Pregnancy Precautions To Stay Healthy
When you get pregnant, it is quite normal to feel overwhelmed thanks to the rapid hormonal changes in your body. In the following article, you can find a useful checklist of pregnancy precautions to take during the first, second, and third trimesters to pave the way for a happy, healthy pregnancy.
This comprehensive guide will help you to overcome the mental and physical demands of pregnancy by covering topics from keeping a healthy, balanced diet to getting regular exercise.
- Consult to your a health care provider
One of the important steps to take is to talk to your midwife or a doctor as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. Based on where you are living, the timing of your initial official antenatal appointment may differ.
Usually, it is better to make your first appointment with your midwife when you are ten weeks pregnant. Your first appointment only lasts 1 or 2 hours and it can take place at a hospital, your home and etc. Your midwife will get all necessary information about your family’s medical history, as well as you and your partner’s health.
- Exercise caution before taking any other medication
Although you will probably get a green light from your GP on taking essential supplements during pregnancy, it is still better to take a precaution about taking even over-the-counter medicines by re-checking the contraindications labels. Furthermore, ask your midwife or GP for advice on any other prescription medicines you are using.
Smoking during pregnancy is very risky since it can lead to premature labor, ectopic pregnancy, and even miscarriage. Smoking can also affect your baby’s weight, often causing low birth weight. Even if you use an e-cigarette, quitting smoking is the safest way to keep your unborn baby healthy since vapor from e-cigarettes usually contains a lot of toxins.
Smoking can also cause development issues in your unborn baby. Also, toxins in e-cigarettes make your baby prone to infections, and she may also develop eating or even breathing problems.
Please also note that being a passive smoker is also risky. Therefore, once you find out you are pregnant, you should immediately take steps to stop smoking, avoid being exposed to smoke by sitting with other people, and ask for your doctor’s help if you have addiction issues.
Avoid drinking alcohol
Since there is no research to find out how much alcohol during pregnancy is safe to drink, it is highly advised to stop drinking completely while you are pregnant. Many sources suggest that drinking wine a very small amount in the later stages of pregnancy is safe, but a high degree should still be taken in order to ensure that the amounts are small enough and that the situation does not get out of hand.
Reduce caffeine intake
One of the precautions to take in the first trimester is to cut down your caffeine intake to 200mg per day. This is about two cups of instant coffee or one cup of brewed coffee. Drinking too much caffeine when you are pregnant may increase your risk of miscarriage, so it is better to watch your limit.
Have a healthy and balanced diet
Precautions during early pregnancy also include improving your eating habits. Eating healthy, balanced foods will help you to consume all the essential nutrients you require while pregnant.
Usually, in your first and second trimester, you won’t need to consume extra calories. However, you should not eat certain foods, since they may contain harmful bacteria and other toxins that could be risky for your unborn baby, You can find out how you should choose cheese, and other dairy products to keep you and your baby safe.
Relieve your pregnancy sickness
Oftentimes many pregnant women suffer from sickness and nausea during the first trimester. In order to avoid this, you should try to eat little and often. Also, try to avoid consuming certain foods described here. Usually, plain biscuits or crackers are better choices during this time. Your sickness should disappear between 16 weeks and 20 weeks. If you especially feel sick in the mornings, try to drink ginger tea, which is one of the most effective methods to get over morning sickness.
Avoid visiting saunas
Due to the high temperatures they have, you should avoid going to the sauna, or steam rooms. Sauna may overheat your body, which, in turn, can put the development of your unborn baby at risk. Besides, since you lose a lot of water, sauna and hot tubs can cause severe dehydration.
Beware of certain symptoms
During pregnancy, you may feel mild cramps and the odd twinge that is related to the grown of your womb. However, certain pregnancy symptoms, such as bleeding, must not be ignored and requires you to consult your midwife or GP immediately.
