1. Lie on Your Side
Some moms-to-be, especially those further along in their pregnancies, are wondering how it’s possible to get a comfortable night’s sleep. While it can be a transition if you’re used to sleeping on your stomach, here’s the best advice to help you catch zzz’s comfortably in the healthiest way for you and your baby.
We know you’re not going to lie on your stomach as your belly grows and you enter the second trimester, but we do want you to avoid lying flat on your back. That’s because when you do so, the weight of your uterus compresses the blood vessels that are feeding the placenta. Lying on your left side is better than lying on your right side because it allows more blood to flow to the uterus. Either is better than lying on your back, because when you do, you also compress a large vein called the vena cava. The pressure from that compression reduces the flow of blood back to your heart, as if you were bending a water hose, and that decreases the blood flow to your uterus and to your baby.
2. Decide on Vaccines
When you’re in an immunosuppressed state such as pregnancy, vaccinations may compromise your immune system further. The best course of action is to get updated on your immunizations three or more months before you get pregnant. So if you’re thinking about getting pregnant, brave the needles. And if you’re trying to conceive #2 (or more), a good tip is to make sure your vaccinations are up to date.
We recommend that you avoid all vaccines during pregnancy, if you can. The one exception is the flu vaccine, which concerns some moms. This should put you at ease: current data suggest the vaccine has no adverse effect. The flu is more serious in pregnant women than in nonpregnant women and is the leading cause of hospitalization during pregnancy. Plus, serious flu symptoms can compromise the amount of oxygen mom and her baby are getting. Ask for the vaccine that does not use thimerosal (mercury) as a preservative. It’s slightly more expensive (between $4 and $8 more) but worth the price.
3. Decide if You’re Nuts
Not nuts as in crazy, but nuts as in walnuts or even the legume, peanuts. There’s been a lot of talk about whether eating peanuts during pregnancy contributes to childhood peanut allergies or asthma. The research suggests that avoiding peanuts doesn’t seem to have an effect on nut allergies except when there’s a family history of extreme cases of the allergy. Eating peanuts during pregnancy has, however, been related to an increase in asthma rates. If you want to be super cautious, you can avoid peanuts and peanut butter, but generally, it’s okay to eat both during pregnancy. The more important issue is to make sure that you eat apples, fish, and omega-3 fatty acids like DHA, found in salmon and trout, fortified foods, and supplements, because they’ve been shown to help prevent asthma and avert allergies that can run in families. Eating them during pregnancy will help strengthen your child’s delicate immune system before the environment starts taking shots at it.
A New York Times #1 best-selling author and host of The Dr. Oz Show, Mehmet C. Oz, M.D. is also professor and vice chairman of surgery at New York Presbyterian-Columbia University and the director of the Heart Institute. For more from Dr. Oz, check out You: Raising Your Child and You: Having a Baby, both co-authored with Michael F. Roizen, M.D.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.