Dear soon-to-be mommies, we understand that being pregnant might be a completely new feeling for you. There will be times when you’ll forget that you are in fact carrying a tiny human inside your tummy. At other times you may feel clueless about what to do. With tons of mixed emotions clouding your judgment, being pregnant may seem stressful.
So here at Feedfond, we want to relieve you from the dilemma of the pregnancy ‘dos’ and ‘donts’ Because while your little one may be safely tucked away inside your womb, you must remember that the health of your baby is linked to yours.
You will be responsible for two lives; yours and your baby’s. So it’s important to make good choices.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- Understanding Prenatal Care
- What to Keep in Mind for Effective Prenatal Care
- Dealing with Changes During Pregnancy
- What to Eat & What Not to Eat During Pregnancy
- What you Must Never Do During Pregnancy
Understanding Prenatal Care
During pregnancy, taking care of yourself and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be challenging. Here are a few tips.
The Important Bits
First things first. Your eating and sleeping habits have to be maintained. Make sure that you prioritize your doctor’s appointments over anything else. In order to be blessed with a healthy baby, you yourself have to stay healthy while you’re pregnant, so be sure that you eat well and that you get enough rest.
Your doctor must know your full medical history so that they can stay up-to-date on your medical condition. Be open and share any troubles or bodily changes you may be going through with your doctor. Keep a record of your weight gain/loss and blood pressure during your pregnancy.
Make sure that you get tests done whenever required and go for regular check-ups with your doctor. Pregnancy often brings with it a lot of unexpected physical changes. It is important to collect your blood and urine samples in the early stages of your pregnancy and keep a check on them every month.
Look for signs of diabetes, high blood pressure, anemia, and other viruses.
Keep Records of your Health
During your pregnancy, you must record your sugar, hemoglobin and protein levels, as well as keep track of many other chemical counts in the body. It’s always safe to check for infectious diseases and take precautionary actions based on the results. On your first visit, doctors want to run as many tests as possible to ensure that everything is alright and that it’s a healthy pregnancy.
Some of the tests may include:
- Blood and urine tests
- Pelvic examination to check the shape of your uterus
- Ultrasound scan to check your baby’s condition and growth.
Go to your doctor for regular check-ups every two weeks (or more often if required). During the last few weeks of your pregnancy, always be aware of even the smallest of changes. Make sure that you listen to and follow all the advice your doctor gives you. You must check if your baby’s heartbeat is regular and keep an eye on the little one’s position inside your tummy.
Both of your lives are interlinked, so you must act responsibly for the sake of your baby’s health.
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What to Keep in Mind for Effective Prenatal Care
It is important to take care of yourself during pregnancy. You must remember that your baby’s health is dependent on yours. After all, a healthy mommy means a healthy baby. We have listed some simple tips for you to remember if you are expecting a baby.
Being pregnant means craving the strangest kinds of food. So, it’s quite natural to put on weight during pregnancy. However, it can also be unhealthy to put on too much weight. The weight will vary from one person to another, but there is still a limit to how much weight you should be putting on. Consult your doctor and keep your weight in check so that it does not harm the baby.
One thing to remember during pregnancy is to never take any medication that is not prescribed by your doctor. No matter how harmless you think a medicine may be, there might be a negative side effect that you’re not aware of.
During pregnancy, your body will be less immune to drugs so it’s better to stay away from unnecessary painkillers or other common medications. Some drugs may even cause unexpected miscarriage or other birth defects if taken during the earlier months of pregnancy. Hence, you should always consult your doctor before you take any kind of medicine.
Taking Vitamin Supplements
Doctors will provide vitamin supplements depending on your test results and requirements. It varies from one person to another. Vitamins help with your baby’s growth and you should take them regularly. You should also start taking them before pregnancy if possible.
Working During Pregnancy
The usual “you shouldn’t be working when you’re pregnant” is a myth. In the early stages of pregnancy, it’s okay to work as long as you feel healthy. How long you work is completely up to you, because it varies from person to person. If you have a healthy pregnancy then you can work up to your sixth or seventh month.
However, doctors recommend not putting too much pressure on yourself during your pregnancy.
Safety at Work
That being said, if your job involves exposure to harmful chemicals then you certainly should not work while you’re pregnant. These chemicals could affect the growth of the baby and cause other complications in your pregnancy.
