Pregnancy – The Top Twenty Things You Should Know

Being pregnant is an amazing time for any woman. It’s a time when you’re responsible for another human life and everything you do affects them. It’s important to be as knowledgeable as possible about pregnancy so that you can give your child the best chance at a healthy life. Here are twenty things every woman should know about pregnancy, whether it’s your first time or not.

Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms

Pregnancy comes with a whole slew of new and exciting experiences. Some women feel nausea or morning sickness, while others find that they have more headaches or dizzy spells. You may also notice your mood swings are more extreme, and you might be surprised by some of the foods you find yourself craving. However, one of the most telltale signs of pregnancy is missed periods.

Pregnancy Test

Various signs and symptoms can let you know that you might be pregnant, and taking a pregnancy test is the best way to confirm it. You can buy a pregnancy test kit from a store or go to a clinic that offers the test.

Prenatal Visit

Once you have confirmed that you are pregnant, you can schedule an appointment with your chosen obstetrician. At your first prenatal visit, the doctor will go over information with you such as the first day of your last menstrual period and your expected date of delivery. Pregnancy vitamins will also be prescribed at this time and you will be scheduled for a monthly prenatal visit to monitor your baby’s development.

Other Tests and Procedures

There are a few different tests and procedures you’ll have to go through when you’re pregnant, like a urine test, complete blood count, blood type and Rh factor test, antibody screening, hepatitis B testing, ultrasound, and fetal monitoring.

Pregnancy Stages

There are three distinct stages to pregnancy: the first trimester, the second trimester, and the third trimester. Just as baby grows and develops during these stages, so too do mothers-to-be experience changes in their bodies. These can range from pregnancy discomforts to more serious issues that may require medical attention.

Nutritional Needs

As a pregnant woman, you have to be extra careful about what you eat. Birth complications and abnormalities can arise from pregnancy malnutrition, so it’s important to eat a well-balanced diet and take the vitamins prescribed by your doctor.

Family Medical History

Knowing your family medical history can be very important for a variety of reasons. If you are aware of any illnesses or abnormalities that run in your family, you can be more prepared in the event that your child is born with them. Additionally, this information can help you to understand if you have a higher chance of conceiving twins or triplets.

Present Medical Conditions

While you’re discussing your plans for starting a family with your doctor, be sure to mention any present medical conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. This will help you prevent any pregnancy complications.

Pregnancy Hazards

Being exposed to environmental hazards can put you and your baby at risk for things like miscarriage, stillbirth, and deformities. Make sure you are not exposed to any hazards, like paint vapors, during your pregnancy.

Weight Gain

As your baby grows, it is normal to gain weight. However, it is important not to gain too much weight as it can increase your risk of developing diabetes and hypertension.

Pregnancy Discomforts

All women experience different discomforts during pregnancy, so it is important to be aware of these and know their corresponding remedies. Pregnancy discomforts can include nausea, fatigue, back pain, and more. These however, vary from woman to woman.

Potential Problems and their Symptoms

Even though the majority of women have pregnancies with minimal issues and no complications, it’s necessary to be aware of symptoms that might indicate potential problems, like vaginal bleeding, pelvic or abdominal pain, swelling of the hands and feet, and no fetal movement. If these symptoms are ignored, they could lead to miscarriage, ecclampsia, and stillbirth.

Pregnancy Do’s and Don’ts

Every pregnancy is different, so it’s important to speak with your doctor about what they recommend for you. While there are some general do’s and don’ts, each woman and each pregnancy will have unique considerations.

Exercise

Exercise during pregnancy is recommended to help your body better withstand labor and delivery, but only moderate exercise at a comfortable pace. Walking is one of the best exercises to do during pregnancy because it’s low-impact and can help keep you mobile.

Birthing Class

Birthing class is a special class that helps prepares you and your spouse for the day you give birth. This class is very important because it helps you to be better prepared for the pain and joy of childbirth.

Birthing Option and Place

Prior to your due date, you and your obstetrician should have a discussion about your birthing options. This includes whether you want to attempt a vaginal delivery or if you would feel more comfortable with a caesarean delivery. You should also check the place where you will be delivering your baby. Make sure that it is somewhere that you will be comfortable with and that meets all of your expectations.

Labor

As you get closer to your due date, you may start to wonder when labor will begin. It’s helpful to understand the entire process of labor and the different stages it involves. That way, you’ll know what to expect and can be better prepared for when it happens.

Baby’s Name

It can be difficult to choose a name for your baby before they’re born. You may have a specific name in mind, or you might not have any ideas at all. If you’re looking for inspiration, you can check out baby name books or websites, or ask your friends and relatives for suggestions.

Baby Things

Keeping yourself busy during your pregnancy is a great way to stay occupied. One way you can do this is by preparing all the baby things you’ll need. Shopping for these items with your husband would be a great idea because it’d be a great bonding experience for the both of you. Plus, it’s always better to have two sets of eyes (and hands!) when it comes to picking out the perfect baby items.

Basic Childcare

Pregnancy is an exciting time where you get to learn about another human and prepare to welcome them into the world. It’s also a time where you should be taking care of your own health so that you can be the best possible version of yourself for when your child is born. Learning about basic childcare is one way to do this, as you’ll know what the best possible care and nutrition is for your baby.

Being pregnant is a wonderful, life-changing event. It can also be anxiety-inducing and full of unknowns. But don’t worry! Here are twenty things you should know about pregnancy to help you have the best experience possible and set you up for a successful motherhood.

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