Your Pregnancy Health
There was a time when pregnant women were treated as invalids, told to rest up and do very little for 9 months. Sounds great you might think - but try lying around doing virtually nothing for three trimesters - you'll soon get bored! Thankfully, women today are encouraged to take control of their own pregnancy health.
There's no 100% surefire method of preventing pregnancy health problems. However, now that we understand more to about pregnancy, maternity, and women's health in general, it's possible to teach women how to prepare for being pregnant and how to stay healthy while they're expecting. So much so, that many women carry on working into the later stages of the third trimester with no problems at all.
A Mother's Health During Pregnancy
A pregnant mother's health has a direct impact on the health of her fetus. If she has problems before she gets pregnant (such as being overweight, having a preexisting medical condition - like PCOS or endometriosis - or even being infected with an STI) these can influence fetal development in the womb.
As a woman progresses through the pregnancy stages, her health continues to be of crucial importance. She needs, in particular, to be on the lookout for symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, preterm labor, or other conditions such as preeclampsia. All of these conditions can be harmful to her baby, and possibly to her too.
First Trimester Health
Being pregnant isn't always fun, particularly in the first trimester. This is when the mother-to-be experiences early signs of pregnancy, which unfortunately include morning sickness and constipation. These symptoms can begin after just 2 weeks, but this is less common. By the time most women are close to 5 weeks pregnant, these early pregnancy signs will be making their presence felt.
Some women worry that these symptoms could be harmful, after all, we associate nausea and vomiting with illness, but this is not usually the case. If your problems are severe, you should speak to your doctor. Remember that the severity of pregnancy symptoms varies from woman to woman.
Despite their discomfort, some women find these pregnancy signs reassuring evidence that they really are pregnant, particularly if they have been trying to conceive for a long time.
Pregnancy Discharge Worries
Increased vaginal discharge during pregnancy is very common, but causes some women to be concerned. It's very normal to have more discharge than you did before you got pregnant. The increase is caused by rising levels of pregnancy hormones such as estrogen in your body.
Pregnancy discharge is a sign of a problem only when it's clear fluid instead of a milky discharge - this could possibly be a symptom of an amniotic leak. If this happens, see your doctor immediately. It's also important to get medical help if your discharge is bloody or changes color significantly - depending on your pregnancy stage, this can be a sign of possible miscarriage, pre-term labor, or an infection.
Fetus Health Issues
The health of the fetus during pregnancy can be improved through good preparation for pregnancy before conception even takes place.
Planning For A Healthy Baby
Preparing yourself to carry and give birth to a healthy child involves a number of factors which will benefit you during pregnancy and make you better able to cope with maternity after your baby is born.
One important element is following a good pre-pregnancy diet and losing weight if necessary. Weight loss boosts fertility and helps to prevent pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes. This condition can make the fetus grow very large, possibly resulting in pre-term labor. A well balanced pre-pregnancy diet should be enhanced with folic acid supplements. These help to prevent birth defects.
Remember that a healthy pregnancy diet should always be combined with an appropriate exercise regime. Dieting alone may produce short-term weight loss, but only rarely does it result in long-term maintenance of a healthy weight. Also, physically fit women generally find labor easier.
Quit Your Bad Habits Before Pregnancy
Now is the time to stop smoking, drinking alcohol or taking any drugs or medications, legal or otherwise, which could potentially harm your baby. Be aware that some anti-depressants can have a damaging effect on a fetus. It's therefore advisable to see your doctor before you start trying to get pregnant, and be totally honest with him about your habits and about any medications you're using.
Your Baby's Health During Pregnancy
Of course, many women who weren't planning for pregnancy don't even think of fetus health issues until they miss a period and discover that they're 5 weeks pregnant already. If you're in this situation, don't panic. Even if you've been smoking and drinking during early pregnancy, it's not too late to stop. Speak to your doctor about your concerns, and again, be honest with him about the medications or drugs you've consumed since you got pregnant.
Pregnancy Weight Gain
Pregnancy weight gain, within a healthy limit, has an important and positive impact on fetus health. When you're pregnant, you should put on weight - it's good for you and for your baby. This doesn't mean that you should take the idea of "eating for two" to an extreme. An overall gain of between 25 and 35 pounds for the whole pregnancy is considered safe. If you go over that, there could possibly be some health consequences for you and the baby.
If you are overweight at the beginning of your pregnancy, your doctor will recommend that you are extremely careful about what you eat and that you try to avoid significant weight gain. He'll give you advice on how to do this. He'll probably set you a lower than normal weight gain target.
Whatever your pregnancy health concerns, know that you can do a lot improve your health and that of your baby at this important time. Use the resources here at pregnancy-info.net, and speak to your doctor for professional advice.