Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How To Take Care of Yourself While Pregnant and After Birth

How to tell when you are pregnant
Pregnancy signs include: the lack or the delay of menstruation, enlarged or painful breasts, sudden unexplained fatigue and increased need of sleep, frequent urination, and nausea. If you think you might be pregnant, take a pregnancy test.

A urine pregnancy test can be made after 10 to 14 days after the disappearance of the menstruation. Most urine and blood tests can even be made earlier, even at the date the menstruation should appear. Also, a doctor can confirm the pregnancy if you go and pay him a visit. But still the simplest way is to buy a home designed pregnancy test so you can find out for you self whether you are pregnant or not in the privacy of your home.

A happy mommy - not just a dream!
The pregnancy period is a very special period in your life. If you find pout just what to expect while pregnant and when giving birth, you will feel more relaxed and accept the changes you are going through easily. When you are pregnant, treat yourself just as if you would be treating your child. Rest for as long as you want to, go to sleep whenever you feel tired (8 hours of sleep every night are an absolute must!). Try to avoid stress and save some time for yourself every day. You will also fell very good about yourself if you try and remain active through activities like swimming, dancing or simple walks.

When do you have to go to the doctor for prenatal care?
You can prevent any undesirable complications and you can make sure you will have a healthy baby through prenatal care (start it once you've found out you are pregnant). Pregnant women go to their doctor usually once a month during the first 7 month of pregnancy, and then twice a month, ending up to go even every week as the due date approaches. During these visits the doctor can easily follow your baby's growth, can identify any small problem that might appear and can advice you how to stay healthy. The first visit is usually the longest. The doctor will ask you a series of questions to calculate your due date and if there are any risks regarding the pregnancy. You can expect to be asked things like the date of your last period, if you were pregnant before, if you use drugs or alcohol, if you've even been exposed to sexually transmitted diseases.

Then, you will get a complete gynecological exam. During every visit, your medic will check the blood pressure, keep a track of your weight gain, and recommend a urine test for diabetes or infections, blood tests for anemia and kidney problems. The doctor will also follow the growth of the baby by ultrasounds or by measuring the uterus, examine your belly and listening to the baby's heartbeat.

What to eat during pregnancy?
A healthy diet is vital for a healthy pregnancy. It's the best thing you can do to assure the proper growth of your baby. It will also make you stronger and ready to give birth and to breastfeed your baby. Eat healthy, equilibrate and drink lots of water. Limit the consumption of sweets. Don't try to loose weight, it might be harmful. You should expect to gain anywhere from 14 to 30 pounds during pregnancy. Don't forget to take vitamins and iron to prevent anemia.

What to avoid during pregnancy?
Try to stay way from everything that could negatively affect your baby. So you must avoid things like smoking, alcohol and drugs. All these can trigger a premature birth or can create physical or mental problems to your child, even from the period he is still in your uterus.

How to tell something is wrong during pregnancy?
Most pregnancies start out without problems, buy those can appear unexpectedly. If you have any of these alarming signs, you should go to your doctor immediately: sudden weight gain, swallowing of you feel and hands, sever and repetitive headaches that last more than 2-3 hours and don't go away even with medication, fainting, blurry vision, seeing light spots, pain or burning sensations when urinating, exaggerated thirst and troubles urinating, strange and smelly vaginal secretions, bleeding.

Also you should consider seeing you doctor in any of the below listed situations too: if you feel like you baby hasn't moved for more than 8 hours or more (after the 6 month of pregnancy), when you contraction start early (uterine contraction at every 10 minutes or faster, abdominal cramps, pelvic pressure or a descending sensation, changing in you vaginal secretions or the sudden release of a water like liquid)

Do you have to breastfeed?
Breastfeeding is one of the best things you can do for your baby, as it is the most nutritive food he can get. The milk from his mother can protect him from diarrhea cause by medicine, aliment or contaminated water, will help him be immunized, protecting him from disease and infections and will also help building a close relation between you and your baby. If you are only feeding you child with your milk (not even water or tea), and if you feed him every 4 hours during the day and every 6 hours at night while your menstruation did not appeared yet, you are at shelter from a new pregnancy (only under all these conditions) until your baby will be six month old. You can start to breastfeed as soon as your child is born. In the first few days your breast will produce thicker liquid called colostrum. The colostrum gives your baby all the nutrients he needs. At the end of day two or three, regular breast milk will start producing normally.

How to take care of yourself after birth?
Most women can restart their regular activities as soon as a week after giving birth. It's highly recommended that you are as active as possible, excepting the case in witch you've suffered an operation. The movement can improve you blood circulation, help your breathing return to normal and help you regain muscular elasticity. Watch out for the signs of complications like infection and heavy bleeding. If there are any, call the doctor or go to the hospital immediately.

After giving birth, when to start using family planning methods?
It's important to let your body rest after pregnancy and birth. You need time and energy to take care of yourself and your baby. Normally you can regain your fertility and then get pregnant after as little as 6 weeks from birth, even before having your period. Breastfeeding will delay the fertile period. You will have to start thinking of protecting yourself from a new pregnancy even before birth. If you want to breast feed, you will have to choose a method that won't affect your milk like: condoms, the mono-hormone pill, injectable contraceptives etc.

If you are not breastfeeding you can start using oral contraceptives starting 3 to 6 weeks after giving birth. You shouldn't rely on the all know method of recognizing the fertile period. It's hard to tell when this period will come after birth, so don't used this method; it's doomed to fail in the first few months. And remember that if there are no medical problems after birth, you and your partner can start having sex as soon as you feel comfortable about it. After a normal birth, most women start having sex after 4 to 6 weeks, but some do it much earlier or even after 6 months, it all depends on their body and libido.

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