The American Heart Association (AHA) released a report on Monday, February 13, 2023, from a scientific study they conducted recently. It stated that a woman should get her cardiovascular health in check before planning to conceive a child to expand their family. Learn more about the importance of cardiovascular health and how it devotes to maternal well-being during pregnancy.
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20% of Births Have An Adverse Pregnancy Outcome (APO)
AHA reported that about 20% of births experience an adverse pregnancy outcome. These conditions could be gestational diabetes, birth occurring before a mother’s due date, hypertension while carrying the fetus, or the baby being smaller than the corresponding gestational age.
Hence, if you are experiencing obesity or another heart-related condition, change your lifestyle habits before having a child. Here are tips for getting your lifestyle on the healthy track:
- Avoid smoking.
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) mother and father should stop drinking alcohol when they decide to start attempting to conceive.
- Choose fruits and vegetables as snacks rather than empty foods such as cakes and chips.
- Have at least three meals per day that includes almost or all of the food groups.
- Reduce how much fast food you eat and try to cook more at home to control fat and cholesterol intake with what you eat.
Your baby’s health will have a more positive outcome as you maintain a balanced diet while taking a prenatal vitamin starting within three months or more before you plan to conceive a child.
African American Women Are Three Times More Likely To Die From Pregnancy Complications Than Caucasian Women
Unfortunately, the Centers for Disease Control reports that African American women are three times more likely to perish from pregnancy-related complications because of many factors. Whether it is low-quality healthcare in their area, any unforeseen conditions they are experiencing, or even structural racism, these are contributors to the higher chance of demise.
Black Maternal Health Week takes place annually between April 11th to April 17th where everyone is encouraged to learn more about statistics related to pregnant African Americans and ways to combat pregnancy-related death. The awareness week helps to enhance mothers’ comfort level as they go through their pregnancy without too much worry about the result during childbirth.
The Importance of a Low BMI
Having a BMI of 25 or lower will help you to have a healthy pregnancy. Of course, women with higher BMI can still carry healthy children to term. Women with a higher BMI score may experience a higher chance of pregnancy-related complications such as high blood pressure or gestational diabetes.
Of course, seeking regular prenatal care can help doctors scope out any problems you may be experiencing before it gets out of hand for you and your baby. Don’t forget to check on yourself and your growing fetus’s health by attending your prenatal appointments when the doctor recommends another visit.
There are many resources available to help you through when you are attempting to conceive or if you are already pregnant and receiving prenatal care. Remain positive and stay healthy for you and your growing baby!