Every stage of pregnancy is important. From the first few weeks to the final few days just before the baby is born, you have to make sure that you are keeping the baby safe. The pregnancy period often comes with anxiety as you try to do everything to protect your pregnancy, particularly in the early stages.
The pregnancy period, which typically lasts around nine months of between 36-40 weeks, is divided into three trimesters, each lasting 3 months. The first trimester, usually about 12 weeks, is when the woman’s body starts going through the most changes as the body prepares to accommodate the new life. Some common symptoms of that period include tiredness, upset stomach, throwing up, mood swings, tender breasts, heartburn, weight gain, headaches, constipation and so on.
This is also the period when the fetus starts forming and begins to develop organs and take shape. This is also the period when miscarriages are more likely to occur, which is why most women are usually anxious or nervous during the first trimester.
In today’s post, we would be looking at ways you can protect your early pregnancy, to not only keep the fetus safe but you as well.
Start Antenatal Visits
You are expected to start antenatal visits about four months into your pregnancy. This is when you visit the doctor regularly, at least once a month. Your doctor would monitor your pregnancy to make sure there are no complications or issues. They would also assess your health to make sure you are doing fine. They would also advise you on things including your diet, medications, and so on.
The whole essence of antenatal visits is to make sure your pregnancy period is going as well as it should and to make sure that there are no problems or complications that could affect the health of your baby or you.
Take Your Prenatal Vitamins
During pregnancy, your body needs some essential vitamins to help the baby develop. One of such is folic acid. Folic acid prevents birth defects and helps with the development of the baby’s brain. It is advised that pregnant women should take 400mg of folic acid daily. Other vitamins you would be taking include Vitamins B12, D, C, E, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, and other nutrients like calcium, zinc, iron, and iodine. There are also foods rich in folic acid, which you can eat.
It is important that you take your prenatal vitamins as recommended.
In the early stage of your pregnancy, you would feel more tired than usual, causing you to want to sleep more. Do not fight the feeling. Sleep as often as you can, especially at night. If you are someone who works late shifts, you would have to find a way to work your schedule to allow you to get a minimum of eight hours of sleep every night.
Sleeping, at this stage, is very good for your body.
Yes, if you own a cat, you would have to limit how much time you spend around them or handling them. This means you shouldn’t do things like clean their litter box. This is because there are millions of parasites in feline waste and one, known as toxoplasma gondii, is especially dangerous to pregnant women. Coming in contact with that parasite could lead to miscarriage or stillbirth.
Do Not Drink Alcohol Or Smoke
As soon as you find out that you are pregnant, you should avoid drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes. This is because they contain substances that could harm the development of your baby. They could also lead to a miscarriage or cause the baby to be born with defects or abnormalities.
Another useful tip on how to protect your early pregnancy is to quit smoking and drinking. Quitting drinking and smoking for the entire nine months of your pregnancy is not only advised but recommended.
Other important things to do to protect early pregnancy:
- Practice safe sex
- Maintain good personal hygiene
- Protect yourself from infections
- Avoid second-hand smoke, and shisha
- Get moderate, but regular exercise
- Avoid stress
- Avoid herbal medicines
- Avoid harmful drug use.
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- 12 Nigerian Foods That Boost Breast milk Production
- 8 Healthy Nigerian Foods for Babies
- Cryptic Pregnancy In Nigeria: What You Should Know