One of the things air personnel tell passengers on an aircraft is that in the event oxygen masks have to be used, mothers should first make sure their masks are safe and secure before turning to help their baby or child. This is, obviously, in the interests of protecting your baby. After all, if you are not in full control of yourself how can you protect your child?
When it comes to protecting your baby, the bottom line is that you need to take care of yourself. That means no smoking, drugs and no drinking. It means following a healthy diet. It means telling people they can't smoke in your home. It means using a seat belt even when you're just going two minutes down the road to buy a pint of milk. It means saying no to Saturday sauna nights at least for your first trimester. It means keeping informed about your health and the health of your baby. It means having a good relationship with your partner in order to create a happy, healthy atmosphere for the newborn.
Protecting your baby starts when you find out that you are pregnant. The first thing you need to do is make an appointment with your doctor, gynecologist or midwife and ensure you make regular visits in order for the professionals to monitor the progress of your baby's development. You need to be totally honest with medical stuff about your physical and mental condition, whether you are taking drugs (even if it is only aspirin), your medical history and that of your partner, and your lifestyle, including whether you are still working.
After finding out that you are pregnant, and especially if you are overweight, you need to start, and stick with, a healthy diet. Your doctor will recommend one and also advise whether he thinks you need any supplements. If you use complementary medicine for any reason, in the interests of protecting your baby you should tell your doctor.
Natural medicine is great, but there are, for instance, herbs and essential oils that may be dangerous when you are pregnant. Even certain vitamins in excess can be advised against taking. Basil, marjoram, juniper and sage essential oils are never recommended for pregnant women.
Protecting your baby is your number one priority and this is a good enough reason to find out as much as you can about childbirth education from books, the internet and from your antenatal clinic.