Mahaska Health Partnership Offers Advice for Healthy Pregnancies
MAHASKA COUNTY – Pregnancy is an exciting time in every woman’s life. However, Mahaska Health Partnership offers advice to keep mom and baby safe and healthy.
Before becoming pregnant, it is beneficial to consult your primary care provider and address any health issues, including your family history. “It is important to review your health in order for you and your baby to be as safe as possible during your pregnancy,” explained Dr. Bridget Shariat, Family Practice Physician providing Obstetrics. “By evaluating your current health status, we can evaluate any issues ahead of a pregnancy.”
Another key factor in pregnancy preparation is prenatal vitamins. “It is very beneficial for women to begin a folic acid regimen prior to pregnancy,” Dr. Shariat shared. “Folic acid helps reduce the risk of neural tube defects in infants, and it is best to build up a good amount in your system prior to conceiving if possible.
“Most women need 400 micrograms daily before conception and into the first trimester. After conception, prenatal vitamins aid in baby’s healthy development. ”
Dr. Shariat stressed if a woman is unable to consult her primary care provider before conception, she should make an appointment as soon as she finds out she is pregnant. “It’s important to consult your healthcare provider as soon as you know you are pregnant in order to get you on the right track for having a healthy baby,” Dr. Shariat said.
Good nutrition also plays a significant role in healthy pregnancies. “Most women who are at a healthy weight should consume around 300 additional calories a day when pregnant,” Dr. Shariat explained. “These calories should come from a balanced diet that includes grains, fruit, vegetables, dairy and protein.”
Along with diet, Dr. Shariat encouraged exercise as a safe and healthy activity for women during pregnancy. “Exercising for 30 minutes a day can help reduce your risk of gestational diabetes, backaches and fatigue, as well as help build stamina you will need during delivery. Try aerobic exercises, brisk walking or stationary machines such as an elliptical. These do not carry a high risk of injury and should be safe for you and the baby.”
Dr. Bridget Shariat is one of seven delivering physicians available on the MHP campus. From your positive test to your delivery, the same doctor you know and trust will be caring for you. If you are newly pregnant or considering becoming pregnant, schedule an appointment today by calling 641.672.3360.
Mahaska Health Partnership, located in Oskaloosa, is a non-profit health system accredited by the Joint Commission. It is guided by its mission to provide exceptional customer service and health improvement, linking the science of medicine with the humanity of compassionate care. For more information about how Mahaska Health Partnership is making healthcare personal, look us up on the web: mahaskahealth.org.