Dealing with pregnancy, especially for the first time, can be an exciting period. It is also filled with lots of biological changes for the expecting mother.
Most women have many questions during this period. They want to know what is good for the health of their baby and the best ways to prepare for the new member of the family.
Let us look at some of the most common questions women dealing with pregnancy often ask.
What are the first signs of pregnancy?
The most effective way to determine if you are pregnant is a pregnancy test. However, there are also certain physical symptoms that are usually a good sign a woman is pregnant, especially if she is exhibiting more than one of these symptoms. These include:
- Urinating more frequently than usual
- Feeling nauseated especially in the morning
- Swollen breasts
- Tender breasts
- Morning sickness
- A missed period
Firstly, it is important to remember that the due date is only an estimate. It is typically 280 days from the mother's last menstrual period or about 40 weeks after her last ovulation cycle.
Is having sex while pregnant safe?
Generally, it is okay to have sex during all stages of pregnancy. Fears that the baby will be hurt are unfounded. The baby is well protected by the mucus plug, the uterus and the amniotic sac. However, there are a few scenarios that a gynecologist will advise patients to avoid sexual intercourse.
For example, your doctor may tell you to avoid sex if you are dealing with vaginal bleeding, a placenta previa or if the baby has a high risk of being born prematurely.
What goes on during a prenatal checkup?
Expect to spend some time with the gynecologist during your first visit. Here is what goes on during a prenatal checkup:
- Patients will go through a detailed review of their medical history
- Urine and blood tests will be administered
- A physical examination will be conducted to determine the mother's blood pressure, weight and the condition of her lungs, breasts and heart.
- A Pap smear to detect cervical cancer or vaginal infections
- The patient will be educated about proper nutrition during pregnancy
Are prenatal vitamins necessary?
Getting all the essential nutrients and vitamins the baby needs is extremely important. The baby's development puts much strain on your body. Additional minerals and vitamins help deal with this. Vitamins, such as iron, calcium and folic acid, are vital during pregnancy.
You should talk to your health care provider about which prenatal vitamins to take since each patient has unique needs.
What is the best way to deal with heartburn?
It is not uncommon for pregnant women to have frequent heartburn. This is caused by some of the changes that take place during pregnancy like increased progesterone and an expanding uterus.
Progesterone relaxes muscles like the stomach valve, and this allows acids to make their way into the esophagus.
The heartburn can be alleviated by eating smaller meals, taking antacids and keeping the head and chest elevated when possible.
Any more questions?
Each pregnancy is different. Your first child may have been a walk in the park, while your second is quite the struggle. It is normal to have questions.
Talk to one of our gynecologists today to get help managing your pregnancy.
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