Are you thinking of getting pregnant? Here are a few tips we recommend:
- Be patient, it takes some women several months, or longer, to get pregnant
- Get plenty of rest
- Add folic acid to your diet
- Avoid smoking, alcohol, and taking over-the-counter medications – without speaking to your doctor
- If you are on prescription medications, it is important to review these with your physician to see if they are safe to use during pregnancy
Or have you just found out you are going to have a baby? Congratulations, you are about to experience an amazing transformation. During the next 40 weeks your body becomes a specialized incubator; nourishing and protecting your baby until he or she is ready to face the world. You may experience some “side-effects” of this transformation:
- Nausea and vomiting – increased hormone production can cause this in some women. Normally, it subsides after the first trimester.
- Tender and enlarged breasts. Nipples become larger and darker. – these are completely normal as your body prepares for motherhood.
- Frequent urination – may increase as the baby grows. Some women experience leaking when laughing or coughing. Relax this is temporary.
- Lower back and hip pain – the increasing weight in your pelvis can cause a persistent ache. Doing stretching exercises can help alleviate some pain.
- Constipation – be sure to eat a high fiber diet and drink plenty of water
- Mood Swings – similar to PMS, the flood of hormones can cause swings
- Headaches – minor headaches are normal as your body adjusts to increased blood volume. If you experience severe or persistent pain you should report this to your doctor immediately.
- Dizziness and heart racing – your fluid volume is increasing dramatically. While these can both be normal, harmless, and common during pregnancy it is important to report to your doctor if you experience fainting or feel any shortness of breath.
- Vaginal Discharge – increased vaginal blood flow and hormones
- Stuffy nose and sensitive gums– increased blood flow and hormones can cause mucus membranes to swell. Use saline spray to moisturize your nasal passages. Occasional bleeding is also normal, if it persists or you show signs of illness please contact your doctor.
- Skin changes happen throughout the pregnancy. You may notice dark patches, spider veins, varicose veins, and skin tags. Most of these are temporary and fade after pregnancy. If you are concerned about these changes be sure to speak to your doctor at your next appointment.
- Swelling feet and hands – swelling is normal in most healthy pregnancies, if you experience sudden or severe swelling please report this to your doctor immediately – especially if it is accompanied by a headache.