A handy guide of dos and don’ts for first time moms
If you are expecting a baby for the first time, you must be as anxious as happy. Though this phase of life is completely new to you, it doesn’t have to be full of doubts. While well-wishers might bombard you with a whole host of tips and advice during this period, remember to consult your doctor for the best guidance.
Remember that the first three months of pregnancy is the most crucial time. This is when the foetus starts growing fast and the important organs start developing in the womb. So here is a handy list of dos and don’ts for first time mothers.
- Make sure to go for an early consultation with an obstetrician right after you find out about your pregnancy. Regular checkups that tell you about the progress of your unborn baby as well as your own health condition are necessary at this stage.
- Always find a doctor who you are comfortable interacting with. Try to avoid changing your consultant doctor mid-way through the pregnancy.
- In case of morning sickness, it is important to eat small amounts of food which do not emit strong smells. Try having ginger biscuits, plain toast, or a glass of lemonade to fight the symptoms of nausea.
- A folic acid supplement is extremely important in order to avoid neural tube defects in the unborn baby. Follow the dosage that is suggested by your doctor. Ensure that you take your supplement every single day.
- Intake of nutrients like folic acid, calcium, iron, protein, iodine, vitamin C, vitamin B12 and vitamin D is vital during this period.
- Try and eat foods with low pesticide residue, like organic foods. Eat foods rich in mineral, vitamins, antioxidants, and proteins.
- Add lean proteins, fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables and whole grains to your diet. Bananas, blueberries, apples, carrots, spinach and oranges are good additions especially.
- To get your daily dose of healthy fats, eat walnuts or almonds.
- You can also carry out normal daily activities unless advised otherwise.
- Certain yoga postures may be helpful in eliminating pregnancy stress and promoting good health. However, only engage in any form of exercise after you consult your doctor.
- Walking is the best physical activity for a pregnant woman. It keeps you fit, stress-free and also tones your muscles. Walking can help control blood sugar and blood pressure levels too.
- Join a prenatal program that will educate you about the right diet, fitness activity and ways to take care of your child. Such programs can also help you deal with stress, fear and tension in a better way.
- It is crucial to accept all the physical changes that take place during pregnancy, for a positive experience.
- One of the major things to avoid during early pregnancy is self-medication. Taking medicine without a doctor’s prescription may lead to serious health issues that may risk both the mother and the baby.
- Avoid consuming spicy and oily foods, to prevent gastrointestinal disorders like heartburn etc. You should also avoid foods that are rich in sodium or sugar content.
- Remember that alcohol consumption and smoking must be stopped completely. The foetal liver cannot process alcohol the way an adult’s liver does. And smoking can lead to low birth weight babies or premature birth.
- Avoid high levels of caffeine intake by reducing coffee and tea consumption.
- Avoid foods that contain preservatives and added colours and flavours. Read nutrition labels carefully for this.
- Avoid drinking carbonated beverages and soft drinks. They only provide empty calories and can cause obesity as well.
- Avoid eating large meals as they can cause acidity and indigestion. Try and eat 5 or 6 small meals throughout the day.
- Keep stress at bay by engaging in a hobby and avoid activities that may disrupt your sleep.
- Do not overdo any exercise or even yoga.
- Never neglect any unusual symptom such as bleeding from the vagina, painful urination, sudden sharp pain, or blurred vision.
It might seem like there are many dos and don’ts during pregnancy that a woman needs to follow. However, with time, you will get used to these, as the above tips can ensure a hassle-free pregnancy. Plus, it will help the baby inside your womb to develop optimally.