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Isn’t it every parent’s desire to have an intelligent and healthy baby? And if you are planning to conceive, you would surely be concerned about ways to have a smart baby. Here is an end to all your worries as this article provides every guideline for you to ensure the mental developmental process of your infant. Though, the intelligence and personality of the baby is majorly based on the inherited genes and DNA formation, scientific research proves that diet, lifestyle and environment of the mother and father plays a major role in the developmental process of the foetus. However, most of the couples who are in their preconception phase aren’t educated enough about such guidance and they tend to be careless. Owing to this, reports have proven that 1 out of every 33 infants is born defected. So don’t wait till your child is born to enhance his brain development,start now by following the guidance mentioned below.
WHAT SHOULD THE COUPLE DO BEFORE CONCEIVING?
Nothing can be attained without some hardships. This holds very true in the journey of a couple aiming to have a smart and healthy baby. As both of them need to embrace a new pattern of life right before 12 to 18 months of conceiving. These include the following:
1] Consult your doctor:
In the pre-conceiving period, it is very important to talk to your doctor about the health history and medical conditions of the husband as well as of the wife. Anything which could possibly affect the physical and mental health of the child is to be discussed in details. And likewise, if there are any special measures recommended in terms of do’s and don’ts, they are to be noted down so that nothing slips off your mind and are to be followed religiously.
2] Alter the lifestyle pattern:
If you are planning to conceive, you need to stop smoking and drinking if it constitutes your routine. It also involves refraining from every kind of drug and intoxication intake. Smoking can lead to infertility problems by causing extensive loss of eggs and damaging of ovaries. Such intoxications can also lead to premature birth, infant death and birth defects which might subject mental developmental process. It also involves refraining to live around stressful, abusive and toxic environment as these causes a major impact on the emotional, mental and physical wellbeing.
3] Track your menstrual cycle and monitor ovulation:
A woman planning to conceive should keep a track of regularity of periods. This involves monitoring whether the duration gap between two consecutive cycles is the same. This helps in tracking the ovulation period which marks the time when the ovary releases an egg. Females experiencing regular ovulation typically have their ovulation phase before two weeks of their menstruation cycle. Whereas women with irregular cycles generally experience it before 12 to 16 of their cycle. In order to track ovulation, there are special pregnancy testing kits available in medical stores.
4] Have regular intercourse during the fertility period:
Observations prove that, a woman is most fertile before five days of ovulation and on the day of ovulation. In order to conceive, a couple should have intercourse every day during this fertility period.
5] Have a healthy body weight:
A woman planning to conceive should have an optimum body weight which implies not being too heavy or too thin. Studies show that, being overweight takes twice as long to conceive whereas an underweight woman would take four times as long to become pregnant. In particular, the body of an obese woman produces oestrogen which can cause hindrance in ovulation. And in such a case, she is recommended to lose some weight in a healthy, effective way. On the other hand, an underweight woman might not have regular menstruation cycles and might stop ovulating. In few cases even if an underweight or overweight woman is able to conceive the baby which is born is unhealthy.
6] Have a healthy diet:
It is necessary to have an intake of all essential nutrients especially calcium, protein and iron should majorly be taken care off. Including whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables and dairy products will help in satisfying everyday dosage of nutrients. In order to have vitamin B supplements, citrus fruits, orange juice, fortified breads, cereals, and green leafy vegetables should be included in your daily diet. Also, excessive caffeine and eating high-mercury fishes must be avoided.
7] The age angle:
The fertility in women starts declining once a woman crosses 30 years of age. Increasing age also leads to various difficulties such as declination in the number of eggs as well as the quality of eggs, loss of fertility, etc. Hence, a women in the beginning of her 30’s would find it difficult to conceive, on the other hand, a woman who had crossed 37 years of age and is approaching her 40’s have minor chances to get pregnant.
THINGS TO BE CONSIDERED DURING PREGNANCY:
1] What should you eat?
Folic acid: Folic acid is one of the important B –complex vitamin which helps in controlling birth defects in infants, particularly in the brain and spinal cord. Hence, pregnant women are highly recommended to have an intake of folic acid for which a prenatal vitamin is recommended for a daily consumption. Besides, enriched cereals, pasta, breads, beans, citrus fruits and leafy vegetables should be included in your diet.
Iron: A pregnant woman needs to check her daily iron intake as her requirement for iron is double the amount of iron required for a normal woman. This is to ensure that more amount of blood is supplied to the baby. On the other hand, a lack of blood may cause iron deficiency anaemia. Hence foods like iron rich fruits, dry-fruits, fish, iron-fortified cereal, dried beans, green leafy vegetables and peas are to be consumed.
