A fetus is an unborn child. If you are planning to become pregnant or you already are, you should know that a healthy pregnancy is one where both you and the baby are in good condition. You may know how to care for yourself, but there are several things you should consider to help you promote good fetal health. Examples of what you can do include discontinuing habits that can be harmful to the baby, eating properly, and taking your prenatal vitamins.
There are some things you may be accustomed to doing that you should refrain from while you are pregnant. Using street drugs at any time can be dangerous, but doing so definitely threatens fetal health. The same is true with legal drugs such as alcohol, cigarettes, and some prescription medications. These habits may not only have negative effects on the baby’s development but they can cause problems that continue after birth.
Fetal health depends largely on the mother’s nutrition. Eating right is important because the fetus must obtain its nutrients from you so it can grow and develop properly. This means you need to eat a variety of healthy foods, such as those rich in iron, calcium, and folic acid. You will also need to increase the amount you eat, generally by several hundred calories per day to ensure that the baby receives a sufficient amount of nutrition.
Although you may do your best to eat right, you should also take your prenatal vitamins. These are specially formulated to help prevent nutritional deficiencies. Some women find these supplements unpleasant. For example, many women complain that they cause nausea. If this happens to you, continue to take the vitamins until you can consult with your doctor and perhaps get a different kind.
You may have heard that pregnant women should exercise. This can help make labor and delivery easier. Another reason to exercise is because it can help promote fetal health. Benefits include reducing the risk of gestational diabetes and reducing the chances of premature labor.
If you are sexually active while you are pregnant, it is best to have one partner. If you have suspicions that your partner is not faithful or if you know that your partner has a sexually transmitted disease (STD), you should practice safe sex at all times. If you know or suspect that you have an STD, you should bring it to the attention of your doctor. A fetus that is exposed to such diseases can suffer a wide range of effects depending on the type of infection.