What to do when you're expecting
Congrats – you're pregnant! Once you've seen for yourself those two blue lines on the pregnancy test, or maybe you heard it from the horse's (well, your doctor's) mouth, what do you do next? Here are our top five tips on what to do whilst you wait for the stork's arrival:
What to do when you're pregnant, rule 1: Attend pre-natal appointments
Once you've established that you're pregnant, done your happy dance, gone through every emotion in the book, and finally gathered your thoughts, it's important to attend a pre-natal appointment. Whether it's your first appointment or you've been attending them for a while, appointments for mamas-to-be are important for keeping you and your baby healthy and giving your unborn the best start in life. Whilst we all pray that there aren't any problems, if any issues did arise then the doctor has a better chance of treating them.
What to do when you're pregnant, rule 2: Do get your recommended daily dose of folic acid
Your pregnancy diet plays a vital role in your baby's development, and it's important that you get a good dose of folic acid to reduce your little one's risk of heart defects and spinal problems such as spina bifida. Indeed, numerous studies have shown that women who eat folate-rich foods before and during their pregnancy have a lower chance of having a baby with a neural tube defect. Some foods such as spinach, sprouts and green beans are all naturally high in folic acid, but these don't provide enough for your baby's development so you might choose to take folate supplements too. Women suffering from diabetes, sickle cell disease, and a number of other medical issues usually need more folic acid during pregnancy, and the recommended daily allowance can vary between individuals so it's important to speak to your doctor before making any changes to your pregnancy diet.
What to do when you're pregnant, rule 3: Do relax and pamper yourself
The phone won't stop ringing, the laundry pile is never-ending, and so is your workload come to think of it. Add a touch of pregnancy into the mix and you're a fully-fledged stress head. It really is important that you find the time to relax because pregnant bodies are already under huge pressure trying to supply everything your little love needs – added stress on top of this can be potentially harmful to you and your child. It's really important that you make time to relax as stress can increase the chance of premature birth and could cause abnormalities in your child. You may find it helpful to join a local support group where you can network with other pregnant women and discuss your worries and anxieties. You will probably find that whatever is worrying you is on the minds of the other pregnant women you meet too, and this will put your mind at ease – a problem shared is a problem halved.
What to do when you're pregnant, rule 4: Do make the most of your free time
Make sure you make the most of your free time before the baby arrives. Go out with your friends or watch a comedy film to make you laugh and reduce your stress levels, which can be harmful to you and your baby if they rise dramatically during pregnancy. Whatever your preferred 'pregnancy hobby', ensure that you enjoy your time before the birth because once you're exposed to excessive amounts of baby sick, sleepless nights and dirty nappies, 'me time' tends to take a back seat. You could also appoint a responsible baby sitter for when your bundle of joy arrives too, because going out and enjoying yourself on the odd occasion makes you a happy parent, and a happy parent makes for a happy child. Learning how to balance your relaxation time with a growing family is an on-going process, but you will soon get used to it.
What to do when you're pregnant, rule 5: Attend a pregnancy photo shoot
Pregnancy photo-shoots are specially geared towards getting the best shots of your bump. Once a bump has started to appear – or once you have a fully-fledged baby tum – this is the perfect time to attend a photo shoot to create a beautiful keepsake which will last a lifetime. A little miracle is growing inside you and a photo shoot offers the ideal way to capture this exciting time of your life. You can attend a photo shoot with your partner, family or even your friends. Once you've given birth, you will enjoy looking back on the photographs in years to come, and once the impending little one is all grown up, they will enjoy seeing what they looked like in mama's tummy. Enjoy!
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