Calcium: Calcium is to ensure the health of baby’s teeth and bones. A pregnant woman requires approximately 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day. Hence, cheese, yogurt, milk, leafy vegetables, chia seeds and calcium-fortified juices and foods should be a part of your diet.
Protein: Protein helps in building important organs of the baby, majorly the heart and the brain. Foods rich in protein include eggs, meat, fish, nuts, dried beans, sprouts and peas.
You may find you want more liquids when you’re pregnant.
Water and nonâ€‘sweetened drinks are best.
Eat healthy snacks and meals. Instead of eating three big meals a day, try eating five or six small meals and snacks that include:
Fruit and fruit juices ,Cheese, Vegetables, Yogurt, Wellâ€‘cooked (baked or grilled) lean meats, poultry and fish serves as best sources.
Stay away from foods with “empty calorie” value, such as:
Donuts, cake, cookies, candy, ice cream and chips, Fried foods, “Fast foods” like burgers and fries as these are high in transfats, sugars and preservatives.
2] What is to be avoided?
Fish with high levels of mercury, seafood, unpasteurized food, hot dog, luncheon meats, and store-brought salads such as chicken salad, ham salad, tuna salad and seafood salad are to be avoided. In addition, alcohol, smoking and caffeine should also be avoided. Alcohol is known to cause damages in the development of the foetus which may also cause physical and mental retardation of the baby. Smoking leads to low weight babies with developmental issues. And caffeine leads to irritability, anxiety and nervousness.
3] Don’t sleep on your tummy:
Sleeping on your tummy will exert pressure and can even cause suffocation to your baby. It is highly recommended for a pregnant woman to sleep on left side for normal and smooth circulation of blood.
4] Monitor baby’s movements:
It is necessary that the movements of the baby should be monitored. And if something unconventional or unusual is found happening then it is necessary for you to consult your doctor.
5] Don’t wear high heels:
Wearing high heels increase the pressure on your back, ankle and knees causing pain. This also increases the risk of tripping and falling over. Hence, it should be avoided.
6] Wear light and loose clothes:
It is important to wear loose and light clothes so that the baby has space to grow and your tummy isn’t restricted. This also ensures that pressure isn’t exerted on your baby.
7] Try yoga and breathing exercises:
Yoga and breathing exercises ensures the health of your body as well as of your mind. It is a major remedy for all the anxiety, uneasiness and stress which a pregnant woman conventionally suffers through.
In addition, regular and proper intake of medicines is to be taken care of. Also, all the steps and recommendations guided by the doctor are to be followed and appointments are to be attended regularly.
8] Avoid getting into premature baby delivery situation:
Babies who are born too early can have many problems right from the start. In fact, many newborns die because they are born way too early. They’re simply not ready to be born.
THE RESPONSIBILTIES OF A HUSBAND:
It is very important to provide with good care & support to your wife during her pregnancy because her happiness affects the baby’s well-being in her womb, below provided steps would help you achieve it.
1] Educate yourself:
The first step towards ensuring wellbeing of your wife and the baby is to know what happens during the pregnancy, what changes a woman undergoes, what steps are to be followed, the do’s and don’ts, risks and benefits, etc.
2] Helping her deal with morning sickness:
The major problem a pregnant lady deals with is morning sickness which may include excessive vomiting. During this time, the husband must soothe her, stand by her side, rub her back and make her feel comfortable while encouraging her to take rest.
3] Be around her:
It is important for the husband to be around her pregnant wife most of the time, to make her feel that she is not alone, to ensure that she takes adequate rest and to give her emotional support.
4] Be sensitive and understanding:
Pregnancy brings along a lot of mood swings, anxiety, irritation, emotional distress and pain. And most of the times, the husband isn’t considerate or even educated about this behavioural change. It is required that the man understands the fragile state of his wife, be sensitive and understanding towards her. Moreover, make her feel happy and comforted.
5] Help with household chores:
With time, it turns difficult for a pregnant woman to be entirely in charge of the household responsibilities. She would need more rest and care as time passes by. Hence, the husband should help her with household chores, cooking food, etc.
6] Accompany her to the doctor’s appointments:
It is the responsibility of the husband to accompany his wife for every doctor’s visits in order to keep a track of her health as well the health of the baby. This also gives emotional support to the wife.
7] Monitor her health:
The husband should monitor the diet, water intake, exercises and also every recommendation given by the doctor for his wife. This also involves ensuring that she takes enough care and follows every precautionary measure.