In the case of a desk job, it is alright to work as long as it’s in a safe environment. However, make sure that you don’t sit for long periods at a time. Take short breaks and under no circumstance should you keep your laptop on your stomach. Work safely and do not overwork or stress yourself.
Exercising During Pregnancy
Regularly working out for 15 to 20 minutes during pregnancy is healthy. You are obviously not supposed to lift any weights or do cardio though. Just do some light free hand exercises, practice yoga safely or go for a walk in the park.
At times you may feel restless and anxious during your pregnancy. Try meditating or exercising to relieve the stress and feel more relaxed. Consult your doctor about which exercises are best for you. Exercising during your pregnancy helps you remain flexible and hopefully might make your labor a little easier. It’s important to listen to your body – if you feel tired, then rest. Do not force yourself to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.
Avoid Outdoor Sports
Cut down on intensive physical activity and sports where you’re likely to get hurt. Always talk to your doctor about the dos and don’ts before trying out something new. If you face the following complications, contact your doctor immediately:
- Dizziness and fatigue
- Difficulty seeing or any vision problems
- Chest pain
- Stomach ache
It’s safe to have sex during pregnancy. Keep in mind that lovemaking can be difficult during pregnancy, so try positions that you are comfortable with and that doesn’t put any stress on your stomach. It is normal for your sex-drive to increase during pregnancy, but always keep in mind that you have a baby in your tummy.
Always use protection because no matter how safe and protected you may think your unborn may be inside your tummy, unprotected sex could cause an infection. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
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Dealing with Changes During Pregnancy
See below for the common side effects you may see during pregnancy and for tips on how to deal with them:
Morning sickness is one of the first and most obvious signs of pregnancy. Be aware that there will be no fixed timing for vomiting. You will throw up day and night, before meals and after meals. It’s all completely normal. Try to avoid oily and acidic foods. Don’t starve yourself. Eat in small portions throughout the day. Sleep is really important if you are pregnant as a lack of sleep may cause nausea and slow your digestion.
Drink refreshing juices and eat water-based fruits. If you face problems eating then consult your doctor who can prescribe something that might help.
It’s totally normal to feel tired when you’re pregnant. So make sure that you get enough sleep and do not put too much stress on yourself. Listen to music or keep yourself occupied with something to feel better. If you constantly feel restless then get in touch with your doctor and they may be able to find a solution.
Leg cramps are very common during pregnancy. You need to drink plenty of water and stay active. Exercise will help reduce these cramps and drinking enough water will prevent dehydration that may cause muscle pulls. So, adopt a healthy lifestyle and drink lots of water or fresh juice.
Because you’ll be craving unhealthy food, these junk foods can cause constipation. You must eat plenty of veggies and drink enough fluids to help with digestion. Try to eat fiber-rich foods to help you digest your food. Be aware that too much protein is not good for the baby, and neither are carbs. Talk to a dietician or your doctor and get a chart for what you should eat and what you shouldn’t.
Never take laxatives or other stool softeners during pregnancy. Always consult your doctor first.
Never force yourself to pass stool during pregnancy. It puts pressure on both you and your baby. If you are constipated then talk to your doctor immediately. Always keep yourself clean and maintain good hygiene to prevent infection. Try sitz baths in warm water once a day – after clearing this with your doctor first of course.
The urge to urinate may increase during pregnancy. With a tiny human putting pressure on your bladder, you will need to urinate more than usual. Wear comfortable clothes and always urinate when you feel the need. You might have a bladder of steel, but then again it puts a strain on your uterus which is not healthy for the baby.
Avoid tightly fitted clothes and let your body relax. Dress comfortably when you are expecting a baby. Rest from time to time, but also stay active. Physical activity is important to reduce the chances of varicose veins forming during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor if you need expert advice.
It’s natural for soon-to-be mommies to feel cranky as their bodies are going through continuous hormonal changes. It’s pretty common to feel exhausted and frustrated. Don’t lose hope. Even when uncertainty strikes you, it will be temporary. Indulge in things that will make you feel better.
Go shopping, talk to a friend or just relax at the spa. Always listen to your body.
