Education

Baby Planning: Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

While springtime is in the air, there are many people looking ahead to events in the fall, such as having a baby. That’s because August and September are usually the busiest months of the year for births, says Rene Paez, M.D., chief of obstetrics at South Miami Hospital’s Center for Women & Infants, where maternity staff helped to welcome more than 4,500 newborns last year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 4 million babies are born in the United States each year with birth rates spiking in the two months of early fall.

“The statistics tell us that births can rise between 10 and 15 percent during these two months,” said Dr. Paez. “Logically, it makes sense when you think about the time and cheer that’s abundant among loved ones during the holidays. Fast forward nine months, and we see a spike in newborn deliveries.”

So if focus on achieving new year resolutions has turned to having a health pregnancy, the baby-planning experts at Baptist Health have some important tips to share. More than 11,500 babies were born in 2014 in the maternity unites at Baptist Hospital of Miami, South Miami Hospital, Homestead Hospital and West Kendall Baptist Hospital.

“One of the first things I tell newly expectant mothers is to eat well and get enough sleep,” says Jason James, M.D., chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Baptist Hospital of Miami, who has delivered as many as five babies in one day during the busy fall baby-boom season. “Keeping or starting a regular exercise routine is also important for a healthy pregnancy.”

Here are other healthy pregnancy tips for expectant mothers:

  • Nutrition – Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, protein and whole grains to make sure your intake of iron, folic acid and other vitamins and minerals essential to healthy pregnancy remain adequate.
  • Maintain a healthy weight – Work with your doctor to maintain a healthy weight throughout your pregnancy, to not only avoid gaining too much weight but also ward off pregnancy-induced conditions such as hypertension and gestational diabetes.
  • Keep moving – Regular exercise will help you stay feeling good and keep your stretching muscles and ligaments in good shape, while your body grows and adjusts to carry baby safely in the womb.
  • Plan – Make a plan for the birth of your baby that includes support from family and friends during labor and delivery and after you are home with your newborn.
  • Baptist Health offers a wide variety of programs and services for expectant parents, including childbirth classes and newborn care. Click here for more information.

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