How to take care of yourself during pregnancy

Pregnancy is a special time in the life of every woman. When we learn that we are going to have a baby, our heads are swarming with question, how to take care of ourselves during pregnancy, what should we change about our current lifestyle, and what we can and cannot do during this time.

Regular visits to the doctor

The first visit to a doctor should take place between the 6th and 8th pregnancy week, preferably by the 10th pregnancy week (counted from the last menstruation). During the first visit, the doctor will examine you and interview you for your past diseases, medicines taken, a date of your last menstruation, and your general mood. Additionally, the doctor will order necessary tests that will confirm your pregnancy.
During the first visit, he may also start your maternity notes, which you should always have on you. The maternity notes will be useful during subsequent tests, and the doctor can enter all necessary data into them.
Throughout the pregnancy, you will undergo regular checkups which will show you how your baby develops and how your pregnancy goes.

Correct nutrition

The appropriate healthy diet is fundamental for everybody’s health, including pregnant women. During pregnancy, you should pay particular attention to your meals to ensure they are varied, fresh and prepared from products of good quality.
In the first trimester, you should eat as before, and the calorie content of your meals should not change. It increases only in the second trimester, by 360 kcal, and in the third one by about 475 calories. It is important for your diet to be based on meals consisting of micro and macroelements and vitamins necessary for baby’s development.
During the entire pregnancy, you should avoid raw meat and fish, seafood, runny eggs, and unpasteurised products, including blue and brie cheeses. Products should be stored away from the sun, excessive moisture and contact with raw foodstuffs, to avoid contamination with Listeria or Salmonella.
The quantity of fluids drank by pregnant women has a great influence on their mood. Data of the National Food and Nutrition Institute show that pregnant women should drink about 2.3 litres of fluid a day, of which 80% should be water.
Remember that a pregnant woman must completely avoid alcohol and smoking.

Consider regular physical activity

If you have not trained regularly before, pregnancy is not a good time to start demanding exercises requiring a lot of effort. Moderate physical activity is recommended for pregnant women, to remain healthy and in a good mood.
On the other hand, if you were very or moderately active before pregnancy, there are no contraindication to continue when you are expecting your baby. In pregnant women, physical activity is beneficial both for the mother and the child.
Positive aspects of exercises include improved blood flow and functioning of the respiratory system and relieving of various pains. They also contribute to efficient course of labour and quicker recovery after the childbirth.
Additionally, exercises during pregnancy improve the placental and uterine blood flow, thus positively influencing the baby’s development and pregnancy itself. Furthermore, babies of women who exercise during pregnancy are born healthier and stronger, achieving a higher Apgar Score.
WHO data recommend regular physical activity to all women expecting a baby, and after delivery. If you have no contraindications to regular daily physical activity, move and vary your exercises, to care for yourself and your baby.

Face and body care, and oral hygiene

To look after yourself during pregnancy, you should pay particular attention to face and body care. During pregnancy, your skin changes, and this means that discolourations, stretch marks, undesirable spots, or local dry areas may develop.
Facial care should not be limited only to the use of creams. You should use peelings and masks for the entire body, to correctly moisturise the skin of your face and of your body. They will help you to remove dead epidermis and improve the skin elasticity. A relaxing face massage will improve blood flow and prevent swelling. From the moment your pregnancy is confirmed, you may also use stretch mark creams designated specially for pregnant women, which may prevent development of stretch marks when used regularly.
Caring for yourself also means maintaining your oral hygiene. Pregnant women are recommended to visit a dentist at least twice during their pregnancy. Furthermore, to keep the gums and teeth in a good condition, you should brush your teeth every day with a soft brush and rinse your mouth with alkaline solutions.

What are your rights during pregnancy

Pregnant women are covered by a special protection against dismissal. They are entitled to special rights and work conditions, e.g., they do not work at night and in overtime. Pregnant women can remain on a sick leave until they give birth, e.g., when they work in inappropriate conditions or feel unwell.
A decision how long she should keep on working when expecting her baby belongs to a woman and her doctor. If you feel that you professional activity does not significantly influence your mood and, what is more, keeps you moving, do not resign from it.
If you need to undergo any tests, and your working hours interfere with it, your employer is obliged to give you a day off, which is not deduced from your maternity leave. Additionally, you are entitled to full remuneration for that day.
Your employer should provide you with all necessary information on your rights and obligations during pregnancy and after your child is born. They are in the best position to explain what they expect from you, as well as leaves and allowances available to you.

Listen to your body

Are you still wondering how to take care of yourself during pregnancy? Have this article explained to you only several important issues? Are you still afraid that you will miss something vital? Your organism will know the best!
If it tells you to slow down, stop for a moment, listen to it! Your intuition will suggest to you the best ways for looking after yourself and what to do in a given situation. An expectant woman experiences unique hunches, and knows what is good for her and her developing baby.
Pregnancy is a special time in the life of every woman. When we learn that we are going to have a baby, we have plenty of questions on our mind, how to take care of ourselves during pregnancy, what should we change about our current lifestyle, and what we can and cannot do during this time.
How to take care of yourself during pregnancy