When you find out you’re pregnant, well, I’ll be honest: it scares the s**t out of you, and it should, since it’s a big responsibility. But it’s also one of the best times of your life; those next nine months, a person will be growing inside of you, a person who you will love unconditionally for as long as you are alive, because, in a way, they are part of you and of who you are.
You will worry about them when they’re sick, you will help them do their homework for school, you will worry about them when they start dating, and the day they get married, you will still look at them and want to protect them from life, because they’re still that baby who sucked at your breast when they were first born
But first, before getting carried away with all this, let’s go over all the things you’ll need to know to have a swift, harmonious pregnancy. From pregnancy symptoms to pregnancy diets and workout, we tell you everything!
Are you pregnant? Those early signs say “HELL YEAH!”
Are you carrying a baby in your uterus or did you just have too much to eat? (Hey, it happens to the best of us, you know). This question can be quite scary, especially with all the contradicting answers you might get from your friends. Of course, getting a doctor’s opinion is the best way to know, but if you don’t have time for that or if you’re too busy to buy a pregnancy test, here are some signs that should rings your bells!
You have mood swings
One minute you’re all happy-go-lucky, you feel great, you think life is amazing and couldn’t be better, and then, suddenly, this shower of emotions pours over you, and you just feel like kicking someone in the face for no reason whatsoever (don’t do that, violence is bad, really). Don’t worry, you don’t have to call a therapist, but you might want to go to your nearest pharmacy and get a pregnancy test.
If you’re not usually subject to mood swings when you’re on your period, then maybe your pregnancy is doing it. Indeed, when you’re pregnant, many hormonal changes occur in your body, which might make you more sensitive. This is why pregnant women cry easily, and are more prone to bursts of anger (it’s not them, it’s their hormones y’all!)
You are disgusted by food you normally love
If the thought of that nice cup of coffee you enjoy every morning makes you want to throw up, you should probably take a doctor’s appointment. Research still doesn’t know yet why newly pregnant woman develop aversion to some kind of food, but most doctors think it’s because of the heightened level of estrogen in your body. So, if you find yourself disgusted by this burger you normally love so much, ring up your doctor!
True, bloating also occurs when you’re on your period (no one knows this better than us women), but it can also be a sign of pregnancy (at this rate, it looks like all signs of period are signs of pregnancy, which shows how crazy weird the human body is). If you can’t fit in your pants anymore, maybe it’s not because you’ve eaten too much (with your aversion to food, there are low chances that you’re just getting fat), but maybe because you have extra progesterone in you, which is known to slow digestion (great!).
You have sore breasts
Yes, another sign of getting your period (I guess it’s a 50/50 kind of thing). Because of the high level of hormones in your body, your breasts are sore and sensitive (truly a party, right?), they feel heavy, and putting on a bra feels like putting on one of those dark ages’ torture devices (you know what I’m talking about). Changing from a normal bra to a pregnancy supportive bra can help a lot with this sort of problems and diminish the pain.
You pee a lot
There’s no delicate way to say that, but you’ve been hitting the bathroom more frequently than usual these days, and that, my friend, might be a sign that you’re growing a baby inside of you! Maybe you can’t sleep through a night without peeing at least a few times, and it’s normal. When you’re pregnant, your system produces extra fluids, which means that you have to pee more.
Of course, this list would be incomplete without the infamous morning sickness (ironic, since it can occur at any hour of the day actually). Morning sickness can occur as early as two weeks into your pregnancy, and it’s one of the earliest signs that you’re maybe going to be a mom in less than a year. You will most likely have morning sickness for a month or two before being relieved from it, but in the meantime, try to eat food that will help settle your stomach and make the nausea more bearable (if I may say).
If you’re still asking yourself “am I pregnant?” after reading this, well, you only have one thing to do (two things actually, but who’s counting, right?): either make an appointment with an OBGYN to be sure, or buy a pregnancy test and use it (it only takes a few minutes if you’re too busy to go to the doctor). And if you want to read more about early pregnancy symptoms, check out this website, this one, and this one.
What about the pregnancy weight gain?
After all, you’re eating for two, as people say. Weight gain is common during pregnancy, and even more, it’s encouraged. But let everything when it comes to human body, it should be moderate: too much weight gain, and you might have hypertension problems or issues during labor, no enough, and you might have a baby that’s too small or born prematurely.
