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Published on: 16 Dec 2016 by amy86
Pregnancy is a glorious thing. You have that glow, right? At least, that’s what everyone says, but that isn’t always how you feel. Sometimes you feel downright awful, even if you are elated by the thought of being a mother. It is always important to take care of yourself, but during pregnancy self-care takes on a whole new meaning - you are taking care of yourself because you are taking care of another life growing inside you.
Plus, once this first pregnancy is over, it will be difficult to devote a lot of time to caring for yourself until your kids have grown up and left home. With that said, here are a few things you need to know about your first pregnancy:1. Take a Moment
Congratulations! You are pregnant! Now take a moment to catch your breath. You don’t have to run out right away and tell everyone you know (although you might want to tell your mother immediately).
You don’t have to start picking out baby clothes or designing the nursery, quite yet. Just savor the moment with the father-to-be and let the reality of pregnancy sink in a little.2. Carefully Consider Your Pregnancy Care Provider
You must give careful consideration to who will be your prenatal care provider. Do you want an obstetrician or a midwife? This is a very personal decision and it is yours and yours alone to make. It’s your body and your baby, and you need to decide who you feel most comfortable with.
If you want to, interview multiple care providers and choose the one with whom you feel the most comfortable.3. Be Careful What You Read
There is so much literature out there on first pregnancies that it is overwhelming. What to Expect When You’re Expecting is one of the most well-known, but there is plenty more, and Google is full of all sorts of articles and other material.
However, reading literature on pregnancy and what to expect might cause more stress than it relieves. If you absolutely must learn something, then choose carefully, and if anything stresses you out or causes you to worry, then stop reading and enjoy your ignorant bliss.4. Get a Good Support System
You will need a support system that is solid. Your husband is obviously at the top of the list of support people—or he should be. Your mother, sisters, best friend, close cousins, or aunts could also be on the list. Whoever are in your life that are your biggest fans and supporters are the people you will need in your corner.
These are the people who will be there when you cry, get you that food you are craving, not take it personally when your hormones rage and you get snarky, and will be there when you push that baby into the world.
It is also a good time to consider the use of a doula. Your doctor or midwife’s primary concern is your baby. Naturally, they are concerned about your well-being, but you take second place to that little one growing inside you.
On the other hand, a doula is someone who is devoted to your emotional and physical well-being throughout pregnancy, during the birth, and after the birth.5. Prepare for Physical Changes
You are growing a person! Your body will change and it won’t all feel pleasant. There is a good chance you will have morning sickness during your first trimester since 80% of pregnant women experience nausea to some degree and 33% actually vomit.
You'll also have a watery discharge during your pregnancy, and this is completely normal. One common type is called leukorrhea and its function is to protect the growing baby by keeping the vagina free of bacteria and other germs.
Furthermore, you're going to have to pee more often, with that baby resting on your bladder, and your energy levels will change as your pregnancy progresses and you will sometimes need a nap. Take it! You will miss them when the baby comes.6. Movement
Know that in your third trimester it will be tough to turn over in bed. Seriously! No one tells you this stuff, but it’s true. Your movement will be like nothing you have ever experienced before and never will again. Your center of gravity shifts as your baby grows and your balance is all different.
Things you would normally do with ease become a major challenge. Remember that support system we talked about? This is where they can chip in and help.7. Get Exercise
Despite the fatigue and difficulty moving as the pregnancy progresses, be sure you get plenty of exercises. If you were doing a form of regular exercise before pregnancy, chances are you can keep doing it.
If not, start doing mild exercise, whether that is walking, swimming, yoga, or something else that appeals to you. And please check with your prenatal care provider before you start or continue with any form of exercise to be sure it is safe.8. Enjoy!
Last, but perhaps most important, enjoy your pregnancy. Honestly, it will be over before you know it. And even if you have more children after this first one, each of those pregnancies will go by quickly. This is a very special time in your life that you will never experience again. Even during the times you feel bad, try to step back and see the beauty in your pregnancy.