It Pays to Pay Attention!
What are the things to remember during pregnancy? What does a pregnant woman need? If you are pregnant, you probably have questions about what gives you the best chance of avoiding birth defects or a miscarriage. Here are ten things to remember about how to take care of yourself during pregnancy to have a healthy, intelligent baby.
Things to Pay Attention to:
1. Known or Underlying Health Conditions
2. Baby’s Movements
3. Mental Health
5. Daily Activity
7. Vitamin Intake
9. Potential Symptoms or Bodily Oddities
1. Investigate Known or Underlying Health Conditions
Getting some bloodwork done is a sensible first step in addressing potential complications.
Pregnancy Test: The earlier you detect a pregnancy, the sooner you can begin to payattention to the things that matter during pregnancy. The sooner, the better for you and the fetus.
STD Pregnancy Panel: A wise early step for identifying potential problems.
Gestational Diabetes: This common malady is potentially devastating if unmanaged.
Celiac (Gluten) Disease Panel: As many as 3 people out of 5 never discover that they have celiac disease. Your diet matters more than you may realize!
Food Allergies: Sometimes, food allergies can manifest more acutely during pregnancy. Your term may be drastically more pleasant if you know what to avoid in advance.
H. Pylori is a bacteria that can infect your stomach and cause digestive issues. Over time, it can cause ulcers and increase your risk of stomach cancer. Symptoms of infection include bloating, upset stomach, nausea, and fatigue, which can be mistaken for pregnancy complications.
Urinal Tract Infections are commonly mistaken for yeast infections and improperly treated. Unfortunately, UTIs are bacterial infections, which are more difficult to manage. If left untreated, they can spread to the kidneys or cause pre-term labour.
2. Track Your Baby’s Movements
A moving (or kicking) baby is a good sign. At around week 20, baby movement will increase until around week 30, when it should plateau. If you notice a significant decrease in activity, seek help immediately.
3. Mental Health
Many women dismiss negative feelings as a normal part of pregnancy. But please don’t ignore them! If they are unusually strong or persistent, take action to address them. Your mood has a remarkable impact on your body and your child’s development.
Restful sleep can be troublesome to achieve during pregnancy, but you need at least 7 hours of rest every night. Try to keep regular sleeping hours, and don’t hesitate to grab a nap when tired during the day. Sleep as much as you feel is right for you! However, pay attention to your positioning, as falling asleep on your back in the third trimester doubles the risk of stillbirth. Try to get into the habit of sleeping on your side
5. Daily Activity
Soreness and fatigue make sitting down a requirement at times. Getting off your feet for a snooze is encouraged. But habitual inactivity isn’t good for you or your baby. It increases the risk of excessive weight gain, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, varicose veins, and back pain. Workouts, yoga, and sex are all great things to stay active during pregnancies.
If your workout routine was intense before you became pregnant, listen to your body and ease up when you need to. If you didn’t exercise before becoming pregnant, it’s not necessary to take up a focused regimen. Just make sure to do something that gets your blood flowing. Even a 30-minute brisk walk each day goes a long way towards mitigating the effects of insomnia, pain, weight gain, and moodiness.
Yoga is an outstanding option, and you can find prenatal yoga classes in many cities or on YouTube. Avoid hot yoga, but otherwise, yoga is a fantastic way to stay actively moving. Instructors are usually happy to provide expertise on modifying poses as your pregnancy progresses.
Sex during pregnancy is usually safe, healthy, and recommended by obstetricians, right up until your water breaks. On the contrary, abstinence is not necessary unless advised by your midwife or doctor.
You’re pregnant! So who’s to blame you for indulging your cravings?
Well, your body for one, and vicariously, your child. Your digestive system may not be too happy either. During pregnancy, the change in hormones can relax the valve at the entrance to the stomach, causing acid reflux. Poor dietary habits only make it worse.
“Eating for two” isn’t what people think it is. It’s usually unnecessary to increase your food consumption in the first trimester. In the second trimester, an additional 100 calories are sufficient. That’s the equivalent of a large apple, a banana, or five potato chips. By the third trimester, 200 extra calories are appropriate if you are active. That’s the equivalent of a small bowl of cereal, a couple of apples, or ⅔ of a bagel. Don’t go crazy with the cravings!
Furthermore, uncooked, undercooked, partially-cooked, or pre-cooked meat or eggs can lead to listeriosis and toxoplasmosis. These illnesses are known to increase the risk of congenital disabilities or miscarriage, and to no small degree. Unpasteurized (raw) milk and cheese carry similar risks. Finally, eating seafood can be precarious if you aren’t familiar with which fish are likely to be high in mercury. Not all seafood is dangerous, but you have to know what you are doing. If you want to be extra safe with regards to your unborn, avoid the following foods:
● Hot dog wieners
● Cold cuts
● Pre-cooked meats
● Runny eggs
● Exotic cheese
● Liver or liver oil
7. Vitamin Intake
Foods rich in vitamins and minerals are generally the best way to provide your body with the nutrients it needs. However, pregnancy may require special consideration.
Folic acid is a B vitamin that everyone needs to help their body make new cells. For pregnant women, getting adequate folic acid before and during pregnancy is a significant factor in mitigating congenital disabilities.
Vitamin D regulates calcium and phosphate levels in the body and helps your baby develop bones and tissue.
Prenatal multivitamins often include calcium, iron, and omega-3 fats, which are all excellent for the health of mother and baby during gestation. Be careful not to overdo it, though, as excess vitamins can be harmful.
8. Acknowledge Your Vices
It’s pretty well known at this point that drinking and smoking during pregnancy may have irreversible adverse effects on your newborn. The risks of cocaine, methamphetamines, cannabis, and psychoactive drug use are less discussed, but they also correlate to birth defects. If you are a user, communicate with your midwife or doctor. If you are an addict, consider seeking help for the sake of your child.
Caffeine deserves special mention. Who doesn’t love a morning cup of coffee? Indeed, some people drink multiple cups per day. However, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, pregnant women should limit their caffeine intake to 200 mg a day (about 2 cups of regular brewed coffee).
9. Pay Special Attention to Symptoms or Abnormalities
Consult your midwife or doctor if you observe any of the following symptoms:
● Bleeding from the vagina
● Painful urination
● Sudden, sharp or continuing abdominal pain or cramps
● Persistent or severe headache
● Swelling in face, hands or legs
● Blurred vision, spots in front of eyes
● Itching, especially on hands or feet
● Excessive or smelly vaginal discharge or if you think your waters have broken
There is simply no replacement for instinct when it comes to bringing a new life into this world. For example, if you can’t shake the feeling like something is wrong, contact your midwife or doctor; or email
firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire what blood tests they recommend for your situation.
Of course, these aren’t all things to remember during pregnancy, but hopefully, they will help you. So to answer the question: What do pregnant women need most?
They need help!
Never hesitate to seek advice on how to take care of yourself during pregnancy.