As an expectant mother, you might have a lot of thoughts, doubts, and even fears about your pregnancy. This is normal for every first-time mom. While you may already start thinking about your baby’s name or the hospital you’d like to give birth to your firstborn, there’s a long list of other things that you have to prepare for as you enter this new season. Below are nine helpful tips that could help you on your nine months of pregnancy:
Confirm Your Pregnancy
Before anything else, you’ve got to get a clear answer to whether or not you are pregnant. Ask yourself the following:
- Have I missed my period?
- Am I nauseous?
- Am I feeling fatigued?
If you answered yes, you may conduct a home-based urine test to confirm your pregnancy. A pregnancy test like Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test with Smart Countdown, 3 count can do the job.
But it will always be best to consult with a doctor. Choose the most appropriate ob-gyn for your needs and take note of the medical check-ups. Do not take vaccinations for granted as these provide a big help to prevent you from falling sick as you bear your baby. It is always best to be safe when pregnant.
Know The Pregnancy Phases
The entire 9 months of pregnancy is divided into three trimesters, each one of them ushers you into new experiences as your baby develops inside your womb. Your baby is almost the size of a peach after the first trimester, while the second trimester is characterized by the development of your baby’s body parts. Finally, the last trimester is when your baby goes into full bloom, and both of you prepare for the eventual childbirth.
Be Ready For Pregnancy Bleeding
You would probably ask the question the moment you see menstrual bleeding. The answer is most likely yes because this is common in the early parts of your pregnancy. This happens because the egg travels south in the fallopian tube and goes to the uterus. As the egg cell implants into the uterine lining, implantation bleeding occurs. However, contrary to the red color of the menstrual blood to which women are used to, the blood coming from menstrual bleeding is either brown or pink in color.
Expect Bodily Discomforts Due to Pregnancy
Listen to your body, as it will show persistent pregnancy symptoms. Very noticeably, your breasts start to feel tender and sore as you prepare for breastfeeding. You would also feel the need to frequently pee, as well as constipation. Along with mood swings, you would experience leg cramps, and various body pains as the weight of your baby take a toll on your body parts. “Many women also have backaches and aching near the pelvic bone due to the pressure of the baby’s head, increased weight, and loosening joints,” Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD says. You may experience shortness of breath and heartburn due to acid reflux.
Take Care Of Your Diet
Your baby absorbs nutrients from the food that you eat, so pay close attention to what you let your baby take in as well. Focus on the fruits and veggies, and do away with fast food, any form of junk food, alcohol, and caffeine. Take it easy on the sweets and other carbohydrates too.
According to Courtney Barnes, MD “The main foods to avoid are high-mercury fish, such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel or tilefish. Avoid undercooked foods — make sure that meats are cooked to minimum recommended internal temperatures.” She also adds, “Avoid unpasteurized dairy products and raw uncooked foods such as sushi. Avoid hot dogs, lunch meats, and cold cuts unless they are heated up prior to eating.” During pregnancy, have your regular dose of vitamin and health supplements, including the vitamins particularly needed by your baby.
Take It Easy On Food Cravings
No scientific link could explain why pregnant women have very unusual food cravings, but this is a real thing about expectant moms that probably no husband would ever deny. Strange food cravings trigger questions about pregnancy among women and their friends. Not all women have the same food desires, so you might have this unexplained huge craving for ice cream today and then really salty food the next day. It’s best to get your husband’s help in trying to control these pregnancy cravings because you need to keep your diet healthy for your baby’s smooth development.
Take Prenatal Vitamins
The baby’s neural cord, which eventually becomes the brain and the spinal cord, forms as early as the first pregnancy month. Therefore, the baby needs to receive necessary nutrients such as iron, calcium, and folic acid at the start.
You can get these nutrients through prenatal vitamins. Expecting moms can purchase some of these over-the-counter. At the same time, your doctor may prescribe other supplements. Pregnant moms may feel queasy when they take prenatal vitamins. You can eliminate this uneasy feeling by taking them in the evening. Try it with a light snack or chew a hard candy afterward.
Here are some of the top-rated and most recommended prenatal vitamins in Amazon you can consider:
Balance Your Physical Activities
You have to consult this first with your ob-gyn because there are pregnancy cases which require bed rest. Otherwise, you need to keep your body in good shape in terms of regular exercise. This would not only prepare you for the pains of childbirth, but it would also alleviate current discomforts that you are feeling during pregnancy.
