Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pregnancy 101: Advice for new Moms

 Just for fun, here's a comparison picture from my 2 pregnancies

26 weeks pregnant with my son



25 weeks pregnant with my daughter

Let me start this post by saying that I do not consider myself an expert at pregnancy/motherhood, but I'm hoping that since I've gone through one (and almost 2!) complete pregnancies that I can offer some advice to all you first time moms.  I have a few friends that are pregnant for the first time and as to be expected there are a lot of questions.  I'm here to hopefully answer most or all of those questions.

Common pregnancy concerns:

  • Consuming sushi.  There are so many things that we as pregnant women are told not to eat.  Most of you know that I LOVE sushi, so when my co-workers told me that I shouldn't eat it I almost died.  No sushi for 9 months?!  I asked my doctor and he told me that it is okay to eat sushi while pregnant.  Obviously you want to stay away from fish with high mercury levels (mackerel king, shark, swordfish, tilefish, bluefish, etc. For an extended list, click here).  The only advice my dr. gave me on the fish subject was to not have a big salmon every night.  He said once of twice a week was okay.  So all you sushi loving preggos, feel free to dig in!! :)
  • Eating deli meats. This one is a whole new thing to me.  With pregnancy #1 I had never heard this, so I ate deli meat.  I never had any issues at all, so I guess I lucked out.  In doing some reading, the reason for this is because raw meats, raw vegetables, un pasteurized milk, etc can be contaminated with a bacteria called listeria monocytogenes.  Pregnant women are 20% more likely to be infected.  According to the CDC 1,700 people are infected each year and about 260 will die from it.  The chance of a pregnant woman getting it is about 17%.  For more information and what the symptoms are, click here. I was a little skeptical of this at first, but in researching I see that this could definitely be a concern.  I did read though that as long as the meats are heated up it kills the bacteria and is okay to be consumed.  So, if you love a good deli sandwich just remember to say, "Yes!" when they ask you if you want it toasted or non-toasted.
  • Pain medications. There are some pain medications that are safe while pregnant, whereas others need to be avoided.  Here are a few that are safe while pregnant: Benadryl (diphenhydramine), claratin, tylenol (acetaminophen), saline nasal drops or spray, colace, metamucil, benadryl cream, caladryl lotion or cream, hydrocortisone cream or ointment.  Most women choose to completely avoid all medications while pregnant which obviously is the best choice if you can, so the choice is up to you--and it doesn't hurt to ask your doctor.  I have IMMENSE back pain while pregnant that at times is not tolerable, so it's nice to know I can take some tylenol if need be.
  • Caffeine. There are no conclusive studies showing that caffeine has a negative effect on pregnancy and labor.  Caffeine can be passed through the placenta to your baby, so it is important to limit your intake as caffeine is a stimulant.  We may be able to handle the caffeine, but our tiny baby's body can't handle it quite as well.  The American Pregnancy association says we should limit our caffeine intake to less than 300 mg a day.  For a list of caffeine amounts in common drinks, click here
  • Lack of sleep, heartburn, etc. There are so many less than fun side effects that come with pregnancy, including but not limited to: back pain, leg cramps, heartburn, frequent urination, lack of sleep, etc.  Some people experience all of these, some experience none of these.  For me I got some of these more with my first pregnancy than with my second and vice versa. DO NOT worry about this until they start happening!  Don't get so concerned in thinking that you will experience all these symptoms and worrying what to do in case it happens. Just relax and when the time comes, if need be, do some research about how to cope with these side effects.  Worrying will do no good-just consider yourself lucky that you haven't experienced these yet.  Also, every pregnancy is different (my 2 have been sooo different!), so don't compare yourself to others.  Don't dread the 3rd tri-mester, thinking it will be horrible just because another woman is having a hard time dealing with it.  You may be just fine and dandy up until delivery day.  Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!
A few more tips:

  • Maternity clothes. Buy them!  For some of us it can be hard to justify buying clothes that you will only wear for a few months.  For some of us though, you have no choice.  With pregnancy #1 I put off buying maternity jeans for as long as possible, but when I finally gave in I regretted not getting them sooner.  They are so comfortable!!!  I love them!  This pregnancy I got big a lot faster so I had to wear them a lot sooner.  Some of you women can get away with regular jeans all 9 months-amazing!  If you can, I say live it up!  Don't forget the rubber band trick if they do start to get a little snug.  Also, a lot of shirts these days can be worn while pregnant, even if they don't say maternity on the tag.  Sometimes you don't always need to shop the maternity section, especially if you're small.  With both pregnancies I've been able to wear my undershirts from DownEast Outfitters pretty much my entire pregnancy, since they tend to be longer than most.  Oh, and don't worry about stretching out your shirts, they will all go back to normal after washing and drying.  I have not had one issue of stretched out shirts.  Since maternity clothes can be hard to find (especially if you don't want to break the bank!) here is a list of my favorite places to maternity shop: Kohls-not always the biggest selection but cute stuff and cheap-esp on clearance!! (Found my favorite maternity jeans for $20!), Target-also have to dig a bit but I've found some real gems here, Shopko-didn't look this pregnancy but my hubby got me cute stuff from there previously, Ross, TJ Maxx, Motherhood Maternity-can be very pricey but check the clearance for great sales!  I really love their jeans and skirts.
  • Baby clothes.  No one can deny the cuteness of baby clothes, but be careful what you buy.  I suggest not buying very many (if any) newborn size clothes.  Most newborn outfits are meant for babies 5-8 lbs.  Some babies aren't even that small when they are born!  My son was 8 lbs 5 oz, so he was only able to wear his newborn clothes for maybe 2 weeks or so.  Although they might be tiny and cute, try to resist. :)  With my son I bought some of these shirts that button in the front and are short which are nice while their umbilical cord heals/falls off.  Click here to see what I'm talking about.  You can also get them in long sleeved.  Lastly, be aware that your child will more than likely scratch their face (a lot!) the first few weeks.  To prevent this we put socks on our little guys hands, looked kind of funny but kept him safe.  A much better option is to buy long sleeved shirts/onesies for them that have the "mittens" on them.  It just a flap/pocket on the end of the sleeve that folds over.  Unfolded, it looks like a pocket on the sleeve.  If you're worried about the heat, I'd say just put little ankle socks on their hands instead.
Stay tuned for future pregnancy and baby tips!  Thanks for reading--and don't forget to share with your friends!
P.S. Not sure what is going on with this post, but I could not figure out why/how the font and color are different, or why there is big 'old space between the pictures. Sorry :/

1 comment:

  1. This is great info Britt!! I'm glad I read it! :)