Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

Welcome to Spotlight Advanced . I’m Bruce Gulland. And I’m Liz Waid. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live. One morning Mary felt strange. She did not feel sick, but she did feel different. She and her husband had been trying to have a baby. Mary wondered if she could be pregnant. So, she took a pregnancy test. She was pregnant! Mary and her husband were going to have a baby. They were filled with excitement and joy. 

But soon, they felt something else — worry. Mary worried that she did not know what she should do to have a healthy pregnancy. A healthy pregnancy would help her baby to be healthy. This is a made-up story. But these are common worries for many pregnant women and their partners. Pregnancy can have risks. But there are also things people can do to have a healthy pregnancy. These things cannot make sure the baby is healthy. But they can give the baby and mother a better chance at health. Today’s Spotlight is on simple tips for a healthy pregnancy.

 There is a lot of advice for pregnant women. Some of this advice is cultural. Different cultures offer different advice for pregnant women. Or it seems like there is too much advice. A pregnant woman may feel like it is all too much to do! But these tips are general. They are simple ways that pregnant women can be a little healthier. The first tip for pregnant mothers is to eat good foods. A baby still living inside a mother’s body is called a fetus. The fetus gets all it needs from what a mother eats. For a baby to be healthy, it needs healthy foods as a fetus. Pregnant women should eat vegetables and fruits. They should eat whole grains like oats and rice. Protein is also important. It is found in foods like eggs, beans, nuts, and meats. It is also good to eat some cheese or yogurt. However, there are some foods pregnant women should avoid. Many health experts say that pregnant women should not eat unwashed foods, soft cheeses, or meat that is not cooked. 

These foods can contain harmful bacteria. This bacteria can cause the woman to lose important nutrients in her body. It can even cause the woman’s body to reject the fetus. Some experts also say that pregnant women should limit their caffeine. This is the drug found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and energy drinks. Too much caffeine can result in the baby having unhealthy low birth-weight. But the two things that women should ALWAYS avoid during pregnancy are smoking and alcohol. Smoking can result in early birth before the baby is ready. It can also cause the fetus not to grow properly. And pregnant women should avoid all alcohol. The Center for Disease Control in the United States writes on their website about alcohol and pregnancy. They say: “There is no known safe amount of alcohol use during pregnancy or while trying to get pregnant. There is also no safe time during pregnancy to drink. 

All kinds of alcohol are equally harmful. This includes wine and beer. Alcohol in the mother’s blood goes into the baby. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, death, and several physical, behavioral, and mental problems.” One thing a woman should drink while pregnant is clean water. Water is a good drink for all people. Water improves blood flow, skin health, and digestion. If a woman does not drink enough water during pregnancy, she may not produce enough breast milk. She may get a headache or feel more tired. Another tip for a healthy pregnancy is to take a prenatal vitamin. These vitamins are designed to help pregnant women. Sometimes it is difficult for a woman to get all she needs through food. But a good prenatal vitamin will include iron for the blood, calcium for bones, folic acid for the health of the baby, and many other things. The next tip for a healthy pregnancy is to sleep a lot. It can be difficult to sleep during pregnancy. As the fetus grows inside the mother, it pushes her internal organs around.

 Woman can suffer from back pain and difficulty breathing. But sleep can help everyone. When people sleep enough, they reduce stress, build muscle, repair body tissues, and process things they have learned that day. A pregnant woman may have to try new things to be able to sleep. The best position for her to sleep in is on her side. Sleeping on her back or stomach can cause problems. A woman can use pillows or other soft things to get into a comfortable position.

 If possible, a woman’s partner should encourage her to sleep longer. He could take on a few more morning duties for her. Or he could encourage her to sleep during the day. But even if a pregnant woman is sleeping more, she still needs to stay active and exercise if she can! This is the sixth tip for a healthy pregnancy. Exercise is good for most people. This is true for pregnant woman as well. It is important that women talk to their doctor before beginning any exercise program. Staying physically strong during the pregnancy can also help with the birth and recovery. The final tip for a healthy pregnancy is to think about a plan for the birth of the baby. Labor is usually painful and can be frightening. Thinking about what the birth might be like can give a woman some control over what is happening. 

 She can make a plan for how she would like things to go or about who she would like to be there. People cannot always control if there is a healthy birth or not. But there are things that women can do to have the most healthy pregnancy possible. And there are things their partners can do to encourage them in this work. A healthy pregnancy sets up a healthy baby. And a healthy baby can mean a healthy life. Will you have to change anything if you become pregnant? Did you follow any of these tips if you were pregnant? Tell us about your experiences. You can leave a comment on our website. Or email us at radio@radioenglish.net. 

You can also comment on Facebook at Facebook.com/spotlightradio. The writer of this program was Adam Navis. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United Kingdom and the United States. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. This program is called, ‘Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy’. Visit our website to download our free official app for Android and Apple devices. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.