how to take care during pregnancy

How to take care during three trimesters of pregnancy

For having a healthy pregnancy it is the most important thing is to know how to take care during pregnancy. For that, it is necessary to have knowledge of baby growth, physical and mental health, changes, and self-care during the three trimesters of pregnancy.

The parents-to-be start talking about the future of their baby, start thinking that whether it will be a boy or a girl, start decorating the room for their coming baby and start shopping because it’s really the beginning of their new phase i.e. they are becoming parents. A woman feels in seventh heaven when she gets to know that she is pregnant. She starts thinking about the day she will be carrying a baby in her lap and will be holding the baby’s tiny, soft and delicate hands and feet.

For a thorough understanding of how to take care during pregnancy, let us break the nine months pregnancy period into shorter durations and talk separately about them. Here is a detailed overview that how you can make it happen.

FIRST TRIMESTER OF PREGNANCY:

Let us begin with the first trimester, the beginning of pregnancy. It is the time from the last menstrual cycle to the twelfth week of fetus development. This is the most sensitive part of the pregnancy because it is the formative stage.

how to take care during pregnancy

GROWTH DURING THE FIRST TRIMESTER:

In the first three months of pregnancy fertilized egg in the uterus starts growing rapidly by cell division. It is important to know the development during the first trimester before going through the taking care during pregnancy main development during this time is;

  • The growth of the placenta, umbilical cord, and amniotic sac.
  • The brain and spinal cord develop, i.e. formation of the nervous system.
  • Working of nerves and muscles gets started.
  • The heart shapes and starts beating, which can be heard from 4 to 6th week.   
  • The digestive system containing the small intestine, large intestine, and kidneys, of the baby, develops.
  • The lungs and other major organs start growing but are not fully developed yet.
  • A soft skeleton with a head and limbs (arms and legs), starts growing.
  • Face builds up eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. Eyes get covered with eyelids.
  • Tongue and tooth buds also grow. The baby also gets fingernails by the end of the first trimester.
  • Genitals start growing but the gender of babies cannot be recognized yet.

The baby grows almost 2.5-3 inches long and starts looking like a baby.

CHANGES IN A WOMAN’S BODY DURING THE FIRST TRIMESTER:

As the baby starts growing inside your body you will face rapid changes in your body. So, you may experience different things. Pregnancy is different for every woman. Some women become very healthy but others may have to deal with some issues during these first three months.  

  • Bleeding:

    in the first trimester, about 25% may go through minor bleeding. Early in pregnancy, light spotting may be an indication of implantation of the fertilized embryo in your uterus. However, visit your doctor at your earliest, if you are having severe bleeding, cramps, or intense belly pain. These symptoms may indicate an ectopic pregnancy (when a fertilized egg grows outside the womb usually in one of the fallopian tubes) or miscarriage.

  • Sore Breasts:

    it is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. They are stimulated through hormonal modifications, that are getting your milk ducts prepared for breastfeeding.

  • Constipation:

    Again due to the hormonal changes pregnant women may experience constipation.

  • Discharge:

    Earlier in pregnancy, a thin, milky white discharge is quite normal. But if it colors green or yellow and smells bad or you are having a lot of clear discharge, talk about it to your doctor.

  • Fatigue:

    a baby is developing inside your body, which definitely means your body is doing extra effort, ultimately you will feel tired more easily.

  • Eating Habits:

    Pregnant women may experience a change in likes and dislikes in their foods. During pregnancy, they may have cravings for the food they do not like, or the opposite may happen that they don’t want to eat a food they really like. Well, it’s alright but the craving for inedible like clay, dirt, and laundry starch is not okay. The condition of having cravings for inedible is called pica, avoid it.

  • A lot of pee:

    Because your uterus is growing, it puts pressure on your bladder, therefore you may be feeling like peeing all the time.

  • Heartburn:

    The progesterone hormone produces more in your body, during pregnancy. The production of progesterone relaxes the smooth muscles. As a result, the ring of muscles in the esophagus also relaxes. The esophagus is a tube connecting your mouth and stomach. When the ring muscles get loose, the contents of the stomach flow back into the esophagus resulting in acid reflux or heartburn.

  • Mood swings:

    The hormone changes and fatigue may affect the mood and you can feel changes in your moods just in seconds.

