Even if you know everything about right eating habits, exercise and other nuances of pregnancy, there are still chances that you might fall prey to some of the most common mistakes that every expectant mother (mostly first-time mums) makes, albeit unknowingly. However, don’t fret about things now, there is still time for you to rectify your mistakes and get back on track. Here are some of the most common mistakes that women make during pregnancy.
Your daily calorie requirement is roughly between 1800 to 2000 calories. Do you really think that a tiny foetus growing inside you would need those many daily calories to grow and develop? The answer is no. What your baby needs is the correct nutrition. The rule of thumb here is that, you need only 300 calories more than your normal calorie intake. Remember gaining excess weight during pregnancy can put you at risk of conditions like preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and could necessitate you to have a C-section during your delivery. It can also lead to various other health problems postpartum.
Eating only three squares a day
Smart snacking can alleviate many pregnancy problems, such as nausea, heartburn and cravings. Plus, eating healthy snacks between meals can make it easier to get the nutrient-dense foods you need. She recommends fruit, vegetables, yogurt, whole-grain crackers, low-fat cheese, nuts and sunflower seeds. A more constant flow of calories in proper portions also helps keep blood sugar levels in check, particularly important for women with gestational diabetes.
Increase water intake
Ever wonder how all the good stuff in the prenatal vitamins and healthy foods you’re faithfully consuming every day are shipped to your fetus? It all starts with water, which helps your body absorb essential nutrients into the cells and transports vitamins, minerals and hormones to the blood cells. It’s those nutrient-rich blood cells that reach the placenta and ultimately your baby — all with the help of H2O.
Research says pregnant women in temperate climates should aim to drink 12 or 13 glasses (they count a glass as eight ounces) each day, which is slightly more than the amount for non-pregnant women (around 11 glasses each day). Try to space out your sips to keep them coming steadily throughout the day rather than gulping a lot at once, which could leave you feeling uncomfortably full. Since most of us don’t drink enough fluids, filling a water bottle or two every morning and keeping it handy all day takes the hassle out of hydration. Be sure to sip before, during and after you work out, or if you find yourself outside on a hot day. Note, too, that if you feel thirsty, it’s a sign that your body is already on its way to being dehydrated.
How can you tell if you’re getting enough? If your trips to the bathroom are frequent and your urine is pale or colorless, you’re drinking is on track.
Getting too much caffeine
Caffeine can cross the placenta and is difficult for the fetus to metabolize, says Melinda Johnson, R.D., a Phoenix-based spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. A study by National Institutes of Health found no association between intakes of up to 350 mg a day and miscarriage. Moderate amounts of caffeine (less than 250–300 mg a day, or about two cups) shouldn’t be a problem. Caffeine also lurks in sodas and tea.
Did you know that you are supposed to refrain from using antacids, paracetamol or even acne creams once you are pregnant? Self medication can have adverse affect on your pregnancy. Using over the counter medications, self medicating or undergoing harsh beauty treatments could lead to congenital abnormalities in your baby.
What you should do: Remember you cannot self medicate at any cost during your pregnancy. Only take pills that are prescribed by your doctor. If you have noticed that your prenatal vitamins and iron doses are making you feel nauseated talk to your doctor for a change of brand. These vitamins and iron supplements are prescribed to you to meet the requirements and you can’t do without them. If acidity, headache and acne are troubling you get help from a professional.
Letting morning sickness make you miserable
Let’s face it… morning sickness rarely stops at noon, and unfortunately, up to 75 percent of women experience this icky ailment early in pregnancy. It’s associated with rising hormones, and while it tends to reach a mean peak around the end of the first trimester, for some, the sick feeling continues. Ask your doctor for healthy morning sickness fighting medicine, For those wanting to go natural, try ginger capsules. It’s hard to know how much ginger you’re actually getting in drinks and foods,” she says. Experts recommend taking three 250-milligram capsules of ginger a day— plus another right before bedtime. You can also try taking vitamin B6. The smallest over-the-counter tablet is 25 milligrams. Like we said earlier check with your doctor before you take any medications.
No focus on your emotional well being
Mood swings are common during pregnancy, so you must focus on your emotional well being. Do meditation to keep yourself calm and composed. Mood swings brings unnecessary stress and complicates your relationship resulting in depression. It is a common mistake that women forget about mood swings or take them lightly.
