Motherhood and pregnancy are unique experiences for every woman. People may go through different things during this period that lead to a successful and safe childbirth. While it can be a joyful experience, it can also be stressful for mothers as they have to look after themselves as well as the baby. So, motherhood is a crucial time for mothers where they need to pay attention to their diet, sleep routine, medication and their mental well-being through every trimester to avoid complications.
Health Shots got in touch with Dr Surabhi Siddhartha, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar, Mumbai, to help mothers with important pregnancy tips on how they can take care of themselves during this period.
Pregnancy tips for to-be mothers for every trimester
Whether you are in the first month of pregnancy or the last, you have to take care of yourself during this time. Having said that, here’s what you need to do to be safe during motherhood.
During the first trimester
First trimester starts from conception to continues till the 12th week of pregnancy. Dr Siddhartha suggests the following to get through the first trimester safely:
- Don’t forget to include folic acid supplements
- Eat home-cooked food
- Have smaller and more frequent meals
- Drink enough liquids to stay hydrated
- Don’t forget to rest
- Walk every day, especially after meals
- Try to stay as stress-free as possible
- Avoid taking medicines without doctor consultation
- Lie on the left side as doing so can increase the blood supply to the fetus
- Avoid smoking, alcohol and caffeine
- Do not eat foods that lead to constipation
- Do not have raw papaya during this phase
During the second and third trimesters
The second trimester starts with week 13 and ends in week 26, followed by the third trimester which starts from week 27 and continues till the time you deliver. During these trimesters, women tend to experience aches, pain and swelling. Dr Siddhartha shares the following tips:
- Eat enough protein
- Stay hydrated
- Drink enough liquids
- Do yoga and meditation
- Stay away from alcohol, smoking, drugs and caffeine
- Avoid sexual intercourse during the third trimester
- Wear loose cotton clothes
- Avoid travelling long distances during the second and third trimester, especially if you have preeclampsia, premature rupture of membranes, and preterm labour.
Others things to keep in mind during pregnancy
1. Regular testing is a must
Pregnancy is a time when you need to be extra careful of everything you do and the tests you get. The gynaecologist suggests that pregnant women should go for antenatal check-ups (ANC), including screening for hypertension, diabetes, anaemia, immunisation for pregnant women-TT, IFA, and calcium supplements. Clear all doubts if you have any with your doctor.
2. Eat a healthy diet
You should pay attention to your diet during pregnancy. Include milk and dairy products like curd, buttermilk and paneer that contain calcium, proteins and vitamins. You should also eat fresh fruits and vegetables as they are loaded with vitamins and iron. Eat cereals, whole grains, and pulses as they are rich in protein and can keep your overall health in check. Non-vegetarian mothers can eat eggs, chicken, or fish to optimum intake of proteins, vitamins and iron.
Disclaimer: Every pregnancy is different and not all pregnancy tips mentioned in this article may suit you. So, consult your doctor prior to making changes in your lifestyle. Also, you need to consult the doctor on an immediate basis if you notice any abnormal changes in the body.