Bringing a new life into the world is a miraculous and transformative experience for many mothers. The journey of pregnancy, however, can be filled with both excitement and uncertainties for first-time parents.
As an experienced OB/GYN, Dr. Essam Taymour has witnessed numerous first pregnancies and empathizes with the multitude of questions and concerns that arise. In this blog, our team at Gynecology and Obstetrics Medical Group shares some essential insights and advice that can make the first pregnancy journey smoother and more fulfilling.
10 things first-time moms wish they’d known
Every journey to motherhood is unique, but there are some common threads woven throughout all pregnancies.
Between first trimester fatigue and morning sickness, you may not feel like moving, but staying active during your first trimester can help both of these common symptoms. Light exercise can help replenish your energy levels and help keep the nausea at bay.
Regular physical activity, approved by Dr. Taymour, can help alleviate discomfort during pregnancy — including back pain and sciatica — and even help prepare your body for labor.
You’re eating for two, but you’re not doubling calories
It’s easy to get swept up in the idea that you’re eating for two, but your calorie needs don’t double. In fact, your daily needs increase to only about 1,800 in the first trimester and 2,400 in the third trimester. Staying within the recommended guidelines helps ensure that you gain the targeted amount of weight during pregnancy.
Your diet is more important now than ever
Maintaining a balanced diet has a positive impact on your pregnancy journey. Prioritize nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, but avoid all processed deli meat, high-mercury fish, and raw cheeses.
A balanced diet can also help reduce your risk of developing gestational diabetes, so indulge in your cravings only in moderation.
‘Pregnancy brain’ is real
Feeling a little fuzzy lately? Pregnancy brain is real, but good food, good sleep, and brain-boosting games can help clear the fog. Most important, be easy on yourself!
You’re going to need more pillows
As your body changes and grows, so does your center of gravity. You may find it difficult to get a good night’s sleep, but additional pillows can help you get comfortable. Place a pillow:
- Under your baby bump
- Under your knees or between your thighs
- Behind your back to support the small of your back
Tip: Remember to sleep on your left side and avoid sleeping on your stomach.
Now is a great time to learn
Knowledge is empowering, especially during your first pregnancy. Read books, attend childbirth classes, and seek reliable online resources to educate yourself about pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum care. This helps you make informed decisions and feel more confident about the journey ahead.
Prenatal care starts as soon as you discover you’re pregnant
As soon as you learn that you’re pregnant, schedule your first prenatal visit. Prenatal care is essential for monitoring your baby's growth, detecting potential complications, and ensuring your well-being throughout the pregnancy. Regular checkups and open communication with Dr. Taymour are vital components of a healthy pregnancy.
You need a strong support system
The emotional and physical changes that come with pregnancy can be overwhelming at times. Surround yourself with a strong support system, including your partner, family, and friends. Joining pregnancy support groups or online communities can also provide a valuable network of people who can relate to your experiences.
Self-care isn’t optional
Pregnancy can be a whirlwind of emotions, so don't forget to take care of yourself. Engage in activities that relax and rejuvenate you, whether it's reading, taking a walk, or enjoying a hobby.
Eat nourishing foods, practice positive affirmations, schedule a prenatal massage, or simply read a book in peace. Self-care is beneficial not only for your mental well-being, but also for the healthy development of your baby.
Trust your instincts
While it's essential to gather information and seek guidance, trust your instincts as a parent. Every mother’s pregnancy is different, and what works for others might not be the best fit for you. Listen to your body, share your concerns with Dr. Taymour, and remember that you know your body and your baby best.
Contact us for comprehensive obstetric care
The journey of a first pregnancy is filled with excitement and unknowns, but remember to take the time to navigate this transformative experience with confidence and joy. You’re not alone; there’s a wealth of support available from Gynecology and Obstetrics Medical Group, your loved ones, and online communities.
Embrace the beauty of this journey, and welcome the beginning of a new chapter in your life as a parent.
If you need to schedule a prenatal appointment, call our office in Long Beach, California, at 562-595-5331 or click here to use our online form.