What you should do: It’s not surprising that you may experience some complicated emotions during pregnancy. Taking good physical care of yourself, especially plenty of rest and sleep, will help keep the emotions in proportion. Talking to other women or couples may also reveal that you are not alone in your experiences. Be positive and see positive. Watch movies, pamper yourself to a spa session, have a few cheat treats, read a good book, listen to music and most importantly stay clear of negative people.
Lack of sleep
If you thought that sacrificing on your sleep can help you get a work-life balance; know that pregnancy is no time to play superwoman. The hormonal and physical changes that happen within your body during pregnancy demand more rest. Less sleep would in fact add to your pregnancy-fatigue. Also, try and make up for all your sleep deficit, because your body will need you to be physically fit enough to go through the strains of labour and delivery. While resting and getting enough shut eye is a must, exercising is also of immense importance in order for your body to prepare for the arduous journey of being in labour.
What you can do: If you have been sleeping for less than five or six hours in a day, its time you sleep more. Try by going to bed an hour earlier and waking up an hour later. To fix things on the home front, hire a maid or ask your family to chip in and help. Check if your employer will allow you to take a power nap during your breaks. If not, then don’t miss out on naps during the weekends. The key is to find a balance between resting enough and oversleeping. Oversleeping tends to make your body crave more sleep. This can spell trouble, post delivery, when your baby has erratic sleep cycles and your body yearns for more sleep.
Getting too much rest
when it comes to bed rest, even for threatened miscarriages and preterm labor, many doctors are now advising against it. A study published in the Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology last year concluded that pregnant women should be encouraged to remain active and that restricted activity doesn’t lower the risk of preterm labor. According to The Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, an organization of high-risk pregnancy specialists, about one in five women are placed on bed rest at some point during their pregnancy— and not only are the supposed benefits not supported by research but there are also potential risks that could be harmful to mom and baby. “Bed rest is the biggest myth of pregnancy,” states Robert Resnik, MD, professor emeritus of reproductive medicine at the University of San Diego. “There’s not one scientific bit of evidence that shows bed rest improves a pregnancy’s outcome. But studies do show it can increase the risk of blood clots, cause bones to lose calcium and muscles to atrophy.” If your health care provider prescribes bed rest, talk to her about your concerns, and discuss together whether an alternative protocol may be a better option.
Not talking to your baby-bump
Pregnancy can be stressful and leave you tired and exhausted. All this fatigue can take away attention from your baby bump — unless you experience your baby’s kick. But that’s not a healthy way to be reminded about your baby. Experts say that it is essential to bond with your baby-bump before you receive the actual reward.
What you should do: Put a hand on your belly and while gently caressing it, talk to your baby, often. Paying attention to your baby bump helps you bond with your baby and stimulates it’s senses too. But it is never too late, even if you have reached your third trimester you can still experience these blissful baby-bump moments.
Most pregnant women are afraid of using a seat belt during pregnancy. Not using a seat belt is much more dangerous than you can even think of. If the seat belt is uncomfortable, be sure that you have the waist strap below the bump and across your pelvis. If you are expecting multiples, you may opt to get a seat belt extender.
Avoiding comfort foods
If you have a sweet tooth, it’s a good practice to limit your sweet intake a little after the second trimester. Putting a check on your sweet intake will help you prevent the chances of suffering from gestational diabetes and other allied problems, but stressing yourself about not having a bite of your favorite sugary treat will only increase anxiety levels in you, which in turn can affect your baby’s well-being.
What you can do: Reach out for a bar of chocolate or a slice of cheesecake when you crave for it, but remember to do it in moderation. The same would be applicable for spicy and fried foods too. If you are not sure that you can stop at one slice of cake, ask your husband, mother or a friend to sit with you and monitor your intake. Stop when they signal you. Cheating is not going to harm others but you.
If you are a ‘non-exerciser’ you will tend find excuses to sit back and relax. Most women would say that their daily commute, taking the stairs in their office, residence building or doing the usual household chores constitutes enough exercises and help burn those extra calories. But not exercising during pregnancy can harm your body like no other. Exercise helps to combat stress hormones, boosts circulation, prepare the body for labour and delivery and help in fetal growth and development. Remember daily wear and tear is no substitute for exercise.
