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15 common mistakes every pregnant woman makes! A MUST READ..

Pregnancy is one of the beautiful phases of a woman’s life that every married woman awaits and enjoy. Becoming pregnant, especially for the first time, can cause new parents to feel feelings of joy, disconnectedness, romance, shock, depression and hope… all within the first hour. 

However, most women experience these 9 months unaware of the proper dos and don’ts during pregnancy. Managing life with an unborn baby in tow leads to some women making decisions according to their intuition, at times ending up making decisions which range from silly to downright questionable.

Here are some common mistakes committed by most pregnant women during pregnancy;-

1. Eating for two.

Your daily calorie requirement is roughly between 1800 to 2000 calories. What your tiny fetus needs is the correct nutrition. You need only 300 calories more than your normal calorie intake.

Remember gaining excess weight during pregnancy can put you at risk of conditions like preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and could necessitate you to have a C-section during your delivery. 
It can also lead to various other health problems postpartum. 

Women who are obese during pregnancy have an increased risk for miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm birth and difficult deliveries, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, preeclampsia, sleep apnea and blood clots. Infants born to obese mothers are also more likely to have birth defects and be obese themselves later on in life.

2. Decreasing activity.

If you are a ‘non-exerciser’ you will tend find excuses to sit back and relax. Engaging in mild to moderate exercise is still best as it keeps you fit and prepares you for the rigours of delivery.

Not exercising during pregnancy can harm your body like no other. Exercise helps to combat stress hormones, boosts circulation, prepare the body for labour and delivery and help in fetal growth and development. Remember daily wear and tear is no substitute for exercise.

Ask your doctor to prescribe an exercise regimen for you. If you are at high risk for miscarriage, your doctor may advise waiting until after twelve weeks, but be sure you walk or swim—do something gentle.

3. Skipping breakfast
Experts advise that pregnant women eat three small meals and two snacks at regular intervals to help maintain steady blood glucose (sugar) levels. But many women habitually skip breakfast. Experts say skipping breakfast, after sometimes nine to twelve hours of not eating, increases the risk of premature labour.

While you may be experiencing morning sickness, ease into a little food. Crackers by the bed can help you before you get up. And a little food in the belly often diminishes nausea. Once you’re up, fix yourself a light breakfast.

4. Self-medication.

Self-medication can have adverse effect on your pregnancy. Did you know that you are supposed to refrain from using antacids, paracetamol or even acne creams once you are pregnant?

Using over-the-counter medications, self-medicating or undergoing harsh beauty treatments could lead to congenital abnormalities in your baby.

Only take pills that are prescribed by your doctor. If you have noticed that your pre-natal vitamins and iron doses are making you feel nauseated, talk to your doctor for a change of brand. These vitamins and iron supplements are prescribed to you to meet the requirements and you can’t do without them. If acidity, headache and acne is troubling you get help from a professional.

5. Avoiding sex.

Some women may feel that they are less than sexually desirable when pregnant due to fatigue or fluctuating hormones. Intimacy releases endorphins and other stress-relieving hormones. 

Avoiding sex with a spouse or partner can really put a damper on the love life, and create harboring resentment. Keeping communication lines open with a romantic partner about their needs, and mom’s needs can make things better. Mom should embrace having sexy time, especially if they are expecting their first kid on the way. 

Unless your doctor has told you that there’s a medical reason why you shouldn’t have sex, there’s no reason to avoid it. In fact, if your pregnancy is full-term, sex may actually jump-start labour because the prostaglandins from semen may soften the cervix and cause uterine contractions.

You can get creative with different positions to make sex more comfortable, but it’s important to avoid lying flat on your back because it can compress the vena cava, the vein that returns blood to the heart.

6. Succumbing To Cravings.        

Pregnancy cravings are common. Cravings are not an excuse to overeat tons of junk food or only eat combinations of pickles with chocolate ice cream and an assortment of condiments. No matter how much of a struggle it may seem, it is best for a pregnant mom to plan a healthy nutrition-focused diet.

Eating an imbalanced diet may negatively affect not only you, but your unborn baby’s sodium level, calcium, iron, and vitamin intake. Only eating the foods that taste good or are convenient, can really wreak havoc on fetal development and mom’s energy levels.

It’s a good practice to limit your sweet intake a little after the second trimester. Putting a check on your sweet intake will help you prevent the chances of suffering from gestational diabetes and other allied problems.

Choosing to eat more green leafy vegetables, drinking water, drinking plant and fruit juices, and eating lean protein are important for maintaining health.

