5 Ways On How To Take Care Of A Pregnant Woman

Pregnancy is a period of time when women need extra care and attention from their partners. Pregnant women are in a vulnerable state, physically and emotionally; hence, they need to be taken care of as kids need to be protected. Here are 5 ways on how to take care of a pregnant woman. A woman carrying a child in her womb is extremely fragile, and a pregnant woman needs care, both mentally and physically. It is important that you know how to take care of a pregnant woman because she will be putting up with many things like mood swings, uncomfortable body changes and so on.

Pregnancy is a blessing for both the mother and father because it is always expected that a baby would come out, but there are things that the couple should know how to take care of their pregnant woman. You are the right person to make your wife happy. There are many things that you can do for a pregnant woman. Here is a list of 5 ways to make your wife satisfied and happy during this period.

healthy pregnancy

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Staying Healthy During Pregnancy

An image of a pregnant woman on her bed.
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If you’re pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, you probably already know the most basic pregnancy advice: Don’t smoke or be around secondhand smoke. Don’t drink or consume other dangerous substances, and get your rest. (Sleep, after all, is important.) But what else do you need to know? From taking vitamins to what to do with the kitty litter, here are more than 20 pregnancy tips that can help ensure safe and healthy prenatal development.

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Take a Prenatal Vitamin

Taking Prenatal Multivitamins BEFORE Getting Pregnant Could Lead to Miscarriage 26620

It’s smart to start taking prenatal vitamins early, i.e. you should begin taking them as soon as you learn about your pregnancy and/or beforehand—when you’re trying to conceive. This is because your baby’s neural cord, which becomes the brain and spinal cord, develops within the first month of pregnancy, so it’s important you get essential nutrients—like folic acid, calcium, and iron—from the very start.

Prenatal vitamins are available over the counter at most drug stores, or you can get them by prescription from your doctor. If taking them makes you feel queasy, try taking them at night or with a light snack. Chewing gum or sucking on hard candy afterward can help, too.

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Exercise

exercise

Staying active is important for your general health and can help you reduce stress, improve circulation, and boost your mood. It can also encourage better sleep. Take a pregnancy exercise class or walk at least 15 to 20 minutes a day at a moderate pace—in cool, shaded areas or indoors in order to prevent overheating.

Pilates, yoga, swimming, and walking are also great activities for most pregnant people, but be sure to check with your doctor first before starting any exercise program. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Listen to your body, though, and don’t overdo it.

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Write a Birth Plan

An image of a woman writing on her bed.
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Determined to have a doula? Counting on that epidural? Write down your wishes and give a copy to everyone involved with the delivery. According to the American Pregnancy Association, here are some things to consider when writing your birth plan:

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Educate Yourself

doula

Even if this isn’t your first baby, attending a childbirth class will help you feel more prepared for delivery. Not only will you have the chance to learn more about childbirth and infant care, but you can ask specific questions and voice concerns. You’ll also become more acquainted with the facility and its staff.

Now is also a good time to brush up on your family’s medical history. Talk to your doctor about problems with past pregnancies, and report any family incidences of birth defects.

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Practice Kegels

stretch

Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support your bladder, bowels, and uterus. Done correctly, this simple exercise can help make your delivery easier and prevent problems later with incontinence. The best part: No one can tell you’re doing them—so you can practice kegels in the car, while you’re sitting at your desk, or even standing in line at the grocery store. Here’s how to do them right:

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Eliminate Toxins

Because of their link to birth defects, miscarriage, and other problems, you should avoid tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs, and even solvents such as paint thinners and nail polish remover while pregnant. Smoking cigarettes, for example, decreases oxygen flow to your baby; it’s linked to preterm birth and other complications. “If you can’t stop smoking, drinking, or using drugs, let your doctor know,” recommends Roger Harms, M.D., an Ob-Gyn at the Mayo Clinic. A doctor can offer advice and support and refer you to a program to which may help you stop.

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Change Up Chores

Money for Chores
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Even everyday tasks, like scrubbing the bathroom or cleaning up after pets, can become risky when you’re pregnant. Exposure to toxic chemicals or coming in contact with bacteria can harm you and your baby. Here are some things to take off your to-do-list:

  • Climbing on step stools and/or ladders
  • Changing kitty litter (to avoid toxoplasmosis, a disease caused by a parasite which cats can carry)
  • Using harsh chemicals
  • Standing for long periods of time, especially near a hot stove

Also, wear gloves if you’re working in the yard where cats may have been, and wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw meat.

