17 Things to do when you are pregnant

Stork visiting? Here's what you should keep in mind to have a safe and healthy pregnancy...

Folic acid
Have one folic acid tablet daily when you discover you're pregnant and continue doing so till you visit your doctor.

Don't pop that pill
Avoid over the counter medications and inform your doctor about your pregnancy before taking any medicine.

Prioritise your pregnancy
Do not miss antenatal check-ups. Follow the doctor's advice religiously. Say no to overtime. Grab that extra rest, squeeze in an exercise regimen or bond with your partner.

Join a prenatal program
These programs educate you about diet, exercise and breastfeeding. They prepare you for childbirth and parenting, allay your fears and learn from others' experience.

Eat right
Have home meals over junk food, whole grain products over refined sugars, fresh over processed foods, and fruit juice or buttermilk over coffee and tea. Eat plenty of nuts, dairy products, sprouts, veggies and fruits.

Indulge in low impact exercises like walking, swimming, static cycling or yoga, unless your doctor has told you not to. Avoid heavy weights and keep yourself hydrated.

Understand and accept your bodily changes
Your body is changing. Your breasts are bigger, stretch marks have started to appear and you have put on weight around your middle. Accept and enjoy these little joys of motherhood!

Watch your weight
Weight gain starts only from the fourth month. You would put on about 450 gm per week.

Visit your dentist
Pregnancy makes you prone to bleeding gums and gum disease. Dental infections, if untreated, can even trigger premature labour. So take care of oral hygiene and schedule dental visits.

Pamper yourself
Take rest, visit the parlour, take a massage. Listen to your body. Do not over-exert. Gear up your support system and ask for help. Happy mothers have healthier babies!

Dress sensibly
Choose loose fitting dresses with low heeled comfortable footwear. Choose a well-fitting bra. Change size frequently as per need.

No drinking or smoking
Smoking and alcohol are a strict no-no. If pregnant or planning pregnancy, you need to quit now!

The second trimester (4th to 6th month) is the safest for travel. Rail travel should be preferred over air or road travel. Avoid visiting places which do not have easy access to medical care and carry a copy of your medical file.

The second trimester is also the safest time to indulge in sex. Consult your doctor in case you have any complication, which requires you to abstain. You may have to change position to avoid pressure on your tummy.

Involve your husband
Let your partner accompany you to the doctor, discuss baby names and let him feel your baby move. Do not neglect him so that he is more motivated to pamper you!

Report warning signs
Report to your doctor immediately if you experience pain over lower abdomen, have a watery or bloody discharge, or if your baby is moving less often.

Choose the right hospital
Apart from an obstetrician you're comfortable with, consider distance from home, hygiene, availability of doctors, medical facilities and paediatric help. Discuss budgets and insurance facilities in advance.

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