When I became pregnant with my first child, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I turned to three sources: the Internet, my mom, and my best friend.
Most of the time, these three sources covered the basics of what I needed to know, or what they thought I needed to know, but sometimes they conflicted or just confused me. I quickly learned that my doctor was the best source, along with books he recommended.
These helpful insights not only helped me to know what I should start doing, but the things that I needed to stop.
For those of you in the same boat, or for those of you preparing for pregnancy, here are 7 pregnancy mistakes I learned that are important to stop immediately- for the health of your new baby and yourself.
1. Not getting enough sleep
For most women nowadays, the world does not stop the moment she finds out she is pregnant. You still have to work, pay bills, feed yourself and your husband, etc. But the one thing that pregnant woman need to make sure they are getting is a sufficient amount of sleep.
Your body and your baby are going through massive changes and it needs all the energy it can get. Sleep deprivation is one of the worst things you can do, so try to go to bed earlier or make time for napping to get the sleep you need. We all know once the baby comes that sleep will be a hot commodity you won't be able to get enough of.
2. Eating for two
Pregnancy is not an excuse to start eating whatever the heck you want. Weight gain is necessary and healthy, but gaining too much weight can create problems for you and your baby and is completely unnecessary. You and your doctor know how much weight gain is appropriate.
Make sure to eat as many nutrient rich foods as possible. Most doctors say 200-300 extra calories is the right amount. Eat 5 small meals a day. Know that it is ok to indulge every once in a while, but don't overdo it.
3. Not exercising
Exercising during pregnancy is just as important as eating right. Even if you did not exercise a ton before you got pregnant, doing some form of activity during pregnancy is recommended. Obviously if this is the case, talk to your doctor and make sure everything is a-ok, and then they will probably recommend what you can and can't do.
There are many videos, You-tube channels, books, and trainers who can help you come up with a good exercise routine for pregnancy. If that doesn't interest you, or you don't have the time and money, just make sure to take frequent walks or light runs.
4. Not talking to your baby
This is one that I did not understand was actually super important, but it definitely is. Talking to your baby-bump is a great way to begin bonding with your baby, so do it as much as possible. Read to it, stroke it, sing to it, play music to it. Whatever it may be, it is never too soon to start telling your baby how much you love it.
Some studies show that high levels of stress in pregnancy may cause certain problems during childhood, like having trouble paying attention or being afraid. It's possible that stress may also affect your baby's brain development or immune system. Trying relaxation techniques and making sure to not put yourself in high-stress environments help with this issue. Don't be afraid to ask your spouse for help with things that are stressing you out.
6. Not researching healthcare
Healthcare is absolutely essential when having a baby. If you haven't had healthcare before, this is the time to research and research some more to make an informed decision about the type of care you will need and where you will decide to have your baby.
If you already have healthcare, this is a good time to double-check that you have the coverage you need for how you are deciding to have your baby, such as an at-home birth vs. hospital birth.
7. Not joining a birthing class/Lamaze class
If you don't even know what this is, find out as soon as you can. These classes offer great insight and help, especially for first-timers. Usually the hospital where you are going to have your baby offers these types of classes, and they are relatively cheap. If not, just go online and look for one in your city or a city near you. These classes are a necessity and should not be put off or not done. Having a baby is a big responsibility and doing everything you can to prepare for it is only going to help you both in the end.