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First Time Mothers: Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy

Updated on June 19, 2012

Pregnancy lifestyle

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Positive: Congratulations!!

You Are now embarking on the greatest journey you'll ever take- your pregnancy! We all know that the arrival of our first baby is a joyous, exciting and anxious time for moms to be. So here are some basic tips and informations which might help first time mothers deal with their pregnancy.

What to expect:

Early signs and symptoms of Pregnancy

Pregnancy symptoms differ from woman to woman and pregnancy to pregnancy; however, one of the most significant pregnancy symptom is a delayed or missed menstrual cycle. Understanding the signs and symptoms of pregnancy is important because each of them may be related to something other than pregnancy. Some women experience signs or symptoms of pregnancy within a week of conception. For other women, pregnancy symptoms may develop over a few weeks or may not be present at all. Below is a listing of some of the most common pregnancy signs and symptoms. If you have been sexually active and experiencing any of the folloeing, it is important to take a pregnancy test.

* Missed monthly period

The most common reason for a missed period is being pregnant, and this is often the first symptom that makes women suspect pregnancy. One thing you can be sure being positive is to take a pregnancy test followed by a pelvic exam that tell whether you are pregnant.

* Swollen/ Tender Breasts

Swollen or tender breasts is a pregnancy symptom which may begin as early as 1- 2 weeks after conception. Women may notice changes in their breasts; they may be tender to the touch, sore, or swollen. This is caused by the increased production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone that occurs during your pregnancy.

* Fatigue/ Tiredness

Feeling fatigued or more tired is a pregnancy symptom which can also start as early as the first week after conception. Increased progesterone level is the common cause of fatigue for most pregnant women which they experience early during their pregnancy. This tiredness can make a woman's normal activities difficult and causes her to require more sleep that she usually needs to get through her everyday routine.

* Morning Sickness/ Nausea

This well- known pregnancy symptom will often show up between 2-8 weeks after conception. Some women are fortunate enough not to deal with morning sickness at all, while others will feel nauseated throughout most of their pregnancy. In my case, I felt sick usually during the night! I asked my doctor about it and said it's normal so it really differs from one person to another.

* Implantation Beeding

Implantation bleeding can be one of the earliest pregnancy symptoms. About 6-12 days after conception, the embryo implants itself into the uterine wall. Some women will experience spotting as well as some cramping.

* Food Cravings/ Aversions

While you may not have a strong desire to eat pickles and ice cream, many women will feel cravings for certain foods when they are pregnant. This can last throughout your entire pregnancy. Many women experience a heightened sense of smell while pregnant, which may account for some foood aversions. Some scents can be too potent to seem palatable. Because progesterone slows down the digestive tract, pregnant women may also instinctively stay away from meats and gassy veggies.

* Frequent Urination

Around 6-8 weeks after conception, you may find yourself makingfew extra trips to the bathroom. No one likes this pregnancy symptom, especially when it disrupts good sleep in the middle of the night, but most pregnant women experience it, especially during their first trimester. Pressure in the bladder tends to ease up on their second trimester, but might go back at the end of your pregnancy when the baby slowly drops down into your pelvis area and your tank is once again challenged.


* Why should I stop drinking and smoking before I conceive?

Most women don't realize they're pregnant until they're already four or five weeks along, so don't wait to quit. Smoking has also been shown to increase the chances of misscarriage and ectopic pregnancy.

* Calming Morning Sickness

- Keep simple snacks such as crackers next to your bed and eat a few to settle your stomach before getting up.

- One small study suggests that foods high in protein may curb nausea more effectively than carbohydrates do.

- Avoid fatty, spicy and acidic foods, and those whose smell triggers your nausea.

* What is the significance of folic acid during pregnancy?

High levels of folic acid appear to correct nutritional deficiencies that cause problems in the development of the nervous system, particularly the neural tube, which later develops into the bbrain and spine.

* Why is the risk of miscarriage higher in the first trimester?

Most miscarriages are the result of chromosomal defects that are so serious they prevent growth and development. The rate of birth defects among babies born is so low in part because many problematic pregnancies end in the first several weeks of development.

* What are the some foods to avoid during pregnancy?

Raw seafood, cheeses with a white, "moldy" rind, raw or undercooked meat, liver and liver products, coffee, tea, sodas and unpasteurized milk and dairy products made with unpasteurized milk.

* How to minimize swelling?

- Put your feet up when you can.

- Stretch out your legs when you sit.

- Avoid sitting still for longer periods.

- Exercise regularly to increase circulation.

- Drink plenty of water because keeping your body hydrated actually prevent swelling.

* How to relieve constipation?

- Exercise regularly

- Drink plenty of water ( at least six to eight glasses a day)

- Have a glass of fruit juice once a day and eat plenty of fiber- rich foods.

- When you feel the urge to go, act on it. Holding it in can cause your stool to dry out, making the problem worse.

* Handling mood swings

Remind yourself that changes in emotions are normal now. Take steps to alleviate stress- exercising, sleeping, talking it out and eating right can all help. Explain to your partner and friends what's going on. If they understand the cause, they're less likely to take it personally.

* Soothing Back Pain

Regular exercise is one way to help keep backaches at bay, but if you're already in pain, try these suggestions:

Soak in a warm bath or use a hot pack on the affected area. Avoid any activities that require you to bend or twist your body at the same time. Schedule a prenatal massage with a trained therapist. Use a pregnancy wedge when sleeping to support your back and abdomen.

* Infections to watch out for during pregnancy

it can be very frightening if you catch an infection or become ill while you're pregnant. Here's a list of some of the infections pregnant women should watch out for:

Chicken pox; Slapped cheek (fifth) disease; German measles (rubella)

Group B strep Urinary Tract Infection HIV/AIDS

Herpes Listeriosis Thrush

Toxoplasmosis Hepatitis B

* How do I know when I'm in labor?

Persistent lower back pain, often accompanied by a crampy premenstrual feeling; A bloody show ( a brownish or blood-tinged mucus discharge); Painful contractions that occur at regular and increasingly shorter intervals and become longer and stronger in intensity; Broken water bag, but you're in labor only if it's accompanied by contractions that are dilating your cervix.

These are just few informations a future moms need to remember. A regular visit to a doctor is important for you to know the dos and donts every moms should do because pregnancy varies from one person to another. So for future mothers out there, congartulations and good luck for a new challenging life you will be facing!.


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