There are very few people that ask more questions than an expecting mother. Questions about pregnancy, motherhood, everything that’s changing in your life—you need answers! In this blog, we’re outlining some of the most commonly asked questions regarding pregnancy.
Am I Pregnant?
The first of many questions all new moms want the answer to—am I pregnant? Most of us already know that the first sign of pregnancy is a missed period. There are a lot of early signs and symptoms you can look out for as well:
- Morning sickness—feeling or being sick at any time of the day.
- Changes in your breasts—if they become larger, more tender, or tingly.
- Needing to urinate more often—you might get up in the middle of the night when you don’t usually need to.
- Being constipated
- Increased vaginal discharge with no soreness or irritation
- Feeling more tired than usual
- Having a strange taste in your mouth—most women describe it as metallic
Some women feel normal at four weeks, but others notice some changes. Some women experience some very light spotting around their period, which is known as implantation bleeding and isn’t a cause for any concern.
The best thing you can do to get an answer is to take a pregnancy test! Consult your doctor to be completely sure that you’re pregnant—but at-home pregnancy tests are very reliable. You can take one as soon as the first day you miss your period.
What Prenatal Vitamins Should I Take?
You should get most of the vitamins you need by eating a healthy diet, but you should also be taking folic acid supplements while pregnant. You should also take a daily vitamin D supplement—this is especially important in the winter months since you won’t be getting as much vitamin D from the sun.
Once you become pregnant, there are some things you should stop taking. Any supplements or multivitamins containing vitamin A, or retinol, can harm your baby’s development. That means you should avoid liver and liver products, like fish liver oil, since they’re high in vitamin A.
How Much Weight Should I Gain?
Like most things in pregnancy, this varies from woman to woman and depends a lot on your weight before you became pregnant. You’ll most likely put on most of your weight after week 20. A lot of the extra weight is your baby growing, but your body will also prepare to make breast milk! You’ll be storing a good bit of fat for that—good fat!
Putting on too much, or too little, can lead to health problems for you and your baby. As long as you’re communicating with your doctor, eating healthy foods, and avoiding the things you should be avoiding (like these) you should gain the weight you need at a healthy pace.
When Will My Cravings Start?
There is no specific time when your cravings should or will start—cravings start at different points for different women, and sometimes never start. Typically, though, they’ll start as early as five weeks, get stronger in your second trimester, and eventually stop in your third. It’s common for women to crave fatty foods like chips, and things they didn’t even like before they were pregnant! Some women even crave odd combinations of things, like these.
Try to eat as healthily as you can, and keep any unhealthy temptations to a minimum. Don’t be too hard on yourself, though—most things are fine in moderation. If you crave things that aren’t food, like toothpaste, dirt, or even paint chips, speak with your doctor. These kinds of cravings could be a sign of vitamin deficiency.
How Can I (Safely) Stay Active?
Exercising during pregnancy shouldn’t scare you! Unless otherwise directed by your doctor, you can keep up your normal level of daily activity as long as it still feels comfortable for you. During these nine months, it’s especially important that you listen to your body’s needs. If something hurts or feels uncomfortable, stop doing it immediately. Go easy on yourself—your body is going through a lot, so there may be some things you simply can’t do during this time. Remember to take as many breaks as you need and drink a lot of water.
Here are some great pregnancy exercise tips to keep in mind:
- If you can’t hold a conversation while you’re exercising, you’re working too hard
- Always warm up and cool down to protect your muscles
- Again, drink tons of water
- If you take an exercise class, make sure your teacher knows that you’re pregnant
- Swimming is great while pregnant—the water helps support your body weight and relieves pressure
- Walking, running, yoga, pilates, and aerobics are all great for pregnant women
- Some exercises, like running and weight training, will need to be modified
- If you weren’t active before pregnancy, it’s never too late to start—just start slower than you normally would
Avoid any kind of exercising that might risk you falling, like skiing, gymnastics, or horseback riding. Contact sports are not a good idea, and try not to do anything that requires lying on your back for too long—your extra weight can press on an important artery that brings blood back to your heart, causing you to feel lightheaded.
For more helpful maternity tips, classes, and events visit RMC’s website today.