Things First Time Parents Need To Know – The joy of motherhood is unlike any other. But, it brings with it many responsibilities and a wave of mixed emotions. So, here we bring you some important things to know about pregnancy, especially for first-time expecting mothers.

It’s natural to be hyper-cautious about everything during pregnancy, and even the slightest changes can make you anxious. Therefore, it is important for you to be prepared and know about the necessary steps to be taken before and during pregnancy.

Things First Time Parents Need To Know

Things First Time Parents Need To Know

Starting with regular doctor visits to prepare for the baby’s arrival, you should be aware of all the requirements to have a comfortable and safe pregnancy journey. So, read on as we tell you everything about pregnancy for first-time mothers.

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Here are 20 must-know things about pregnancy. Knowing these will make your pregnancy more enjoyable and memorable.

Once you miss your period, you may experience some symptoms such as nausea, mild back pain, mood swings, tender or swollen breasts, morning sickness and cravings for certain foods (1). Many times, wrong symptoms lead to confusion. Understand that there are some solid signs that indicate you are pregnant. One way to confirm your pregnancy is to conduct a home-based urine test using kits available in the market. You can also take a pregnancy test from a doctor.

It is essential to make sure you are pregnant. If home pregnancy tests show ambiguous results, you should go to an ob-gyn to confirm your pregnancy.

Many couples visit a doctor before planning a baby to make sure their first-time pregnancy is healthy and without complications. After confirming your pregnancy, it is important to visit your doctor regularly. Choose a good gynecologist and never skip monthly check-ups to ensure maternal and fetal health. Moreover, it is also necessary to curb any developmental disorders at an early stage (2).

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This is one of the most important points to remember during pregnancy. Once you’ve conceived, it’s a good idea to discuss your mother’s, grandmother’s or aunt’s pregnancy. This will help you learn about any genetic disorders or birth anomalies in the family line. This type of information prepares you for any potential problems and takes preventive measures if necessary (3).

X From pregnancy to the time before the delivery appointment, your doctor will inform you about the vaccination shots you need to take next. Let it be normal tetanus

X Infection with Clostridium tetani, found in faeces, soil and corroded surfaces, can cause muscle spasms, stiffness and fever or flu shot, get shots without fail. Vaccination prevents you from getting sick. Remember, some diseases in newly pregnant mothers can seriously impair the physical and mental health of the fetus. So, be safe, be sure.

Things First Time Parents Need To Know

Flu vaccine, Tdap and Covid-19 vaccines will be recommended for pregnant women in the United States in 2022, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey. Of these prescriptions, 49.6% of the 2,015 women were prescribed the flu vaccine, 44% of the 838 women received the Tdap vaccine, and 61% received more than one Covid-19 vaccine.

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There is a myth that vaccinating pregnant mothers poses a health risk to the baby. However, there is no evidence to prove this. Live attenuated virus and live bacterial vaccines are not indicated during pregnancy. The benefits of vaccinating pregnant women outweigh the potential risk (4).

Pregnancy is divided into three stages, each consisting of three months, called trimesters. With each passing phase, physiological changes occur in your body in the form of hormonal changes, blood pressure, respiration and metabolism. Such changes should be monitored from the beginning of pregnancy to understand the other stages and your progress through them. It is also important to know your delivery date, which is often determined by the date of your last menstrual period. A normal delivery can occur anywhere between 37 and 40 weeks (4).

Usually the first sign of pregnancy is considered missed periods. However, some women experience bleeding in the early stages of pregnancy, which can cause confusion when it comes to menstrual bleeding.

X A hollow tube-like structure that connects the ovary to the uterus and to the uterus, where it implants into the lining of the uterus (implantation bleeding or spotting). The best way to identify it is by its color. It is often brown or pink in color, in contrast to the normal red color of menstrual blood. Although this is not a point of concern, it is advisable to consult a doctor.

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Most women worry about gaining weight for the first time during their pregnancy and are eager to lose it in the early post-pregnancy phase. Your weight gain depends on your BMI (Body Mass Index) before pregnancy. If you are overweight when you conceive, you are advised to consume fewer calories than those of normal weight. The basic idea is to support proper fetal development by providing all the essential nutrients. So eating the right meals and understanding the needs of the baby is a priority (5).

Along with a regular dose of vitamins and health supplements, you should have a nutritious, healthy and balanced diet. A doctor will, in general, provide a proper diet chart based on your unique nutritional needs. Take small and frequent meals.

Also, you should stay away from alcohol and caffeine products as they can increase the chances of premature delivery, congenital malformations.

Things First Time Parents Need To Know

Your daily exercise will ensure smooth functioning of your body. Remember, childbirth is a laborious process that demands a lot of energy. Only a healthy body can withstand different stages of labor. Exercises help in relieving the common discomforts that one experiences during pregnancy. They strengthen your muscles to withstand the pain of pregnancy. Results show that a proper exercise routine by a pregnant mother can significantly support the development of your baby’s entire system (7).

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Emerging scientific studies shed some light on the benefits of physical activity on mother and baby as some form of exercise becomes the norm among pregnant women. The graph below depicts the prevalence of activities among pregnant and non-pregnant women. It can be inferred from the graph that more pregnant women choose walking as a physical activity than non-pregnant women, indicating that it is a safe exercise during pregnancy.

Getting pregnant is not easy. There will be discomfort throughout the period. Activities such as standing or sitting for long periods of time that you were previously able to engage in will now be prohibited or become very difficult for you to do. Problems like constipation and vomiting drain your energy. A healthy diet and adequate rest can help reduce discomfort (8). If you are worried about your discomfort, consult your doctor. They may suggest some tests like ultrasound to ensure your health and monitor the fetus.

Traveling is fine in the early stages, but it can get dangerous as your due date approaches. Many airlines do not allow female passengers who are more than 36 weeks pregnant. If your travel is unavoidable, consult your doctor and take necessary precautions. There may be cases where a doctor’s certificate is a prerequisite for travel (9).

If none of these complications exist, your doctor may allow you to travel. Most doctors allow travel in the second trimester but may ask you to avoid it in the first and third trimesters.

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Always be positive. The right approach makes you strong enough to face challenges at every stage of pregnancy. Psychologists confirm that a good mental makeup of the mother has a great effect on the fetus. Prepare ahead, as a well-informed mother can handle the initial stressful days postpartum.

You may be worried about the state of your career when your baby arrives. Don’t try to push your existing career into your new role as a mother. A good job with motherhood is an ideal choice. You can rebuild your career once your children are grown and independent. If you are already working, talk to your HR about the company’s maternity leave policy and focus on using the leave period to take better care of your child.

A study published in the Journal of Labor Economics cites that pregnant women who worked until their eighth month had babies that were half a pound lighter than those who stopped working earlier. Pregnancy can put a huge strain on your body and therefore, you cannot be too stressed at work. If you can’t take a break from work, take frequent breaks in between.

Things First Time Parents Need To Know

Having a comprehensive birth plan is important. You need to plan where you want to give birth – hospital, nursing home, etc. It is important to choose a location that suits you and your family’s needs. The hospital should be decided by your doctor’s expertise, their reliability, hygiene and other factors such as distance from home and surroundings of the birth place. Choosing a place in advance and visiting there will make you comfortable for your D-day (10).

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