What you should do: Start exercising from the initial days of your pregnancy. If you are a beginner, discuss your plan with your doctor and how you should go about it. If you have already started hitting the gym, have a detailed discussion with your trainer on how you can alter your regimen to suit your special needs. Remember not to do anything drastic or take up any new challenges during your pregnancy. Most importantly avoid putting any pressure on your core (stomach muscles). If you are well into your pregnancy and have not exercised enough, start to make time for it. Take walks after dinner or in the morning and slowly graduate to pregnancy yoga, but get yourself a coach or practitioner to help you stay on the right track.
Not continuing medications for pre-existing diseases
A lot of women think that all prescription drugs can cause birth deformities and stop taking them when pregnant. This is a bad decision for women with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, seizure disorders, or psychiatric illnesses, which have to be kept in check. The best thing to do if you have a preexisting condition is to ask the doctor for advice on continuing versus stopping the medication.
Deciding on healthcare hastily
Before you decide on a hospital or clinic, ask yourself what kind of birth you prefer and if your doctor and the hospital has the means to support your decision. Birthing is a personal emotional experience and you wouldn’t want it to be ruined by not expressing your desires. Read up on the various types of birthing and choose what you would prefer for yourself. If it is hypnobirthing or water birth that you want, check if your hospital can help you with one. If not you surely should look elsewhere.
What you should do: Write a neat and clear birth plan on what you need and how to meet the criterion. Even if you are in your last trimester, just don’t give up hope. Ask yourself if you are comfortable with your doctor, if you feel at ease at the hospital or if your questions about birthing and delivery have been answered appropriately by the hospital staff. If not, talk to your friends around and explore other options. Make appointments with the other practitioners and be firm during the discussion about why you are looking for a change.
Not joining an antenatal class
Everybody told you there is nothing to be learnt from your antenatal class, and you will learn more about pregnancy experiencing it on your own. But ask yourself, ‘Do you know enough about post natal care?’ ‘How to breastfeed right?’ ‘What to eat to lactate well?’ ‘What exercises should you do during pregnancy?’ ‘How to manage labour?’ Sure there will be family/friends to help you. But there is no harm if you want to do it on your own and here is where antenatal classes come in handy. Antenatal classes will give you all the information you might on pregnancy and childcare and prepare you for the onslaught of delivery.
What you should do: Pick up a class during your first trimester when things are still in the nascent stage. In this way, you will have a lot of time to learn and do the right things for you and your baby. If you have missed out then look for a crash course in an antenatal program. You sure won’t be disappointed.
Opting out of vaccines
Pregnant women may decide not to get the seasonal flu shot over concerns about its effectiveness or safety. Yet it’s the best way to avoid serious complications from the flu, which pregnant women are at risk for because of the changes to the immune system that happen during pregnancy, Dweck said. In fact, a study in the journal Pediatrics showed that 90 percent of women didn’t get the flu vaccine, yet the infants of mothers who did had a 70 percent reduced risk of the flu.
What’s more, infants of mothers who receive the flu vaccine in the third trimester are 33 percent less likely to be hospitalized for respiratory illness in the first six months after they’re born, found a study presented at the Options for the Control of Influenza 2016 Conference in Chicago.
What you should do: speak to your doctor and get the shot.
Read a lot of things from all sorts of places and sort of believe everything you read
Even if you come at the range of websites and books with a totally level head, the most logical, rational person will end up thinking there’s an iota of truth in every single pregnancy- or baby-related thing you read. Which, in case you were wondering, leads to total and utter insanity. Trust your doctor and your gut instinct!
Funny but true
Freak out because your thighs/feet/boobs/nose is getting bigger
Things will go back to normal, pretty much. So Chill and enjoy your pregnancy.
Wonder how celebrities do it
Trainers, plastic surgery, weird diets, Photoshop!
Look at a non-pregnant woman and feel jealous or insecure because she is smaller/cuter/ less pregnant/ better dressed than you are
You will get there… relax!
Wish your pregnancy would hurry up and be over already
As crazy as it seems now, there will probably be a day when you look back on your pregnancy and feel a little wistful.
Try to be a total champ and do everything yourself without asking for help
You’re a champ just for growing an entire human in your body. Go ahead. Ask for all the help you want.
Feel crazy angry when someone is smoking in a public place and you have to walk by them
It’s awful. But your baby will be OK.
Avoid horizontal stripes/ dress in all black
There’s no way either is going to make you look any more or less pregnant, respectively. Wear what you want.