Being pregnant is a very exciting time in the life of a woman. And while it can be filled with nervousness and uncertainty for first-time moms, there are also many joys to look forward to when expecting your first child. Preparing for your first pregnancy calls for adequate planning, especially from an obstetrician-gynecologist and lactation consultant advice. In preparation for the road ahead, here are some useful tips that will make your first pregnancy less stressful and more enjoyable:
Do your research
To make sure that you are in good hands during your pregnancy journey, it is important to do your research and find a doctor that is right for you. Ideally, you should start to look for an obstetrician-gynecologist (OB/GYN) doctor who specializes in pregnancy care at least 8-9 months before you plan to start your pregnancy. First of all, you should research to understand what an OB/GYN is and what services they offer. In general, OB/GYNs are medical doctors who specialize in the care of women throughout their lives and provide care in many areas, including obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive health.
Choose the right OB/GYN doctor and place of delivery
Apart from discussing your expectations and goals, there are other important factors that you should take into account when choosing an OB/GYN. These include the OB/GYN’s education and training, board certification, practice style, availability, insurance coverage, and feedback from previous patients. The availability of an OB/GYN is an important factor to consider. Ideally, you should find an OB/GYN who is available when you need them the most. If you plan to deliver your baby using a provider or a hospital, you also need to make sure that the facility you choose is appropriate for your desired birth plan. If you are finding it difficult to choose the right OB/GYN doctor and place of delivery, you can also seek advice from Newton OB/GYN physicians, your family, friends, or your partner. Alternatively, you can also read reviews from other pregnant women and decide from there.
Eat a healthy diet
As a first-time pregnant woman, it is crucial that you follow a healthy diet. This is because your body will be undergoing tremendous changes during pregnancy, and eating well will help you stay healthy and energized. Ideally, you should consume around 300 extra calories per day in the first three months of your pregnancy. After the first trimester, you will need to increase your daily calorie intake by about 300 calories more until the end of your pregnancy. Your OB/GYN or midwife will be able to identify the exact nutritional requirements based on your BMI and medical history. In general, you should eat more of the following:
- Iron-rich foods: Consuming iron-rich foods will help you prevent iron-deficiency anemia. Iron is important for fetal growth and development, and pregnant women are more prone to iron-deficiency anemia because of blood loss during delivery. Good sources of iron include red meat, beans, peas, lentils, pumpkin seeds, and dark leafy greens such as spinach, Swiss chard, and collard greens.
- Protein-rich foods: Protein is important for fetal growth and development. Protein deficiency can cause your baby to be born smaller and with a lower birth weight, which can have lifelong implications. Good sources of protein include fish, poultry, legumes, and dairy products.
- Vitamin-rich foods: Vitamin-rich foods are required for fetal development. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that protects your baby from harmful substances. Folate (also known as folic acid or vitamin B9) is vital for fetal growth and development. Carrots, broccoli, spinach, oranges, grapefruits, potatoes, dark leafy greens, and peanuts are some good sources of vitamin C and folate.
- Calcium-rich foods: Calcium is important for your baby’s bone development and also for your own bone health. Your OB/GYN or midwife will recommend how much calcium you need daily. Good sources of calcium include milk and other dairy products, almonds, sesame seeds, beans, broccoli, oranges, and tangerines.
Additionally, according to a licensed lactation consultant, breastfeeding is a proven way to provide nutrients and comfort for both mom and baby. While the benefits of breastfeeding are well documented, there are also many dietary considerations to be aware of. A nutritious diet that includes plenty of healthy fats, vegetables, and protein can support a healthy pregnancy and breastfeeding experience.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when preparing for a baby is your diet. Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables offers important nutritional benefits such as vitamins A, C, and K, folate, iron, and iodine. These foods are also known to help prevent digestive issues and constipation. Alcohol should be avoided completely while trying to conceive because it can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut. If you’re already pregnant or nursing, there are also some other things you should know about nutrition:
- Eat smaller meals throughout the day instead of three big meals
- Consume more protein than you normally do (at least 20-30 grams per day)
- Reduce caffeine intake (coffee, tea, soda)
Exercising during pregnancy is not only healthy but also recommended. There are, however, some types of exercises that you should avoid during pregnancy such as scuba diving, hunting, boxing, racquetball, and downhill skiing. Ideally, you should start exercising at least three months before you get pregnant. During pregnancy, you should stick to low-impact exercises such as yoga, swimming, walking, and prenatal yoga. You should also consult your OB/GYN before starting an exercise routine. The best way to stay fit and healthy during pregnancy is to exercise regularly. Exercising regularly during pregnancy will help you avoid gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, and hypertension. It will also help you reduce back pain, swelling, and fatigue.
Get enough rest
During pregnancy, your body will undergo many changes. And while it is important to stay active and healthy, it is also important to get enough rest. Ideally, you should rest for at least 30 minutes every day. Getting enough rest during pregnancy will help you stay away from exhaustion, reduce stress, and avoid developing sleep apnea. Getting enough rest is also important when it comes to your baby’s health. For example, it will help your baby grow properly, reduce the risk of premature labor, and reduce the risk of low-birth weight. If you are planning to get pregnant, make sure that you get enough rest. This will help you reduce stress and increase your energy levels. Ideally, you should also get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every day.
Take care of your skin and hair
As a pregnant woman, it is important to take care of not only your health but also your appearance. During pregnancy, it is important to practice safe skincare to avoid any complications. Ideally, you should wash your face twice a day with a mild cleanser and apply a moisturizer afterward. You should also wear sunscreen when going out in the sun and avoid using hair products that contain harsh chemicals. During pregnancy, women often experience changes in their hair, such as dryness, dullness, excessive shedding, and changes in texture. You can combat these changes by using a good conditioner and drinking plenty of water.
Being pregnant for the first time can be an exciting, yet challenging experience. It is a wonderful journey that comes with a lot of changes in your body and lifestyle. To make sure that you are in good hands during your pregnancy journey, it is important to do your research and find an obstetrician-gynecologist who is right for you. Ideally, you should start looking for an OB/GYN doctor who specializes in pregnancy care at least 8-9 months before you plan to start your pregnancy.