A woman’s body undergoes drastic changes during pregnancy. Ligaments and bones expand, certain hormones are produced more frequently and appetite increases.
It can be daunting to experience all of these changes simultaneously, but with the right preparation and knowledge, you’ll be safe and healthy for the next nine months.
What are some tips that can help you prepare and successfully get through this important time in your life?
Listen to the body
Within the first few weeks of pregnancy, you’ll start to notice some changes.
Women will miss their menstrual period following conception. Although, it’s common for some to experience minimal bleeding despite being in the initial stages of pregnancy.
Feeling nauseous or sick will also take place. It’s prominently referred to as morning sickness, but it can take place at any time of the day. Vomiting or feeling sick becomes frequent four to six weeks into the pregnancy.
It’s important to watch out for these signs to make the right preparations for the baby. If you’re unsure whether you’re pregnant or not, it’s normal to resort to pregnancy tests or ultrasound services to clear things up.
Schedule antenatal appointments
After validating the pregnancy, it’s important to schedule regular visits to a general practitioner (GP) or obstetrician.
What should you expect in your consultations with these experts? Your GP or obstetrician will:
- Check your vitals, such as urine and blood pressure.
- Check the condition of the foetus for any early anomalies.
- Measure your womb or uterus.
Based on all this information, the doctor will provide helpful advice in creating a birth plan, eating while pregnant and looking after yourself and the foetus, to name a few.
You should also take this opportunity to ask any question you may have, especially if there is an issue about the pregnancy that is bothering you.
Make lifestyle changes
The next step is to make the necessary lifestyle changes.
In terms of food, eating a good amount of various fruits, vegetables and healthy dishes can boost the immune system. During pregnancy, it’s helpful to gain some healthy weight as the foetus will rely on the mother for sustenance.
However, be more discerning about food intake to avoid food-borne illnesses and parasites that can harm you and the unborn child.
Alcohol consumption and use of tobacco products must be avoided during pregnancy. Additionally, try to avoid too much stress as much as possible.
Calmly address common issues during pregnancy
The body transforms a great deal during pregnancy, and changes that take place can be irritating. While these issues may seem scary at the start, they are rarely signs of serious health problems. There are easy-to-follow preventions steps for each.
For instance, feeling faint is the result of hormonal changes that leave the brain with less than optimal levels of oxygen. It often happens when you quickly stand up from sitting.
Next time you take a seat, remember to rise from your sitting position slowly. Avoid lying down on your back during the later stages of pregnancy.
Back pain is another common issue during pregnancy. As the ligaments in the body stretch and become softer in preparation for labour, the lower back and pelvis may begin sustaining some pressure.
Avoid lifting heavy objects, but if you must engage in some light lifting, make sure to bend your knees while keeping the back straight. There are many products (e.g. maternity health pillows) that can help with posture when at home or work. Find the right one that works for you.
There are many more things to consider during pregnancy, and as you prepare to welcome your new baby. Always consult professional medical advice and verified sources of information like the NHS.