Whether your pregnancy was planned or a joyous surprise, first time moms can often become very anxious the moment they receive a positive pregnancy test. While you’re overwhelmed with the joy of bringing new life into the world, it can just as easily be scary when you have no idea of what to expect. Every mom wants to do what is best for her to sustain a full term pregnancy and birth a healthy child. However, many are very confused as to where to start, what to do, and what should be avoided. First and foremost, you shouldn’t feel singled out as it happens to all parents, but the good news is, there is a lot of reliable information out there to assist you.
Below are a few tidbits of health advice for newly expectant mothers. While this advice is beneficial to review, it does not in any way shape or form replace the medical advice you might be provided by your doctor. As such, for more specific or in depth advice on how to maintain good health for you and your growing baby, it is always best to consult with a doctor.
Dealing with the Morning Sickness
While not all expectant mothers will experience this, morning sickness is one of the most commonly complained about symptoms during the first trimester of your pregnancy. Some symptoms you might experience include nausea, vomiting, and an upset stomach. While the name would suggest that these symptoms will only arise in the mornings, it can happen at any time. Since there are few medications that pregnant women are allowed to take, most doctors will recommend that you try natural remedies to ease your symptoms. Web MD points out some very good suggestions that would include:
- Eating something small such as crackers or a piece of toast before getting your day started. This should help to lessen the affects of nausea.
- Eat in smaller portions throughout the day to prevent becoming too full
- Ginger tea can often be a great solution for soothing an upset stomach
- Taking prenatal vitamins later in the day (if they upset your stomach in the morning)
- Avoid foods that are difficult to digest
- Keep a slice of lemon on hand as many women find smelling lemon calms nausea.
If the symptoms get really severe, such as excessive vomiting or the inability to keep any nutrients down then you’ll want to reach out to your doctor for further advice on how to handle your morning sickness.
Eating a Well Balanced Diet
In order for your baby to develop properly in the womb, it is important that you eat a well balanced diet that is complete with fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean meats. According to the American Pregnancy Association, a pregnant woman’s diet should consist of the following:
- 2-4 servings of fruits
- 4 servings of veggies
- 6-11 servings of whole grain
- 3 servings of protein
- 4 servings of dairy
While these serving suggestions are ideal, it is important to talk with your doctor. This is especially true for expectant mothers who have medical conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes. You’ll want to ensure that you’re consuming a diet that will not harm you or the baby.
Medication During Pregnancy
It is extremely important that you run all medications by your doctor before consuming them while pregnant. If you’re not careful, something as simplistic as a pain pill could cause harm to the fetus. Most doctors will try other solutions before agreeing to prescribe or recommend medications. However, if you’re currently taking medication for an existing medical condition, do not stop taking them until you’ve talked it over with your doctor. They will provide you with specific information as to which medications might be harmful and which are safe during pregnancy.
One of the things that most expectant mothers have in common is the discomfort they experience during their pregnancy. As their body shifts, grows, and adjusts to make room for the growing child, it can often leave the mother feeling less than comfortable. From being able to get a good night’s rest, to even having difficultly fitting in certain clothes, there’s always some challenge you’ll have to face. One great solution might be to receive a pregnancy massage from a specialist. Massages are a great way to relieve stress and get the blood circulating through your body. It can relieve any tension or inflammation you’re currently experience, and make pregnancy just a tad bit easier to get through.
While there isn’t much that a doctor can do to help with comfort, there are plenty of products on the market that can help give you the support and comfort you need. Some examples might include:
- Support belts or shapers – these wrap around your belly and give you more support in the belly area.
- Bobby Pillows – these C shaped pillows are great for mom’s looking to get a good night sleep. They can easily be placed between the legs, around the neck, or under the belly for extra cushion.
- Compression hose – These panty hose are designed for pregnancy. Compression hose and support socks help to evenly distribute the pressure pregnant moms generally feel around their legs, thighs, and ankles.
There are a lot of products out there that you can invest in to help ease some of the growing pains you’ll feel during pregnancy. If you’re not sure about a particular product, it is always best to talk with your doctor before trying it out. There’s no such thing as a “dumb” question, and it’s always best to be safe than sorry.
Exercise or Physical Activity During Pregnancy
If you’re an expectant mother who loves to stay in shape, then you’re probably wondering if it’s safe for you to continue exercising or engaging in certain physical activities. While this advice will vary by individual, in most instances, physical activity is safe to continue. Activities such as walking, jogging, and yoga should be alright. As long as these activities don’t involve the any risks of trauma to the belly area, you should be fine. There are some fitness facilities that offer classes specifically for those who are expecting. Be sure that these classes are taught by a trained specialist through a reputable facility before participating.
While these are probably only a small fraction of the concerns you’ll have during your first pregnancy, this is enough to get you started. Remember, it is always best to run things by your doctor before trying them out to make sure that you’re not doing any harm to you and the baby. By maintaining your doctor’s appointments, eating a well balanced diet, and finding alternative ways to deal with the aches, pain, and discomfort you might experience, you should be well on your way to delivering a healthy bundle of joy.