7. Not attending ante-natal clinics. 

Ante-natal classes will help you learn more about pregnancy and know more about post-natal care. Ante-natal classes will give you all the information you might on pregnancy and childcare and prepare you for the onslaught of delivery.

8. Overdosing on vitamins and supplements.

You already know that you need to take your pre-natal vitamins, but if you are loading up on extra vitamins and over-the-counter herbal supplements, there is no evidence it can help and it could actually be harmful to your baby, Lang said.

A better way is to get your nutrition through food. A whole-foods, primarily plant-based diet, will likely give you the right amount of nutrients you need. It is the way our body was meant to assimilate vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients in combination with this very complex blend that tends to be absorbed more optimally by the body.

If morning sickness or food aversions get in the way and you think you need a supplement, check with your doctor first to make sure what you’re taking is safe.

9. Not addressing your emotional well-being.
Mood swings are common during pregnancy, so you must focus on your emotional well-being. Mood swings brings unnecessary stress and complicates your relationship resulting in depression.

When you are stressed and over-stretched, your body often doesn’t absorb all the nutrients in food. Studies also show that stress has a negative impact on your diet choices.

In most cases, people tend to reach out for comfort foods when stressed. Sweets and chips have empty calories—not helping the baby and adding additional weight for mom.

Try to get enough sleep and talk with your doctor about solutions such as yoga or a counseling group for expectant moms.

10. Not continuing medications for pre-existing diseases.

A lot of women think that all prescription drugs can cause birth deformities and stop taking them when pregnant. This is a bad decision for women with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, seizure disorders, or psychiatric illnesses, which have to be kept in check.

The best thing to do if you have a pre-existing condition is to ask the doctor for advice on continuing versus stopping the medication.

11. Not buckling up
According to a recent study, many women will stop buckling up in cars fearing that the strap could harm their fetus. This is often done later in pregnancy as the bump gets bigger.

Don’t fall for this mistake! Car accidents kill more fetuses than babies each year in Kenya—most experts say could have been avoided had seat belts been worn. If the seat belt is uncomfortable, be sure that you have the waist strap below the bump and across your pelvis. If you are expecting multiples, you may opt to get a seat belt extender.

12. Choosing a C-Section.

Normal delivery means labour pains which are very scary for every woman. But choosing a C-section thinking it is an easier method is the most common mistake every pregnant woman makes.

C-section looks easier way to get rid of labour pains, but in reality it is more painful in the long run.
A Caesarean Delivery will involve more difficult, more painful recuperation than vaginal delivery. It will mean a longer period of recovery, difficulty in feeding the baby and pain in the lower back (due to the injection given in the lower back).

A cesarean can save lives when needed—but it is major surgery that can lead to six weeks of down 
time post-partum.

13. Deciding on healthcare hastily.

Before you decide on a hospital or clinic, ask yourself what kind of birth you prefer and if your doctor and the hospital has the means to support your decision. Birthing is a personal emotional experience and you wouldn’t want it to be ruined by not expressing your desires.

Read up on the various types of birthing and choose what you would prefer for yourself. If it is hypnobirthing or water birth that you want, check if your hospital can help you with one. If not you surely should look elsewhere. Here are five things that will happen after the delivery for which you need to be prepared.

14. Smoking Cigarettes.

When a pregnant mom lights up tobacco or other smoking substances, the risk of cancer, absorption of chemicals, and other toxins are all possible. Pregnant women should avoid people and places where there is a lot of smoking taking place.

Smoking can cause a child to be born with a hole over their heart, pre-mature birth or future development of bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma. If it is used as stress-relief mechanism, there needs to be a healthier replacement for coping with life’s ups and downs.

The health risks simply are not worth it, plus lowered life expectancy for mom and baby.

15. Not Drinking Enough Water.        

Humans are made up of over 75% water. Thanks to water being lost from the body, whenever there is sweating, breathing, or elimination of urine, water needs to be replaced. Since pregnant moms are constantly going to the bathroom, and are providing baby with sustenance, drinking water is an absolute must.

Water helps cushion organs, help mom from feeling dehydrated, keeps skin glowing, and regulates the body’s various organ systems.

Drinking only tea, juice, coffee, alcohol, or other beverages is not the same as drinking water. All one needs to do is drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. When pregnant, mom should try to drink even more water. There is no excuse.

Having dry scaly skin, a parched tongue, and being crabby can all be contributed to not drinking enough water.

Pregnancy is a beautiful time, make it more beautiful by not repeating these mistakes.

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