What to expect when you are expecting

When you are expecting or plan to have a baby, or someone you care and love is expecting, it is worth getting to know what to expect in the 9 months' pregnancy journey. The pregnant lady can be the happiest woman in the world; however, at the same time she may be the most anxious and worried. She may not know what is she supposed to do now. She may have no idea on what is going to happen next.

There are some major concerns to be addressed for all parents to-be:

What would be the care required in order to ensure a smooth pregnancy?
What does my habits, routines and lifestyle does to my baby?
What kind of food or diet should I take for the healthy growth of my baby in the womb?

General Medical Care
As soon as you are pregnant, you schedule your appointments with your doctor for initial checkups as well as regular checkups throughout the 9 months. During the visit, make sure you make full use of the opportunities to discuss with your doctor anything about your gynecological history and your concerns. This information may or may not have any impact to your current pregnancy; however, it will enable your doctor to provide the best advice, care and options to you along the journey.

The information such as the following should be communicated to your doctor:
History of miscarriages
History of abortions
History of surgery
History of medical complications or infections
Previous pregnancies (if this is not your first pregnancy)

If you have had any miscarriages in the past, it is possible that you may have an incompetent cervix. It is important that your obstetrician is well-informed of it to be able to take early steps and precautions to safe guard your current pregnancy thus prevent another tragedy from happening. Your obstetrician may schedule more frequent examinations to monitor your condition where necessary.

What are the medical complications that could be related to the current pregnancy? If you have had fibroids or if you have had a couple of fibroids removed in the past few years, you will need to inform your doctor about it. Although only occasionally these non-malignant growths in the uterus can be of any concern, it does pose a slight potential of complication. You will need to ensure your doctor is aware of it and monitor your condition closely so that you will be better informed of any complication as it arises.

If you have had previous pregnancies, it will be important for you to share your previous experience with your doctor. Most of the time, the previous pregnancy could serve as decent predictor of future pregnancies. However, this may not necessary be true since all babies are different. There have been many proven cases where parents encounter totally different pregnancy experiences when they were pregnant with their babies.

If this is not your first baby and your previous delivery was by caesareans, you will need to ensure your obstetrician is well-informed of that. The reason for your previous caesareans will determine whether you will be able to go for normal vaginal birth for current pregnancy. If the reason for your previous cases where due to those that is not likely to repeat, such as breech and fetal distress, it is possible that you can have a vaginal delivery this time. Talk to your doctor and you will be more ready to anticipate what is going to happen.

Lifestyle and Habits
As expectant mother, you may raise concern over your unhealthy lifestyle and habits before you are aware that you are pregnant. You may have been a frequent drinker or smoker before you knew you are expecting a baby. You may have been a social smoker of marijuana or have used some cocaine before, just be aware, all these are advisable to be eliminated now. Though what you did previously has never been proven to cause defects to the baby, and it probably will not; however, continuous used of these after you are confirmed pregnant could be catastrophic. As you may not worry about what you have done prior to knowing that you are pregnant, however, extensive use of these habits may cause birth defects and deformity of the fetus.

If you have been a heavy coffee drinker, it is advisable for you to cut down or give up the unnecessary caffeine when you are pregnant. Caffeine has diuretic effects and can cause extra fluid to be drawn from your body and your fetus. It will also withdraw calcium from you and your fetus, interfering with the fetal growth. The additional cream and sugar may also spoil your appetite and reduce your chances of proper nutrition intake. In addition, it may interfere with your iron and other nutrients intake that is vital for fetal development.

On top of giving up your bad habits, you may start to learn and practice the healthier lifestyle. Regular exercise, learn to relax and ensure sufficient rest are important for healthy fetal growth and smooth pregnancy.

In addition to the improvement on lifestyle and habits, mother to-be should be aware of the food she consumes. Research has proven that babies' health were the result of the mothers' diet. Mothers whose diets were well taken care of have babies that were excellent in health, while those mothers who consumed plenty of junk foods during pregnancy have infants that were premature, with congenital defects or unhealthy.

In order to provide the best to the fetal, mother to-be need to understand that all food that she consumes is going to be shared with the baby. Expectant mother need to remember that every bite counts. Do not eat to fulfill your sweet tooth, but to ensure good nutrition to the fetus. Do not starve yourself in fear of the additional weight gain; however, eat sufficient but not excessive to ensure healthy growth of the fetal.

Mother to-be needs to understand that not all calories are equal. Same calories like whole grain are preferred over the same calories of potato chips. Always opt for nutrient-rich food for healthier baby. Complex carbohydrates are always a better option over simple carbohydrates. Avoid sweet food or minimize intake of sugar as it may be harmful to the fetal and need to be eliminated in expectant mother, especially one who suffers from diabetic during pregnancy.

Always strive for a balance diet by mixing the different groups of food together. Some proposed combination of daily diet includes:

4 servings of protein
3 servings or more of green leafy and yellow vegetables and yellow fruits
2 servings or more of other fruits and vegetables
5 servings or more of whole grain and legumes
2 servings of Vitamin C Foods
4 servings of Calcium Foods
4 servings of High-Fat Foods
Some Iron-Rich Foods
Salty Foods in moderation
At least 8 glasses of fluids

Practice healthy eating and it will ensure healthy fetus growth and smooth delivery for the mother.


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