Pregnancy is one of the most unforgettable and life-altering experiences in a woman’s life. It is both beautiful and difficult to carry a growing life for nine months. Being pregnant means you cease to exist for yourself, and that life will never be the same again. Regardless of if this is your first pregnancy or you have been through this wonderful journey several times, these tips will help you during this stage.
Find a reliable obstetrician that you can develop a relationship with
Your obstetrician will be your best friend throughout this period, so it is essential to choose someone you can trust and who understands your needs. Ask recommendations from your close friends and relatives, research online, read patient reviews and feedback from online groups, or you can consult several obstetricians until you find the person that matches your preferences and personality. Remember that your doctor will be with you every step of the way, so do not feel guilty if you think that you need to switch to a new one.
Consult with your obstetrician regularly and inform him of any medical conditions and failed pregnancies that can potentially harm your baby. Make it a point to be present at every prenatal appointment and voice any concerns you might have. Discuss your birth plan, the current health protocols, and make sure you are both on the same page with how you want to deliver your baby.
Strive to be the best version of yourself
You need to take care of your overall well-being, including your physical, mental, and emotional health. Always take your prenatal vitamins, and eat a well-balanced meal, preferably food that is rich in calcium and folate such as citrus fruits, kale, leafy green vegetables, dairy products, and dried beans. Opt for fish dishes but steer clear of those high in mercury. Do not change the cat litter, and wear sunscreen whenever you go out. Do moderate exercises of at least 150 minutes per week and avoid weight training, horseback riding, and scuba diving. Remember to drink plenty of fluids, get enough sleep, avoid drinking alcohol, stop smoking cigarettes, and limit your caffeine to 200 milligrams, daily. Wear comfortable shoes as your feet may grow during pregnancy.
Stay away from unwanted stress and start practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation and deep breathing which could help you during labor and delivery. Avoid watching the news every day, and try to filter your social media feeds. Do a digital detox once in a while and be conscious of the online content you are consuming. Studies show that too much stress over a long period can affect your unborn child so try to manage your emotions and ensure that your living environment is conducive for your baby. Learn to say no and set healthy boundaries with your loved ones early on.
Be prepared for all the changes in your body
Your body will go through several changes within nine months. Aside from a growing belly, you might experience the dreaded morning sickness, extreme fatigues, constant back pains, headaches or migraines, weight gains, bleeding gums, hair fall, and other uncomfortable symptoms. Remember to inform your obstetrician and ask for supplements or vitamins that can relieve some of these discomforts. In most cases, these symptoms typically go away after the first and second trimesters.
Consider starting a pregnancy journal or use applications that can track the growth of your baby. Report any unusual symptoms to your doctor, no matter how small or irrelevant you think they might be. Bear in mind that your womb serves as a haven for your little one, so you need to take extra precautions and be responsible at all times.
Build a solid support system
During this exciting but taxing phase, it is crucial that you surround yourself with positive people who will lend you a helping hand when things get tough. It may be your relatives, close friends, co-workers, prenatal classmates, members of your community groups, or even virtual acquaintances that are also mothers-to-be. These people will play an integral role in your overall welfare during and after pregnancy, so they must be someone that sincerely cares for you and has your best interests at heart.
It is perfectly natural for expectant mothers to feel anxious in light of our current situation since pregnant women are vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus. These are stressful times, especially since physical contact and non-essential group gatherings are still discouraged. Make sure to reach out to your loved ones virtually and maximize all resources to maintain the connection. Technology is keeping our social relationships alive and helping us cope during this period of uncertainty.
Educate yourself and know when to seek professional help
Knowledge is power, so equip yourself with all the necessary information that will assist you during this journey. Attend childbirth classes with your partner, get advice from your friends and relatives, look for free online courses on postpartum care and take advantage of pregnancy-related webinars. Utilize all sources of information and treat this time as an educational period that can also help you in your next pregnancy.
It is also vital that you are informed of the different medical-legal cases related to pregnancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control, around 700 women in the United States die yearly from pregnancy-related complications, where 60% of these deaths were preventable. Some of these pregnancy-related deaths include undiagnosed heart diseases, excessive bleeding, hemorrhages, high blood pressure, and cardiomyopathy. When medical professionals fail to properly diagnose these conditions or provide inappropriate solutions, they need to be held accountable, so educate yourself of these medical malpractices.
You should also avoid any toxic household products during your pregnancy, such as mosquito repellants, pesticides, harmful cleaning products, nail polish, mothballs, and asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral that can lead to mesothelioma cancer, so make sure to steer clear from potential sources and familiarize yourself with the process of getting legal counsel for asbestos.
Pregnancy is a challenging but rewarding journey that entails sacrifices and unconditional love. It is the magical transition to motherhood that should be celebrated.