwanke

MORE FROM KATELYN

Living with Gestational Diabetes

Living with gestational diabetes is very easy and can be done in such a way that both you and your baby stay healthy. ...

Discover More

Surviving an Asthma Attack

For those who live with asthma, asthma attacks can be quite unnerving. Understanding what asthma is and how to handle an ...

Discover More

What to Expect in the Second Trimester

During the second trimester you may begin to feel anxious for your baby to come and more concerned for your personal ...

Discover More
More Health Tips

Home Pregnancy Tests

If you suspect that you may be pregnant you may feel overwhelmed by the number of home pregnancy tests on the market. ...

Discover More

How Do I Know When My Baby Will Be Born?

Knowing your baby's due date aids you in preparing your home and family for their arrival. Due dates are an estimation, ...

Discover More

How Do I Know if I Am Pregnant?

Whether you are trying to get pregnant or not, it is important to be aware of symptoms that indicate that you are ...

Discover More
Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 3 + 1?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)