Treatments for Pregnancy


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Treatment of Pregnancy: medical news summaries: The following medical news items are relevant to treatment of Pregnancy:

Treatments of Pregnancy discussion: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that up to 3,000 of these neural tube birth defects could be prevented each year if women consumed folic acid each day before pregnancy and during the early months of pregnancy. Since half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are not planned, many women may not find out that they are pregnant until well after the ideal time to prevent these birth defects. As a result, the Public Health Service recommends that all women of childbearing age consume 0.4 mg of folic acid each day to prevent spina bifida and anencephaly. 1

Even before pregnancy begins, nutrition is a primary factor in the health of mother and baby. If you are eating a well-balanced diet before you become pregnant, you will only need to make a few changes to meet the nutritional needs of pregnancy.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), pregnant women should increase their usual servings of a variety of foods from the four basic food groups to include the following:

  • Four or more servings of fruits and vegetables for vitamins and minerals

  • Four or more servings of whole-grain or enriched bread and cereal for energy

  • Four or more servings of milk and milk products for calcium

  • Three or more servings of meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, dried beans and peas for protein

Eating a well-balanced diet while you are pregnant will help to keep you and your baby healthy. Most physicians agree that the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs), except those for iron, can be obtained through a proper diet.2

As a pregnant woman, you need more nutrients to help your baby grow and be healthy. Besides folic acid and iron, which we have already discussed. There are other dietary additions you will need:

Calcium: Pregnant and lactating adult women require an additional 40% of calcium a day (1200-1500 mg per day). Almost all of the extra calcium goes into the baby's developing bones. To get this extra calcium, 3 extra servings (3 cups) of milk or dairy products are needed. If you are lactose intolerant, you can still get this extra calcium. There are several low-lactose or reduced-lactose products available. In some cases, your doctor might even prescribe a calcium supplement.

Sodium: This is important during pregnancy. 2,000 to 8,000 milligrams of sodium a day is recommended during pregnancy. There are 2,325 milligrams of sodium in one teaspoon of salt, and because salt is in most foods, the increased need for it during pregnancy is not too difficult to achieve. Sodium helps to regulate the water in the body.

Fluids: Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, during pregnancy. A woman's blood volume increases dramatically during pregnancy. Drinking at least eight glasses of water a day can help prevent common problems such as dehydration and constipation.

To find out what other nutrients are important during pregnancy and how much you need, ask your healthcare provider any questions you may have. 2

While you are pregnant, you will need additional nutrients to keep you and your baby healthy. However, that does not mean you need to eat twice as much. An increase of only 300 calories per day is recommended. For example, a baked potato has 120 calories, so getting those extra 300 calories should not be that difficult. Make sure not to restrict your diet during pregnancy because you might not be getting the right amounts of protein, vitamins, and minerals that are necessary to properly nourish your unborn baby. Low-calorie intake can cause the mother's stored fat to break down, leading to the production of substances called ketones. Ketones, which can be found in the mother's blood and urine, are a sign of starvation or a starvation-like state. Constant production of ketones can result in a mentally retarded child.2

Do not drink alcohol when you are pregnant. Why? Because when you drink alcohol, so does your baby. Think about it. Everything you drink, your baby also drinks. 3

Drinking any kind of alcohol when you are pregnant can hurt your baby. Alcoholic drinks are beer, wine, wine coolers, liquor, or mixed drinks. A glass of wine, a can of beer, and a mixed drink all have about the same amount of alcohol. 3

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from Folic Acid: NWHIC
2. excerpt from Pregnancy and Nutrition: NWHIC
3. excerpt from Drinking and Your Pregnancy: NIAAA

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