How To Care When Pregnant

Pregnancy is a beautiful and life-changing milestone but it does bring with it some additional considerations. We’re going to show you how to care for yourself when pregnant so that you can have an enjoyable pregnancy, enjoy building a family and have the healthiest baby possible. When you’re pregnant, your body goes through a lot of changes. You have to make sure that you are in good health, which is why it’s important to care for yourself. Here are some tips on how to stay healthy and keep safe when pregnant.

The most important step to caring for your body as a pregnant woman is to avoid inhaling secondhand smoke. This applies whether you are at home or out and about. Any exposure to cigarette smoke could possibly have an adverse effect on the baby, so it is important to try and avoid it altogether. Knowing when to get prenatal care can be confusing if you’re not sure which type of doctor you need and when. Prenatal care includes getting regular checkups and advice from your health care provider, as well as healthy lifestyle choices during pregnancy. Here’s a quick overview of what you need to do before, during and after pregnancy.

healthy pregnancy

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Staying Healthy During Pregnancy

An image of a pregnant woman on her bed.

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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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.

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


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


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

Close-Up Of Red Wine Pouring From Bottle In Glass On Table

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

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

colorful medication pills

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

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

Pregnant woman rubs sunscreen on her belly.

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

hand sanitizer

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

Bowl of Ice Cream and Metal Spoon on Lace Tablecloth Table

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

pregnant women talking

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

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

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

Doctor meeting with pregnant woman

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

Pregnancy Care Tablet

Pregnacare Tablet 10’s



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Pregnacare Tablet is a nutritional supplement for mothers-to-be that safeguards nutritional needs during pregnancy. It is a scientifically developed formula that contains 17 essential vitamins and minerals that provide comprehensive nutritional support throughout the pregnancy. It provides a source of nourishment for the mother and the baby and prevents premature birth. It contains Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, Folic acid, Iron, Calcium, Copper, Manganese, Iodine, Vitamin K1, Zinc, Magnesium, and other minerals.

Medicinal Benefits

  • Folic acid prevents low folate levels in the body. It also helps prevent infant spinal cord birth defects through folic acid supplementation in women of childbearing age. It is essential for the development of cognitive abilities.
  • Pyridoxine is involved in protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism and the creation of red blood cells and neurotransmitters. It also helps in cognitive development through the biosynthesis of neurotransmitters.
  • Methylcobalamin regulates body functions, such as cell multiplication, blood formation, and protein synthesis. It helps in the rejuvenation and protection of damaged nerve cells by producing a substance called myelin. 
  • Vitamin D3/Cholecalciferol maintains blood calcium and phosphorus levels and mineralization of bone. It aids calcium absorption enabling bone growth and repair. It further prevents cartilage degeneration.
  • Calcium is a mineral and prevents or treats calcium deficiency. It provides essential nutrients for bone formation and maintenance. It helps to maintain bone and tooth health.
  • Zinc promotes normal fertility and reproduction. Iodine is useful for the development of a healthy brain in the foetus.

Directions for Use

Take medicine in the dose and duration prescribed by your doctor. Please do not take more than the daily recommended dosage. Swallow the tablet/capsule as a whole with a glass of water, preferably with meals or as directed by the physician. Do not try to break/crush/chew the tablet.

Side effects 

Pregnacare Tablet is generally safe to consume. If you notice any unusual symptoms while using this medicine, it is advised to consult your doctor.

Safety Information

  • Before starting the medication, let your doctor know if you have any liver, kidney or heart problems and other pre-existing medical conditions.
  • If you experience any unusual symptoms or allergic reactions whilst taking medicine, please discontinue the use and consult your doctor immediately.
  • Let your doctor know if you have any surgery scheduled before starting the medication.
  • Inform your doctor in advance if you are pregnant, planning to conceive or breastfeeding before starting the medication.
  • If you feel dizzy/sleepy while using this medicine, it is advised to avoid driving and operating machinery until you feel better.
  • Limit or avoid alcohol intake while using this medicine to minimize interactions and occurrence of side effects.
  • Keep the medicine out of reach of children and pets.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, protected from direct sunlight and heat.



How does Pregnacare Tablet work?


