November is National Premature Awareness Month and World Premature Awareness Day is today. We are so thankful for one of our little Benevida mascots who was born at 31 weeks weighing in at 3 lbs, 2 oz. She is 3 1/2 years old now and doing great.
According to the March of Dimes, although premature births have declined 9.6% over the past few years, there are still about 380,000 premature babies born each year. Although it is impossible to completely control how your body reacts to your pregnancy, there are several things you can do to assure the best possible pregnancy and birth for you and your baby.
- See your doctor or midwife as soon as possible to assess your risk factors and to develop a birth plan.
- Get regular exercise. This can increase your energy as well as help you get the rest you need; improve your sense of wellbeing; improve your posture, muscle tone, strength, and endurance; and help with regularity and reduce swelling and bloating.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco, and reduce your caffeine intake.
- Drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest.
- Take a prenatal vitamin with iron.
- Eat foods rich in folic acid. These include dark, leafy greens; asparagus, broccoli, okra, cauliflower, carrots, corn, celery, squash, beets, avocado, and brussels sprouts; citrus fruits; beans, peas, and lentils; and seeds and nuts.
- Eats foods with lots of protein.
- Get regular chiropractic care throughout your pregnancy to establish pelvic balance, optimizing the room your baby has for development.
- Manage your stress level by incorporating prenatal massage into your routine. Regular massage during pregnancy can help improve your blood circulation, reduce edema, decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression, and relieve muscle aches and joint pains.
- Consider acupuncture to give relief from morning sickness, high/low blood pressure, anxiety, fatigue, constipation, headaches, and back and pelvic pain.