Things I Should Know When I am Pregnant

The Importance of Prenatal Care

 

Prenatal care can be the diffierence between a healthy baby and an unhealthy baby, a healthy mum or unhealthy mum.  During pregnancy you should seek to star prenatal care with a health care provider of your choice from the time you are aware of your pregnanacy.  

Your doctor will schedul your visits and you should try to keep your schedule. Your doctor will check to make sure you and the baby are healthy at each visit and if there are any problems, early action will help you and the baby.  During your visits you should discuss any medication that you are presently taking, stress issues that you might be facing and as about other medical procedures that you might be thinking about, eg. dental work.

 

Development Stages of my pregnancy   (click)

 

Words and Terms You Should Know  (Click)

 

Will I choose a mid wife or doctor?  (click)

Methods of Childbirth

(www.webmd.com/baby/guide/delivery-methods)

Vaginal delivery is the most common and safest type of childbirth. When necessary in certain circumstances, forceps (instruments resembling large spoons) may be used to cup your baby's head and help guide the baby through the birth canal.

 

Vacuum delivery is another way to assist delivery and is similar to forceps delivery. In vacuum delivery, a plastic cup is applied to the baby's head by suction and the health care provider gently pulls the baby from the birth canal.

 

Vaginal delivery may not always be possible. Caesarean delivery (C-section) may be necessary for the safety of you and your baby, especially if one of these complications is present:

  • Your baby is not in the head-down position.

  • Your baby is too large to pass through the pelvis.

  • Your baby is in distress

 

Most often, the need for a cesarean delivery is not determined until after laborbegins. Once a woman has had a cesarean delivery, future deliveries are often also done by cesarean. That's because surgery done on the uterus increases the risk of it rupturing during a future vaginal delivery.

 

Life style do's and don'ts

  • Don’t smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs. These can cause long-term harm or death to your baby. There is no guaranteed safe level of alcohol consumption if you are pregnant. Any alcohol you drink enters both yours and your baby’s bloodstream. Alcohol use during pregnancy may cause fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). FAS babies may suffer from physical, behavioral, and mental problems

  • Unless your doctor tells you not to, try to get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week. It’s best to spread out your workouts throughout the week. If you worked out regularly before pregnancy, you can keep up your activity level as long as your health doesn’t change and you talk to your doctor about your activity level throughout your pregnancy. Learn more about how to have a fit pregnancy.

  • Don’t take very hot baths or use hot tubs or saunas.

  • Get plenty of sleep and find ways to control stress.

  • Get informed. Read books, watch videos, go to a childbirth class, and talk with moms you know. You can also write to us and ask for help.

 

Nutrition tips -

  • Eat a variety of healthy foods. Choose fruits, vegetables, whole grains, calcium-rich foods, and foods low in saturated fat. Also, make sure to drink plenty of fluids, especially water.

  • Get all the nutrients you need each day, including iron. Getting enough iron prevents you from getting anemia, which is linked to preterm birth and low birth weight. Eating a variety of healthy foods will help you get the nutrients your baby needs. But ask your doctor if you need to take a daily prenatal vitamin or iron supplement to be sure you are getting enough.

  • Protect yourself and your baby from food-borne illnesses, including toxoplasmosis (TOK-soh-plaz-MOH-suhss) andlisteria (lih-STEER-ee-uh). Wash fruits and vegetables before eating. Don’t eat uncooked or undercooked meats or fish. Always handle, clean, cook, eat, and store foods properly.

  • Don’t eat fish with lots of mercury, including swordfish, king mackerel, shark, and tilefish.

 

Health tips

A healthy lifestyle is always important – but when you're living for two, it's that much more vital. So make sure you're getting enough folic acid, vitamins recommended by your care giver, eat a healthy pregnancy diet, consider a pregnancy-friendly exercise routine, and try to get plenty of sleep.

  • Don’t take any medication without first consulting your health care provider. Even over-the-counter medication—for example, antihistamines or pain medications that contain aspirin or ibuprofen—can be harmful to a developing baby.

  • Be careful about vitamins. Take the prenatal vitamins prescribed or recommended by your health care provider, but don’t take any additional vitamins on your own. Although you need more of some things, like iron, calcium, and folate, too much of other nutrients can harm your baby.

 

Brace yourself for body changes

You're probably already expecting the amazing expanding belly and va-va-voom breasts, but other body changes are in store that you may not know about. Be on the lookout for things like thicker hair, darkened skin, and acne breakouts – then, later in pregnancy, swollen ankles, stretch marks, and varicose veins. You might notice other body and beauty changes, too. Pregnancy affects every woman differently, but knowing what might happen can help you take your particular physical changes in stride.

 

The environment and my baby

  • Stay away from chemicals like insecticides, solvents (like some cleaners or paint thinners), lead, mercury, and paint (including paint fumes). Not all products have pregnancy warnings on their labels. If you're unsure if a product is safe, ask your doctor before using it. Talk to your doctor if you are worried that chemicals used in your workplace might be harmful.

  • If you have a cat, ask your doctor about toxoplasmosis. This infection is caused by a parasite sometimes found in cat feces. If not treated toxoplasmosis can cause birth defects. You can lower your risk of by avoiding cat litter and wearing gloves when gardening. 

  • Avoid contact with rodents, including pet rodents, and with their urine, droppings, or nesting material. Rodents can carry a virus that can be harmful or even deadly to your unborn baby.

  • Take steps to avoid illness, such as washing hands frequently.

  • Stay away from second hand smoke.

© 2011 Barbados Children Directory

 

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