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32 top tips for a smooth pregnancy

32 Top Tips For A Smooth Pregnancy - Parents Canada

Congrats on your pregnancy. You have a lot on your mind and lots to plan for. We collected some some great tips in an easy-to-digest list to help make sure your pregnancy is a smooth one.

  1. Find an obstetrician, doula or midwife that you are comfortable with. Stay in touch with regular appointments.
  2. Take folic acid. It prevents neural tube defects. If you haven’t started already, start now!
  3. Sign up for prenatal classes. You’ll learn all about what to expect and make friends.
  4. When at the doctor or midwife, ask questions! No question is stupid.
  5. Ask your pharmacist about anything you are putting into or on your body (medications, sunscreen, bug spray, etc).
  6. Know that Acetaminophen (Tylenol), in appropriate doses, is fine to take. Advil is not.
  7. This should be a given: no smoking!
  8. Unfortunately, swollen feet are normal. If only one leg is swollen, call your doc to rule out a blood clot.
  9. To prevent heartburn, eat frequent small meals and avoid spicy/fatty foods. Tums are safe to use during pregnancy.
  10. It is generally safe to ingest 300 mg of caffeine a day (two cups of coffee). Avoid consuming more than that.
  11. Do not clean your cat’s litter box. There is a parasite that pregnant women can catch from cat feces. If you have to clean it, use gloves.
  12. Sex might help to induce labour toward your due date. Semen contains a hormone-like substance that can get things moving!
  13. Help leg cramps by including calcium-rich foods in your diet. Exercise and stretch daily.
  14. You do not have to eat for two! Consuming an extra 300 calories a day is good enough. Try not to double your caloric intake.
  15. For healthy weight gain, cut out junk food and extra sugars, join a prenatal fitness class, and eat regular meals at regular times.
  16. Do not diet during pregnancy.
  17. Oil up that belly! To help prevent stretch marks, use a cream or oil on your growing belly twice a day.
  18. Your skin will get itchy due to stretching. Avoid hot baths, which dry out the skin and make itching worse.
  19. Bleeding gums are common. Brush and floss regularly. Visit your dentist early in your pregnancy.
  20. Be aware of signs of depression (feeling sad, irritability, trouble sleeping, feelings of guilt, etc). Speak to your caregiver if you are concerned about your mental health.
  21. As your uterus grows, you may have shortness of breath. Sleep with your head slightly elevated to help.
  22. Stop and smell the roses! Tell yourself that while you like to keep busy, you do need time to rest once in a while.
  23. Ask for help. Understand that no one can do everything on their own.
  24. A stuffy nose can be a common pregnancy symptom. Use a dehumidifier, avoid commercial nose sprays, and drink plenty of water.
  25. Feeling dizzy? Avoid sleeping on your back. When changing positions, do it slowly. Don’t stand up or sit down too quickly.
  26. Have a glucose test at 28 weeks to scan for gestational diabetes. Risk factors for GD include obesity, family history, age over 35 and having a previous baby weighing more than nine pounds.
  27. Try to stay calm when friends and family offer you unsolicited advice. They are just trying to help.
  28. Pre-register at your hospital. Take the tour and ask any questions you might have. Knowing where you will deliver will help eliminate stress.
  29. Pack one hospital bag for you and one for baby.
  30. Keep emergency numbers close at hand, and keep your cell phone charged.
  31. Toward the end of your pregnancy, keep plenty of gas in your car!
  32. Enjoy your 40 weeks. They will fly by, and there is no other feeling like pregnancy. Keep a journal or blog about your experiences.

Originally published in December 2013.

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