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If you want to know what to do when you’re pregnant for the first time you’ve come to the right place.
You probably have a lot of pregnancy questions because you don’t know what to expect, but try not to panic. Easier said than done. The first-time pregnancy experience is … unforgettable.
Since your dream came true and you are pregnant! You better start thinking twice before you do anything because now there is a human being developing in your womb and counting on your actions.
You probably know, if you skimmed through my articles, how hard it was for me to get pregnant. Once, I got pregnant and overcame the pure joy and excitement, I found myself asking: ‘I’m pregnant, now what?’
I have to admit that I had a moment of panic, but I believe it is normal and I actually had a good excuse: it was my first time becoming a mom.
Anyhow, to get straight to the point, I did make stupid mistakes (like buying shoes that I never wore because my feet got swollen; I could not wear them even after I gave birth because I went 1 size up).
Here are some tips that mattered to me and I think they are worth mentioning so you could avoid them (learn from my mistakes).
1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT PRENATALS
I have a friend who chose not to take any prenatals during her pregnancy saying that a baby takes all he/she needs from the mother and that women had healthy babies when prenatals were not around. I chose to do anything that I could to provide a healthy life for my daughter.
I considered prenatals one of them so I took them.
I chose NatureMade for the following reasons:
- They are not sugar coated ( the chewable sugary ones pose a higher risk for caries)
- They did not make me sick (pregnant women tend to have high sensitivity to tastes and odors; I was extremely sensitive mainly in the beginning and after I tried multiple kinds, this one seemed very gentle on my stomach)
- They contain both DHA and magnesium ( I could not find another brand that would have both; I wanted magnesium because I suffer from migraines)
- The price vs. quantity & quality is more than fair
2. DRINK A TON OF WATER
You will go to the restroom more often whether you want it or not, so you might as well drink a lot of water. I bought this water bottle because it was super light (I did not want to make my purse heavier than it was already; I removed the silicone sleeve to make it even lighter) and BPA free.
I now know the restrooms in all the stores that I usually shop. I knew them while I was pregnant because I used to go to the restroom many times and I still visit them now to change diapers.
I guess I am gonna play this game for a while. This article is jammed with valuable information on this topic.
3. DON’T SHOP FOR CLOTHES OR SHOES
I did. It is OK to buy maternity clothes as your belly grows and you inevitably gain weight. It is also OK to buy shoes if your feet get swollen like it happened to me.
But my MISTAKE was buying more than I needed. I have so many extra clothes and shoes that I have to donate.
Once I gave birth the swelling went down, but I increased one shoe size: so bye-bye new shoes. A worse mistake that I made was buying too many clothes after I gave birth.
I was lucky enough to lose my baby weight very fast, but as I was doing that I was still getting new outfits, which ended up a total waste of my money: once I got to my initial weight they were way too loose for me.
Please don’t do what I did. Be frugal!
4. EAT WELL
When you are pregnant is definitely not the time to be on a diet. I know women are afraid of gaining ( too much) weight during pregnancy but they shouldn’t.
Remember most of it is water retention and swelling, placenta, the baby itself and other fluids: it is not just pure fat.
Don’t forget you are kind of eating for two because you do carry a baby. I was hungry all the time. I ate a lot but I also drank a lot of water.
The most important part is to eat healthy and stay healthy during the entire pregnancy to avoid complications.
I used to work only 2 days a week while I was pregnant so I did have a relaxed schedule. I do remember I was getting tired and short of breath easily, mainly later in the pregnancy as the fetus was pushing on my diaphragm.
I used to take around 2 naps a day and I always felt the need to sit down and catch my breath.
But again I had a high-risk pregnancy and I was closely monitoring my symptoms as suggested by my doctor.
Remember this is a time when you have to take it easy and think twice before you do anything ( like lifting heavy stuff).
It is a time you should enjoy fully and YES you should pamper yourself (do your hair, do your nails, eat your favorite things, whatever makes you happy).
6. USE A BABY DOPPLER (optional)
I was still recovering from my painful miscarriage, so I bought a baby doppler and used it every time I would get a little concerned ( I was advised to monitor my baby’s movements all the time, mainly because I had a high-risk pregnancy due to incompetent cervix).
This one was pretty accurate and satisfying.
7. DON’T SLEEP ON YOUR BACK
I always found myself breaking the rule! For some reason, that was my favorite sleeping position and I felt so guilty. I did my best to alternates positions and switch sides.
It is recommended not to sleep on your back because the weight of the uterus presses on a major blood vessel (vena cava) leading to low blood supply to your baby.
8. BE CAREFUL WITH MASSAGES
As a first-time mom you can imagine I was googling ( still am) anything that was pregnancy-related. I found out that massages in certain spots may trigger early labor.
So when I used to go for mani-pedi I always told them not to do any massage on me.
Nevertheless, prenatal massages are beneficial and recommended, but they have to be done by someone who really knows what they are doing. This article goes more in-depth about this.
9. KEEP AN IMPECCABLE ORAL HYGIENE
When you are pregnant you experience some hormonal changes which can be seen in the mouth as well. I remember that even before I knew I was pregnant I was able to notice some light gingival inflammation, which a common pregnancy symptom among expecting mothers.
To avoid gingival inflammation during pregnancy this is what I advise you (this is what I (dental hygienist) advise my pregnant patients also):
- mouthwash ( optional, the effect is temporary, but if you decide to use one always choose one that is alcohol-free; some people get tissue sloughing from the regular one)
- floss (whether you are using the traditional string floss, soft picks or proxabrushes always do it before brushing; the whole idea is to clean in-between your teeth FIRST. I always tell my patients “anything in-between your teeth is better than nothing)
- toothpaste (with fluoride) and toothbrush (ALWAYS soft, otherwise you will create damage over time)
10. AVOID NITROUS OXIDE/LAUGHING GAS
The chances of you getting near that are low unless you go to a dental office and they happen to use it on a patient. Nitrous oxide is notorious for causing spontaneous miscarriage, so be aware.
I was. Because I had a miscarriage in the past and because the risk of being around nitrous oxide was high due to my job.
Yet, I heard contradicting stories: one of my ex instructors from Hygiene School had a miscarriage in the last trimester, while a pregnant dentist had no fear of working with nitrous ( she claimed she did it with her first child and had no problem).
I leave it up to you. While I was pregnant I still worked part-time as a hygienist and my doctor never used it while I was there.
11. AVOID SUN EXPOSURE
When you are pregnant, the whole body changes. Because of the hormonal changes, your skin becomes more sensitive, so getting a sunburn would be easy.
Also, keep in mind that you do not want to increase the temperature of the fetus.
- Choose a good doctor
- Opt for good vitamins
- Stay hydrated
- Stay well-rested
- Stick to a healthy diet
- Shop less and save more for the upcoming baby
- Get a doppler to stay at ease
- Be aware of massages
- Focus more on oral hygiene
- Avoid sun exposure and laughing gas
Don’t forget to take lots of pictures!