You only need 300 calories a day more than before you were pregnant.
You only need 300 calories a day more than before you were pregnant.
Here are FIVE facts you may not have known about pregnancy:
Sometimes it can be tricky to put together a healthy, well-balanced meal from menus filled with buttery sauces, empty starches, and tempting sweets. With these tips, it’s possible for you to follow pregnancy diet guidelines when you dine out:
Once her baby is born, a mother’s sleep is frequently interrupted, particularly if she is nursing. Mothers who nurse and those with babies that wake frequently during the night should try to nap when their babies do. Sharing baby care to the extent possible, especially during the night, is important for the mother’s health, safety, performance and vitality.
Question: I just found out that I’m pregnant and I’m very excited about having a baby. However, I don’t have health insurance and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to afford to see a doctor or pay for delivery. Any tips?
Answer: Having a baby is definitely expensive. Still, no pregnant woman should go through pregnancy and childbirth without the proper care, even if she’s uninsured. If you can’t afford to get on health insurance right now, here are some other, more affordable options:
Question: I enjoy playing tennis and swimming. Do I need to give up these sports now that I’m pregnant?
Answer: In most cases, pregnancy doesn’t mean that you have to give up sports. Just please keep in mind that since you’re carrying a new life, it makes sense to play in moderation. Most healthcare professionals encourage patients whose pregnancies are progressing normally to continuing playing sports for as long as is sensible. Especially when you’re pregnant, it’s very important that you always check with your doctor or midwife before continuing or beginning an exercise program. Also, please don’t exercise until you’re exhausted.
Question: I’m wondering, is it safe to fasten my seat belt in the car while I’m pregnant? What about in airplanes?
Answer: The best way to avoid a car crash (as well as serious injury to your baby) is to always buckle up. Statistics say that it’s a lot safer for pregnant women fasten their seat belt than to not fasten it.
To maximize your safety and minimize any discomfort, you can fasten your seat belt below your belly, across your pelvis and upper thighs. If your car has a shoulder strap, wear it over your shoulder (not under your arm) diagonally between your breasts and to the side of your belly. Don’t worry that the pressure of an abrupt stop will hurt your baby. Your baby is well-cushioned by amniotic fluid and uterine muscle.
Fastening your seat belt on planes when the seat belt sign is lit isn’t only required by law; it’s your best protection against being thrown from your seat during turbulence. So buckle up in the air, too.
Question: Now that it’s clear I’m pregnant, everyone from my aunt to strangers at the grocery store has advice for me. It’s driving me insane! Any tips on how to deal?
Answer: It seems that there’s no way for a pregnant woman to get away from the unsolicited advice of those around her. There’s just something about a bulging belly that brings out the “expert” in everyone. Keep in mind that most of what you hear is probably just nonsense. “Old wives’ tales” that are facts have been scientifically proven and so they are part of standard medical practice. For old wives’ tales that haven’t been proven, you can confidently dismiss them. If there are recommendations made by others that leave you with a feeling of nagging doubt (“what if they’re right?”) is best to ask your doctor, nurse-midwife, or childbirth educator.
Try not to let people’s unwanted advice annoy you too much. Neither you nor your baby needs the added tension. Instead, try to keep your sense of humor handy; there are a couple of approaches you can take. You could politely tell the well-meaning stranger, friend, or family member that you have a medical professional you counsels you on your pregnancy and that you can’t accept advice from anyone else. Or, just as politely, smile, say “thank you,” and go on your way, letting their comments in one ear and out the other.
Question: I’m in my fifth month of pregnancy and my eyesight seems to be getting worse. And my contacts don’t fit quite right anymore. Am I just imagining this?
Answer: No, it’s common that the hormones involved in a pregnancy cause many of your body parts (including your eyes) to change. Your vision may seem less sharp, and hard contact lenses may no longer feel as comfortable. The cause of this may be that your body keeps more fluid during pregnancy, which changes the curvature of your eye and the shape of your cornea. Your hormones may also bring about a decrease in the production of tears, making your eyes dryer; more irritated, and cause discomfort.
After you deliver your baby, your vision should return to normal. If being fitted for new hard contact lenses during your pregnancy is going to be too expensive, you might consider switching to glasses or soft contacts. Laser eye surgery isn’t recommended during pregnancy (and for six months afterward), because it may over-correct your vision and take longer to heal.
Though a small amount of worsening in your vision isn’t unusual, look out for these symptoms that may signal a problem: dimming vision, blurring, double vision, or seeing spots or floaters. If your double vision doesn’t pass within two or three hours, call your eye doctor. If you’re seeing spots after standing for awhile or after getting up suddenly, don’t worry; this is fairly common.
Question: I love to drink coffee through the day to keep me going. Do I really have give up all caffeine while I’m pregnant?
Answer: Caffeine does enter the fetal circulation, but scientists still aren’t sure to what amount. There is some support to the idea that caffeine isn’t the best idea during pregnancy, it seems light coffee drinking doesn’t seem to be a problem. The most recent studies show that those who drink 2-3 cups of coffee a day are most likely not putting their babies at risk. Still, the miscarriage rate does increase in women who drank 5-6 cups of coffee a day.
Until more studies are done, it is suggested that you either avoid caffeine or limit yourself to no more than two servings a day. As you estimate how much caffeine you consume, keep in mind that caffeine isn’t just found in coffee: soft drinks, coffee yogurt, tea, and chocolate also contain it. Dark coffee sold at coffee houses contains more caffeine than coffee that you brew at home. Also, instant coffee has less caffeine than drip coffee does.
There are other reasons to cut back on caffeine: it has a diuretic effect, meaning that fluid and calcium (nutrients that are very important to your health and your baby’s health) leave your body more quickly. If you’re already finding that you need to frequently urinate, drinking coffee will only make that worse. Plus, coffee with cream and sugar are filling and satisfying without having nutritional value, and can ruin your appetite for the healthy food you need. Also, too much caffeine can keep you from getting enough rest, especially if you drink it after noon.
You can cut back on your caffeine intake by choosing a decaffeinated replacement – just don’t let it replace milk, orange juice, or other healthy beverages. If you need the “pick-me-up” you get from drinking coffee in the morning, consider using exercise and nutritious food for a more natural, longer-lasting boost. If you were a heavy coffee drinker before your pregnancy, make sure to ease off it gradually so you don’t experience the withdrawal symptoms too badly.