There come anxiety and stress, along with the happiness of getting the little bundle of your joy! Since you are responsible for giving birth to a healthy baby, understanding the nutrition, lifestyle tips, working habits, etc. during pregnancy is paramount.
Pregnancy care is a blend of nutritious diet, prenatal health check-ups, dental care, sleeping difficulties, shopping for maternity clothing, baby care products, and the list is endless!
Things To Do During Pregnancy:
There is nothing that can be overlooked or missed out during pregnancy! Few simple tips must be kept in mind, and understanding things to do during pregnancy, as follows:
Understand The Pregnancy Symptoms:
- There are many early pregnancy symptoms and signs, as follows:
- The most noticeable change in the body of the expectant mother will be missing the monthly periods.
- Morning sickness, nausea and vomiting sensation, especially in the early morning time is common.
- Increased secretion of hormones in the body, which will lead to mood swings, anxiety, irritability, etc.
- The urge to urinate frequently will be high, though each time the output of urine will be scanty.
- Headaches, body pains, and aches are common during pregnancy, especially the 1st
- Enlargement of the breasts and the nipples.
- Breast tenderness, sore breasts, achy breasts, etc.
- Darkening of the nipples, formation of small bumps on the areolas of the breasts, etc.
- Indigestion, heartburn, constipation, and bloating.
- Fatigue, feelings of tiredness, lethargy, drowsiness, etc.
Prenatal Health Check Up:
It is paramount to go for the prenatal check-up as soon as you feel the initial signs and symptoms of pregnancy. The gynecologist will suggest you get an early pregnancy scanning done to confirm the pregnancy.
Ultrasound scanning will help in checking for the formation of the yolk sac in the uterus. It is crucial to check for twins or triplets by checking the number of yolk sacs formed in the womb. It is also essential to check for the formation of the pregnancy inside the uterus or any other part of the reproductive organs (ectopic pregnancy).
It is vital to undergo few tests, advised by the gynecologist, to check for any underlying problems during pregnancy. The various tests during the initial weeks of pregnancy are as follows:
- Blood typing
- Checking of the Rh factor
- Thyroid test
- Screening for anemia
- Screening for Diabetes
- Urine test
- Tests for HIV, Rubella, Hepatitis B, Syphilis, etc.
Understanding Stretch Marks In Pregnancy:
Getting stretch marks during pregnancy is inevitable. However, each woman is different and has a different skin type. Stretch marks will gradually fade away post the birth of the baby.
Though stretch marks will be formed later during pregnancy, you will need to take care from the initial weeks. You can use topical creams and lotions to decrease the fine lines and streaks, which can be developed on the abdomen, waist, hips, breasts, etc.
Breast Changes In Pregnancy:
Owing to the increased secretion of hormones during pregnancy, breast changes will be felt by the expectant mother. Sore breasts, tingly and achy breasts, enlargement of the nipples, darkening of the areolas, etc. are common signs during pregnancy .
The significant increase in the breast size will be because of the increased flow of blood to the breasts. The changes in the breasts during pregnancy will be the body’s way to prepare for feeding the baby. You will be required to shop for bras, as most women suggest an approximate increase of the breast to about a cup’s size.
Understanding The Baby Movements:
One of the most memorable experiences for any woman is to feel her baby move inside her body during pregnancy. The initial movements of the baby in the womb will be like gas or even hunger pangs, felt after the 20th week of pregnancy in most cases. As the pregnancy progresses, the fetal movements will get stronger.
The intensity and frequency of the movements of the baby will be stronger when you are relaxed, sleeping or lying down. As the baby grows, the movements in the womb will be felt as kicks and jerks. The 3rd trimester is the phase of pregnancy when the movements will be the strongest.
Predicting The Baby’s Gender:
It is normal to get curious about the sex of the baby growing inside you. Though the external genitals will be underdeveloped, you can still make out the sex of the baby through an ultrasound scan.
However, identifying the gender of the baby will depend upon the position of the baby at the time of the scanning. If the baby is very much curled up, then the external genitals won’t be clearly visible to the Sonographer.
