Pregnancy entails both physical and psychological adaptations to a woman and her partner. The pregnant woman and her partner are often interested in learning about the changes during pregnancy, and the respective care needed throughout gestation.
The physiologic changes of pregnancy occur in a gradual pace but eventually affect all systems of the body. These are necessary to allow a woman to be able to provide nutrients like oxygen to a developing fetus, as well as essential nutrients for her own well being.
Because pregnancy is not an illness, few special care measures other than common sense about self-care are required.
Things To Take Care In The First 3 Months Of Pregnancy
- Iron: Almost all women need some iron supplementation during pregnancy, because the fetus requires at least 350 to 400 mg of iron to develop. The increases in the mother’s circulatory red blood cell mass require an additional 400 mg of iron. The total need for iron is increased to 800 mg.
- Breast Care: A woman should wear a firm, supportive bra with wide straps to spread weight across the shoulders.
- Dental Care: Gingival tissue tends to hypertrophy during pregnancy. Unless a pregnant woman brushes well, pockets of plaque readily form between the teeth and enlarged gum line. A woman must snack on nutritious foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables to avoid sugar in coming in contact with the teeth.
- Perineal Hygiene: Douching is contraindicated because the force of the irrigating fluid could cause it to enter the cervix and lead to infection. Douching alters the pH of the vagina, leading to an increased risk of bacterial growth.
- Dressing: A woman should avoid extremely firm girdles with panty legs, knee-high stockings, and garters, as these may impede lower-extremity circulation. Pregnant women must wear low to moderately heeled shoes to minimize pelvic tilt and backache.
- Exercise: Well-nourished women should exercise during pregnancy everyday for at least 30 consecutive minutes. Swimming is a good activity for pregnant women as long as the membranes are intact, as this may help relieve backache problems.
- Sleep: The optimal condition for body growth occurs when growth hormone secretion is at the highest level.
- Foods: Women must avoid alcoholic beverages, foods with caffeine and artificial sweeteners.