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Check Your Medications

Check with your doctor or midwife before taking any over-the-counter medications, supplements, or “natural” remedies. Even non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen should be avoided. According to the National Health Service, taking this medication during pregnancy can increase your risk of miscarriage and damage to fetal blood vessels. It is best to check with your physician before taking any medication, prescribed or otherwise.

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Go Shoe Shopping

pregnant woman walking
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At last, a perfect excuse to buy shoes! As your bump grows, so may your feet—or at least they may feel like they are. That’s because your natural weight gain throws off your center of gravity, putting extra pressure on your tootsies. Over time, this added pressure can cause painful overpronation, or flattening out of the feet. You may retain fluids, too, which can make your feet and ankles swell. So it’s important to wear comfortable, non-restricting shoes when you’re pregnant. And be sure to put your feet up several times a day to prevent fatigue and swelling of the feet, legs, and ankles.

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Rethink Your Spa Style

Pregnancy is definitely a time for pampering, but you need to be careful. Avoid saunas, which can make you overheat. Ditto for hot tubs. According to the American Pregnancy Association, it takes only 10 to 20 minutes of sitting in one for your body temperature to reach 102 degrees Farenheit—nearly the limit of what’s considered safe for pregnant people. Also, certain essential oils can cause uterine contractions, especially during the first and second trimester, so check with your massage therapist to make sure only safe ones are being used. On the taboo list: juniper, rosemary, and clary sage. The same goes for over-the-counter medicines and supplements containing these herbal remedies. Don’t take them without first consulting your obstetrician or midwife.

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Drink More Water

During pregnancy, your blood is supplying oxygen and essential nutrients to your baby through the placenta and carrying waste and carbon dioxide away—which means your blood volume increases up to 50 percent to handle all this extra activity. So, you need to drink more to support that gain. Drinking water can also prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, UTIs, fatigue, headaches, swelling, and other uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms. Aim for 8 to 10 glasses per day, and if you don’t enjoy the taste, try adding a squeeze of lime or a splash of fruit juice.

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Eat Folate-Rich Foods

In addition to drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water each day, you should eat five or six well-balanced meals with plenty of folate-rich foods, like fortified cereals, asparagus, lentils, wheat germ, oranges, and orange juice. “Folic acid is crucial for the proper development of the baby’s neural tube—which covers the spinal cord—and is vital for the creation of new red blood cells,” says Frances Largeman-Roth, R.D., author of Feed the Belly.

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Recharge With Fruit

Most doctors recommend limiting caffeine during pregnancy, since it can have harmful effects on you and the baby. Cutting back can be tough, though, especially when you’re used to your morning java. For a quick pick-me-up, try nibbling on some fruit. “The natural sugars in fruits like bananas and apples can help lift energy levels,” says registered dietitian Frances Largeman-Roth.

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Wear Sunscreen

Being pregnant makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight so you’re more prone to sunburn and chloasma, those dark, blotchy spots that sometimes appear on the face. Apply a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Many brands now offer chemical-free formulas. And wear a hat and sunglasses. While no studies prove spending time in tanning beds can hurt your baby, the American Pregnancy Association recommends you avoid them while you’re pregnant.

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Stay Clean

Frequent hand washing can protect you from infections such as Group B streptococcus, Fifth disease, cytomegalovirus, and chickenpox, all of which can cause birth defects and other severe complications for your baby. Ethyl alcohol-based hand sanitizers are a great option for those times when you can’t get to a sink. “They protect users from most of the communicable infections,” says Anjan Chaudhury, M.D., an OB-GYN at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston.

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Travel Smart

Go ahead: Book that flight, but take some precautions. Mid-pregnancy (14 to 28 weeks) is the best time to fly. By this time you’re probably over morning sickness. The risk of miscarriage or early delivery is also relatively low. Still, you should check with your doctor about any travel plans and make sure the airline has no restrictions for pregnant people.

On the plane, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and get up and walk around every half hour to reduce the risk of blood clots. An aisle seat will give you more room and make trips to the bathroom easier.

In the car, continue to wear a safety belt. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the shoulder portion of the restraint should be positioned over the collar bone. The lap portion should be placed under the abdomen as low as possible on the hips and across the upper thighs, never above the abdomen. Also, pregnant people should sit as far from the air bag as possible.

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Eat Fish

According to a 2020 study, fish isn’t just good for you, the benefits of eating fish while pregnant outweigh the risks. Scientists say that’s because fish is high in omega 3s, a nutrient critical to brain development. It also helps children have a better metabolic profile. There’s just one catch: Some kinds of fish contain mercury, which can be toxic to both babies and adults.

