Some women find pregnancy tremendously hard. They may struggle with aches and pains, fatigue, sickness, and more. Other women sail through it with a smile on their face.
Every woman’s experience and journey is different. But there are some common issues women have, and some things they should do while they’re pregnant to stay safe and keep their baby healthy.
Early on in your pregnancy, you’ll need to visit a doctor to make sure things are on track. They’ll put you on the best prenatal vitamin if you aren’t already.
From there, you’ll have frequent doctor’s appointments you should keep to safeguard your health and your baby’s health. You’ll want to focus on eating healthy foods and only gaining a reasonable amount of weight, normally about 25 to 35 pounds.
You should also make a special effort to stay well-hydrated by drinking about 80 ounces of water every day.
During pregnancy, your immune system is weakened. That can lead to dangerous situations from the flu and other viruses. You’ll be more susceptible to getting sick, and the consequences of getting sick can be dire.
Do your best to avoid germs and sick people when you’re pregnant. And if you do get sick, get the adequate rest you’ll need to recover. If there are any issues, contact your doctor immediately.
Other safety tips you should implement include:
- Taking a close look at the medications you are using and talk to your doctor about whether it’s safe to keep taking those.
- Staying away from drugs, nicotine, and alcohol.
- Watch your diet, avoiding non-safe foods for pregnant women, such as certain kinds of fish, deli meats, and soft cheeses.
- Avoiding hot tubs.
- Making sure to always wear your seatbelt.
- Staying within an hour or two of your hospital in the last trimester of pregnancy.
- Avoiding too much caffeine.
Exercise is wonderful for pregnant women. It can help strengthen your body, preparing you for the upcoming labor. Plus, it can help you deal with fatigue, stress, and weight gain of pregnancy. It can also help you manage some of the aches and pain that pregnancy causes.
If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, exercise is a great way to lower your blood sugar levels. Exercise is so good for pregnant women, that the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology encourages women to get 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity exercise on most days of the week. If you have complications that require bed rest, you’ll have to follow your doctor’s orders and skip exercising.
Pregnant women who have heart issues, severe asthma, a weak cervix, or bleeding or spotting may also be told to skip exercising.
The key to exercising during pregnancy is to remember you can’t do as much and at the same intensity as you did before your pregnancy. Instead, listen to your body and do what’s comfortable, even if it’s not as many minutes as it used to be.
Focus your workouts on pregnancy-friendly exercises such as walking, swimming, stationary bicycling, and low-impact aerobics.
You have to be careful with things like tennis or jogging if you didn’t do them before pregnancy. While they may be fine in early pregnancy, as you get bigger and struggle with your balance, you might want to swap them for other activities.
You’ll probably find you need more sleep while you’re pregnant than you did before. That’s normal.
Growing a baby is hard work. Your heart is working harder and pregnancy hormones may be making you more tired than usual.
Strive to get eight to ten hours of sleep each day. You also might find you need to take the occasional nap too. Don’t worry if you have the occasional night where you don’t sleep as much.
It can become harder to do in later pregnancy when every ache and pain, as well as your worries, may be keeping you awake.
If you’re feeling tired but you’ve gotten enough sleep, you can try to go for an energizing walk. That may help you wake up some.
In later pregnancy, you should avoid lying on your back when you sleep because it can decrease the blood flow to your baby and impact your own health from your uterus putting pressure on one of your key veins. Instead, you should sleep on your side.
If you find it increasingly difficult to sleep as your pregnancy progresses, you might find the best pregnancy pillow useful. That can help you create a comfortable position.
Aches and Pains
Aches and pains are common during pregnancy, especially the last trimester. If you have trouble with them, try to change the position you’re in and see if that helps. Many times, that can be enough to take the edge off of the pain so you can deal with it.
You may get headaches, belly pain, groin pain, backaches, tingling, numbness, and leg pain. To alleviate the pain, you can try gentle stretches, massages, and ice packs or heat packs. To prevent some of the pain from developing in the first place, avoid gaining too much weight and try to stay physically active.
These days, mommas-to-be have more options than ever before when it comes to maternity clothes. If you want, you can be super stylish even while pregnant.
Not everybody feels like spending a ton of money on clothes, they’ll only wear for a few months though. If that sounds like you, don’t sweat it. You can continue to wear baggier non-maternity clothes like sweatpants and t-shirts for as long as they fit.
Wear what makes you feel best.
One thing you may want to do is temporarily trade in some of your high heels for the best pregnancy shoes. They can be uncomfortable during pregnancy with your weight gain. Plus, you’ll likely already have balance issues in later pregnancy that may be made worse by high heels.
You’re going to notice some changes in your hair and skin while you’re pregnant.
Your hair may become thicker than before pregnancy because of your old friend, pregnancy hormones. Enjoy that while it lasts. But some women don’t notice any difference in that department, or they may even experience hair loss.
You’re at high risk for stretch marks during pregnancy. They can show up on your chest, hips, stomach, and your bottom.
Keeping your weight under control by only gaining how much your doctor advises can help.
While there is no fool-proof method of avoiding them, you can try to minimize them by keeping your skin well-hydrated. You can do that by drinking enough water every day and using moisturizers such as cocoa butter on your skin, or the best stretch mark creams.
Your diet may also help you fight off stretch marks. Eat foods rich in zinc, vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin E, and protein to avoid as many as you can.
Other skin issues you might notice during pregnancy include:
- Dark spots, including a line from your belly button to your pubic area.
- Stretch marks.
- Spider veins.
- Varicose veins.
- Itchy skin.
Most pregnancy skin conditions aren’t a reason to be worried, but they can be annoying. If you get concerned about anything you see, talk to your doctor.