8] Comfort her with the soothing atmosphere:
Make sure you support your pregnant wife by arranging a soothing environment for her which would make her feel more relaxing and comforting. Arrange some mild music; keep her surrounding aromatic using good fragrances and incense sticks which would relax her mind and simultaneously the baby inside the womb would feel it.
9] Make sure there are no arguments & noise in the house:
Any arguments or loud noises can cause disturbance & stress to her & the kid mentally. These loud noises further causes wrinkled marks on the baby’s forehead which indicates the amount of stress which the baby undergoes. For a healthy baby it is very essential to take care of this point very seriously.
STEPS TO BE TAKEN AFTER THE BIRTH OF THE CHILD:
The period of 6 to 8 weeks after the birth of the child involves a lot of delicate care of the child. And in this phase, the following steps should be followed:
Nurse your baby soon and often after birth to help get breastfeeding off to a good start. Skipping feedings may lead to latching difficulty, decreased milk production and engorgement. Remember – breastfeeding is a learned skill and takes some adjustment.
The baby should have eight to 12 breast feedings each day. The baby’s diapers can tell you how the feedings are going. Once the mother’s milk is well established, the baby should have at least six to eight wet diapers and two or more stools each day. Breast-fed babies’ stools are yellow and loose, the colour and consistency of mustard. The baby should also see a paediatrician two to three days after hospital discharge for a weight check. Most babies lose weight initially and regain back to the birth weight by two weeks of age.
2] Bathing/Massage and Cord Care:
Until the umbilical cord falls off, sponge baths are the best way to clean your baby. Begin by washing your baby’s face. Use only warm water, no soap, on your baby’s face. The baby’s scalp should be washed once or twice a week with a mild, no-tears shampoo. Make sure to massage the baby gently with the gentle baby oil this massage would help the blood circulation in baby to happen right & further encourage the growth.
• Skin care – Powders, lotions and ointments are not necessary. Dry, peeling skin is common. Small white bumps on the forehead, nose and cheeks will clear by themselves.
• Keep the umbilical area clean and dry. Avoid tub baths until the cord separates. Do your best to avoid contamination with urine or stool. Fold the diaper away from the umbilical cord. Call the doctor for signs of infection including redness around the cord, any drainage or foul odour. The cord should fall off within one to three weeks.
3] Timely Vaccination & Medication:
It is important to provide timely vaccination to the new born baby because baby is more prone to get easily affected by any disease, virus, flu or any other health disorder if not vaccinated timely. Take your baby to the paediatrist regularly during the follow-up do not skip on any vaccination or medicine of your baby.
4] Maintain Enough Hygiene & Sanitization:
Keeping dirty and untidy surrounding around baby would create a big problem for the baby, the dirt and germs may lead to the baby getting ill, thus it is very important to maintain good hygiene and sanitization around baby.
5] Give good comforting sleep to your baby:
It is essential for your baby to have a healthy sleep pattern, make sure your baby takes a good sleep of 8-9 hours during daytime and about 6-8 hours in the night. Any disturbance in your baby’s sleep pattern may lead to mental stress to your baby which would further become a lifelong issue for your baby.
GUIDELINES FOR MOTHER:
‘Postpartum’ period involves a lot of physical and emotional changes in the mother. And in this phase, the following steps should be followed:
1] Taking adequate rest:
Because of a newborn, a mother doesn’t get proper rest. This leads to lack of sleep majorly. Hence, it is recommended for the new mom to sleep whenever the baby is asleep.
2] Exercise regularly:
In the postpartum period, it is important for the mother to exercise regularly. This may include yoga or even morning walks. However, heavy exercises or weight lifting aren’t recommended.
3] Have Proper diet:
Diet plays an important role during the entire pregnancy phase which also includes the postpartum period. It is important for mother to follow healthy food pattern so that the milk productivity to breastfeed the baby is enough. The diet should include:
1] Grains: Foods that are prepared out of rice, wheat, barley, cornmeal, etc. should be included.
2] Vegetables: Various vegetables like legumes, peas, beans and starchy vegetables should be consumed.
3] Dairy: Products made out of milk should be necessarily consumed as it helps in enriching the health of the bones. Particularly, low-fat products with high composition of calcium are to be chosen.
4] Fruits: Various fruits or even fruit juice with 100% composition of fruits (Natural with no added preservatives) should be taken regularly.
To have a healthy pregnancy phase and a healthy baby, it is the responsibility of the mother as well as the father to follow the above mentioned guidance.
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