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Being pregnant can let you experience lots of joy, but a whole lot of trepidation at the same time. While you try to be as careful and cautious throughout your pregnancy, and take the advice that everyone gives you very seriously, you might unknowingly make mistakes. Here are some common mistakes every pregnant mummy make and you might be making right now, and how you can do some damage control.
You have another living being in your body now, and your first thought is to eat more to feed both you and your baby, but it might actually be doing more harm than good. An adult’s daily calorie requirement is between 1800 to 200 calories, but the foetus growing inside you will not need the same. What your child needs is correct nutrition, and piling up your plate with food will just give you unnecessary weight gain, which can lead to preeclampsia, diabetes, or even cause you to have complications in delivery.
What you should do: You actually only need 300 calories more than your normal intake when you’re pregnant. Check your diet, and move all the excess food from your current diet. Stick to fruits, vegetables, and nuts and eggs. Have six small balanced meals throughout the day and keep hydrated by drinking lots of water.
Pregnancy is a scary thing – your body becomes highly sensitive to many products, and allergies you never knew you had will pop up. When you’re pregnant, you are actually supposed to refrain from using antacids, paracetamol, or even acne creams. Self-medication can actually have an adverse effect on your pregnancy. Using over-the-counter medications might lead to deformities in your baby.
What you should do: If you have been self-medicating due to experience symptoms like acidity, headache, or an acne break out, stop. Call your doctor for an appointment instead, and only take pills prescribed by your doctor.
We know, being pregnant can be tough, and sometimes you sacrifice sleep to get a work-life balance; but doing so when pregnant will be detrimental. The hormonal and physical changes that happen within your body during pregnancy means that you need more rest, and less sleep will add to your pregnancy fatigue.
What you should do: If you are sleeping for less that five to six hours a day, it’s time to hit the sack more. Try going to bed an hour earlier, or waking up an hour later. Napping on weekends is also important to help you catch up on sleep you have lost throughout the week.
If you have a sweet tooth, it’s a good practice to limit your sweet intake a little after the second trimester. Putting a check on your sweet intake will help you prevent the chances of suffering from gestational diabetes and other allied problems, but stressing yourself about not having a bite of your favorite sugary treat will only increase anxiety levels in you, which in turn can affect your baby’s well-being.
What you should do: Is you’re craving for something sweet, have a bar of dark chocolate and munch on some fruit chips. If you really have to have that slice of cake, go ahead, but ask a friend of relative to watch you and monitor your intake.
Pregnancy can be stressful and leave you tired and exhausted. All this fatigue can take away attention from your baby bump — unless you experience your baby’s kick. But that’s not a healthy way to be reminded about your baby. Experts say that it is essential to bond with your baby-bump before you receive the actual reward.
What you should do: Put a hand on your belly and while gently caressing it, talk to your baby, often. Paying attention to your baby bump helps you bond with your baby and stimulates it’s senses too. But it is never too late, even if you have reached your third trimester you can still experience these blissful baby-bump moments.
If you are a ‘non-exerciser’ you will tend find excuses to sit back and relax. Most women would say that their daily commute, taking the stairs in their office, residence building or doing the usual household chores constitutes enough exercises and help burn those extra calories. But not exercising during pregnancy can harm your body like no other. Exercise helps to combat stress hormones, boosts circulation, prepare the body for labour and delivery and help in fetal growth and development. Remember daily wear and tear is no substitute for exercise.
What you should do: Start exercising from the initial days of your pregnancy. If you are a beginner, discuss your plan with your doctor and how you should go about it. If you have already started hitting the gym, have a detailed discussion with your trainer on how you can alter your regimen to suit your special needs. Remember not to do anything drastic or take up any new challenges during your pregnancy. Most importantly avoid putting any pressure on your core (stomach muscles). If you are well into your pregnancy and have not exercised enough, start to make time for it. Take walks after dinner or in the morning and slowly graduate to pregnancy yoga, but get yourself a coach or practitioner to help you stay on the right track.
Some women avoid sex when they are pregnant. This is a personal choice between couples and it is important to remember that there is a lot more to intimacy than sex. You should realise though that you can’t hurt your baby by making love and it is perfectly safe and acceptable to continue to have sex right up until you go into labour.
What you should do: As long as your pregnancy has progressed normally, you should still be able to have sex in your last months, provided you’re not carrying multiples. Despite all the myths, no link has been established between preterm labor and sex in the last trimester. Lying flat on your back at this late stage in pregnancy, though, is not a good idea. Talk to your doctor or midwife about positions that are still safe.
The same goes for feeling sad or depressed in pregnancy. Contrary to popular belief, depression does not just affect women who have already given birth. Approximately one in ten pregnant women will suffer from some form of depression during pregnancy. It can be tricky to diagnose mood disorders during pregnancy because some of the symptoms can overlap with symptoms of pregnancy, such as changes in appetite, energy levels, concentration, or sleep. It’s also normal to have some degree of worry over the health of the pregnancy.
What you should do: If you experience persistent symptoms of depression and/or anxiety, especially if you’re unable to function normally, it’s not a time to suffer in silence. Talk to someone so you can get the help you need to enjoy your pregnancy.
During your pregnancy, the focus will be very much on you and your growing bump so it’s common for partners to feel a little neglected. You may get resistance from relatives who consider child care to be only a woman’s domain. Talking to your husband about such criticism may help you both figure out how you want to tackle the situation.
What you should do: You can help your partner feel involved in your pregnancy in several ways. It’s likely your partner is feeling anxious about what might happen in the delivery room, so attending scans and antenatal classes together is a great place to start. Classes offer a safe and supportive environment from which they can get the information they need.
Everybody told you there is nothing to be learnt from your antenatal class, and you will learn more about pregnancy experiencing it on your own. But ask yourself, ‘Do you know enough about post natal care?’ ‘How to breastfeed right?’ ‘What to eat to lactate well?’ ‘What exercises should you do during pregnancy?’ ‘How to manage labour?’. Sure there will be family to help you. But there is no harm if you want to do it on your own and here is where antenatal classes come in handy. Antenatal classes will give you all the information you might on pregnancy and childcare and prepare you for the onslaught of delivery.
What you should do: Pick up a class during your first trimester when things are still in the nascent stage. In this way, you will have a lot of time to learn and do the right things for you and your baby. If you have missed out then look for a crash course in an antenatal program. You sure won’t be disappointed.