Tips for pregnant women are something a lot of people give out but few people should be trusted on. From your next door neighbor to a stranger you meet on the bus, everyone seems to be willing and able to shower you with invaluable tips. Some will even whisper family secrets and cheat codes to conceive a particular gender! But the only one you should be listening to is your doctor. Because he/she knows and has seen more cases than all of your would-be advisers put together. And yes, he is certified to do so.
As far as solicited advice goes, nothing beats the internet. Hence, we’re putting down a list of tips for pregnant women that are tendered and modest, readable and actionable.
1. Choose a Gynecologist close to your house: Sure your Mom and her Mom went to a certain gynecologist’s Mom’s Mom. But there were fewer options back then and travelling was less of a hassle. Choose a gynecologist close to your house. This will make frequent follow-ups possible and the final dash on the fateful day easier. You would also be avoiding numerous bumpy and unsafe rides.
2. Only take what your doctor writes: Do not take any supplements, tonics, miracle food or concoctions that your friends, family and pharmacists push on you. If you have to, run it past your gynec first. Even the most common painkillers and antibiotics are contra-indicated during pregnancy. Remember, almost everything you consume reaches your baby through blood.
3. Work till you can: Most women can fulfill normal office duties well into the second trimester. Work till you are comfortable. It will keep you occupied and active. Do maintain all precaution while at work.
4. There is no need to be overwhelmed: A lot is said, felt and acted out about this special time. One can often feel overwhelmed by the expectations and responsibility. But pregnancy should not be a time to carry around such pressures. If anything, this is time you should have to yourself. Do not try to do too many things. Just be vigilant and keep your gynec informed about everything you experience.
5. Maintain a blog/diary: If a feeling of not doing enough persists, keeping a diary or a blog would be a good idea. Besides preserving experiences for posterity, this will also enable introspection and help you come to terms with the changes happening in your body.
6. Be upbeat: If you are mentally in a good place, your body will respond positively. Ignoring all stress related activities and topics should be easy because nothing is more important than your baby. Playing classical music for the child to listen in the womb and surrounding yourself with greenery are talked about a lot. While the effects on the child may not be proven, it will definitely keep you in a positive frame of mind as you are doing something extra for your child.
7. The Food Pyramid and Excercise: Food forms the subject matter for a majority of tips that will be hurled at you. While you do need to eat for two, you should not throw caution to the wind. A bag of chips with a cola is still a bad choice. Exercise has been shown to help ease fatigue and make labor during delivery quicker. You can do anything from mild aerobics to yoga. Do run your exercise routine past your doctor for his approval.
8. Intimacy: There is no need for intimacy with your partner to be off limits. Now, in fact, is the time for trying new things as long as you are not putting weight on your belly.
9. Don’t fall sick: This may seem odd as a tip. But one can’t afford any kind of ill-health during pregnancy. Many drugs are not tested for use during pregnancy. This makes your doctor’s job more difficult. Besides a healthy diet and exercise, a good way not to fall sick is avoiding exertion and outside food.
10. Smoking and drinking: It is inevitable that many would-be mothers smoke and drink. Since we can’t outlaw smokers from having babies, the onus is on you. Strong evidence links even moderate amounts of drinking and smoking to birth defects in the baby. There are support groups and therapy sessions to help smokers quit. But there should be no substitute for a mother’s will.
We may be frugal regarding our own needs but don’t think twice for our children. Pregnancy is one such time when sensitivity to price is low. It is every marketer’s dream. They will sell you everything from clothes ‘designed’ for pregnant women to ‘breast-feeding classes’. Just remember that humans have been doing this successfully for millennia without the value added services. All you need is a gynecologist you trust and of course something like our tips for pregnant women.
– Punit Pania