Upon learning the news that they are pregnant, many women are flooded with emotions–and questions. Pregnancy is a time filled with uncertain excitement. While worrying about the health of your growing baby is normal, living with constant concern can become tiresome. You can assuage some of this concern by asking questions of your health practitioner and educating yourself on the subject of pregnancy and childbirth.
Why Am I Experiencing Bleeding?
Any vaginal bleeding can be alarming for a mom-to-be; however, vaginal bleeding is not always a sign that something is going wrong. In fact, 25 to 30 percent of all women experience some type of bleeding during their pregnancy, according to AmericanPregnancy. This bleeding can be due to a number of things and does not always spell disaster. Although very light bleeding is nothing to worry about, if you experience bleeding that continues to increase in intensity and is paired with back pain, see your doctor immediately.
How Much Weight Should I Be Gaining?
Gaining weight is an expected part of pregnancy, but gaining too much weight too quickly could leave you prone to pregnancy-related complications. A 2010 Reuters article cautions that women who gain more than one-half pound a week, or 6 lbs. total, during their first trimester are significantly more likely to develop gestational diabetes. According to the March of Dimes, women should expect to gain between 1 and 4 1/2 lbs. during their first trimester. As you start your pregnancy, remember that gaining weight is not something that you need to rush to do; instead allow your hunger to dictate your eating habits, and you will gain weight gradually.
What Should, and Shouldn’t, I Be Eating?
The food that a pregnant mom eats doesn’t just fulfill her nutritional needs but also feeds her developing baby. While you are pregnant, you should focus on eating as much healthy food as you can. Fruits and vegetables are great for you and baby, as are whole-wheat breads and pastas and low-fat, high-protein meats such as chicken and lean beef.
For baby’s safety, pregnant women should avoid anything that presents a high risk of passing food-borne illness. Avoid soft cheeses, as these are commonly unpasteurized, according to BabyCentre. Also avoid rare meats and undercooked eggs. When cooking, take extra precautions to ensure that you properly wash your hands and sanitize all cooking areas before and after preparing a meal.
Is It OK to Keep Exercising?
Exercising during pregnancy is encouraged by many health practitioners. By engaging in regular exercise, you help keep your body in shape and prepare yourself for the biggest workout of your life–labor. Although you should avoid any exercise that presents a serious danger of falling or being hit by an object or person, it is perfectly acceptable to take part in aerobics class, use exercise equipment, walk or swim. If you plan to modify your exercise routine, or have never exercised before, check with your doctor first.