Pregnacare Tablet is a dietary supplement that provides nutritional support to the mother and the baby during pregnancy. It is composed of essential vitamins and minerals that aid in the growth and development of the unborn baby. It further prevents neurological disorders and improves the development and functioning of the unborn baby during pregnancy.


What should I know before taking this medication?


Pregnacare Tablet contains Vitamin K; hence inform your doctor in advance if you are taking oral anticoagulants (blood thinners). Your doctor will decide if you need to take this medicine or not in such a case.


Can I take Pregnacare Tablet on an empty stomach?


It is recommended to take this medication only after the main meal since you may experience nausea when taken on an empty stomach. Taking this capsule with a meal ensures maximum absorption of nutrients. 


What happens if I miss a dose?


If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is time for the next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and follow your usual dosage.

How To Get Free Dental Care When Pregnant

As soon as you get pregnant, you are entitled to free prescriptions, but not many people realise this is the case. It’s worth being aware of this, because it means you can claim any prescription medication without paying for it, even if the medication is not related to your pregnancy.
Here’s the lowdown:

Who is eligible?
Free prescriptions during pregnancy is not a means-tested benefit. That is, any woman who is pregnant can claim it, regardless of whether she is working or not, or whether she earns £10,000 or £100,000.

How long can I claim free prescriptions for?
You are entitled to free prescriptions from the time you are confirmed pregnant by your doctor, to a year after your baby is born.
That is, 12 months from the due date, or 12 months from the date of birth, whichever is later. If your baby is due early, you will still be able to claim until the original 12 months stated on your entitlement card is up.
If you suffer the tragedy of your baby being stillborn, you are still entitled to the 12 months free prescription.


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What can I claim?
Basically, anything you have a prescription for. When you take your prescription to the chemist, you tick the appropriate box on the back and you will not have to pay.
Even if you need something like a medicated shampoo, it is worth asking your doctor if you can get a prescription for this.

How do I register for maternity free prescription entitlement
When your doctor confirms that you are pregnant, ask him or her about free prescription entitlement application. Your GP or the surgery reception will then ask you to fill out a form, which they complete with your expected due date on it. This is Form FW8. This is then sent away to the Central Services Agency, and you will receive your prescription entitlement card in the post.
This will come with instructions about what to do if your baby is born after the due date, so you can still have the full 12 months free prescription benefit.

Does this cover dental services too?
If you attend an NHS dentist, you are also entitled to free treatment (including check-ups) if, at the start of the treatment, you are pregnant or have had a baby in the last 12 months, and hold the maternity exemption certificate.
If you have suffered a miscarriage after the 24th week of pregnancy, or your baby was stillborn, you are still entitled to this.

How To Care For Swollen Feet When Pregnant

Edema affects about three quarters of pregnant women. It can start around week 22 to week 27 of pregnancy, and will likely stick around until you give birth (on the bright side, pretty soon you won’t be able to see anything below your belly anyway).

What causes swollen ankles and feet during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, edema occurs when body fluids increase to nurture both you and your baby and accumulate in your tissues as a result of increased blood flow and pressure of your growing uterus on the pelvic veins and your vena cava (the large vein on the right side of your body that returns blood from your lower limbs to your heart).

This causes you to experience this oh-so-necessary increase as oh-so-annoying swelling — particularly swollen ankles and feet (but also your hands, as you may have noticed when you last tried to take off your rings). You might also be sporting more swelling in your feet if your weight gain has been on the faster side.

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Swelling & Edema During Pregnancy

Are there risks associated with swollen ankles and feet?

Although it sure isn’t swell (especially when you try to squeeze into your shoes at the end of the day, when puffiness is at its peak), mild swelling of the ankles and feet caused by edema is harmless and perfectly normal.

It’s also just as normal not to experience noticeable swelling (one in four lucky pregnant women don’t).

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However if your hands or face become puffy or if swelling persists for more than a day at a time (i.e., it doesn’t improve overnight), call your practitioner.

Excessive swelling can be one sign of preeclampsia — but when it is, it’s accompanied by a variety of other symptoms (such as elevated blood pressure, rapid weight gain and protein in the urine). If your blood pressure and urine are normal (they’re checked at each prenatal visit), there’s nothing to be concerned about.

Rarely, swelling in the legs could be a sign of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein.

