Everything you Need to Know about Pregnancy

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Congratulations, you’re pregnant! But, what next? Cold feet, heart pounding and hands shaking are just a few of the whirlwind of emotions you might be experiencing right now. 

When you find out you’re expecting your first child, it can be quite overwhelming and it’s normal to experience mixed emotions. After all, there’s going to be a tiny little human inside your belly. Firstly, don’t let your stress and emotions come in the way of a healthy pregnancy. Take a few deep breaths, sit with your partner and decide what you’re going to do next. 

The entire journey to motherhood is indeed a beautiful one. Therefore, we would want to make sure you’re off to the best start. 

In this guide, we will take you through all the vital information we think will be useful to you during your pregnancy. 

Let’s get started as you’re about to embrace one of the most beautiful phases of your life. 

Watch Out for these Early Pregnancy Symptoms

Your pregnancy test at home may have come positive. But you obviously want to be doubly sure if you’ve actually got a baby on board. Thus, watch out for these pregnancy symptoms:

1. Missed Period

A missed period is usually an early pregnancy symptom. If your cycle runs like clockwork and you’ve missed a period, chances are you are pregnant. However, not every missed period can be attributed to pregnancy. Sometimes, there are other health conditions too that result in an irregular menstrual cycle.

2. Morning Sickness

Feeling nauseated, also referred to as morning sickness is an early pregnancy symptom and a common one. It can occur any time of the day and can even make you feel sick all day long. It is an unpleasant feeling and often occurs due to the hormonal changes your body is going through. The queasy feeling is often triggered by certain odours, heat, or spicy foods. In certain cases, there may be no triggers at all. It is common during the first trimester and there is nothing to worry about. 

3. Spotting

Another common symptom experienced by most women is light bleeding or spotting. It’s not a light or short period. Instead, it’s called implantation bleeding. It generally occurs one to two weeks after fertilization. If the bleeding is excessive, it can also lead to irritation or infection. It can even make the surface of the cervix extra sensitive. If bleeding persists, contact your concerned doctor. It can lead to a serious pregnancy complication if not addressed in time. 

4. Fatigue

Back pain, headache and tiredness are common symptoms too. They’re all usually caused by altered hormone levels. Shortly after you conceive, a huge amount of energy goes into building a placenta. This can zap all your energy and lead to extreme tiredness. 

5. Pregnancy-induced Hypertension

High blood pressure or hypertension is quite common during the initial pregnancy stages. If there’s a prior case of pregnancy-induced hypertension in your family, you need to be worried. Being overweight or obese, and an unhealthy lifestyle can aggravate the problem. It can also affect the development of the placenta. Thus, if you’re experiencing any such symptoms, see a doctor ASAP.

6. Mood Swings

The people around you might find you more irritable than usual. The pregnancy-related hormonal changes are to blame for that. Heightened emotions and PMS-type mood swings are common occurrences. You may be feeling great one moment and down the next minute. It’s normal, and all a part and parcel of being pregnant. The best way to tackle this is by eating right, getting enough sleep, pampering yourself and exercising moderately. 

Thus, the points mentioned above are the pregnancy first-month symptoms you’re likely to experience. However, don’t solely rely on these signs. You can always buy a pregnancy kit and do a test at home or see a doctor to conduct a lab testing. Once your pregnancy is confirmed, regular doctor visits are a must, and here are few more things you should do.

Things to Do When you Find out You’re Pregnant

1. Visit a Doctor Regularly for Prenatal Care

Once your pregnancy is confirmed, it is important to visit a doctor regularly. Make sure you choose the best gynaecologist or an obstetrician-gynaecologist. Don’t skip monthly visits. If you’re experiencing any major symptoms, let them know. Every doctor may have a set of protocols they follow. Thus, be observant in your first appointment and know what is expected of you. 

2. Take your Prenatal Vitamins

After knowing you’re pregnant, most doctors will put you on some prenatal vitamins. After all, you want your baby to be healthy and not have any complications at birth. Most prenatal vitamins contain folic acid which aid in development of the baby. Getting nutrients from your normal diet is not always enough. In the first four weeks, taking prenatal vitamins as per the prescribed dose is essential. 

3. Understand Family Medical History & Get Vaccinated

Once you have conceived, it is a good idea to delve deeper into your family medical history. There’s nothing to get alarmed about. It’s just a precautionary measure to ensure there are no uncertainties or complications later on. It is a good idea to discuss your mother’s or grandmother’s pregnancy. If there have been any genetic disorders or birth abnormalities in your family, you can always communicate the same to your gynaecologist so that they can take any preventive measures if required. 

Also, remember to take your vaccination shots as recommended by your doctor. If you’re expecting for the first time, you may even experience certain illnesses which can hamper physical and mental health of the foetus. Especially pregnancy and COVID isn’t the best combination. Be aware of the changes your body is experiencing and take safety measures.

