Taking basic care during pregnancy has been more important than anything. You’re more likely to have a healthy birth if you manage a healthy pregnancy. You can experience this only by living a healthy lifestyle and following doctor’s appointments. This is called prenatal care.
Schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. Though, Many health care providers won’t schedule the first visit before 8 weeks of pregnancy, unless there is a difficulty. The doctor will start only after reviewing medical history. The doctor will want to know about your symptoms. During this first appointment, urine and blood samples will be taken. (These will also be taken again on later visits.) Urine tests check for bacteria, high sugar levels (which can be a sign of diabetes), and high protein levels (which can be a sign of preeclampsia, a type of high blood pressure during pregnancy). Blood tests check for blood cell count, blood type, low iron levels (anemia), and infectious diseases (such as HIV, HPV, HSV).
Doctor can ask you to do ultrasound for fetal gestational age and to see cardiac activity.
If you are healthy without any complications and risk factors, most health care providers will want to see you:
- Every 4 weeks until the 28th week of pregnancy
- Every 2 weeks until 36 weeks after 28th week
- Once a week until delivery after 36th week
You must discuss any problem or concern you have with the doctor:
Weight gain during pregnancy
Talk to your doctor about this. It’s different for everyone. In most cases, women should gain about 11 to 13 kg. If a woman is underweight when she gets pregnant, she may need to gain more. If she is overweight, she may need to gain less.
Eating a balanced diet is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby. Once you started eating for two (or more!), that time is not to cut calories or go on a diet. In fact, you need about 300 extra calories a day. If you are underweight, very active and carrying multiple babies, you’ll need even more. But in the case of overweight, you will get advised by the health care provider.
Eating healthy food is always important. One must eat nutritious food for calories that will help baby’s growth and development. Try to maintain a well-balanced diet that incorporates the dietary guidelines including:
- Raw meat, eggs, and fish: Food that isn’t fully cooked can put you at risk for food poisoning. Don’t eat more than 2 or 3 servings of fish per week (including canned fish). Don’t eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish.
- Fruit and vegetables: Wash all fruits and veggies before eating. Keep cutting boards and dishes clean.
- Low-fat dairy products: Eat 4 or more servings of dairy each day to consume a good amount of calcium for you and your baby. Don’t drink unpasteurized milk or eat unpasteurized milk products. These may have bacteria that can cause infections.
- Sugar substitutes: Some artificial sweeteners are okay in moderation.
- Less caffeine: Don’t drink more than 1 or 2 cups of coffee or other drinks with caffeine each day.
Can one take medicine?
Check with your doctor before taking any medicine. It covers prescriptions, pain relievers and overdose of medicines. Some medicines can cause birth defects, particularly if taken during the first 3 months of pregnancy.
Can one take vitamins?
Pregnant women should take at least 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid each day. It can help to get rid of problems with your baby’s brain and spine. Ask a doctor if you need more than 400 mcg.
It’s best to start taking folic acid before you get pregnant. You can get folic acid from taking a prenatal vitamin. You should take this every day. Don’t take other vitamins or supplements without your doctor’s approval.
How long can one keep working?
How late you work in pregnancy varies for each person. Your job and work environment play a big role. For instance, jobs that involve radiation, lead and other materials—such as copper and mercury—can be harmful to your baby. If your job is active, you may not be able to work as long. Desk jobs aren’t thought to cause harm to your baby. However, you should not rest a computer on your stomach or uterus.
Exercise during pregnancy?
Unless you have issues during pregnancy, you should get regular exercise. Exercise promotes a healthy lifestyle and can help ease discomfort. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Talk to your doctor about any conditions that may prevent exercise.
Regular exercise can help:
- prevent excess weight gain
- reduce pregnancy-related problems, like back pain, swelling, and constipation
- improve sleep
- increase energy
- boost your mood
- prepare your body for labor
- lessen recovery time after the birth
Some women say exercising while pregnant makes labor and delivery easier. Walking and swimming are great choices. If you were active before pregnancy, it is probably safe to continue. If you weren’t active before pregnancy, start slowly. Listen to your body and don’t overdo it. Drink plenty of water to prevent overheating or dehydration, especially in the second trimester. It’s best to avoid exercises that may cause you to fall. This includes skiing and rock climbing. You also should avoid contact sports, such as soccer or basketball. Ask your doctor if you have any concerns.
Sleep during pregnancy?
It’s important to get enough sleep during your pregnancy. You’ll probably feel more tired than usual. And as your baby gets bigger, it will be harder to find a comfortable position when you’re trying to sleep.
Lying on your side with your knees bent is likely to be the most comfortable position as your pregnancy progresses. It also makes your heart’s job easier because it keeps the baby’s weight from putting pressure on the large blood vessels that carry blood to and from your heart and your feet and legs. Lying on your side can also help prevent or reduce varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and swelling in your legs.
