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fetal alcohol syndrome
pregnancy weight gain
period of pregnancy
low birth weight
week of pregnancy
premature births
prescribed drugs
The First Week Of Pregnancy What Is Important To Note?
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The first week of pregnancy is the week where the foetus has not been conceived but counted as part of the 40 week period of pregnancy. This period can still be during the menstrual week. For those planning for a pregnancy this period and before are times where the would be mother is careful and follows healthy habits whilst preparing to house the baby. Remember a healthy baby lives in a healthy body.

Alcohol, cigarettes and drugs are best avoided at all costs during this period. Low birth weight, fetal alcohol syndrome birth defects respiratory problems can all be caused by these and more. Prescribed drugs can also cause birth defects and even death of the baby, so these must be discussed with the physician if you are planning a pregnancy. Drugs taken over the counter can also have a negative impact on the health of your baby so they should also be discussed with a doctor before ingestion.

It is recommended that pregnant women eat a healthy diet during this period with a variety of food groups for a healthy body. An ideal range of weight gain is between 11.5 and 16 kilograms during pregnancy. Weight gain below this region may lead to low birth weight and premature births. To prevent neural tube defects mothers should start taking folic acid at a dose of 0.4 mg per day a month before the planned pregnancy. Iron supplements of 30 mg per day is also recommended since women have low iron stores and diet is insufficient to deal with iron needs of pregnancy. This means that all women must be screened during and around the first week of pregnancy to exclude anaemia.

Other supplements include calcium of 1000 mg per day for those who are at risk of developing hypertension during this period. High vitamin A ingestion leads to cranial neural-crest defect and limited to 5000 International units (I.U.) or less per day. High doses of vitamin D is harmful but the effects of Vitamin D supplements are not readily evident. Women with minimal exposure to the sun can therefore be considered for Vitamin D supplements.

Foods with saccharin should be avoided in pregnancy because it is known to cross the placenta into the body of the baby and is not excreted by the baby easily. Herbal tea in pregnancy is not recommended since there are no trials done to exclude toxicity but some herbs are not considered safe in pregnancy. Raw and uncooked foods are best avoided in pregnancy.


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