When you find out that you are having a baby, your main thoughts jump to the health of your baby. You think about what you need to eat to avoid birth defects, you think about what you have to eat so that they grow healthy, and all types of other things that you need to consider for the sake of your baby. Some women worry so much about the baby that they compromise their own maternal health, which in turn can put the baby in jeopardy. The baby needs a healthy mom for a healthy life, so take care for your own health on top of the things that you do for your baby.
You may not want to gain much weight while pregnant, but you do have to allow some pounds to come on for the sake of your baby. This amount is small, so talk to your doctor about your current weight and how much you should put on for maternal health as well as for the health of your baby. Some women put on too much, thinking that even though they will have more to lose, the baby will have all that he or she needs. This is not good for your maternal health and may even lead to gestational diabetes, which can harm your baby and make you miserable. Keep your weight where your doctor wants it if you can.
Your doctor will look after your blood pressure as a part of caring for your maternal health. There are pregnancy complications that can arise that can have dire results for both mom and baby, and high blood pressure is one of the first signs of these problems. For the sake of your maternal health, do what your doctor advises to keep your blood pressure in check. If you have problems with your blood pressure getting too high, you will have to deliver early to save your life, which means your baby could have lifelong health problems, or my not survive if this happens early enough in the pregnancy.
Maternal health also refers to taking care of gestational diabetes should this happen. If you get this, it does not mean that you will be a lifelong diabetic, but it does mean that you will have this until you give birth. You must alter your diet if your doctor wants to try that approach first for the sake of your health as well as for the sake of the health of your baby. Most babies are born to moms with GD as a full term baby, but they are often overweight, which can lead to live time problems. Take care of GD with diet and medications as recommended for the sake of both of you.
If you have questions about maternal health, don’t be afraid to speak up to ask your OB or your primary doctor about any concerns that you may have. It is far better to ask what you think might be a silly question than to make a bad choice because you think your concerns are unfounded. Remember that while you may make the health of your baby number one, that baby needs you to be alive, well, and healthy for a long time to come if for nothing more than because you are Mommy, and Mommy is everything.