Do’s And Don’ts During Pregnancy:
If it is a first-time pregnancy, then there are many crucial things to keep in mind to make your journey of pregnancy convenient. A healthy diet is essential, however alone it won’t be beneficial. Prenatal vitamins contain high amounts of the nutrients that an expectant mother requires.
The various do’s and don’ts during pregnancy can be listed as follows:
- Undergo the pregnancy test when you miss the monthly periods.
- Go for a prenatal health check up.
- Follow the advice of your gynecologist.
- Take the pregnancy medication.
- Undergo the prenatal testing.
- Share your family medical history with the gynecologist.
- Follow the pregnancy calendar to understand the exact week and month of your gestation.
- Understand the appropriate weight gain required during pregnancy.
- Concentrate on your pregnancy diet.
- Take appropriate pregnancy care.
- You must avoid visiting people who are sick during pregnancy.
- Pregnancy increases the susceptibility of the woman to viral and bacterial infections.
- Staying hygienic and clean is hence mandatory.
- You must get regular dental check-ups done when you are pregnant.
- Pregnancy increases the susceptibility of the expectant mother to dental problems such as sore gums, gingivitis, etc.
It is vital for any pregnant woman to understand the weeks and the months of her pregnancy. You can identify the week of your pregnancy to the corresponding month, and follow the health tips and do and don’ts in pregnancy, through the pregnancy calendar.
|1st Trimester||Month 1||1 to 4 weeks|
|Month 2||5 to 8 weeks|
|Month 3||9 to 13 weeks|
|Month 4||14 to 17 weeks|
|Month 5||18 to 21 weeks|
|Month 6||22 to 26 weeks|
|Month 7||27 to 30 weeks|
|Month 8||31 to 35 weeks|
|Month 9||36 to 40 weeks|
Don’ts During Pregnancy:
Enduring the baby in the uterus for the nine months of gestation will require you to stay healthy and active. Increasing the body stamina is essential to be able to endure childbirth. The list of the various don’ts during pregnancy is as follows:
- Never skip your pregnancy medication.
- The vital organs of the body of the baby will begin development during the 1st
- Missing the Folic Acid supplements in the initial weeks can increase the risk of the baby to neurological defects.
- Avoid lifting heavy weights or perform any strenuous exercise.
- You must avoid bending or squatting for long, as it will increase the chances of abortion.
- Swimming and walking are excellent exercises to be incorporated into the daily schedule during pregnancy.
- Undergo the prenatal scanning and blood testing as suggested by the gynecologist.
- Sleep well and rest well when you are pregnant. You must avoid getting stressed both physically and mentally.
- It is advisable to wear comfortable slippers during pregnancy, as the body balance becomes unstable.
- The center of gravity of the body will change along with the increase in the size of the belly in pregnancy.
- Smoking and alcohol consumption are to be strictly avoided in pregnancy.
- Avoid staying on an empty stomach for long as nausea and morning sickness will get worse.
- The gynecologist will suggest you take small meals at regular time intervals to avoid acidity and indigestion.
- The skin becomes extremely sensitive during pregnancy. Hence, you must avoid using hair dyes or coloring agents to color the hair.
- You can use a good moisturizing lotion to keep your skin protected.
- Snoring is a common problem in pregnancy. You can help in reducing snoring by sleeping on the sides or by keeping the head elevated slightly.
What To Eat During Pregnancy:
Many women gain weight during the first trimester, which is a healthy sign. However, the initial weeks of pregnancy include lots of morning sickness and nausea, which might make you lose weight. Follow the simple guidelines to understand what to eat during pregnancy, as follows:
- Incorporate fruits in the diet such as dragon fruit, apple, banana, watermelon, berries, etc.
- Eat healthy and nutritious foods.
- Have plenty of juices and coconut water.
- Wash all the fruits and vegetables well before intake.
- Citrus fruits such as oranges, sweet lime, lemon, grapefruit, tangerines, etc.
- Increase the intake of milk and dairy products such as cheese, curd, cream, etc.
- Green leafy vegetables such as legumes, lentils, spinach, etc. are good sources of iron.
- You can munch on healthy snacks such as dry fruits, nuts, almonds, etc.