To be safe, the Food and Drug Administration recommends that pregnant people eat no more than 12 ounces of fish per week. Stick with canned light tuna, shrimp, salmon, pollack, or catfish. Avoid swordfish, shark, king mackerel, and tilefish, which are all high in mercury.

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Say Yes to Cravings—Sometimes

Truth be told, no one knows why pregnancy cravings happen. Some experts say they are nature’s way of providing nutrients to the expectant parent, particularly nutrients they may be lacking. Others say they’re an emotional thing, driven by hormones or your mood. Regardless, as long as you’re eating an overall healthy diet, it’s usually OK to give in to your cravings. Just be careful to limit portions—don’t down all that ice cream at once!—and know which snacks to steer clear of. A few foods to avoid: raw and undercooked meat or eggs; brie, feta, and other types of unpasteurized cheese; herbal teas; and raw sprouts.

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Make Friends

Find ways to meet other pregnant people, whether that’s through prenatal yoga or a childbirth class, a neighborhood parents group, or an online parenting forum. The support, resources, and camaraderie from others who are in the same boat as you can be crucial for getting through the ups and downs of pregnancy. “These are good connections after you have the baby, too,” said Dr. Miller.

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Get Your Rest

High angle view Of pregnant Black woman lying on bed holding her belly
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You may think you’re busy now, but once the baby comes, you’ll have even fewer precious moments to yourself. Be sure to get at least eight hours of sleep a night, and if you’re suffering from sleep disturbances, take naps during the day. See your physician if the situation doesn’t improve.

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Learn About Postpartum Depression

Young mom with new baby suffering from postpartum anxiety
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You’ve probably heard of postpartum depression, but you may not know that 10 percent to 20 percent of expectant people experience symptoms of major depression during pregnancy, according to the March of Dimes. This could increase your risk for preterm labor. If you’re feeling unexplainably sad, angry, or guilty—or if you lose interest in activities you usually enjoy or sleep too much—tell your doctor. Therapy, a support group, an antidepressant medication, or a combination of the three will likely help.

That said, not all antidepressants are safe, so be sure to work with a doctor who is familiar with pregnancy-related mental health issues. To search for a prenatal/postpartum support organization in your area, visit Postpartum Support International.

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Know When to Call the Doctor

Being pregnant can be confusing, especially if it’s your first time. How do you know which twinge is normal and which one isn’t? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you should call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Pain of any kind
  • Strong cramps
  • Contractions at 20-minute intervals
  • Vaginal bleeding or leaking of fluid
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Constant nausea and vomiting
  • Trouble walking, edema (swelling of joints)
  • Decreased activity by the baby

10 Things A Pregnant Woman Needs

Pregnancy inevitably leads to other ‘P’ words – planning and purchasing! As you ponder over the changes in your life and think about the mandatory buys like a new crib or a stroller, do not lose sight of the little things that could make your life a tad bit easier during the term. In this article, we shall discuss some of the most recommended products you must invest in to make your pregnancy comfortable and enjoyable. Read on to know more.

Video: Pregnancy Essentials Checklist: Things You Will Need

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Pregnancy Must-Haves for Every Expecting Mom

Before planning pregnancy purchases, it is important to take a look at all the available pregnancy products and then decide what to buy. The key is to know how the products would be useful. This list should help you shortlist your pregnancy essentials.

1. Total Body Pregnancy Pillow

Yes, pregnancy is tough on the body! Daily chores get harder to do. Simply bending down also feels uncomfortable. And, then one afternoon, you prepare yourself for a light nap after a heavy lunch and woah! How did sleeping become hard as well? That’s where total body pregnancy pillows come to the rescue. They are designed to hug and support the contours of your body so that lying on your side doesn’t feel like another punishment meted out by gravity.

Pregnancy pillow

When Is It Required?

It is wise to get a supportive body pillow as your tummy begins to grow. It becomes essential toward the later stages of your second trimester and throughout your third trimester.

2. Bra Extenders

Often it isn’t your cup size but your band size that will need changing, at least in the first few weeks of your pregnancy. Your mammary glands are spread over your chest and even to the sides. As they grow large, you may notice that your old cup size serves you fine, but the straps don’t meet at the back. Bra extenders are the cost-effective, practical solution to this.

When Is It Required?

Your breasts will begin growing at around 6 to 8 weeks. So, it is handy to get some extenders towards the middle of the first trimester. They will be used throughout your pregnancy.

3. Maternity Bras

Yes, your breast size could go up by one or two cups during the course of your pregnancy, and beyond, as they begin producing milk. Find yourself some good quality maternity bras that are well-fitted and comfortable.

