The desire of every expectant mom is to birth a healthy child in the safest way possible because, in spite of the advancements in medical science, the expectant mom may face a number of risks or complications. This is why doctors always stress the importance of taking care of the body both emotionally and physically. Pregnant women are always advised to reduce the number of stressors in their lives; these stressors could be job-related or family induced.
When a woman conceives, she begins to experience a lot of changes in her body; with one of the first indications being a missed period accompanied with nausea. She begins to take more trips to the bathroom, battles constipation and bloating while some women experience itchy skin and bleeding gums.
As the pregnancy progresses, it can get overwhelming especially for first time moms as there is so much to do and so much to keep track of, so here is some useful information to help you get prepared for the safe arrival of your pitter-patter of tiny feet.
- Do get prenatal care because this keeps you and the baby healthy. The prenatal visit comprises of a physical exam, ultrasound examinations, the provision of urine sample, blood and weight checks. The prenatal visit affords the doctors the opportunity to gain more insights on the mother’s health so as to better manage complications that may arise in the future.
- Pregnant women should enroll in childbirth education classes – These classes are designed to provide the expectant mother with as much information as possible about her body and her baby. They are important because they help to reduce anxiety as expectant parents are given the opportunity to ask questions and discuss their fears.
- Caffeine, alcohol and smoking are a no-no while pregnant. If you have problems with kicking these habits, you should talk to a doctor as soon as possible.
- Pregnant women are advised to stay away from toxic substances such as chemical based sunscreens, formaldehyde, phthalates (commonly found in personal care products and detergents), pesticides and aluminum – just to name a few.
- Keep your distance from x-rays especially those that would involve the abdomen, pelvic area, lower back, and kidneys – as there is the possibility that an x-ray of these areas can expose the fetus to direct x-ray beams.
According to the Mayo clinic, a baby’s growing cells can be negatively altered by high doses of radiation.
- Skip the hot tubs and saunas but if you must, try not to spend so much time in there as extreme heat intensifies the feelings of dizziness and dehydration in women. According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, pregnant women exercising in water should ensure the temperature of the water does not exceed 32C (89.6F).
- While we are on the subject of exercise, you should also cut out all forms of rigorous workouts such as situps or crunches as they cut the flow of blood to the fetus. Martial arts and all forms of contact sports should be excluded as well to prevent a direct hit to the abdomen.
- Ensure you are eating right – The infographic below from MidAtlantic OBGYN is quite detailed on the subject. It explains why certain nutrients are important and what the additional daily requirement should be.
Please include attribution to http://midatlanticobgyn.com with this graphic.