  • Morning Sickness:

    Up to 85% of pregnant women have nausea as a pregnancy symptom. You may experience nausea throughout the first trimester. It is also a consequence of hormonal changes. Some pregnant ladies may suffer from slight nausea but others may suffer from severe conditions. It is intense in the morning and therefore named morning sickness.

  • Weight gain:

    It is the time when gaining weight for a woman is considered good. Gaining weight between 3-6 pounds is perfectly fine, but do not put on more than that.

STEPS TO TAKE CARE DURING PREGNANCY (THE FIRST TRIMESTER):

After your pregnancy is diagnosed take the following steps as soon as possible:

  • Decide your Gynecologist:

    It is the most sensitive time of your life so don’t take any risks. Choose the qualified and best gynecologist for you. Beware of quacks. Try to find out the hospital or clinic near your house. It will save you from trouble in case of any emergency.

  • Intake of Folic Acid:

    The intake of folic acid in early pregnancy is very important. It will prevent certain defects in the developing fetus, specifically the neural tube defects.

  • Proper Diet:

    Pregnant women must take a nutritious diet. Take an adequate amount of fluids and fiber for the appropriate development of the fetus and also to avoid constipation.

  • Taking naps:

    Take proper rest and small naps whenever you feel tired, to avoid fatigue.

  • Precaution to do for avoiding heartburn:

    Heartburn can cause extreme discomfort. Try the given instructions. Take small meals after small durations in the whole day. Lying immediately after eating should be neglected. Reduce spicy, greasy, and acidic food. Raise your pillow while sleeping.

  • Reduce caffeine:

    One to two cups of tea or coffee is allowed to take but don’t take them at night. Because it will stimulate the bladder and you will have to go to pee again and again which will disturb your sleep.

  • Take high protein:

    High protein snacks and meat cheese should be taken to minimize nausea.

  • Take 150 extra calories:

    Your fetus is developing and you need 150 extra calories, eat healthy and organic food to meet your needs. Eat fruits, vegetables, meat, whole grain wheat, and drink milk.

  • Eat antioxidant fruits:

    Fruits like oranges, apples, bananas, blueberries, etc. are important to take because they will form a healthy fetus and will also keep the body of a pregnant woman healthy.

  • Avoid junk food:

    Eat homemade and hygienic food.

Second Trimester OF PREGNANCY:

The period from the onset of the 13th week till the 29th week is called the second trimester.

BABY’S DEVELOPMENT IN THE SECOND TRIMESTER:

  • The baby gains about 3 pounds of weight and becomes 6 inches long.
  • The brain and other organs get more developed.
  • The heart starts moving the blood up to 100 pints.
  • The lungs are completely made and but the baby can’t breathe yet.
  • The baby can move in the womb and you can feel the baby bump in the second trimester.
  • The eyes and ears get their exact position. Eyelashes and eyebrows are grown. Baby can move their eyelids and sleep in a regular pattern.
  • Fingers and toes are separated and fingernails and toenails are formed.
  • The baby’s head gets covered by the hair.
  • Vernix caseous is a protective layer that is white and creamy in texture. The layer covers the body of the baby.
  • The placenta is entirely developed now, it provides oxygen and nutrients to the baby and takes away the wastes. Fats also start building on the baby’s body.

CHANGES IN A WOMAN’S BODY DURING THE SECOND TRIMESTER:

  • Pain in your lower abdomen:

    The baby is growing and your uterus is expanding. It will lay pressure on neighboring muscles. It will cause cramps in your lower abdomen. The round ligament muscle stretches and you may feel cramps. The intensity of pain varies from minor to acute.

  • Backache:

    Since you have gained some weight it put pressure on your back eventually resulting in pain.

  • Bleeding gums:

    The gums receive more blood because of the hormonal changes and become susceptible to bleeding.

  • Braxton-Hick contraction:

    It happens because the muscles of the uterus tighten. The reasons for Braxton-Hicks contraction can be intercourse, dehydration, a full bladder, intense exercise, or touching the baby bump.

  • Breast enlargement:

    The time of sore breasts is now over but they are now enlarged because they still getting ready to feed the baby.

  • Nosebleed and congestion:

    The hormone changes are the reason for mucus membrane swelling resulting in a muggy nose.

  • Discharge:

    Earlier in pregnancy, a thin, milky white discharge is quite normal. But if it colors green or yellow and smells bad or you are having a lot of clear discharge, talk about it to your doctor.