Maternity bra

When Is It Required?

You will want to buy new bras in your second and third trimesters and a specialised one for breastfeeding your baby after the delivery.

4. Tennis Balls

Why do we have this on the list? Because they make for excellent lower back massagers, of course! The strain of carrying an unborn human in your belly is felt most on your lower back. Have your husband or a family member roll the ball over your lower back, applying pressure from their palms. The massage will relieve the usual lower back discomfort or pain you’ll have during pregnancy.

When Is It Required?

Your tennis ball massages become essential in the third trimester, as your tummy gets heavy and puts a strain on the lower back.

5. Massage Oil or Lotion

As your pregnancy progresses, the strain on your internal systems increases, and blood circulation to your hands and feet decreases. Massaging your hands and feet boosts blood circulation. The use of good massage oil, moisturising cream, or lotion helps regulate the circulation and combat skin issues like dry hands, dry feet and ankles, which are common  during pregnancy.

Massage oil

When Is It Required?

Dry skin can occur right from the first trimester, so a good massage oil or lotion can be useful throughout your pregnancy term!

6. Ginger

Ginger is a natural remedy to keep morning sickness at bay. This is especially useful for those days when the “morning” in morning sickness is forgotten by the “sickness” part, and you end up feeling nauseous all the time. Ginger can be added to your green tea and used in all your meals. You can also get some ginger candies, which are a great tidbit to keep handy in your purse, especially if you are stepping out during pregnancy!

When Is It Required?

Morning sickness is experienced during the second half of the first trimester, so definitely keep some ginger candies at hand during this time.

7. Hot Water Bottle

A hot water bottle could be your best buddy when you have an aching back, sore feet, etc. You can even get yourself a battery operated massaging hot water bottle that stimulates the water, giving the effect of a light massage.

Pregnant woman with hot water bag

When Is It Required?

Your hot water bag will become an indispensable home item during your second and third trimesters.

8. Antacid for Heartburn

Heartburn is caused by the build-up of acid in your stomach, pushing into the oesophagus. This occurs commonly in pregnant women, as a result of their womb expanding and applying pressure on surrounding organs – stomach, in this case. Make sure you have an antacid handy during your pregnancy.

When Is It Required?

Acid reflux is experienced by pregnant women from the very first trimester until the very last one. Hence, antacids are a constant requirement.

9. Flat, Comfortable Shoes

Believe it or not, your feet will get bigger during the course of your pregnancy! And that’s not including the non-permanent swelling. So, investing in a pair or more of some comfortable, flat loafers or “athleisure” shoes is a great idea!

Comfortable flat footwear

When Is It Required?

Your old shoes will grow tighter towards the middle of the second trimester. Feet size keep increasing until the end of the pregnancy, so when buying shoes, care to buy one or two sizes larger.

10. Sleep Mask

Exhaustion, ache, pain, soreness and nervous thoughts can all be a part of pregnant life. Getting some solid sleep is vital to recuperate and relax your body; however, your increased sensitivity to light could stand in the way. And, for that reason, a sleep mask is much required.

When Is It Required?

You can buy a sleep mask when you need it the most. However, it is recommended you get one in your first trimester, as it can be of use throughout your pregnancy.

11. Maternity Belt

Maternity belts come in a few different variations. They support your belly, a little like how your bras support your breasts! These are a blessing and a relief for your overstrained back and hips.

Woman wearing maternity belt

When Is It Required?

maternity belt is required in the second or third trimester when the backache increases.

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12. Multivitamin Supplements

Supplements, especially folic acid and vitamin D, are pregnancy must-haves as they are absolutely essential for the baby’s development. We recommend going for a daily pregnancy multivitamin that also includes these two nutrients. Taking multivitamins ensures you get your daily dosage of the nutrients that foods fall short of. However, any medicines you take must be prescribed.

When Is It Required?

Ideally, a gynaecologist should prescribe pregnancy multivitamins as soon as your pregnancy is confirmed. Avoid taking normal multivitamin tablets that are not specifically meant for pregnancy – they may contain ingredients unsuitable for your baby.

13. Maternity Jeans

Most moms-to-be think of pregnancy as a 9-month long phase they can muscle through without going overboard on maternity clothes. But, that is never the case, and they find themselves struggling with something as basic as clothes. A pair of maternity jeans can come in handy to tackle this issue. This one item of clothing can be worn on pretty much all casual outings. Get a few pairs of super stretch maternity jeans, and you are good to go!

Maternity jeans

When Is It Required?

