How Can I Reduce Stress During Pregnancy
Stress and anxiety during pregnancy, for some women can be the worst experience. I was so stressed during pregnancy, that my body was literally revolting, from an ER ambulance ride to not being able to see. More on that later. I found out quickly that this affects my baby! My doctor said this could cause my baby to come early than she should or have a low birth weight.
However, a little stress during pregnancy IS normal. Who wouldnt be a little anxious about a major medical hospital trip, a lengthy recovery and becoming suddenly solely responsible for a tiny human life ? You may not have a heartbeat if none of that gives your chest a flutter.
But, if this feeling is constant and affecting your life in major ways, the BEST thing to do to reduce stress during your pregnancy is to talk to your doctor.
12. Be ready mentally for labor and delivery. Take an awesome online prenatal class take it at your own pace, whenever you want, wherever you want. Traveling to the prenatal class at our hospital was stressful, I had to take work off AND sit for eight hours plus. To top it off, our instructor kept skipping the videos because they didnt work! She skipped entirely over newborn care due to technology issues. ARGH! I looked at online classes and some are over $400!
14. Have some quiet time. Meditate, pray, go on a walk in a beautiful part of town or do some simple pregnancy stretches while listening to soft instrumental music.
Path To Improved Health
Schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as you find out youre pregnant. Your doctor will start by reviewing your medical history. He or she also will want to know about your symptoms. During this first appointment, urine and blood samples will be taken. Urine tests check for bacteria, high sugar levels , and high protein levels . Blood tests check for blood cell count, blood type, low iron levels and infectious diseases .
The doctor also may do other tests at your first visit. These may vary based on your background and risk for problems. Tests can include:
- A pelvic exam to check the size and shape of your uterus .
- A Pap smear to screen for cervical cancer.
- An ultrasound to view your babys growth and position. An ultrasound uses sound waves to create an image of your baby on a video screen.
After your first visit, you will have a prenatal visit every 4 weeks. In months 7 and 8, you will have a visit every 2 weeks. In your last month of pregnancy, the visits will occur weekly until you deliver your baby. At each visit, the doctor will check your weight and blood pressure and test your urine. The doctor will listen to your babys heartbeat and measure the height of your uterus after the 20th week. You should always discuss any issues or concerns you have with your doctor.
Here are some other guidelines to follow during your pregnancy.
How Can I Stay Healthy After My Baby Is Born
After you deliver your baby, your health may be better if you try to return to a healthy weight slowly. Not losing your baby weight may lead to overweight or obesity later in life. Slowly returning to a healthy weight may lower your chances of diabetes, heart disease, and other weight-related problems.
Healthy eating, regular physical activity, adequate sleep, and other healthy habits after your baby is born may help you return to a healthy weight and give you energy.
After your baby is born
- Consume foods and beverages to meet your calorie needs.
- Regular physical activity will continue to benefit your overall health. Moderate-intensity physical activity will increase your fitness and can improve your mood.
Also, physical activity does not appear to have bad effects on how much breast milk is produced, what the breast milk contains, or how much the baby grows.
Don’t Miss: What Headache Medicine Can I Take While Pregnant
Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins
If you havent started already, you should begin taking a prenatal vitamin right away, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists . This will help make sure that youre getting all the vitamins and minerals you need for a healthy pregnancy.
You can purchase prenatal vitamins over the counter at most major pharmacies or grocery stores. Just be sure it has at least 400 mcg of folic acid, per the .
You can also ask your pregnancy care professional for recommendations or a prescription.
Prenatal vitamins are crucial because your babys neural tube which later becomes their brain and spinal cord develops during the first month of pregnancy. Folate helps reduce the chances of neural tube irregularities, such as those that cause spina bifida.
Other things your prenatal vitamins should have are:
- vitamins A, C, D, and E
- vitamin B12
Your healthcare professional will also generally recommend you separately take an iron supplement as well.
Some prenatal vitamins also include choline, which is essential for brain development and placental function, according to 2018 research.
They also may include docosahexaenoic acid , which is important for babys brain growth and function.
Dont Clean The Cats Litter Box
Pet your furry friend all you like and wash your hands afterward but dont clean a cats litter box.
Feline waste is filled with millions of bacteria and parasites. One in particular, Toxoplasma gondii , is particularly dangerous to expecting mothers.
If you contract it, you may never know until you begin having complications with your pregnancy. A miscarriage or stillbirth is possible. Babies who contract this parasite may face serious health problems, including seizures and mental disabilities.
