All About Pregnancy
See our overview:
1. See your doctor or OB/GYN as soon as you think you are pregnant and begin your prenatal care (see prenatal care guide).
2. Continue taking folic acid throughout your pregnancy.
3. Have a dental check-up and fix any issues as soon as your pregnancy is confirmed. Ideally it is best to avoid x-rays while pregnant.
4. Avoid last minute stress by checking out birthing classes and birthing centers early.
5. Inform yourself about all the delivery and childbirth options, from a home birth to c-section delivery and waterbirths.
6. Drink at least 1 liter of fluid per day. It will help you control the effects of morning sickness.
7. Eat a balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit, lean meat and vegetables.
8. Limit your caffeine intake. Studies show up to 200mg of caffeine a day is still safe during pregnancy - that is no more than 2 cups a day.
9. Exercise sensibly – check out exercise in pregnancy.
10. Ensure any health conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or diabetes are kept under monitored control.
11. Find ways to de-stress and sleep as often as you can. Aim for 7-9 hours sleep every night. Placing pillows between your legs and under your lower back may help your comfort.
12. Wear comfortable clothing or suitable maternity clothes.
13. Wash your hands, especially after handling raw meat or being in the bathroom.
14. Ask your doctor about treating a flu during pregnancy - pregnant women who get the flu can become very ill.
15. Avoid handling household chemicals such as pesticides and paint strippers.
16. Limit your time in the hot tubs and saunas to fewer than 10 minutes. Or ideally avoid altogether.
17. Read about the interesting option of cord blood/stem cell banking. What is cord blood banking? and how is cord blood collected?
18. Still have intimate relations with your partner (if you feel like it!). See sex during pregnancy.
19. Keep your pelvic floor muscles strong by practicing kegels exercise everyday. This will help with childbirth, as well as reduce the chances of urinary incontinence postpartum.
20. Read our guide to pregnancy symptoms to become familiar with the changes taking place in your body.
1. Smoke or go to places where there is a smoky atmosphere.
2. Drink alcohol. There are no known safe limits for pregnant women.
3. Eat raw or undercooked meat because of risks of bacterial and parasitic infections such as toxoplasmosis.
4. Eat swordfish, shark, king mackerel or tilefish because they are high in mercury.
5. Eat dairy products made from un-pasteurized milk. So avoid soft cheeses such as Brie and Camembert and mould ripened cheeses such as Stilton or Danish blue. Both carry risks of listeria and increase the chance of a yeast infection.
6. Eat raw or lightly cooked eggs because they carry the risk of salmonella. So avoid the temptation of mousse, cheesecake, homemade mayo and hollandaise sauce. See pregnancy diet for a suitable meal plan.
7. Take medication, unless prescribed by your doctor. This includes herbal remedies.
8. Exercise as vigorously as you might have done before being pregnant. Aim to always be able to speak in a normal voice, with your heart rate not exceeding 140 beats per minute.
9. Spend time with children or adults with an infectious disease (including colds and flu). See guide to taking tylenol while pregnant. Also, avoid taking aspirin during pregnancy.
10. Spend too much time in the sun. Sunbathing lowers your blood pressure and can lead to irregular brown spots on your skin.
11. Handle cat litter - you risk toxoplasmosis. Untreated toxoplasmosis can cause birth defects. To lower your risk avoid cat litter and wear gloves when gardening.
12. Wear high-heels while pregnant – you will have enough challenges on your lower back.
13. Assume you can fly in the final stages of the third trimester. Check out our travel during pregnancy section.
Recognizing Early Symptoms
What are the early signs of pregnancy before a missed period?
Questions on Childbirth
How do I know If I'm in labor?
How many cesareans can you have?
Is a home birth safe?
Questions on Prenatal Care
Will pregnancy raise my blood pressure?
When should I start wearing maternity clothes?
What tests do you need during pregnancy?
Is the flu dangerous during pregnancy?
How accurate is a scan at predicting gender?
When Symptoms Start To Appear
How early does nipple discharge start in pregnancy?
Kegels Exercise For Helping With Childbirth
What are pelvic floor exercises?