By E-Green Life, Addis Ababa
Having a baby is one of the greatest gifts of life. When one gets fortunate enough with such a blessing, one should consider that it is not only a wonderful miracle but also a big responsibility required to fulfill. Many new mothers don’t know what and how to do when they discover that they are pregnant, in order to take good care of themselves and the coming newborn/s. We believe this list of "17 things to do when you found out that you are pregnant " may help you to ease the beginning of this journey and it’s responsibility.
1. Take a moment to be grateful. Take a deep breath and exhale, calm down yourself and stay grateful. It’s one of the greatest gifts of life.
2. If you haven not been informed about prenatal and postnatal care, try to read books and trusted websites about what to expect when you are expecting a baby.
3. Until you have finished your first trimester (until 12 weeks or the first three months), try not to share the big news with many people, especially for your and/or your husband’s family. In our Ethiopian tradition, family has a big stake in your life and marriage, if anything goes wrong it will be the most difficult news to tell. Thus, it is better to share with one or two very close friends that you can depend on. (During the first twelve weeks of your pregnancy the baby is at its most vulnerable stage and in the next trimester or three to six months the chance of the baby survival will rise up by 90 %.)
4. Look for the best health service provider with convenient location for your prenatal check up.
5. Ask your physician for the best prenatal care supplement. ( such supplements helps the baby to get every important nutritional elements which is missed from the mother’s nutrition)
6. If you were not paying attention to your meal, now is the time for you to take the most balanced diet as much as possible. Taking lots of green, red and yellow vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, tofu, and yogurt could be very useful and as well fulfilling).
7. Eat for one. Eating for two is an outdated advice. Try to nourish yourself with a balanced diet that can fulfill you. Nature works its miracle of nourishing both of you.
8. If you are used to any sort of physical exercise, try to consult your physician before you follow your daily routine, as to which exercise suits you and assure your baby’s wellbeing. If you don’t have a regular exercise schedule, try to find what interests you and follow your routine. Exercises like walking, swimming, and yoga are among the best to relax, rejuvenate, and tone up or strengthen your muscles, which will help you to carry and as well deliver you baby with better physical conditions.
9. Pregnancy is a great time to get conscious and look after your health as well. Try to relax and hydrate yourself well. Studies recommend that at least two liters of water or more is vital to regulate hydration in the body. Water can help in preventing urinary tract infection (UTI), constipation, hemorrhoid, bladder infection, fatigue, headache, sweating and overheating.
10. Try to avoid or at least minimize caffeinated drinks. Enjoy natural foods and drinks as much as possible (Avoid processed foods and drinks). Water and seasonal juices are among the best drinks you can nourish yourself with.
11. Do what you have been doing before. Many women, especially on their first pregnancy, are afraid to follow their daily life routine. As long as it is not physically and/ or emotionally tiring, follow your schedule. You may consult your physician if you have any doubt.
12. Find a friend, if possible one who gave birth recently or on the way to have it. Such similar experiences will make the journey of motherhood so much fun and the experience sharing could help you during any little doubt and discomfort.
13. Moisturize your skin. Women may develop stretch marks at different places during pregnancy or after birth. The best thing you can do for your skin is it moisturize it as much as possible. The stomach, thighs, legs and arms are among the vulnerable areas. Try to moisturize your entire body as early as possible. You may use any natural products in lotion, oil or butter form that suits your skin best.
14. Document your journey. If you wish to treasure your motherhood journey, take a picture of yourself and notice the progress at least once every month. You may as well include your experience of the month with your diary and photo album.
15. Think twice before taking any medication. Taking medication may not be as easy as it was before, so ask your physician if it is safe to take prescribed medication while you are pregnant.
16. Try not to buy baby clothes until you reach the third trimester. Buying baby clothing and decorating a room is every mother’s dream, but try to hold it until the last few months. To make sure you and the baby/babies reached safe and sound to your due date.
17. Wear comfortable clothing. Being comfortable in your clothing is very important while you are pregnant. Try to avoid hard jeans or belts or any other hard materials that causes stress on your pelvic area.