There’s nothing more exciting and nerve-racking for any woman than to know that she’s pregnant. She may be looking forward to becoming a mom, but the many different changes happening in her can also leave her confused and overwhelmed.
What can you really expect when you’re expecting?
Putting on Some Weight
Many women are afraid of getting pregnant because of the potential weight gain. However, much of the fear stems from proper understanding.
Why are women advised to put on some weight? First, it prevents the baby from also being underweight. Second, as your pregnancy goes on, your body changes. After all, you have a growing baby! The added weight gain is needed to ensure that your body can support its growth.
While pregnancy somewhat gives you a perfect excuse to eat a lot, that doesn’t have to mean you should be less mindful. Generally, weight gain should happen across all three trimesters—that is, you gain it slowly. There’s also no standard extra weight to put on, although many years ago, doctors would recommend between 10 and 15 pounds.
Today many factors are considered such as your pre-pregnancy weight, age, and height. Usually, if your BMI is below 18.5, your weight gain should be around 5 pounds during the first three months.
Another reason to be conscious about your diet even when pregnant is you want to avoid gestational diabetes (or diabetes during pregnancy). These days more women develop it, especially when they reach the 24th week. It often leads to a condition called “macrosomia,” where the extra glucose produced by your insulin is stored as fat by the baby. It also increases your risk of high blood pressure particularly during delivery.
Can You Exercise? Of Course, You Can!
Just because you have a bulging belly doesn’t have to mean you can forget about keeping fit and exercise for a while. In fact, as a complement to a healthier diet in order to gain weight, you are advised to move.
But what kinds of exercises can you do? You can benefit from slow-impact exercises including pilates and yoga. You can even find pregnancy-based routines offered by health clubs. You can also focus on exercises that strengthen the back, stomach, and pelvis.
Walking is one of the simplest, cheapest, and easiest exercises you can do. It can help make labor and delivery faster and less uncomfortable. It lets you burn calories and doesn’t eat up a lot of your time.
Note, though, before you even consider working out, get a clearance from your doctor. Delicate pregnancies are usually not allowed to exercise or constantly move around. Moreover, although you can already find tons of pregnancy workouts online, it’s best not to go DIY about it for your own safety.
Watch Out for Depression
You can get depressed even when you’re pregnant. In fact, around 14% of women do, and normally it’s because of the hormonal changes. Although there are many ways to cope, the first thing to do is to watch out for some of its common signs so you can get help right away:
- Change in lifestyle (sleeping patterns, eating habits, etc.)
- More irritability or anger
- Consistent feeling of sadness
- Desire to be isolated all the time
- Lack of interest or motivation to pursue things and activities you normally enjoy