So you’ve got the happy news that you’re expecting–congratulations! Now that the planning, prepping and gearing up has started, there are no doubt questions popping up left and right. You’re probably wondering about the changes taking place, what to expect, and what’s off limits during pregnancy. Well, here we’re going to answer your top 5 burning questions about pregnancy.
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Question 1: What Activities Should I Avoid During Pregnancy?
Generally speaking, not much needs to change right away in name of safety. What you will probably find is that as your exhaustion increases (and the nausea, too), you’ll need to make adjustments to accommodate your level of energy.
There are a few obvious things to avoid, like drinking, drug use, smoking and other health hazardous habits. You should talk to your doctor or healthcare adviser about any of these habits you’re involved in.
As far as regular, daily activities, there aren’t a lot of no-no’s right off the bat.
The general rule (and again, talk to your doctor about these!) is that if you were already involved in specific activities like jogging, biking, hiking, working out etc., then it’s safe to continue those activities unless otherwise directed.
Finding out you’re expecting is probably not the best time to take up kickboxing or something new, however.
As a general rule, using a good dose of common sense is wise. Obviously you wouldn’t want to go skydiving or anything extreme. The best way to be absolutely sure is to ask your doctor.
Question 2: What Foods Should I Avoid?
The answer is actually easier than you would think. Most foods are typically okay to eat in moderation.
Some foods, like seafood, deli meat and sushi are controversial. The best way to be sure is to write down any foods you’re unsure about and ask your doctor. You might be surprised at what you discover.
During my first pregnancy, I was paranoid about caffeine. I’d heard that caffeine was bad and totally off limits. After doing my own due diligence and speaking with my doctor, I felt comfortable drinking one cup of coffee a day. That was such a lifesaver!
Before jumping to any conclusions and depriving yourself of yummy foods or snacks, talk to your healthcare provider first, and do your own share of research.
Stick to what you’re comfortable with.
Your doctor may say salmon is totally fine, but you may be uncomfortable eating it. You won’t enjoy yourself eating it, anyway, so maybe find another good alternative.
Nothing is worth your sense of confidence, balance and safety.
Question 3: Will I Get Stretch Marks?
Despite what all the ads say, the likelihood of getting stretch marks is mostly dependent on your genes. If stretch marks are destined according to your DNA, you’re probably going to see some changes.
It’s just part of the journey (and a badge of honor!).
There are some things you can do to minimize the severity as best as you can. Considering that stretch marks are due to little tears in the skin from the intense amount of stretching, promoting elasticity and moisture in your skin is a healthy way to nurture that heroic part of your body.
Use a good lotion for pregnancy consistently. Be liberal with it, girl!
There are reasonably-priced options out there so you can lather up! I personally love using Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula as it comes in a pump and is super budget-friendly. I’ve also used Belly Oil by Earth Mama, which is a nice organic option.
Pro-Tip: Apply lotion and oil to your belly, breast area, thighs, and even your backside! Don’t forget your inner thighs!
Do your part to help your skin from the inside out. Drink lots of water (you’ll hear that from here on out to delivery day), stay hydrated. Getting dehydrated will do nothing for you, and will only cause issues during pregnancy.
You’ll likely feel a bit itchy as bumpy starts to grow. Avoid scratching, even on areas other than your bump! Use a cool, damp cloth to get some relief, and apply that lotion!
Question 4: Should I Avoid Intimacy During Pregnancy?
In short–no way!
Again, talk to your healthcare provider for more education on this subject, but no, physical intimacy is not off limits!
It’s easy to wonder if you’ll hurt your baby or do something harmful to your pregnancy. You can set this fear aside, however. Baby is nestled safely in your tummy, far enough away from the action. You can set your mind at ease and carry on.
Question 5: How Should I Sleep During Pregnancy?
This is another one you’ll find yourself wondering about. It’s easy to let your mind wander and come up with all sorts of conclusions about your sleeping position when pregnant.
The truth is that in the beginning, it won’t matter. Baby is so tiny at this point that how you choose to sleep is up to you.
Enjoy it while you can!
As Baby grows and you start to expand to accommodate, you’ll find that you need to sleep on your side (usually around the start of trimester 2, give or take).
The general rule is SOS (sleep on side) with the left side being preferable.
So, how are you supposed to manage that?
The best way I found to stay comfortable on my side was using the Snoogle Pillow by Leachco. It provides back and frontal support, curves beneath your head/neck area and also curves up to provide support between your knees, which is important for proper hip alignment.
Not only does using a pregnancy pillow help with hip alignment and good sleeping position, it provides back support, which you’ll appreciate especially during the third trimester. This is when getting quality sleep is most challenging.
You can find more sleeping tips during pregnancy here.
Your Pregnancy is All About YOU
These top 5 questions about pregnancy are the most common among pregnant women.
However, keep in mind that there are no cookie-cutter pregnancies. You are the ultimate decision-maker when it comes to growing Baby. You do what makes you feel the most comfortable.
What works for one person may not work for another–in fact, what works for one pregnancy may not be a good fit for another one.
Just remember that you are totally capable, that literally no one knows your body or your baby the way you do. Don’t doubt yourself, or be afraid to follow your instincts. You’ve got them for a reason, sister!
So, to answer your top 5 questions about pregnancy, use common sense, talk to your healthcare provider, but mostly, go with your gut! You’re the mama for a very good reason.