Swelling from DVT tends to only affect one leg (usually the left leg) and might cause a feeling of heaviness or pain that gets worse when you stand up, or skin that’s red or warm to the touch. If you notice any of these signs, call your practitioner right away.

How to stop feet from swelling while pregnant:

  • Avoid long periods of standing or sitting. If you’re on your feet a lot, take breaks and have a seat. If you’re sitting down a lot, take a 5-minute stroll at least once an hour.
  • Kick up your feet. If possible, elevate your legs when you’re sitting. Who has a better excuse to put up her feet than a pregnant woman?
  • Sleep on your side. If you don’t already, try sleeping on your side (preferably your left) — it helps keep your kidneys humming along, which helps elimate waste and reduce swelling.
  • Move it. Do some pregnancy-appropriate exercise, such as walking (which keeps the blood flowing instead of pooling). Or if your practitioner OKs it, try swimming (the water pressure pushes fluids from your tissues back into your veins, where it goes to your kidneys so you can pee it out).
  • Avoid too-tight elastic-top socks or stockings. Your goal is to let blood and fluids flow as freely as possible (socks that leave an indentation mark around your leg are likely too tight).
  • Wear comfy shoes. Especially while you’re out (those sexy slingbacks don’t fit now, anyway). Consider orthotic shoes or inserts as well, which can make your feet feel better and can reduce leg and back pain during pregnancy too. Once you get home, switch to a pair of soft slippers.
  • Try support hose. Opt for full pantyhose (with extra tummy room) or knee- or thigh-highs (a better choice if you’re perpetually warm) that aren’t tight on top. Whichever type of support hose you choose, put them on in the morning before the daily swelling starts so they can do their job more effectively.
  • Drink lots of water. It may seem counterintuitive to try to flush out fluids with fluids, but drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water a day will help rid your system of excess sodium and other waste products, minimizing swelling.
  • Don’t go crazy with the salt shaker. Limiting salt too much increases swelling — so don’t cut it out entirely. But like everything, it’s best to keep your intake in moderation and salt your food to taste.

Another reason your shoes are getting tighter: foot growth

In addition to edema, there’s another factor at play if your shoes are feeling a big snug: Like the rest of the ligaments in your body, the ones in your feet are loosening thanks to the hormone relaxin, allowing the bones to spread out.

If you stick with your old shoes, your feet may feel pinched. After a few months, the swelling will recede and the extra weight will fall away (usually).

But although your joints and ligaments will tighten up, your feet may remain permanently larger — up to a full shoe size. Shoe shopping, anyone?

How To Take Care Of Your Wife When She is Pregnant

If you want to be a great husband, you’ve got to learn how to take care of your wife. When we are pregnant, there are lots of things we need and can’t do for ourselves. Your wife needs help in all areas of the house, not just with cleaning but with food preparation, laundry and everyday errands too.

Do not make your wife do things that are hard for her to do. For example, she might want to help you with the chores but just not feel strong enough to even lift a pot or pan. You must do things for her if they can be done in such a way that she does not have to move. This is why you should take care of your wife during pregnancy.

Pregnancy can be an exciting time, but new moms can also feel overwhelmed with many changes to their bodies and lifestyles. So it’s not surprising that 69 percent of new moms suffer from some form of depression. It’s important to remember that your wife will need help during the early weeks after her baby is born, so think about what you can do right now to help ease the transition into parenthood. Doing these things now will make life easier for both of you later on!

How To Take Care Of a Cold When Pregnant

Taking care of a cold when pregnant can be tricky. This guide explains the best ways to manage symptoms, and why avoiding exposure to raw foods is important. A pregnant woman should not ignore a common cold. If you have a cold and are pregnant, there is no need to panic. Here’s what you need to know about taking care of yourself during the infection. When you have a cold, taking care of yourself is just as important as caring for your baby. Follow these tips to help manage symptoms and get well

If you’re pregnant, you know that queasiness and fatigue are no fun. Luckily, there are things you can do to minimize your discomfort when hit with a cold. Try these 8 tips to ease your symptoms so you can keep up with your prenatal appointments. If you or your partner has a cold, it can be very tempting to take an over-the-counter medicine when that cough or sore throat start to get the best of you. But here’s what you need to know about taking medicines when you’re pregnant:

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