Some doctors specifically recommend that pregnant women sleep on the left side. Because one of those big blood vessels is on the right side of your abdomen, lying on your left side helps keep the uterus off of it. Lying on your left side helps blood flow to the placenta and, therefore, your baby.
Ask what your health care provider recommends. In most cases, lying on either side should do the trick and help take some pressure off your back. For a more comfortable resting position, either way, prop pillows between your legs, behind your back, and underneath your belly.
Morning sickness during pregnancy?
Nausea or vomiting may strike anytime during the day (or night). Try eating frequent, small meals. Avoid foods that are greasy, spicy, or acidic. Some women are more nauseous when their stomach is empty. Keep crackers nearby to prevent an empty stomach. Talk to your doctor if morning sickness causes you to lose weight or lasts past the first 3 months of pregnancy.
Tiredness during pregnancy?
Fatigue is common when you’re pregnant. Try to get enough rest or take naps if possible. Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of fatigue. You may have anemia.
Leg cramps during pregnancy?
Being active can help reduce leg cramps. Stretch the calf of your leg by flexing your foot toward your knee. Also, stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
Constipation during pregnancy?
Drink plenty of fluids. Eat foods with lots of fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and bran cereal. Don’t take laxatives without talking to your doctor first. Stool softeners may be safer than laxatives.
Hemorrhoids during pregnancy?
Try to avoid becoming constipated. Don’t strain during bowel movements. Clean yourself well after a bowel movement. Wet wipes may feel better than toilet paper. Take warm soaks (sitz baths) if necessary.
Urinating more often during pregnancy?
You may need to urinate more often when you are pregnant. Changing hormones can be a factor. Also, as your baby grows, he or she will put pressure on your bladder.
Varicose veins during pregnancy?
Avoid clothing that fits tightly around your waist or legs. Rest and put your feet up as much as you can. Avoid sitting or standing still for long periods. Ask your doctor about support or compression hose. These can help prevent or ease varicose veins.
Moodiness during pregnancy?
Your hormones are on a roller coaster ride during pregnancy. Your whole life is changing. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Get help right away if you feel sad or think about suicide.
Heartburn during pregnancy?
Eat frequent, small meals. Avoid spicy, greasy, or acidic foods. Don’t lie down right after eating. Ask your doctor about taking antacids.
Yeast infections during pregnancy?
The amount of discharge from your vagina can increase during pregnancy. Yeast infections, which can cause discharge, are common as well. Talk to your doctor if you see any unusual discharge or if it has an odor.
Bleeding gums during pregnancy?
Brush and floss regularly. See your dentist for cleanings. Don’t avoid dental visits because you’re pregnant. Just be sure to tell your dentist you’re pregnant.
Stuffy nose during pregnancy?
Changes in the levels of the female hormone estrogen can cause a stuffy nose. You may also have nosebleeds.
Edema (retaining fluid) during pregnancy?
Rest with your legs up as much as you can. Lie on your left side while sleeping. This position helps blood flow from your legs back to your heart better. Don’t use diuretics (water pills).
Skin changes during pregnancy?
Stretch marks appear as red marks on your skin. Lotion with shea butter can help keep your skin moist and reduce itchy, dry skin. Stretch marks can’t be avoided. They do often fade after pregnancy.
You may have other skin changes. These can include darkening of the skin on your face or around your nipples. Some women get a dark line below their belly button. Try to stay out of the sun or use sunscreen to help lessen these marks. Most marks will fade after pregnancy.
Things to consider during pregnancy:
There are several things you should avoid while you’re pregnant. Take notice to follow this list of warnings. Talk to your doctor if you need help.
- Don’t smoke or be around people who do smoke. Smoking raises your risk for miscarriage, preterm birth, low birth weight, and other health problems.
- Don’t use drugs. Cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and other drugs increase your risk of miscarriage, preterm birth, and birth defects. Your baby could be born addicted to the drug you’ve been abusing. This is called neonatal abstinence syndrome. It can cause severe health problems for your baby.
- Don’t drink alcohol. Drinking alcohol is the major cause of preventable birth defects, including fetal alcohol disorder.
- Don’t clean your cat’s litter box or eat raw or undercooked red meat. You could get toxoplasmosis, a disease that can cause birth defects.
- Don’t douche. Your vagina doesn’t require cleansing in addition to normal bathing. Douching disrupts the helpful bacteria that keep your vagina clean.
When to see a Gynaecologists?
Call your doctor if you have:
- Blood or fluid coming from your vagina.
- Sudden or extreme swelling of your face or fingers.
- Headaches that are severe or won’t go away.
- Nausea and vomiting that won’t go away.
- Dim or blurry vision.
- Severe pain or cramps in your lower abdomen.
- Chills or fever.
- A change in your baby’s movements.
- Less urine or burning when you urinate.
- An illness or infection.
- Any other symptoms that bother you.