Foods To Avoid When Pregnant:
Concentrating on the diet during pregnancy is paramount. There are certain foods to avoid when pregnant, as follows:
- Seafood contains increased amounts of mercury.
- It is safest to avoid seafood such as shark, swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel, etc. during pregnancy.
- Undercooked food is dangerous for you as well as the baby.
- Raw meats pose a risk of contamination with bacteria and other toxins.
- Deli meats such as hot dogs, sausages, etc. must be avoided during pregnancy as they increase the possible threat of contamination by Listeria.
- Avoid too much of caffeine such as tea, coffee, and other aerated drinks.
- It is best to drink milk or fresh fruit juices during pregnancy.
- It is advisable to avoid unpasteurized and raw milk, dairy products, etc. during pregnancy, to stay protected from any infection.
- Avoid very spicy foods.
- Avoid the intake of deep fried and oily foods.
- Avoid overeating or “eating for two.”
- Avoid staying on an empty stomach for long durations.
- Certain foods such as saffron must be avoided during early pregnancy, to avoid the chances of miscarriage.
- Canned and processed foods must be strictly avoided during pregnancy.
- Raw eggs and semi-boiled eggs must be avoided.
- You must abstain from alcohol consumption.
What To Avoid During Pregnancy:
The first trimester of pregnancy is crucial since it is the beginning of the pregnancy. You will be required to take care of yourself. The chances of miscarriage and abortion are very high during the initial weeks. Hence, follow the guidelines and understand what to avoid during pregnancy, as follows:
- Keep a check on your urine output. Urinary tract infections (UTI) are very common in pregnancy.
- You can check with the gynecologist and ask for a feminine hygiene wash.
- If you feel problems such as burning sensation while passing urine, a change in the urine color, decreased urine output, pain while passing the urine, itching sensation around the vagina, etc. you must immediately meet your gynecologist.
- An intense and abnormal pain in the lower back or abdomen must never be ignored.
- Mild pains and aches are common during pregnancy.
- However, intense pain associated with cramps will require immediate medical attention.
- Vaginal bleeding or spotting must not be ignored.
- Bleeding during early pregnancy might be a sign of miscarriage or abortion.
- Avoiding hot saunas during pregnancy is advisable.
- Avoid coloring your hair as hair dyes, and bleaching agents have chemical additives in them.
- You must avoid staying in close contact with pets such as dogs, cats, birds, etc.
- Avoid cleaning the litter of the pets and get help from someone to do it.
Exercise During Pregnancy:
Getting adequate rest is paramount, as it is easy to get fatigued and exhausted during pregnancy. Morning sickness will be in full swing during the initial weeks and dehydration is a common problem. A mild exercise regime will help in keeping you active throughout pregnancy.
- Enduring the pregnancy and childbirth requires you to be fit and healthy.
- You must exercise during pregnancy and aim at increasing the stamina of the body.
- You can combat many issues such as insomnia, muscle pain, headache, mood swings, etc. by mild exercising.
- It is good to go out of the house at times, to get exposure to sunlight.
- Vitamin D is essential for the healthy growth and development of the baby.
- If you were a regular exerciser before conceiving, then you must follow the advice of your gynecologist during pregnancy.
- Yoga is an excellent way to relax and help you get over labor pains by concentrating on breathing.
Sex During Pregnancy:
Sex is a necessary part of life for any couple. Sex is allowed during pregnancy, as an excellent way to relax and de-stress. Both the amniotic sac and the mucous plug will protect the baby well throughout pregnancy.
It is vital for any couple to understand that pregnancy is a passing phase of life. It is paramount to make your partner comfortable during the stages of pregnancy. If your partner isn’t comfortable with sex, you can spend time together in foreplay, kissing, cuddling, etc.
Bonding with your partner will make sex safe during pregnancy. You must keep the sex positions in mind as one of the most crucial things to avoid during pregnancy, so that pressure isn’t exerted on the belly. You must avoid sex during pregnancy in the case of complicating factors as follows:
- Low lying placenta.
- High-risk pregnancy.
- Vaginal infection.
- Previous medical history of miscarriage or abortion.
- Bleeding during pregnancy.
- In the last trimester of pregnancy, orgasm might lead to contractions in the uterus and hence must be avoided.