19 Jan 2023 | 8 min Read
Author | 791 Articles
Pregnancy is a totally new and exciting experience for soon-to-be parents. But at the same time, it is also one of the most daunting experiences that will bring up many questions and anxious thoughts. For instance, you may wonder what lifestyle changes to make. What different symptoms are going to experience in the three trimesters? Or what medications are safe for consumption during this time? You may also be confused about your pregnancy diet and foods to eat/avoid during this time.
The best way to get all the nervousness and anxiety out of your way is by discussing your concerns with your healthcare provider and gaining knowledge to better prepare for your journey. To make things easier for you, we have gathered a set of crucial pregnancy-related questions that you must discuss with your ob-gyn during your prenatal visit.
You may have to take over-the-counter (OTC) medications at some point during your pregnancy, whether it is to ease your headache or soothe a bad case of heartburn. During this time, your doctor will recommend safe OTC medicines that you can take. The medicines that typically get the green light include:
Your pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) usually determines how much weight you should gain during pregnancy. Your doctor will give you a rough estimate of how much weight gain is considered normal and healthy during each trimester. They will also check your weight at each appointment if your weight gain is on track.
A pregnancy diet filled with nutritious and whole foods, including vegetables, fruits, and lean protein is considered ideal. Your healthcare provider may also recommend prenatal vitamins to ensure you receive adequate amounts of calcium, folic acid, and omega-3 fatty acids for the healthy growth and development of your baby.
You will also be advised to avoid certain foods during pregnancy. These include raw or undercooked foods, unpasteurised milk, raw sprouts, canned foods, and fish containing high levels of mercury.
Staying active during pregnancy keeps both you and your baby healthy and helps ease many symptoms like body aches, back pain, and nausea. Many fitness activities like walking, yoga, and swimming are considered safe during pregnancy, and if you have been regularly doing these exercises, then you can continue them even during pregnancy. But ensure to get a go-ahead from your doctor first.
In general, you have to be extra careful. Avoid any rough cardio exercises where you may lose your balance and fall, and strenuous ab exercises that may require you to lay flat on your back for prolonged periods of time, especially in your second trimester. It’s also best to avoid any exercises that make you more prone to overheating or dehydration.
Depending on the nature of your work, you can keep working until you deliver. Although if you have a strenuous or physically straining job, or if you are experiencing any sort of pregnancy complication, then your healthcare provider may recommend certain restrictions to safeguard your and your baby’s health.
Many partners believe that sexual intercourse during pregnancy will harm the baby or even the mother. But let us tell you that this is a big fat myth and you will probably ask you not to worry about having sex during pregnancy unless you have a medical complication or risk. As long as you are comfortable, you can try different pregnancy-safe sexual positions to figure out which one works best for you.
The answer to this concern can vary, depending on how far you are along your pregnancy journey.
In the first trimester, you may experience nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and breast tenderness. A small amount of vaginal spotting is considered normal too. However, the red-flag symptoms that you should watch out for include the inability to keep liquids or solids down, abdominal cramping, and heavy vaginal bleeding. In case you experience any of these symptoms, consult your doctor right away.
Once you have moved to your second trimester, you may begin to experience some pelvic pressure or lower abdominal stretching. But if you suddenly experience severe pain in your pelvic region, or increased vaginal discharge or bleeding, call your healthcare provider.
It is common for you to experience occasional uterine contractions during the third trimester. Plus, the fatigue that you experienced during the first trimester may reappear again.
As you approach your due date, you will have to watch out for signs of labour, which include your water breaking and the onset of contractions. Don’t worry, your practitioner will prepare you for labour symptoms and the next steps, but in case you notice the following symptoms, ensure to call your doctor right away.
A birth plan isn’t necessary, but many expecting mums like to create one as it helps them familiarise themselves with the labour and delivery process, and ensure that everyone involved is aware of their personal preferences.
Reviewing your birth plan with your doctor prior to labour helps you discuss expectations, especially if you have a high-risk pregnancy and need to follow restrictions to stay safe. Plus, it also helps you clear any concerns you may have regarding labour and delivery.
Your labour and delivery can vary a lot, depending on your overall health and condition. After you are admitted to the hospital, your doctor or nurse will first perform cervical examinations to determine effacement and cervical dilation. They may also recommend interventions for you and your baby’s well-being, including IV, and electronic foetal monitoring.
Who brings your baby into the world depends on the hospital’s rules. Some hospitals have a number of doctors on call, and you will be assigned one based on the doctor’s availability. In other cases, you may request your doctor to conduct your delivery. So make sure to ask your doctor beforehand about what works in their hospital so that you are okay with what happens during your delivery.
Depending on your age and overall health, your doctor may ask you to have a c-section. So you may have to discuss this concern with your doctor in-depth and review the risks of this procedure. While the cause of a c-section may vary in each case, its common risk factors include:
Breastfeeding is not easy for everyone, and hence, you must ask what support your hospital gives to ensure your little one’s well-being when they arrive. If possible, connect with the lactation consultants at the hospital beforehand and learn some breastfeeding tips and positions from them.
The bottom line? Do not hesitate to ask your doctor any pregnancy-related questions that you may have. It’s best to get all your concerns answered right at the beginning of your journey so that you can be better prepared up until your labour and delivery. Moreover, arming yourself with the right knowledge from the experts will only help you remain calm and relaxed throughout your journey.
What to expect when your water breaks: When does your water break during pregnancy, and what should be your next steps of action? Tap this post to know.
Vaginal birth after caesarean delivery: Who is a good candidate for vaginal birth after caesarean delivery (VBAC) and who should avoid it? Get all the details here.
How many c-sections can you have: Tap this post to know the safety and effects of a repeat c-section and when should you consider this procedure.
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