It happens . . . women become pregnant – either an “oops” or on purpose – and then various circumstances lead them to decide to place the child/children for adoption. In a pregnancy like this where stress levels are likely running high, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of a doing what you can to ensure healthy pregnancy.

Here are some tips:

1. Make that OB appointment.

Make sure when you find out you are pregnant that you make an appointment with an obstetrician who can tell you what to expect and check on the baby’s growth and development. They will also make sure you are doing well physically and emotionally.

2. Don’t drink, smoke, or do drugs.

I am a product of a birth mother who drank excessively throughout her entire pregnancy with me. I was diagnosed at 34 years of age with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Fortunately, my symptoms are extremely mild and I am functioning and successful, but there are many others who have not been as lucky. There is no safe amount of alcohol to drink during a pregnancy.

3. Stay active.

Try to exercise regularly, at least 3 times per week for around 30 minutes/day. You don’t have to do anything vigorous, particularly if you weren’t particularly active before your pregnancy. Just getting up and stretching, doing yoga that is safe for you and the baby, and going on walks helps keep the blood flowing throughout your body, and decreases stress levels, which is healthy for both you and the baby.

4. Take a prenatal vitamin.

Ideally, you should have been taking them for a month or two before getting pregnant, but if you weren’t, start taking them as soon as you know you are expecting.

5. Cut out the caffeine.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends keeping your caffeine intake under 200 mg/day. If you are a caffeine fiend, try to substitute those drinks with water, or if you crave that sweetness, go for the decaffeinated version.

6. Get adequate rest.

Ain’t no rest for the wicked, but for the pregnant, there should be lots of rest. Many women feel utterly exhausted throughout their pregnancy. Make sure you rest. Put your legs up, watch some TV, read a good book. If you have children already, see if someone will take them just for an hour or two so you can rest and reenergize.

7. Avoiding lifting heavy things.

If you can’t stop yourself from rearranging your bedroom to be feng shui happy, enlist a friend to move the heavier pieces. If you have other children, little children who want to be carried, know your limits. If you are out of breath after carrying them, ask someone else to do the work. Or this might be a great opportunity for your child to learn some independence and self-soothing skills.

8. Drink lots (of water).

Water is so important for humans to consume every day. When woman is pregnant, that rule doesn’t change. If anything, pregnant women need to drink more water! They are carrying another human inside of them – maybe even two, or three! To help provide nutrients to these little ones, blood volume increases significantly, so it will take a little more work to stay hydrated.

9. Remember eating for two does not mean eating twice the calories.

Actually, your caloric intake should only increase by about 300 calories in the 2nd and 3rd trimester. That is it.

10. Find a confidant.

Have at least one person with whom you can confide your fears, your worries, and your happy times throughout your pregnancy. Talking about your feelings will relieve stress.

Pregnant and considering adoption? You don’t need to do it alone. Click here to connect with a caring, compassionate adoption professional who can help you figure out what’s best for you and your baby. All consultations and counseling are absolutely free.