Sometimes irregular eating habits may lead to the formation of gas. Keep a routine eating schedule and maintain a healthy diet. Otherwise, you may experience heartburn. If you frequently face this problem, then talk to your doctor for advice.
One of the most important things to do when you’re pregnant is to maintain good vaginal hygiene. Keep this area clean to prevent infections. Always use protection during sex and again, wash your vagina well afterward. Yeast infections are very common during pregnancy.
If you notice something unusual then call your doctor for a check-up.
Dental visits are just as important as OBGYN visits. You must take care of your teeth and brush regularly. Eat fruits that are rich in Vitamin C to keep your teeth healthy and see a dentist if your gums bleed excessively. Make sure that you inform the dentist that you’re pregnant.
Cold & Flus
Colds are pretty common during pregnancy. The changes in your hormones may be the reason why you’re so prone to these infections. But make sure that you do not take any unnecessary medicines without the permission of your doctor.
Nosebleeds are also sometimes seen during pregnancy, so inform your doctor when something like this happens.
With every passing day, you’ll see your skin changing. In the beginning, your skin will be glowing but you may also notice stretch marks. Always keep your skin moisturized. If it starts to feel dry, then use shea butter to reduce the itchiness.
Getting rid of stretch marks is not so easy, but don’t worry too much as they start to fade soon after birth. The skin often gets darker and you may notice visible changes around your nipples. It’s all just a part of pregnancy and with the right care, you can easily help these problems. Use sunscreen and body lotion to stay soft and moisturized during your pregnancy.
Important Read: Top 5 Best Nursing Covers – Breastfeeding Moms Choice
What to Eat & What Not to Eat During Pregnancy
It’s important to maintain a healthy diet plan that is both nutritious and wholesome. Always keep the following tips in mind if you are pregnant.
Always Eat Fully Cooked Meals
When you eat meat, eggs, and fish, always make sure that they are cooked well. Try to avoid eating any more than two or three portions of fish per week. Avoid eating big sea fish and opt for light tuna instead of normal tuna. Always run your diet by your doctor first.
Wash Fruits and Vegetables
Always wash fruits and vegetables properly before you eat them. Cleanliness is very important to keep bacterial infections at bay.
Dairy is Important
Calcium is very important for pregnant moms. Drink plenty of milk every day. Always remember to buy pasteurized milk to avoid a risk of infection. Be selective in your cheese choices as well. Try not to eat soft cheeses.
If you are diabetic during your pregnancy, you can take sugar supplements with permission from your doctor. It is best if you keep artificial sweeteners to a minimum and always check which one is best with your doctor.
We get it, you need your coffee, but don’t drink more than two cups a day.
Important Read: Best Pregnancy Pillow – A Complete Buyer’s Guide
What you Must Never Do During Pregnancy
If you are pregnant, then you should avoid the following:
Smoking increases the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and many other health issues for the baby. So avoiding smoking during your pregnancy is vital for the health of your unborn child.
Marijuana, cocaine and many other drugs can affect your baby and cause bodily dysfunctions and severe health issues.
Drinking may cause miscarriage as well as major birth defects for your baby.
Eating Raw Meat or Fish
Eating raw foods can cause health problems for you as well as the baby. So avoid eating any cold meats and fish.
Call a Doctor if you …
- Leak blood or fluid from your vagina
- Feel your legs or fingers are swelling up
- Have chronic headaches
- Constantly vomit or feeling nauseous
- Feel dizzy or have blurred vision
- Have extreme cramps or abdominal pain
- Have a urinary tract infection
- Suffer from a cold, flu or viral infection
Questions to Ask your Doctor
- Which medicines can you take while you’re pregnant?
- Which vitamin supplements should you take?
- Why are you experiencing swelling and how can you reduce it?
- How much weight gain is healthy?
Additional Read: Best Glass Baby Bottles – A Complete Buyer’s Guide
Being pregnant is a 24/7 job where most of your time will be spent craving strange foods or sleeping. Other than the strict lifestyle you are expected to maintain, being pregnant is pretty cool. The feeling of your baby’s first kick cannot be expressed in words. At the end of the nine months, you’ll see your little angel staring up at you and all those months of restricting yourself from the things you liked will be worth it.
We wish you a happy and healthy pregnancy!
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