Nowadays, pregnancy jeans have enough stretch to accommodate the changes in your body through the pregnancy, while still being comfortable. The second trimester is a good time to go shopping for a pair.

14. Stretch Marks Oil or Lotion

Your body takes on the additional weight and expands faster than your skin can regenerate when you are pregnant. This causes stretch marks, itchiness and sometimes even burning and a general feeling of tightness. Using a moisturising, anti-stretch mark oil can soothe your skin and also keep it healthy.

When Is It Required?

You should start this routine in your second trimester, as your body begins changing.

15. Tissues

If you aren’t a regular tissue user, this is the time to become one. It is okay to treat yourself to a few good cries. Pregnancy can be overwhelming at times. Plus, this ‘habit’ will prove important once your baby comes along. Cleaning a bit of drool, wiping down bits of cereal on the tabletop, patting yourself dry after breastfeeding, you’ll require tissues almost daily!

When Is It Required?

We’d recommend you bring in the convenience of tissues into your life immediately, whichever trimester you may be in!

16. Healthy Snacks

Okay, this one seems a little basic. But it’s worth listing because it’s simply too important to not speak of. Pregnancy means high blood pressurediabetes, hypertension and even haemorrhoids. Also, poor nutrition of a pregnant mother could put her child at risk of being overweight or developing diabetes. So, whenever you get your pregnancy hunger pangs, consume some healthy snacks. That’s the only way you can provide nutrition to your body and worry less about any possible health issues.

Pregnant woman snacking

When Is It Required?

As with the pregnancy multivitamins, improve your diet as soon as the pregnancy is confirmed, if it isn’t already pristine.

17. Face Care Products

Acne, just like in your teens, crop up during the early stages of your pregnancy, as your hormone levels fluctuate. Use a mild, oil-balancing face cleanser and moisturiser to keep your skin healthy. Do not go for powerful anti-acne washes and other skin ‘clearing’ products. Your skin will clear up as your body stabilises to the change.

When Is It Required?

Safe and mild face care products are most important during the first trimester.

18. Shoe Inserts

The quick weight gain that comes from pregnancy is not similar to gaining weight over a long period of time. Your legs do not get the chance to strengthen up at the same speed at which your pregnancy advances. Therefore, you need footwear and inserts that support your feet. Shoe inserts, in particular, are extremely helpful in supporting the arch of your feet. The other times, you could always ask your partner for an occasional foot rub.

Shoe inserts

When Is It Required?

Give your feet all the support it can get, during your third trimester of pregnancy.

19. Soft Toothbrush

A change in the toothbrush should be a part of your maternity essentials because, on average, half of all pregnant women experience swollen and bleeding gums due to pregnancy-induced gingivitis. If you do not use a soft bristle brush already, change to one as soon as you can.

When Is It Required?

Upgrade your oral hygiene in your first trimester itself.

20. Reading Material

Your friends, family and extended family, will be brimming with advice for you to follow during your pregnancy. But, it is your pregnancy journey. Reading up and gaining some knowledge about what you are going through will help you gain the courage that will take you through the nervous phases. From bestselling books to magazines and the online world, information is everywhere. Make sure you refer to a trusted source for your share of knowledge.

When Is It Required?

Essential all through your pregnancy and beyond!

21. Bath Salt

Bath salts can soothe the aching muscles and cramps, which is experienced commonly during pregnancy. Throw in a tablespoon or so of bath salt in half a bucket of water to soak your feet on. You may also dissolve half a cup of bath/Epsom salt in the bathtub for a nice warm bath.

When Is It Required?

Bath salts can be used as soon as the pregnancy is confirmed or as and when you feel muscle fatigue.

22. Compression Socks

As the pregnancy progresses, you’d experience issues like swollen feet, leg cramps, etc. Good shoes are required to support your feet during this time; however, you will also need a good pair of compression socks to support your calves and feet. Compression socks are particularly useful for those pregnant women who are constantly on their toes.

When Is It Required?

You may get a pair of compression socks in the middle of the second trimester. That’s when your shoes won’t fit you too.

These are some basic, but much-required pregnancy essentials you must invest in. They will make your life convenient and help relieve a lot of the pregnancy-related physical and mental strain you will be going through. We do know that expenses skyrocket during pregnancy, but with proper planning and budgeting, you can pave your way to a happy, unstressed pregnancy!

Things A Pregnant Woman Needs To Eat

A healthy diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle at any time but is especially vital if you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy. Eating healthily during pregnancy will help your baby to develop and grow.

You do not need to go on a special diet, but it’s important to eat a variety of different foods every day to get the right balance of nutrients that you and your baby need. 