  • Dizziness:

    Expansion of the uterus presses the blood vessels, furthermore the low sugar level and hormonal change. All these factors may lead to feeling dizzy.

  • Hair growth:

    Hair growth will be lifted because of the hormones. Well, it sounds good thicker hair on the head but you will see the hair even on areas your hair are never grown before. In pregnancy avoid laser hair removal, waxing, electrolysis, or depilatories.

  • Headache:

    This is the greatest indisposition during pregnancy. Aspirin and ibuprofen be avoided to comfort headaches during pregnancy.

  • Heartburn and Constipation:

    Like the first trimester, you can experience heartburn and constipation.

  • Hemorrhoids:

    These are varicose veins around the anus. The veins get swollen during pregnancy because more blood flows by them. They can be tingling and painful.

  • Cramps in the leg:

    The contraction in your leg muscle can cause pain in the leg.

  • Quickening:

    At about 2oth week of pregnancy you may start feeling the soft flicker of the baby in your belly, it is called quickening. Not all pregnant women will experience quickening.

  • Change in skin:

    We all know that during pregnancy the hormonal changes took place and the skin on the face flushes and you look glowing. In addition to glowing skin, you may have stretch marks. These are actually thin reddish-purple lines on your abdomen, breasts, or thighs. Brown marks on the face (mask of pregnancy) and a murky line at the mid of the abdomen appear in a consequence of increased melanin pigment.

  • Varicose and Spider veins:

    The baby developing in your body is putting pressure on your legs and the veins become swollen and purple/blue. These are varicose veins. Spider veins are tiny red veins on your skin that appeared due to the increased blood flow.

  • Infection in the urinary tract:

    Bacteria may sit on the top of your uterus and may cause infections in the urinary tract or bladder. This happens because of the changes occurring in your urinary tract or the expanding uterus, which makes it difficult to empty the bladder. Pain, burning during pee, need several times to pee, the smell in urine, pain in the lower abdomen, blood or mucus in urine can be felt.

  • Increase in weight:

    Appetite comes back in the second trimester, so may gain weight but be conscious and don’t put on too much weight. Intake of300-500 extra calories are enough.

pregnancy care

TAKING CARE DURING PREGNANCY (SECOND TRIMESTER):

  • Warm baths:

    Take warm baths or use hot bottles to reduce cramps and pain.

  • Relaxation techniques:

    Your body is going through changes and you need to learn to pacify the discomforts. Learn suitable techniques like relaxation exercises and try the following things:

  • Do not sit in the same posture for a long time.
  • Sit on a comfortable chair that completely supports your back.
  • Do not stand suddenly, it can cause dizziness.
  • Do not sleep straight, sleeping on your left side is preferable.
  • Avoid intense exercises.
  • Intake herbal tea.
  • Drink plenty of water to save yourself from dehydration.
  • If you have a nosebleed, put pressure on your nostril while keeping your head straight.
  • Use humidifiers to keep the air moist. It will help you avoid congestion.
  • Start wearing loose clothes and change the size of your bra to a comfortable fit.
  • Practice taking deep breaths.
  • Use fibers containing food to avoid constipation.
  • To ease the cramps stretch your legs and massage the suffering areas.
  • Taking care of skin changes:

    To hide the masks you can wear makeup when required. When you want to go outside use a sunblock of at least SPF 30 because your skin is more sensitive to the sunrays now. Use sunglasses as well.

  • If your twins are diagnosed:

    having twins means carrying two babies simultaneously. Now you have to be a bit more conscious.

  • Take frequent naps since you are not carrying a single baby.
  • Ingest Omega-3 to meet your needs. Fish is the best source.
  • You might have to increase your vitamin intake after consulting your gynecologist.
  • Intake 500 extra calories.
  • Abolish exercises from your routine if your doctor suggests.

THIRD TRIMESTER OF PREGNANCY:

Now you are entered into the final half of your pregnancy. The most challenging stage of the pregnancy. It is the 7th, 8th, and 9th month.

BABY’S DEVELOPMENT:

The baby has now developed completely. Babygrows are almost 19-21 inches in length and 6-9 pounds in weight.

The baby starts going round head-down, the baby does so for getting ready for the delivery. Lightening takes place when the head of the baby moves in your pelvic region. In the last two weeks of your pregnancy, the baby will keep this down-facing position.

The baby can now open the eyes to see, hear, suck its own thumb, cry and smile.

