Pregnancy -- August 9, 2010 -- Dr. Kelly Williams - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Pregnancy -- August 9, 2010 -- Dr. Kelly Williams


TOPIC: PREGNANCY: Before, During & After
Monday, August 9, 2010
Kelly Williams, MD: OB/GYN
Middle Tennessee Medical CenterNews notes via

Pre-Pregnancy To-Do List

  • Take a folic acid supplement every day. This reduces the chance of certain birth defects. Do not wait until you are pregnant to do this.
  • Make a doctor's appointment for a checkup/wellness visit.
  • Make sure to get and begin taking prenatal vitamins.
  • Check with your doctor about any over-the-counter and prescription medications you currently take.
  • See your dentist for a cleaning or checkup if you have not done so in the last six months. Untreated gum disease is linked to preterm birth.
  • Look into local prenatal exercise classes.
  • Review maternity/paternity leave options at work and your health insurance's maternity coverage.
  • Develop a maternity and baby budget.
  • If you smoke, quit.
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine intake.
  • Stock your refrigerator with healthy foods and snacks.


Healthy Lifestyle Choices Before, During, and After Pregnancy


Exercise safely during pregnancy. Try to do at least 2½ hours a week of moderate exercise.9, 10 One way to do this is to be active 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week. It's fine to be active in blocks of 10 minutes or more throughout your day and week. Moderate exercise means things like brisk walking or swimming. In addition to moderate exercise, particular stretching and strengthening exercises are also well suited to pregnancy.




Top Surprises of Life After Baby Arrives


All Your Time Is Baby Time

You may have set the agenda once, but not anymore. Your baby's schedule is now your schedule. Sure, newborns sleep up to 18 hours a day. But that's broken up into small chunks. And between naps, there's feeding, changing, and a whole lot of holding going on.

Tip: After the first hectic weeks, babies take longer naps at predictable times. And you'll become a much better time manager.

Your Relationship Changes

The dynamics have changed. There's one more person to interact with, and that means less time for just you and your partner. If one parent is providing most of the baby care, the other can feel slighted. And couples can get so busy they forget to talk.

Tip: Set aside time for just the two of you. Make a date and share what's happening in each other's life.

Night's No Longer for Sleeping

You remember when night was for sleeping, don't you? Well, your new baby isn't going to let you do that for a while. Until she sleeps through the night, you can limit your sleep deprivation by taking turns with your partner in getting up with the baby.

Tip: During the day, don't try to catch up on chores while the baby sleeps. Lie down and rest.

You'll Have Too Many Visitors

You know that family and friends will want to see the new baby. When they do, they'll bring endless stories about raising their kids and endless advice about raising yours. If you feel up for it, it could be fun.

Tip: If you're feeling overwhelmed with all you have to do, it's OK to say "Let's make it another time." Good friends will understand.

You Need Help

The constant attention that babies demand is exhausting. Ask for help from your partner. Each of you should have time each day while the other is taking care of the baby to do something that's just for you. Watch a favorite TV show, read a book, go for a walk, take a bath.

Tip: If you're a single parent, don't be afraid to ask for help from a friend or relative. Time away will let you recharge.

Babies Are Expensive

The average middle class family spends $225,000 in the first 17 years of a child's life. That's just to provide food, shelter, and other necessities. It doesn't include things like increases in health insurance. Nor does it include saving for college, which is best started early. Babies necessitate a lot of financial planning.

Guilt Is Part of Parenthood

You told yourself you were going to be a top-notch parent – a calming, happy presence. But there are times when you simply don't want to do it anymore. Now you feel guilty that you aren't enjoying every second of parenthood. Don't. It's natural to want a break from baby.

Tip: Ask for help. When the baby's safe in his crib, call a friend.  And notice all the things that are going right.

 You'll Make Mistakes

All those how-to books you read about parenting, and all those things you swore you would never do ... Maybe in a perfect world there are perfect parents. In the real world, the rule of thumb is you do what works. If your child's too old for a pacifier but it helps him sleep, you'll probably make the "mistake" of letting him keep it. Relax. That's not the kind of mistake that's going to hurt him. When in doubt, ask your pediatrician.



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