It’s best to get vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat, but when you’re pregnant you need to take a folic acid supplement as well, to make sure you get everything you need.

Read more about vitamins and supplements in pregnancy

There are also certain foods that should be avoided in pregnancy.

There’s no need to “eat for 2”

You will probably find that you are more hungry than usual, but you do not need to “eat for 2” – even if you are expecting twins or triplets.

Try to have a healthy breakfast every day, because this can help you to avoid snacking on foods that are high in fat and sugar.

Eating healthily often means changing the amounts of different foods you eat, so that your diet is varied, rather than cutting out all your favourites. You can use the Eatwell Guide to get the balance of your diet right. It shows you how much of what you eat should come from each food group to achieve a healthy, balanced diet.

You do not need to achieve this balance with every meal, but try to get the balance right over a week.

Fruit and vegetables in pregnancy

Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables because these provide vitamins and minerals, as well as fibre, which helps digestion and can help prevent constipation.

Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day – these can include fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced. Always wash fresh fruit and vegetables carefully.

Find out what counts as a portion of fruit or vegetables.

Starchy foods (carbohydrates) in pregnancy

Starchy foods are an important source of energy, some vitamins and fibre, and help you to feel full without containing too many calories. They include bread, potatoes, breakfast cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, maize, millet, oats, yams and cornmeal. If you are having chips, go for oven chips lower in fat and salt.

These foods should make up just over a 3rd of the food you eat. Instead of refined starchy (white) food, choose wholegrain or higher-fibre options such as wholewheat pasta, brown rice or simply leaving the skins on potatoes.

Protein in pregnancy

Eat some protein-rich foods every day. Sources of protein include:

  • beans
  • pulses
  • fish
  • eggs
  • meat (but avoid liver)
  • poultry
  • nuts

Choose lean meat, remove the skin from poultry, and try not to add extra fat or oil when cooking meat. Read more about eating meat in a healthy way.

Make sure poultry, burgers, sausages and whole cuts of meat such as lamb, beef and pork are cooked very thoroughly until steaming all the way through. Check that there is no pink meat, and that juices have no pink or red in them.

Try to eat 2 portions of fish each week, 1 of which should be oily fish such as salmon, sardines or mackerel. Find out about the health benefits of fish and shellfish. There are some types of fish you should avoid when you’re pregnant or planning to get pregnant, including shark, swordfish and marlin.

When you’re pregnant, you should avoid having more than 2 portions of oily fish a week, such as salmon, trout, mackerel and herring, because it can contain pollutants (toxins).

You should avoid eating some raw or partially cooked eggs, as there is a risk of salmonella.

Eggs produced under the British Lion Code of Practice are safe for pregnant women to eat raw or partially cooked, as they come from flocks that have been vaccinated against salmonella.

These eggs have a red lion logo stamped on their shell. Pregnant women can eat these raw or partially cooked (for example, soft boiled eggs).

Eggs that have not been produced under the Lion Code are considered less safe, and pregnant women are advised to avoid eating them raw or partially cooked, including in mousse, mayonnaise and soufflé. These eggs should be cooked until the white and the yolk are hard.

Find out more about foods to avoid in pregnancy.

Dairy in pregnancy

Dairy foods such as milk, cheese, fromage frais and yoghurt are important in pregnancy because they contain calcium and other nutrients that you and your baby need.

Choose low-fat varieties wherever possible, such as semi-skimmed, 1 percent fat or skimmed milk, low-fat and lower-sugar yoghurt and reduced-fat hard cheese.

If you prefer dairy alternatives, such as soya drinks and yoghurts, go for unsweetened, calcium-fortified versions.

Find out more about the nutritional benefits of dairy and dairy alternatives.

There are some cheeses you should avoid in pregnancy, including unpasteurised cheeses. To find out which cheeses you should not eat when you’re pregnant on our page about foods to avoid in pregnancy.

Foods that are high in fat, sugar or both

Sugary foods and drinks are often high in calories, which can contribute to weight gain. Having sugary foods and drinks can also lead to tooth decay. 

Fat is very high in calories, so eating too many fatty foods, or eating them too often, can make you put on weight. Eating too much saturated fat can also increase the amount of cholesterol in your blood, which increases your chance of developing heart disease.

Foods that are high in fat, sugar, or both, include:

  • all spreading fats (such as butter)
  • oils
  • salad dressings
  • cream
  • chocolate
  • crisps
  • biscuits
  • pastries
  • ice cream
  • cake
  • puddings
  • fizzy drinks

If you’re having foods and drinks that are high in fat and sugar, have these less often and in small amounts. 