Always talk to your doctor before taking any medication
When you are pregnant, you must definitely stay away from any kind of self-medication. Always consult your doctor on taking any drugs or herbs. No matter whether you consume a natural or organic substitute for synthetic medication, take precautions.
It is very important that you consume the proper prescribed dosage of your medication, and definitely avoid taking more than the recommended dosage, since it may result in significant complications in the pregnancy.
Get a lot of rest
During the first trimester of pregnancy, feeling tired and exhausted is very common. The main reason is that your body is getting used to the rapid changes in hormone levels.
Therefore, whenever you have a chance, take it easy and get enough rest. It is important to keep your sleeping and waking hours consistent, which will support your body to adjust its biological clock.
Learning how to sleep on your side is a better idea, because lying on your back may restrict blood supply to your baby. You may use certain pregnancy pillows to help you to get used to sleeping on your side.
See your baby
You may have your first ultrasound scan between 10 weeks and 14 weeks of pregnancy. When you have an ultrasound, the sonographer will tell you when your baby is due by checking his or her heartbeat. In general, one session takes about 20 minutes. For a more detailed look at the baby, you can have a 3D/4D session, where you will be able to see the baby’s face in high defined detail once they’re developed (20-30 weeks).
Do regular exercises
By exercising frequently you can overcome the physical and mental demands of your pregnancy. Continue doing your usual exercises as long as you feel comfortable. Regular exercising is also a better way to control your weight gain while keeping you active.
Stay safe while using cleaning products
One of the precautions you should take while being pregnant is to be careful while using household chemicals. If the products you use have strong fumes and warning labels, always wear gloves and avoid direct contact. It is a better idea to keep your windows open while cleaning the house.
In the second trimester, most of the morning sickness and other discomforting symptoms should be already gone. During this time your baby rapidly develops his brain and body while peacefully floating in the amniotic fluid.
However, having the previous discomforting symptoms gone does not necessarily mean that you can be less cautious now. In fact, you need to even pay more attention and take more caution during the second trimester.
So, what are the main precautions in the second trimester?
- Stop taking unnecessary supplements
If a supplement is not advised or prescribes by your doctor, then stop taking that medicine. Instead of adding more supplements to your list, stick to only what you are prescribed by your doctor.
- Sleep on your side
Sleeping on your stomach not only exerts pressure but also may lead to suffocation. Instead, learn how to sleep on your left, which helps blood circulation remain smooth while causing no problems for both you and your baby.
- Watch for the medications you take
Do not take antibiotics if you catch a cold. In order to relieve symptoms of cold, you may use safe herbal methods. If your symptoms are severe, contact your doctor immediately.
- Pay attention to your footwear
When you wear high heels, your back, ankles, and knees have to endure a lot of pressure. This may also lead you to lose your balance and fall.
- Avoid doing intense exercises
Intense exercises, such as lifting heavy weights during pregnancy should be totally avoided, and be replaced with yoga and other breathing exercises.
- Move often
Pregnant women should not sit in the same position for a long time. Instead, take regular breaks and walk. This helps to increase blood and oxygen circulation and prevents blood from accumulating in your legs. Don’t sit in the same position for hours. Get up and get moving. Take a walk and then rest again.
- Watch for your baby’s movements
You may feel that your baby starts to move often as you enter the third trimester. Therefore, you need to consult your midwife or doctor immediately should you feel anything unusual about his movements.
- Attend your doctor appointments regularly
In the third trimester, you should start to prepare yourself mentally for labor. Usually, your doctor will schedule an ultrasound appointment to check the growth of your baby. By the end of the pregnancy, you may begin to feel slight contractions. It is important to constantly stay in touch with your doctor in order to prevent any complications during labor and childbirth.
Since the third trimester is very important for both the mother and the baby, you should eat a well balanced healthy diet, take necessary pregnancy supplements, and educate yourself about labor and contractions.
As previously mentioned, immediately contact your doctor when you feel any sort of discomfort or pain in order to stay safe.