We know it can be an emotional, exciting and overwhelming time. There is a lot to think about all of a sudden!
In a normal pregnancy, you will see your Ob/Gyn every month until about the sixth month; then every two weeks during the seventh and eighth months, and then weekly until labor.
These prenatal visits are important! We are here to monitor you and baby every step of the way and answer the (many!) questions we know you will have.
Your first trimester might seem like a whirlwind. After the initial excitement subsides a bit, it’s time to focus on the two most important things: Your health and the health of your baby.
You will probably feel tired, and even a little nauseous during your first trimester. Your body is working hard to create a new little bundle, so rest often and give yourself breaks when needed.
Most morning sickness disappears by the end of the first trimester, but until it does, eat small meals throughout the day if you can, avoid fatty or greasy foods, nap, and remember to take your prenatal vitamins!
Some women, unfortunately, experience severe morning sickness. Keep an eye on your symptoms. Call your Ob/Gyn right away if any of the following occurs:
Start building a plan around who you will tell and when. It is best to wait until the completion of the first trimester to share the great news. If you work, start thinking about a plan post-baby.
By now, you are hopefully feeling much better! Some of your energy has returned and you’ve kicked your morning sickness goodbye.
Get some Activity In
Moderate exercise, when done safely, is perfectly acceptable and healthy for you and baby. Go for a walk, take a safe yoga class, go for a bike ride or even take a swim.
Get ready for some small but subtle physical changes as your baby grows and your body makes room.
Some women experience “pregnancy mask” – dark spots on the cheeks and forehead due to increased hormone production.
You might begin to see white or pink stretch marks on your stomach or abdomen. This is normal, as your pelvis and uterus are widening.
You may notice you’ve developed linea nigra: this is the dark line that runs from your naval to your pubic bone. It will fade after the baby is born.
Now is the perfect time to flip through magazines or start pinning like crazy on Pinterest – everything from nursery decor to baby food makers!
What if I Get Sick?
It is inevitable that you might come down with a cold during your pregnancy. This can be challenging as there aren’t a lot of medications approved to be taking while pregnant.
Consult with your Ob/Gyn or primary care physician on which medicine you can take to alleviate cold symptoms.
The Centers for Disease Control advises: “Don’t make decisions about medication use during pregnancy based on lists you find online. Instead use the lists as a starting point to talk with your doctor.”
Somewhere between your 24th and 28th week or pregnancy, you will take a gestational diabetes test or the “glucose test.” This is a routine test that checks a pregnant woman’s blood glucose (sugar) level.
Often gestational diabetes can be controlled through eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Sometimes a woman with gestational diabetes must also take insulin.
Read more about gestational diabetes here.
Wow! Time flies! Before you know it, you are coming up on your 28th week or pregnancy and are officially in the third trimester.
Emotionally, you might be starting to feel a bit like a roller coaster. Knowing your baby will arrive soon can be joyous and intense. Many women begin nesting by cleaning, finishing up projects in the nursery or around the house, preparing meals for their freezers, or other domestic-endeavors to alleviate the added stress once the baby arrives.
By now you should have signed up for a Birthing Class. These are informal but extremely helpful in keeping you calm when it comes time for delivery. You will learn about the pain management options available to you, breathing techniques, get a tour of the birthing facility, and learn about infant safety care.
You’ll spend a lot of time reading up on cord blood banking, circumcisions and breastfeeding support tips. You’ll watch 25 swaddling You Tube demonstrations, research the best bottles to buy, and in general trying to figure out what to do once the baby arrives.
Don’t forget to pack your hospital bag! While there are many lists available with great ideas, here are some of the very basics to remember:
And don’t worry too much about the things you might have forgotten — most hospitals are happy to accommodate anything you might have forgotten – and many hospital gift shops are accessible for everything from gum to balloons.