Try to cut down on saturated fat, and have small amounts of foods rich in unsaturated fat instead, such as vegetable oils. Find out about saturated and unsaturated fat.

Healthy snacks in pregnancy

If you get hungry between meals, try not to eat snacks that are high in fat and/or sugar, such as sweets, biscuits, crisps or chocolate. Instead, choose something healthier, such as:

  • small sandwiches or pitta bread with grated cheese, lean ham, mashed tuna, salmon, or sardines, with salad
  • salad vegetables, such as carrot, celery or cucumber
  • low-fat, lower-sugar fruit yoghurt, plain yoghurt or fromage frais with fruit
  • hummus with wholemeal pitta bread or vegetable sticks
  • ready-to-eat apricots, figs or prunes
  • vegetable and bean soups
  • a small bowl of unsweetened breakfast cereal, or porridge, with milk
  • milky drinks
  • fresh fruit
  • baked beans on toast or a small baked potato
  • a small slice of malt loaf, a fruited tea cake or a slice of toasted fruit bread

Find out more about healthy food swaps.

When choosing snacks, you can use food labels to help you. Find out more about food labelling, including how the “green, amber, red” code can help you make healthier choices quickly.

Preparing food safely

  • Wash fruit, vegetables and salads to remove all traces of soil, which may contain toxoplasma (a parasite that can cause toxoplasmosis) which can harm your unborn baby.
  • Wash all surfaces and utensils, and your hands, after preparing raw foods (poultry, meat, eggs, fish, shellfish and raw vegetables) to help you avoid food poisoning.
  • Make sure that raw foods are stored separately from ready-to-eat foods, otherwise there’s a risk of contamination.
  • Use a separate knife and chopping board for raw meats.
  • Heat ready meals until they’re steaming hot all the way through – this is especially important for meals containing poultry.

You also need to make sure that some foods, such as eggs, poultry, burgers, sausages and whole cuts of meat like lamb, beef and pork, are cooked very thoroughly until steaming all the way through.

For tips, read foods to avoid in pregnancy.

Healthy Start vouchers for pregnant women

You may qualify for the Healthy Start scheme, which provides vouchers to pregnant women and families who qualify. The vouchers can be used to buy milk and plain fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables at local shops. You’ll also get coupons that can be exchanged for free vitamins locally.

For more information or to apply for the vouchers, you can:

You can also find out where to get Healthy Start vitamins near you or general maternity services near you.

How To Take Care During Pregnancy Of First Month

The first trimester of pregnancy is marked by an invisible — yet amazing — transformation. And it happens quickly. Knowing what physical and emotional changes to expect during the first trimester can help you face the months ahead with confidence.

Your body

While your first sign of pregnancy might have been a missed period, you can expect several other physical changes in the coming weeks, including:

  • Tender, swollen breasts. Soon after conception, hormonal changes might make your breasts sensitive or sore. The discomfort will likely decrease after a few weeks as your body adjusts to hormonal changes.
  • Nausea with or without vomiting. Morning sickness, which can strike at any time of the day or night, often begins one month after you become pregnant. This might be due to rising hormone levels. To help relieve nausea, avoid having an empty stomach. Eat slowly and in small amounts every one to two hours. Choose foods that are low in fat. Avoid foods or smells that make your nausea worse. Drink plenty of fluids. Foods containing ginger might help. Contact your health care provider if your nausea and vomiting is severe.
  • Increased urination. You might find yourself urinating more often than usual. The amount of blood in your body increases during pregnancy, causing your kidneys to process extra fluid that ends up in your bladder.
  • Fatigue. During early pregnancy, levels of the hormone progesterone soar — which can put you to sleep. Rest as much as you can. A healthy diet and exercise might increase your energy.
  • Food cravings and aversions. When you’re pregnant, you might become more sensitive to certain odors and your sense of taste might change. Like most other symptoms of pregnancy, food preferences can be chalked up to hormonal changes.
  • Heartburn. Pregnancy hormones relaxing the valve between your stomach and esophagus can allow stomach acid to leak into your esophagus, causing heartburn. To prevent heartburn, eat small, frequent meals and avoid fried foods, citrus fruits, chocolate, and spicy or fried foods.
  • Constipation. High levels of the hormone progesterone can slow the movement of food through your digestive system, causing constipation. Iron supplements can add to the problem. To prevent or relieve constipation, include plenty of fiber in your diet and drink lots of fluids, especially water and prune or other fruit juices. Regular physical activity also helps.

Your emotions

Pregnancy might leave you feeling delighted, anxious, exhilarated and exhausted — sometimes all at once. Even if you’re thrilled about being pregnant, a new baby adds emotional stress to your life.