4. Find your Gestational Age

There are three pregnancy stages which consist of three months each called trimesters.  With every passing stage, the body experiences a series of physiological changes including high blood pressure, breathing and hormonal changes. Monitor these stages at the very beginning and see how you progress through them. You can also use a pregnancy calculator to know your estimated delivery due date which is usually determined from your last period date. Normal delivery is anywhere between 36 and 40 weeks. 

Pregnancy Essentials: 5 Things Every Expecting Mother Should Have

Once you find out that you’re pregnant, it is important to stock up on certain items that will make life a tad bit easier during this phase. Don’t worry, it’s not a long list. They’re just a few must-haves that will make the journey more enjoyable and memorable. 

1. Pregnancy Pillow

During pregnancy, you may find it difficult to change positions during sleep. Thankfully, to your rescue is the pregnancy pillow. The pillow is specifically designed to support the contours of your body so that sleeping doesn’t feel like a tiresome chore. You can get a body pillow as your tummy begins to grow. It also helps in keeping your neck, back and hips aligned during your sleep. 

2. Hot Water Bottle

A hot water bottle may have been your saviour during your period. The same principle applies to pregnancy as well. It is literally your best buddy when you have aches, pains and sores. You’ll find it indispensable during your second and third trimesters. 

3. Pregnancy Gown

Pregnancy also brings with it a few wardrobe adjustments. As your belly and body grows, you may not fit into the clothes you already have. You’ll need something easy- breezy and loose. Purchasing a pregnancy gown or pregnancy dress is a good idea. Remember how Kareena Kapoor Khan slayed all her pregnancy Kaftan looks? 

4. Bra Extenders

In the first few weeks of being pregnant, you’ll notice changes in your breasts. They might even look swollen. With passing time, your cup size isn’t likely to grow but you might have to change your band size. As they grow larger, you’ll want to stay comfortable and the best way to do so without changing your bras is by purchasing bra extenders. They’re cost-effective and highly practical. Start using them during the middle of the first trimester.

5. Massage Oil

There’s nothing like a prenatal massage. Your body may tend to be sore and the best way to increase blood circulation in your hands and feet is by using good massage oil. It not just relaxes your muscles but also combats any kind of dry skin issues. 

Exercise during Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a delightful and overwhelming phase. Since your body goes through immense changes, mood swings are normal too. The best way to stay active mentally and physically is by exercising or practising pregnancy yoga. All health experts recommend moderate exercise which will even aid in easy delivery. Here are a few exercise DOs you must follow during pregnancy:

  • 3 hours of moderate-intensity exercise per week is sufficient
  • Do not engage in any kind of HIIT workout
  • A brisk walk every day that isn’t a strain on your joints and muscles is ideal
  • If you’re used to cycling, don’t take a regular bicycle and go out. Instead, get a stationary bike or spinning equipment. 
  • Research suggests that prenatal yoga is very good for health. There are certain yoga poses that are ideal for pregnant women. Make sure you do only those. Refrain from any pose that is unsafe for you. 
  • You can engage in low-impact aerobics classes
  • Strength training during pregnancy is not a complete no-no. You can lift light weights to keep your bones and muscles strong.
  • Scuba diving, horse riding and basketball should strictly be avoided.

7 Superfoods for a Healthy Pregnancy

During pregnancy, you may be tempted to eat certain foods. However, most dieticians and nutritionists recommend avoiding spicy foods and too much sugar. Your pregnancy diet chart must include foods that will give you and your baby strength and nutrition. Below we have highlighted few superfoods you must include in your regular diet: 

1. Yogurt 

Calcium will keep your and your baby’s bones strong. Probiotics have good bacteria which will aid in the effective functioning of your digestive tract.

2. Peanut Butter

Rich in biotin, copper and manganese, peanut butter is ideal for all those random cravings. It is portable and a great snack too with fruits and crackers. 

3. Greens

Spinach and kale are important for foetal eye development. They are also a great source of vitamin C and antioxidants.

4. Avocado

Helps in regulating cholesterol and oxidative stress in the body. Avocado is rich in vitamin C, vitamin E and fiber. 

5. Eggs

A great source of protein and amino acids for you and your baby. Incorporate it into your diet in the form of an omelette or hard-boiled eggs.

6. Flax & Chia Seeds

Consume a few teaspoons of flax and chia seeds a day. It is not just a great source of fiber but also omega-3 fats.

7. Berries

Think strawberries, blueberries, cranberries and raspberries. Since they’re high in fiber and antioxidants, they’re known to prevent urinary tract infections.

Pregnancy is a beautiful phase when done right. Enjoy the process, get pampered to the hilt and experience what it feels like to be an expectant mother. If there are any other pregnancy tips that you think a new mom should know, leave them in the comments section below. 

Happy Parenting! 

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