All this might sound scary, but we’re here to accompany you during this journey, so trust us, listen to your body, and don’t be afraid of the signs it sends you. Here’s everything you should know to control your weight gain journey during pregnancy, from your diet to your workout routine, and much more.
When it comes to food
Always go for the healthy choice! We know, you’re pregnant, you have cravings, and you’d rather have a donut then another stupid salad! But you’re not only eating for you, you’re also eating for that baby growing inside your uterus, and a donut is not really going to cut it.
So, here is what you can do:
Eat often and with moderation
Studies have shown that an average adult female needs 2000 calories a day, and during pregnancy, this intake might need to become higher, but this doesn’t mean you can just give up and turn into glutton. Eat more, but still moderately. One way to do this is to have 5 (or more) small meals throughout the day instead of 3 big ones. Go for fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats (like Omega 3), and fiber.
Control your sweet cravings
When you’re pregnant, hormones are all over your body partying like there’s no other night (just imagine hormones with tiny party hats), which makes you crave food, especially the sweet kind. If you feel like you want to grab a bag of candy from the closest supermarket, grab a fruit instead: berries, apples, grapes, and watermelon are just as sweet as any bag of Skittles. Always have them at home, and maybe make some popsicles with blueberries and Greek Yoghurt to help you with those cravings.
Drink a lot of water
One of the most important things you should do when you’re with child is to drink a lot of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Dehydration is a serious issue, and you should avoid it at all cost. Two to three liters of water are recommended daily, and always make sure to drink before or after a meal, and after physical activities, even the lightest ones.
Treat fruits and vegetables like your friends
Fruits and vegetables give you an important amount of vitamins, fibers, and even fat (avocados for example), so be sure to eat more than 5 portions of fruits and vegetables every day, to keep your baby and yourself healthy.
Know that fat is important too
Healthy fats are important, so don’t discard them. Even more, they’re one of the elements that help your baby’s brain grow, so always be sure to add them to your food. Healthy fats can be olive oil, organic butter, avocado, seeds, nuts etc...
Don’t go on strict diets
Going on a strict die will deprive you and your baby from important nutrients. Maintaining your pre-pregnancy weight isn’t a good enough reason to stop eating carbs, fats, or anything your magazine deems unhealthy. You’re responsible for creating a new life, and part of this responsibility is giving this life all the nutrients it needs to grow and be born healthy.
Think about adding prenatals to your diet
Prenatal vitamins are important: they make sure your baby gets all the nutrients it needs to grow strong while in your womb. You can get folic acid, iron, vitamin D, and calcium. All of these are needed to help your baby grow strong.
Avoid drinking too much caffeine
A little bit of caffeine doesn’t hurt, and we all know you need your coffee fix before starting the day (I know I do), but do not overdo it. If you consume more than 200mg of caffeine a day, it might hurt the baby, so go easy on those espressos and lattes.
Don’t avoid seafood
Some people say that a pregnant woman shouldn’t eat seafood, but it is actually recommended to eat fish while pregnant, since they’re rich with Omega-3, an excellent fat that help the baby’s growth in the womb.
Avoid some kinds of food
Of course, for a pregnant woman, there are some kinds of food that should absolutely be avoided because they have a high risk of contamination: unpasteurized milk and cheese, processed meat, raw eggs and seafood, and sprouts.
For more dietary advices, be sure to take a look here, here, and here.
What about exercise in all that?
Of course, exercise is important, and just because you’re pregnant, it doesn’t mean you can give up on keeping a healthy and strong body. Of course, not every type of exercise is good for pregnant women, you can’t box nor go to a Cross Fit class when you’re 8 months pregnant and feel like you’re going to explode. But here’s what you can do though:
Swimming is an exercise that makes all of your muscles work, but without putting pressure on them. It’s the perfect exercise for pregnant women, and if you have low back pain, well just try swimming, and thank us later *wink wink*.
One of the best and easiest cardiovascular exercises is walking. Doctors encourage pregnant women to walk because it’s safe to do throughout the whole pregnancy and doesn’t put too much pressure on your knees and ankles (contrarily to running).
Yoga and Pilates
Yoga and Pilates both will help you stay fit, toned, and flexible without impacting your joints. A great think to do would be to add yoga to your routine cardiovascular activity (walking, aerobics, or swimming).
If you want more info about exercising while pregnant, make sure to check out this website, this one, and this one.
In the end
What you have to remember is that from now on, you’re responsible for a life, a life that you will love more than anyone else in the world. Pregnancy is a beautiful part of a woman’s life, so make the most of it!