There is no time more exciting than when you’re expecting. The world is full of possibilities. Maybe this is your first child, or you’ve been through this rodeo before. No matter your exposure to such experiences, you may want to brush up on a few of the basics.

Apart from the exciting and fun part of expecting, there are some things that need to be done to ensure your baby is as healthy as he or she can be. There are prenatal tests that should be done at different stages of your pregnancy. Amniocentesis is done around 14 to 20 weeks and tests for Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, and spina bifida. Glucose tests, urine tests, and others are also on the list of to-do’s.

Technology is advancing rapidly, so there may be new ways of detecting problems that your doctor knows about. Never be afraid to ask questions. Recommendations for what you should and shouldn’t do are always changing. With the advances in science, we are learning new things each day about the miracle that is pregnancy and childbirth. What was considered taboo or recommended for your mom may not be the same today.

Habits that Must Change

A lot of people ask, “can pregnant women drink wine?” There are several schools of thought on this issue, however, most medical professionals agree that it isn’t a good idea.

Alcohol use during pregnancy has a definite cultural component. Some cultures consider the moderate use of wine and beer to be acceptable during pregnancy. However, medical professionals in the United States caution against such behavior.

Your baby and you’re one entity for now, and anything you put in your body is transferred to him or her. There is a chance that drinking even a small amount of wine could potentially cause birth defects. Alcohol may cause slowed growth and affect vital organs like the brain.

On a similar note, tobacco and anything else smoked can have seriously hazardous effects on your fetus. Any recreational drug use like marijuana or party drugs must be suspended as well. The harsher or harder the substance, the more devastating the potential side effects they can cause.

What Can I Take?

Not much is the short answer. Pregnant women need to be especially careful about what they put in their bodies. There are many things we take throughout the week that we take for granted.

Medicines, even herbal supplements and medicines, may cause serious birth defects, according to the Office of Women’s Health.

If you’re on any medication, including herbal remedies and over-the-counter medication, discuss each item with your doctor before long. Some substances like herbal medicines may be safe, however, the proper research hasn’t been conducted on it and therefore whether it causes problems is unknown.

Some medications you may continue taking, such as Tylenol, however, Advil isn’t a good idea. The list of substances you can and can’t take would confuse anyone, so if you have any questions, be sure to talk to your doctor before making any big changes.

When it comes to prescription medication, the health of the mother has to be weighed against the potential harm to the unborn child. Some women continue taking prescriptions such as anti-depressants and asthma inhalers because the risk of harm is greater without them.

Some medications are a clear “no,” however, including benzodiazepines like Valium and Xanax. Substances like these and others could potentially alter the development of the fetus’s brain and other major organs.

A good rule of thumb is to try to avoid anything that isn’t absolutely necessary in the first trimester. During this period the baby’s brain and spinal cord are developing and any complication with these may spell catastrophic consequences.

During the third trimester, anything you take that’s habit-forming, such as pain medicine, anti-anxiety medication or anything else that produces withdrawal symptoms will affect the baby after birth. The baby will become dependent on whatever you take and may experience withdrawal symptoms if you didn’t fully wean off well before the time of labor.

Support is Key

You may want to start building your support system for if, or when, things get stressful or scary. You may have the baby’s father in your life and, if so, that is a fabulous support source. However, you may also want to consider some other options.

Family members who have been through pregnancy are a great place to find support. It can be especially rewarding to bond with cousins or siblings over pregnancy stress.

Not everyone has a large family or can rely on them for support, however. For many people, pregnancy classes work to help educate you about the demands of childbirth as well as introduce you to others in the same boat. There may be outings or get-togethers hosted by the woman’s center or place offering pregnancy classes.

If you have specific issues you’re facing, you may want to consider finding a therapist or support group. Pregnancy can be hard and, though modern medicine has dramatically decreased the probability of complications, they do sometimes happen.

Let the Doctor Worry

When it comes to your baby, it’s hard not to worry about every aspect of his or her development. However, don’t let yourself become overly worried by things out of your control.

When it comes to you and your baby’s health, if you’re following medical advice and doing everything you can, then it might be time to leave the rest of the concerns to your doctor.

Eat well, get exercise, and follow the protocol for what you can and cannot take and leave the rest to the universe. If you worry about things out of your control, you may miss out on the amazing experience you’re participating in right now.

Author's Bio: 

I am a professional blogger and I love to write technology articles for my own blogs. I also write the latest news for different magazines and newspapers.