You May Like: Can I Use Vagisil Wash While Pregnant
Do Be Careful About What You Eat When You’re Pregnant
Pay attention to what you eat when pregnant. Dr. Sherry Ross, OB/GYN, told The List that it’s especially important to avoid raw or undercooked foods. “Food poisoning can occur when eating raw vegetables, unpasteurized juices, and undercooked meat, poultry, or eggs that can be linked with salmonella and Escherichia coli bacteria,” she said. “Cooking properly and thoroughly kills bacteria in the majority of foods.”
Also be careful about eating fish, whether raw or cooked. Dr. Ross shared, “Eating raw fish, such as sushi, has not been recommended in pregnancy since it can carry certain bacteria and parasites. Mercury is very toxic and can cause problems to the fetus and to the newborn nursing infant.” She noted that fish like halibut and tuna “have increased mercury levels and cause the most concern for consumption by pregnant women.”
But you don’t have to stop eating fish. Dr. Ross noted, “A pregnant woman can safely eat 12 ounces per week of varieties of fish thought to be low in mercury. The safest fish that are low in mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, scallops, oysters, squid, and salmon.”
Adapt Your Dog’s Diet
A healthy pregnancy and equally healthy puppies are the results of a nutritious diet given when your dog is pregnant. In the first four weeks of pregnancy, your dam will feel a loss of appetite along with a vomiting tendency. As a result, it is better to feed her normally without giving excess calories. Otherwise, it will simply transform into fat due to less movement.
From week five, you can increase the quantity of food. This is when vitamin deficiencies start showing up in the first time pregnant dog. Vets normally suggest pre-natal vitamins and folic acid during this stage to avoid problems like eclampsia. Gradually, you should introduce more fat and protein oriented foods in her diet. Her liver and kidney will have more work to break the food and use it for the body. Make sure she drinks enough water round the clock too.
Depending on her overall health condition, the veterinarian will suggest certain vitamins or supplements, which are mostly water-soluble. Such supplements make up for the lack of calories appearing due to pregnant dogs losing appetite.
You May Like: Can You Get Pregnant On Your Ovulation Day
Schedule Your First Prenatal Appointment
Your first prenatal appointment may involve confirming the pregnancy with an early ultrasound or blood work and going over your medical history and medications to set your pregnancy off on a healthy start.
A healthcare professional will also calculate your due date and provide lots of information about what to expect during pregnancy.
Be sure to ask your pregnancy care professional lots of questions. Feel free to write some down ahead of your visit. Your prenatal appointments are your opportunity to ask any and all questions to better help you care for yourself during pregnancy.
You should let your doctor or midwife know if youre experiencing any symptoms such as bleeding, cramping, or pain.
Morning Sickness And Other Pregnancy Health Problems
In the first 6-12 weeks of being pregnant, your body makes lots of extra hormones. These hormones can cause nausea and vomiting, often called morning sickness.
Morning sickness is usually at its worst early in the day, but it can happen at any point during the day or night. It usually stops after the first 3-4 months. For some women, it goes on much longer than this.
If you get morning sickness, it can help to eat small amounts often. Carbohydrate-rich snacks like crackers, toast, cereal or fruit are ideal.
Being pregnant can bring some other uncomfortable physical symptoms for example, constipation, headaches and the need to urinate more often. Pregnancy health problems are usually mild, but its always a good idea to talk about them with your doctor or midwife.
If youre experiencing nausea and vomiting that doesnt stop or go away, and you cant eat and drink without vomiting, call your doctor, midwife or maternity hospital.
Recommended Reading: Can Being Depressed While Pregnant Affect The Baby
Hot Tubs Saunas And Overheating
While relaxing in hot water may sound like an effective way to ease pregnancy discomfort, experts recommend avoiding hot tubs and saunas.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, hot tubs can cause hyperthermia, or abnormally high body temperature, which may lead to congenital abnormalities.
Additional activities that may cause the body temperature to rise too high include:
- hot yoga or Pilates
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that pregnant women avoid contact sports, such as football or boxing.
Contact sports increase the risk of placental abruption, which is the premature separation of the placenta from the uterine wall. Placental abruption is a severe condition that can cause preterm birth, pregnancy loss, or stillbirth.
Pregnant women are also more prone to injury as hormonal changes in the body cause the ligaments to become looser.
Other Concerns During Pregnancy
- Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of problems such as low birth weight, preterm labour, and miscarriage.
- Pregnancy over age 35 poses some risks, but most older women have healthy pregnancies.
- Medicine use during pregnancy should always be approved by your doctor or midwife, to prevent harm to the fetus.
- Immunizations help protect you and your baby from certain health problems. The influenza vaccine and the tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis vaccine are recommended for all pregnant women. It is safe to get these vaccines during your pregnancy. You may need to get other vaccines before or soon after your pregnancy.