It’s natural to worry about your baby’s health, your adjustment to parenthood and the financial demands of raising a child. If you’re working, you might worry about how to balance the demands of family and career. You might also experience mood swings. What you’re feeling is normal. Take care of yourself, and look to loved ones for understanding and encouragement. If your mood changes become severe or intense, consult your health care provider.

Prenatal care

If you haven’t yet received a COVID-19 vaccine, get vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccines don’t cause infection with the COVID-19 virus. Studies have shown COVID-19 vaccines don’t pose any serious risks for pregnant women or their babies. Vaccination can help pregnant women build antibodies that protect their babies. If possible, people who live with you should also be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Whether you choose a family doctor, obstetrician, nurse-midwife or other pregnancy specialist, your health care provider will treat, educate and reassure you throughout your pregnancy.

Your first visit will focus on assessing your overall health, identifying any risk factors and determining your baby’s gestational age. Your health care provider will ask detailed questions about your health history. Be honest. If you’re uncomfortable discussing your health history in front of your partner, schedule a private consultation. Also expect to learn about first trimester screening for chromosomal abnormalities.

After the first visit, you’ll probably be asked to schedule checkups every four weeks for the first 32 weeks of pregnancy. However, you may require more or less frequent appointments, depending on your health and medical history. In some cases, virtual prenatal care may be an option if you don’t have certain high-risk conditions. If you and your health care provider opt for virtual prenatal visits, ask if there are any tools that might be helpful to have at home, such as a blood pressure monitor. To make the most of any virtual visits, prepare a list of questions ahead of time and take detailed notes.

During these appointments, discuss any concerns or fears you might have about pregnancy, childbirth or life with a newborn. Remember, no question is silly or unimportant — and the answers can help you take care of yourself and your baby.

What Care To Be Taken During Pregnancy

It’s important to take care of yourself during pregnancy. Always ask your doctor and nurse for guidance, but here are a few tips and suggestions about what to do. During pregnancy and the pre-natal period, you need to pay special attention to your health. Be aware of changes in your body and how they can affect your baby. Learn how to protect yourself from diseases that may arise during this time, as well as how to maintain healthy nutrition.

Pregnancy is one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life. Here are some basic tips to guide you as you prepare for your pregnancy. Pregnancy is a singular time in the life of a woman and her family. To ensure the health and well-being of the mother and baby, it is important that you receive high-quality care from your healthcare team. Our goal is to help you understand what to expect during pregnancy and childbirth, as well as what kind of support will be available to you.

How Should We Take Care of Pregnant Woman

As a pregnant woman, you have many ways to take care of yourself, your baby and even the new baby’s father. From eating right to taking folic acid supplements and avoiding certain types of medications, there are many things you can do to improve your health. When a woman is pregnant, the people around her encourage her to take good care of herself. Some people will even say things like, “Mind yourself!” or “Look after yourself!”

Taking care of a pregnant woman is not an easy task. But we have to handle it with great care and responsibility. Along with this, there are many things that you have to take care of in order to keep her happy and healthy. Every pregnant woman knows she needs to eat right, rest regularly and exercise if possible. But studies show that women who do get prenatal care tend to have better outcomes and lower risks of having high-risk pregnancies. Taking care of a pregnant woman is something many people are not prepared for, but becoming aware of the best practices can ensure that this mama is taken care of.

What Can A Woman Do To Have a Healthy Pregnancy

Women can make changes to their everyday habits and lifestyle choices to help them have a healthy pregnancy. This can include eating a balanced diet, or gaining the right amount of weight and avoiding alcohol, smoking or drug-taking. Having a healthy pregnancy has a lot to do with lifestyle choices and habits that you may have developed during your early years of adulthood.Your body will change as your baby grows and gets ready to enter the world, so it’s important to keep an eye on your diet and exercise regularly.

Do not smoke and try to avoid second hand smoke if you are pregnant. Quitting smoking during pregnancy is important for the health of your baby. Studies show that lung development in a fetus is affected by a mother’s smoking habits, even before the child is born. The most damaging period appears to be from 10 until 14 weeks of pregnancy. Smoking can also lead to complications such as miscarriage, birth defects and decreased fertility. The first thing any woman can do to avoid risks during pregnancy is to talk to her doctor. The doctor can help plan how long you should wait before trying to conceive again, which could include using birth control or barrier methods until your next menstrual period. It’s also important for a woman who has recently given birth to breastfeed when possible because it reduces the risk of preterm delivery and postpartum depression.

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