6 Things Women Should Know during Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an exciting stage where a woman undertakes a great responsibility to care for a new life that grows inside her. The ability to bring about the best for her child is greatly influenced by the things a pregnant woman knows. There are six basic but important things a woman should know during pregnancy.

  1. Nutritional needs. A pregnant woman needs to know her nutritional needs. Birth complications and defects can arise from pregnancy malnutrition. Pregnant women generally need up to 300 additional calories each day to support the development of a baby. A pregnant woman should eat well balanced diet to support herself and the growing baby. Pregnant women are also advised to take supplements such as folic acid to prevent defects in the newborn. She should also take in sufficient iron because deficiency in this may cause anemia and fainting.
  2. Family medical history. Knowing family medical history enhances preparedness. A knowledge of common diseases in the family can help prepare a woman for the possible illnesses that her baby is at risk of. A pregnant woman should investigate her health and genetic history, as well as her spouse's so that she knows beforehand of possible birth abnormalities, genetic illnesses and the chances of conceiving twins.
  3. Pregnancy hazards. Environmental hazards have increased the incidence of miscarriages, stillbirth, and deformities in infants. According to Vicki Musser (1994), 10 percent of all birth defects are caused by known environmental factors. Inhalation of paint vapor, for example, can cause damage in the mental development of the baby. The intake of recreational drugs and alcohol is also strictly prohibitive at this time because it can endanger unborn children. Chronically alcoholic women, for example, are most likely to produce infants with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) which is characterized by growth and mental deficiency and abnormalities in the skeleton and the heart.
  4. Discipline. It is not advisable for pregnant women to eat anything and everything she wishes. Overindulging may result to being overweight which increases the risk of diabetes and hypertension. Women who started pregnancy with at least 10 percent more of the ideal body weight are reported to have an increase in common pregnancy discomforts.
  5. Birthing plans and alternatives. A pregnant woman should have a birthing plan and in case this fails, alternatives. This also includes knowing about the special procedures and devices to alleviate the pain or hasten labor. Signing up for childbirth preparation courses and touring the birthing hospital or facility before the day approaches are good ideas.
  6. Basic childcare. Pregnancy is the best time to learn about childcare. While nurturing the unborn child is important during pregnancy, the time also provides the best opportunity for a woman to prepare for her motherhood. A pregnant woman should know beforehand the best possible nutrition she can give her newborn. She should also know basic diapering steps and other aspects of parenthood.

Pregnancy is indeed a challenging period characterized by fear and excitement. By knowing these simple but important information, however, a pregnant woman can have the best of her pregnancy and is on her way to a responsible and fruitful motherhood.

author: Rhodilee Jean Dolor

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