Taking Care of You and Your Baby While You’re Pregnant: Know What to Expect

While pregnant, women have to take extra steps to ensure they and their growing babies are healthy. Pregnancy puts stress on the human body, so it is important that expecting women pay close attention to the way they feel. 

We’re going to look at several things women can do to keep themselves and their babies safe, including learning CPR with their partners.

Schedule an Appointment with Your Healthcare Provider

As soon as you recognize that you’re pregnant, you should take a UNITY prenatal test and schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider. At this appointment, the healthcare provider will confirm the pregnancy and most likely conduct other tests to set baseline data. Then, the healthcare provider will make other recommendations for further appointments throughout the pregnancy. 

The healthcare provider will also make recommendations about weight gain, diet, and exercise. As you move through the pregnancy, those recommendations might change.

Pay close attention to your body while exercising. Some women may overdo it, and their bodies struggle. If your heart races more than usual while exercising during pregnancy, let your healthcare provider know. It could be a sign of a serious health problem and could result in cardiac arrest. 

Avoiding Harmful Activities

Along with regular visits to your doctor, you need to avoid potentially harmful activities throughout pregnancy. 

Alcohol and Cigarette Smoke

Research shows that drinking alcoholic beverages can cause harm to unborn babies because it can cause fetal alcohol syndrome. Alcohol can also cause dehydration, and pregnant women must stay hydrated, both for themselves and their unborn babies. 

Pregnant women should also avoid smoking and being in places where they are exposed to second-hand smoke since it can lead to problems like lung cancer and emphysema. Smoke exposure may also cause numerous problems in utero and possible behavioral and cognitive problems in babies after they are born. 

Illicit Drugs 

Pregnant women should also avoid using illicit drugs like cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. Research shows that these drugs can cause babies to become addicted at birth and suffer from painful withdrawal symptoms. 

Furthermore, illicit drugs can cause heart problems in pregnant women, making it useful to have information about CPR in pregnancy handy. 

Caffeine

Women should also limit their caffeine intake during pregnancy. The general recommendation is that pregnant women should limit their caffeine intake to no more than two small cups of coffee per day. 

Caffeine can cause the heart rate to rise, which could also create problems for pregnant women. Having someone who knows how to perform CPR in pregnancy matters for pregnant women who may tend to consume excess caffeine.

Prescription Drugs

Women should also talk to their healthcare providers about any prescription drugs they are taking. Some prescription medications can be harmful to unborn babies. 

Serious Pregnancy Issues

Some common problems include morning sickness and fatigue during pregnancy, but other more serious issues can occur as well. 

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes, which starts during pregnancy, is a serious problem that many women face. Healthcare providers often recommend that women get tested for this during pregnancy. 

Pregnant women who develop gestational diabetes can keep it under control by eating a healthy diet, exercising as recommended, and closely monitoring blood sugar levels. The problem often ends after delivering the baby, but some women develop type-2 diabetes if gestational diabetes does not stop when the pregnancy is finished. 

Preeclampsia and Hypoglycemia

Women can also develop other related problems like preeclampsia and hypoglycemia. Preeclampsia is the technical name for high blood pressure during pregnancy. This disease can cause early labor, seizures, and even strokes. Hypoglycemia is low blood sugar, which can affect the blood sugar in the baby. 

Since these issues can lead to early labor or complications, learning about CPR in pregnancy is a vital precaution for women and their partners.

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are a condition that can be especially troublesome for pregnant women. Varicose veins occur when the veins in the legs become enlarged, swollen, and twisted, and appear as a blue or purple rope-like bulge beneath the skin. This condition is caused by the increased pressure of the baby on the veins in the legs. If a woman is experiencing this issue, she should consult a specialist, for example, at a varicose veins clinic in Phoenix to discuss treatment options. Treatment for varicose veins during pregnancy may include lifestyle changes, compression stockings, medications, and in some cases, surgery. It is important to consult with a specialist to determine the best course of action for treating this condition.

Emotional Health

Pregnancy can wreak havoc on women’s emotional state. Hormones run rampant during pregnancy, so women find that they may be moodier, more irritable, and even prone to depression. Some women find that they cry easier during pregnancy. If you feel like your emotions are out of control, talk to your healthcare provider. 

Women are also usually surprised about their emotional state after delivering their babies. The media often portrays women as being jubilant after giving birth, but many find that postpartum depression happens instead. 

Even though you may not relate your emotional state to your physical health, the two are connected. Having a healthy emotional and mental state is vital to keeping you and your baby healthy.

Take Prenatal Vitamins

As your baby grows, your body has special nutritional needs. 

While many healthcare providers recommend adding folic acid to your diet if you are trying to get pregnant, it is just as important throughout the pregnancy to prevent neural tube birth defects. In addition, your iron needs to increase during pregnancy, and your healthcare provider can recommend a dosage for you. 

Most women do well with just prenatal vitamins, which usually include folic acid and iron. While taking prenatal vitamins, stick to your recommended dosage since taking too much of a vitamin or mineral can be harmful. 

CPR During Pregnancy

Along with caring for yourself through diet, exercise, and regular prenatal appointments, it is also useful to understand CPR in pregnancy. While the baby grows, women’s bodies can become stressed, especially in their respiratory and circulatory systems. Fortunately, the odds of needing resuscitating during pregnancy is rare, but it can happen. Preparation is important. 

CPR in pregnancy has different requirements than it does for people who are not pregnant. As women move farther into the pregnancy, the fetus can put pressure on the lungs and other internal organs. It can also move their ribs farther away from the body’s midline.

To keep their loved ones safe, partners should learn how to perform CPR in pregnancy and keep emergency phone numbers handy at all times.  

However, if your partner or family members are not able to be trained in CPR and First Aid, you can help them by having instructions handy, as well as your healthcare provider’s phone number. You can help by programming emergency numbers into your partner’s mobile phone and reviewing with them what to do in case of an emergency. 

Seeing your healthcare provider regularly, taking care of your body and mind, and being prepared for problems can make a huge difference in keeping you and your baby safe during pregnancy. 

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About Josh Trent

Josh Trent lives in Austin, Texas with his love Carrie Michelle, son Novah, and a cat named Cleo. He is the Founder of Wellness Force Media, host of the Wellness + Wisdom Podcast and the creator of the BREATHE: Breath & Wellness Program. Josh has spent the past 19+ years as a trainer, researcher, and facilitator discovering the physical and emotional intelligence for humans to thrive in our modern world. The Wellness Force Media Mission is to help humans heal mental, emotional, and physical health through podcasts, programs, and a global community that believes in optimizing our potential to live life well.

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