Ali DiMatteo M.D. adds, “Studies have found a lower chance of gestational diabetes along with decreases in cesarean and operative delivery rates for women who exercise during pregnancy. Research also shows that exercise helps with post-partum recovery.” You may still travel in the early weeks of pregnancy, but the risk increases as you approach the third trimester, so limit the outings at this time.
Make sure to avoid alcohol, tobacco, and prohibited drugs during your pregnancy. These toxins may only lead to pregnancy problems such as miscarriage and congenital disabilities. These vices can lower your oxygen levels and prevent flow to your baby. It can lead to complications upon birth.
Other than the usual vices, there are also other toxin sources to avoid. Everyday things like nail polish removers and paint thinners can be toxic as well. Therefore, ensure to prevent inhaling any of these.
Don’t Worry About Pregnancy Weight Gain
Expect to gain more weight when you approach the second to third trimester of your pregnancy. This is normal as your body meets the needs of your growing baby and accommodates the development of the placenta. Your body reacts by storing more nutrients and increasing bodily fluids. Actually, not gaining enough weight during your entire pregnancy could increase the chances of having a premature baby.
However, also be mindful of too much weight gain. You don’t want to gain 20 kilos during pregnancy. That is just not acceptable weight gain. Your baby only weighs around 2 to 5 kg. Being pregnant does not give us the free ticket to eat anything we want. We have to be mindful that the foods we eat are nutritious and can contribute to our baby’s development.
Go Shoe Shopping
The bigger your bump grows, the extra pressure your feet will experience. Since your weight gain affects your center of gravity, it will most likely make your ankles and feet swell. Do not be surprised if you find out you have suddenly outgrown your shoes.
With this in mind, it is essential to wear non-restricting and comfortable shoes. Make sure that it is flat for even weight distribution.
Remember that the level of stress that you experience has a direct impact on your baby. Worse, this could result in premature or low birth weight baby. Avoid work-related stress by taking time off or requesting lighter load. Take a leave even before the expected birth of your baby. Do de-stressing activities every now and then – whatever works – may it be yoga, crocheting, baking, among others.
Relax and be happy so you could also expect a cheerful and bouncing baby after 9 months. Pregnancy is a special chapter in every woman’s life, ushering a woman into motherhood. That is why it is a very exciting, yet challenging, stretch but it is undoubtedly worth every pain once you get a sight of your baby into this world. Welcome to the motherhood club!
Pregnancy Frequently Asked Questions
What are the early pregnancy symptoms?
One obvious sign of pregnancy is a missed period. Cramps and spotting are also among the early signs of pregnancy but are sometimes mistaken as ordinary menstruation. After a few weeks from conception, symptoms may include nausea, constipation, swollen breasts, and mood swings.
What does a pregnant stomach feel like?
The stomach usually feels bloated in the early stages of pregnancy. This feeling is caused by pregnancy hormones. Stomach pain and cramps can also be felt in early pregnancy caused by the stretching of muscles preparing for the baby.
Can you detect pregnancy at 1 week?
Pregnancy is often detected on the day of the missed period. But there are some pregnancy test kits that can detect pregnancies as early as 4-5 days before the regular period.
What are the chances I am pregnant?
Normally, the chance of getting pregnant is 15% to 25%. For women who are in their 30s, the odds of pregnancy are lower. Meanwhile, it is harder for those who have an irregular menstrual cycle to determine when they are fertile.
When should I take a pregnancy test?
To get a precise result, a pregnancy test should be taken on the day of the missed period. Also, you can try taking a pregnancy test a week or two after having sex. It is important to take quite some time because Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) levels are not detectable right away.
Can we check pregnancy by pulse?
Pregnancy can’t be detected by merely checking the pulse. Although traditional Chinese medicine has been using it to determine whether a woman is pregnant, there is no scientific evidence to prove the claim.
How does urine look?
Urine contains Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) which determines if a female is pregnant or not. It is recommended to take a pregnancy test in the morning because it is during this time that the urine is most concentrated. Cloudy urine during pregnancy may suggest that you are dehydrated, you have preeclampsia, or suffering a urinary tract infection.
How do you feel during pregnancy?
Three weeks into the pregnancy, most women don’t feel a significant difference. But later into pregnancy, preggy women experience bloating, mood swings, food aversions, and body pains.
When can you truly answer the question: “Am I Pregnant?”
Only when you take a pregnancy test and get checked by your doctor can you conclusively say that you are pregnant. So before panicking or getting excited, make sure to consult your OB-GYN. They can confirm your pregnancy and help you prepare.
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