- Pregnancy after bariatric surgery may mean that you keep seeing the doctor who did your weight-loss surgery, along with seeing the doctor or midwife who is caring for you during pregnancy.
- Domestic violence can happen more often and/or get worse when women are pregnant. It is dangerous for both the mother and the baby. For more information and to learn how to get help, see the topic Domestic Violence.
Also Check: Is Restylane Safe During Pregnancy
Do Set Up Your First Prenatal Appointment
Before your appointment, make a note of the first day of your last period as they will ask you this, and write down any questions that you may have for your doctor. If there are diseases or disorders on either the fathers side of the family or yours, these are a great thing to discuss with your doctor.
You should also make sure to consult your doctor about any medications you are on to make sure they are safe for pregnant women. Continue to do this throughout your pregnancy if you are prescribed different medications, including over-the-counter ones. Mention any herbs, vitamins, or other supplements you take.
Record Menstrual Cycle Frequency
A woman who wants to have a baby should monitor whether the first days of her periods tend to occur the same number of days apart every month, which is considered regular. Conversely, her periods may be irregular, meaning her cycle lengths vary from month to month. By tracking this information on a calendar, a woman can better predict when she might be ovulating, which is the time every month when her ovaries will release an egg. There are also some apps that can help with the tracking, such as GlowOvulation period tracker .
A woman’s egg is fertile for only 12 to 24 hours after its release, according to the American Pregnancy Association. However, a man’s sperm can survive in a woman’s body for up to five days.
Recommended Reading: What Are 4 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
Practical Things To Do Before You Get Pregnant
Getting your body ready for pregnancy and growing a baby, starts 2 to 3 months ahead of when you would like to start trying to conceive. First, these are the things to do before you start trying to get pregnant, which will help you during pregnancy and give your baby the best conditions possible to grow and develop for 10 months.
Preparing Your Family For A New Baby
If you have other children, you can prepare children for the new baby by giving them plenty of time to get used to the idea. When, what and how much you tell them will depend on their ages.
Its good if your other children and close family members are up to date with their immunisations before meeting the baby, including the whooping cough immunisation.
Your parents and your partners parents might like to read more about becoming grandparents.
You May Like: How To Check If You Are Able To Get Pregnant
What If Im Not Sure I Want To Be Pregnant
Some people find it helpful to talk with their partner, a supportive family member, friends, or a therapist if theyre considering termination or adoption. You can also ask your doctor for guidance and support.
No matter what you choose, having a support system before, during, and after can be very beneficial.
Just remember: The decision to continue or terminate your pregnancy is yours alone to make. No one should pressure you to make a decision youre not comfortable with. You alone know whats right for you.
What Changes Can You Expect In Your Body And Your Emotions
You will go through some amazing changes during pregnancy. Your body, emotions, and relationships will all do some growing. These changes are common, but some may be a challenge.
Every woman feels these changes in her own way. Even the way she changes can change. In the beginning of your pregnancy, you may feel so tired that you can barely keep your head up. But at other times, you may have trouble sleeping.
Many women feel nauseated in the morning or at other times of day in the early part of pregnancy. But some women never have this problem. Your breasts will get larger and may feel tender. Throughout your pregnancy, you may get heartburn or crave certain foods, and you may have aches and pains. You also may enjoy the flutters of your baby moving and kicking.
Your emotions may move around too. Even women who are happy about their pregnancy may worry a lot about their babies. They may even feel some sadness at the coming changes in their lifestyles.
Your relationship with your partner and other children you may have also may change. Talk with your partner and with your doctor if you have concerns about how you’re feeling.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Pregnancy Acne
How To Get Pregnant Faster: Tips And Facts To Increase Fertility
We’ve spoken to the experts to come up with 10 tips for how to get pregnant quickly and safely.
You may have many questions about how to get pregnant, particularly if you have an underlying condition. Taking care of your body is a good first step to optimize your fertility. But what else can you do to improve their odds of having a baby?
The most important advice for a woman who wants to get pregnant is to get to know her body, specifically her menstrual cycle, said Dr. Mary Ellen Pavone, a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist, and medical director of the in-vitro fertilization program at Northwestern Medicine’s Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility division in Chicago.
“It’s important to know how far apart her cycles are so she can more accurately time intercourse to try to get pregnant,” Pavone said.
We’ve highlighted the top 10 tips that may help increase your chances of becoming pregnant. As always with this type of information make sure to speak to a medical professional as this advice is broad and you may require specialist attention. You should still find this article and accompanying video on how to get pregnant useful.