The brain of the baby keeps on developing and the bones on the top of the skull are soft to facilitate delivery.

Lungs and kidneys get fully developed. Almost sixteen percent of body fat develops.

The Baby’s skin is covered by the vernix caseosa. Lanugo, soft hair on the body, almost finishes by the end of the 40th week.

CHANGES IN A WOMAN’S BODY:

  • Pain in the abdomen:

    The growing baby occupies more space in the abdomen. It will cause pain in your abdomen and will make you uncomfortable even when you are lying in the bed to sleep.

  • Back pain:

    Again like in the second trimester, due to extra pressure, you will feel pain in the back in the third trimester too.

  • Bleeding:

    Slight bleeding at the end of the third trimester is an indication of starting labor. If the bleeding is more then it can be a sign of some problems like placenta previa, placental abruption, or preterm labor. Do not delay your visit to your doctor if you are experiencing more bleeding.

  • Braxton-Hicks Contraction:

    Now you will feel these contractions as warm-ups for preparing the uterus for the coming labor time. These contractions would not be as severe as the real labor. The difference between real and Braxton-hicks contraction is that the real contractions come closer gradually along with intensifying.

  • Breast enlargement and leaking:

    Now your breasts might be enlarged by two pounds. Near your delivery, a yellow-colored fluid known as colostrum can come from your nipples. It will give nutrition to your baby in the days after delivery.

  • Scary dreams:

    The hormonal changes can give rise to scary dreams which can disturb your sleep at night.

  • Feeling uncoordinated:

    now you have put weight in your abdomen which will make it difficult to balance yourself. Consequently, you will feel clumsy and uneasy.

  • Discharge:

    In the third trimester, you may experience a bit more vaginal discharge. A mucus plug, a thick clear or blood-stained discharge will appear which means the dilation of the cervix is preparing for labor. If a fluid suddenly rushes it is a sign of a water break, immediately see a doctor (only about 8% of ladies have a water break).

  • Fatigue:

    There are several reasons that are making you tired, weight in the belly area, the need to get up several times to go for peeing and getting ready for a baby. All these can cause fatigue.

  • Frequent Urination:

    obviously, your baby is bigger now so your bladder is receiving more pressure. It will cause frequent urination.

  • Heartburn and constipation:

    As your body is producing more progesterone, it can result in some muscle changes and you may feel constipation and heartburn.           

  • Hemorrhoids:

    Like the second trimester again you can suffer from swollen veins around the anus.

  • Sciatica:

    Sciatica is a nerve pain that may cause either due to hormonal changes or the pressure on the sciatica nerve. The pain arises from the lower back to the buttocks and spreads in the leg.

  • Shortness of breath:

    The expansion of the uterus leaves less space for the expansion of the lungs and as a result, you face shortness of breath.

  • Spider and Varicose veins:

    Now you are already familiar with the phenomenon, yes it can proceed in the third trimester too.

  • Swelling:

    You may feel your ring tighter. You may observe swelling in the ankles and face. Holding edema (excess fluid) is a reason for swelling. But sudden swelling can be an indication of severe complexity, preeclampsia.

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TAKING CARE DURING PREGNANCY (THIRD TRIMESTER):

  • Sleep on sides: 

    To minimize your backache, sleep on a suitable mattress to get a proper nap.

  • Empty your bladder:

    Urinate as soon as you feel the urge to give your body comfort.

  • Take proper rest:

    Whenever you feel exhausted either by carrying a baby in your womb or by the anxiety of giving birth or thoughts of taking care of your coming baby.

  • Manage time of taking fluids:

    Try not to take fluids before going to the bed to relieve yourself from the night bathroom visits.

  • Warm bath:

    Take warm baths to comfort yourself from hemorrhoids.

  • Yoga, massage, or therapy:

    To ease the sciatica pain try yoga, massage, or even go for therapy.

  • Stay active:

    Although you feel tired very easily you should get up and move after a bit while in the whole day.

  • Raise your feet:

    When you have to sit for long intervals of time put your feet on a box or something to keep the level higher and avoid swelling.

This is a bit of information for you if you are pregnant or planning a baby in the near time. Remember, the most important thing is to visit your doctor regularly and ask everything confidently.

Know the nature of your case and take care during pregnancy accordingly. Don’t be careless during this sensitive time period of your life and deliver a healthy baby along with keeping yourself healthy.

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