(Contributed by a guest blogger)
Congratulations! You now have a bun in the oven, a bat in the cave, in the pudding club, in the family way, and whatever metaphor they call it. Expecting is both exciting and worrisome, but it is best to stick with the former to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Now that you’re pregnant, taking care of yourself physically and emotionally is more important than ever .Doing so will boost your chances of enjoying a problem-free pregnancy.
How to Take Care of You When You are Expecting
- Get early prenatal care
Once you find out that you are pregnant, call your healthcare provider right away to schedule a prenatal visit. During this appointment, you may need to submit a blood test to confirm your pregnancy. You may be screened for certain conditions that could complicate your condition as well. Take this as an opportunity to ask your healthcare provider about you how to calculate your due date. You may have to wait for 8 to 12 weeks for an ultrasound that will estimate your due date, so doing it using other methods is a good option. There are due date calculators that you can use. Still, you should have your doctor confirm the veracity of the result.
- Eat a healthy diet
If you were not mindful of what you eat before you got pregnant, you should change that habit right away. What you eat can have an impact on your pregnancy and your baby. So make sure to watch what you put in your mouth. You are eating for two, after all.
The best formula is:
- Stick to only about 300 additional calories per day
- Get 70 grams of protein per day
- Meet your required daily calcium intake religiously
- Avoid foods that may harbor harmful bacteria, such as unpasteurized dairy products and juices, under cooked eggs and meat, cold deli meat, and raw seafood
- Avoid fish that contain high levels of mercury and contaminants
- Remember to take your prenatal vitamins
Your healthcare provider recommends prenatal supplements because of the folic acid and iron found in them. If you want to reduce the risk of your baby developing neural tube birth defects, it is important that you take 600 micrograms of folic acid during pregnancy. You should also increase your iron intake, especially during the second and third trimesters. Remember not to overdose on supplements, and always consult your healthcare provider if you wish to take additional supplements or herbal preparations.
- Stay physically active, exercise regularly
Exercise has always been beneficial, more so when you are pregnant. A good exercise program will give you the strength and endurance needed to carry the additional weight you gain while expecting.
Plenty of benefits come with it as well.
- Help ease or prevent aches and pains
- Improve circulation in your legs
- Reduce stress and boost serotonin levels
- Enables you to handle the stress of labor
- Helps ensure you can easily get back into shape after giving birth
- Rest and take it easy
If you experience fatigue during the first and third trimester, you should take it easy and give yourself a break. Your body is telling you to slow down, so listen up. Nap in the middle of the day. Put your feet up and read a book. Do some relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and yoga.
- Take care of your emotional health
If your mood swings are extreme, consult with your healthcare provider. Although emotions of an expectant mother can be likened to a roller coaster ride at one time or another, too much of it is not good for your health. You could be suffering from depression that should be addressed right away.
- See your dentist
Are you experiencing gum problems? Pregnant women are susceptible to gum diseases because of hormonal shifts. So see your dentist for a checkup, and make sure that increased levels of progesterone and estrogen are not causing your gums to react and cause problems.
Ana Jasko is a stay at home mom who likes to research and write about health related topics. She contributes on various sites, including mombloggersclub.com and menstrual-cycle-calculator.com. When she’s not looking after her kids, she bakes cakes and watches romantic comedies.