Finding out that you’re pregnant is a moment of wonder and joy for a woman. The growing life inside you will now take up a lot of your attention and focus. While you will wonder about sex and nursery colors and names, it’s also important to consider that your body and your growing baby are going through some very intense changes–at a rapid pace.
With all these changes, new emotions, and new sensations taking place, it can be hard to know what to focus on. If you are in the early stages of pregnancy and are looking for advice on things you should know as an expectant mother, here are 8 facts every mom-to-be should know.
- You have to confirm you are pregnant
While this may seem silly, if you are thinking that you might be pregnant but have yet to have it confirmed, it’s important that you visit your doctor to confirm your pregnancy. Your doctor will also be able to confirm how far along you most likely are and prepare you for the rest of your pregnancy. While you might “feel” pregnant, the only way to know for sure that you’re carrying is to have it confirmed by a doctor.
- Your pre-natal check-ups are vital
After your doctor confirms your pregnancy, you will need to make regular visits to check on the growth of the fetus and your own health. Pre-natal check-ups will help you maintain a healthy pregnancy and keep an eye on any complications that may be arising.
- You will need to get vaccinations
With each visit, your doctor will most likely inform you of any vaccinations you should be getting. From the flu shot to keeping your tetanus vaccination up-to-date, vaccinations will help maintain your health and the health of your baby.
- Bleeding can occur during a healthy pregnancy
Some bleeding can happen during the early stages of pregnancy, and it might not be any cause for concern. A small amount of blood can appear when the egg travels down the fallopian tube and implants into the uterine wall. This blood is usually pink or brown and occurs very early in pregnancy.
- No one gains the same amount during pregnancy
Your weight gain during pregnancy depends on your BMI. If you are overweight when your pregnancy starts, you will be advised to put on less weight than someone of normal weight. Eating the right foods and understanding the needs of the fetus should be your primary concern at this point, over a specific amount of weight being gained.
- You will need to be careful about eating certain things
While it’s important that you eat healthy, certain things that were considered healthy before are not permitted while pregnant. Raw fish, unpasteurized products, organ meats, and unwashed produce or raw sprouts are all considered dangerous for a pregnant woman and should be avoided.
- You should stay active
While you shouldn’t take up a strenuous weightlifting regimen when you learn that you’re pregnant, staying physically active is of the utmost importance. Physical activity will ensure a smoother delivery and will help strengthen your muscles in preparation for labor. Being physically fit will also help you ride out your contractions better and will make your contractions more intense (ouch, we know), but shorter! Learn how to time contractions properly before you go into labor to better understand how far along you are in your labor.
- Buy what you need before the baby arrives
Your baby shower is for good reason! Collecting all the items you need before your baby is born is invaluable so that you don’t have to rush around as your due date approaches, or need to go shopping right after you take your baby home!