So, you’re pregnant?

Positive! There’s almost nothing as heart warming as seeing two lines on your pregnancy kit. Especially if you’ve been praying and waiting. Congratulations! Your life is about to change. This article is to help you in this new phase of your life.

1. All pregnancies are different

Some ladies make pregnancy look like a runway show. They don’t give up on their heels, their make up is never out of place, they add little or no weight except for the bump, yet they have the time to cook for their husbands everyday while keep in their regular hours. But not you! Even one of those things could make you feel sick. You must realise that all pregnancies are different. What could be a turn off for someone else might work for you and vice versa. Even if you’ve been pregnant before, you’d realise that no two pregnancies are the same. The way you felt during your last pregnancy may be the way you feel this time. Labour would most likely be different as well.

 

2. You’ve got nothing to prove

Based on my last point, I must remind you, dear sister that you have nothing to prove to anyone. I spent most of my first trimester asleep on my coach without any feeling of guilt whatsoever. The doctors specifically told me that I needed to rest. Especially if your pregnancy is a sensitive one, don’t feel like you have to stress yourself out just to prove that you’re a strong woman. At that time, I told myself, I’m working by resting like this. My body is doing the work of keeping this child safe.

3. Start antenatal on time

Many health insurers would rather you start ante natal classes at 12 weeks. That is fine. But if you can start earlier, why not? That way, if there are issues, your doctors can find out on time and take necessary steps.

 

4. Relating with your spouse

One of the reasons I usually advise couples to wait a few months before getting pregnant is because pregnancy can really affect a woman’s behaviour. Hormones can make you more emotional, the extra weight and morning sickness can make you lazy, the list goes on and on. But even then, you have to be more intentional about relating with your husband. Remember that even though you’re taking on a new role as a mother, you’re first a foremost a wife. If you don’t feel up to cooking, you can contract it out. You can also get someone to clean up for you once in a while. Especially during the first trimester, sex may not be attractive to some women. But except your doctor has instructed otherwise, sex is safe in pregnancy. So try not to forget your partner also has feelings. Don’t vent your frustrations out on him. Talk to him calmly, explaining the situation of things and how you need his support.

5. Planning healthcare

If you have health insurance, find out what areas are covered and what areas aren’t. If not, from the day you know you’re pregnant, start saving towards health case. How much would a vaginal delivery cost in your preferred hospital? How about a Ceaserian section? I think its best to use a hospital based on the testimony of people you know who have used it. Start saving up. It would be easier to put some money aside monthly than to bring it all out at it once. Save a little more than the bill is in case there are unexpected expenses.

6. Nothing to fear

All the people you see in the world today where given birth to by someone who is most likely alive and well. There is no need to fear child birth. Instead confess what God’s word says concerning you. I’ve put together some pregnancy confessions for you.
I want pregnancy confessions.

 

7. Listen to your doctors

I don’t mean that you should let them talk you out of your Faith when there is an issue. But take your doctor’s advice; ‘ if he says to rest, please do. If she says avoid intercourse for a while, please do. Take your vitamins and prescription medication regularly. No matter how much you hate medication, you can’t hate it as you’d hate endangering your life or the life of your child.

8. Prayers

Usually when people mention prayer to pregnant women, they are talking in terms of prayer for the pregnancy and not prayer in the pregnancy. Your relationship with Christ is still the most important relationship you’ll ever have. You need to nurture it. There is a tendency for your Christian walk to take the back burner when you’re pregnant. Don’t let that happen. You might not be able to fast, but don’t miss your prayer time. Even if you can’t wake up so early to do so, pray the first chance you get. If you doze off in church, don’t forget to get the message.

10. Pregnancy shopping

On Tuesday, April 11  I’ll be posting a full ‘encyclopeadia’ of baby shopping. What to buy, what not to buy and when to buy. Mail me as soon as the list is out.

11. Diet and Exercise

People will tell you that you’re eating for two, so you should eat what you want. Although I don’t want to underestimate the power of pregnancy cravings, that’s not necessarily true. If you eat a healthy diet for one, you’ll be more than fine. Pregnancy is not the time to go on a weight loss programme or to watch your weight. But you can indulge in moderation.

So, how much weight should you gain during pregnancy? Experts say that it depends on how much you weighed before you conceived and whether that’s the appropriate weight for your height. The relationship between your height and weight is expressed in a number called a body mass index, or BMI. There are various online platforms where you can calculate your BMI.

A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is in the healthy range. If your pre-pregnancy weight was in this range before pregnancy, target to gain between 11.4 and 15.9 kg.

If you’re underweight with a BMI below 18.5, target gaining between 12.7 and 20 kg.

If you’re overweight with a BMI of 25 to 29.9, your target weight should be between 6.8 and 11.4kg.

If you’re Obese  with a BMI of 30 or higher): If you were obese for your height, you should gain between 5 and 10 pounds.

Generally, women carrying twins gain between 16.8 and 27 kilos.

Experts usually recommend walks and swimming as the best exercises for pregnant women, but please speak to your doctor about it.

 

12. Morning sickness

Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy are usually referred to as morning sickness. But the name might be misleading, as it doesn’t always happen in the morning. Not everyone throws up. I for one, only threw up once and my sister was more concerned with heart burn. There are some things you can do to reduce ‘morning sickness.’ Sit upright for a while after eating. Eat foods that you’re most comfortable with. For the most part of my pregnancy, I couldn’t eat fish, especially Titus fish. I would only eat ‘what my tummy told me to eat’ lol. Eat little and often. You’re more likely to feel nauseated on an empty stomach. Some people say that cold meals work better than hot ones, but find out what works for you.

13. Birth plan

It’s important that you choose the best birth plan for your health and that of your baby. Water births aren’t really popular in Nigeria. So if you have your sights set on that, you must start from now to find a group of experienced professionals in that area. If you’re going to use an epidural, find out how much it costs and what options are available in your hospital. There is nothing wrong with having a Ceaserian section if you doctors say that is what’s best. It doesn’t make you any less a woman.

14. When to expect your baby

Typically, pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks. But only about twenty percent of babies arrive at their Expected Due Date. Your baby is considered:

  • Early term: Your baby is born between 37 weeks, 0 days and 38 weeks, 6 days.
  • Full term: Your baby is born between 39 weeks, 0 days and 40 weeks, 6 days.
  • Late term: Your baby is born between 41 weeks, 0 days and 41 weeks, 6 days.

If you find that you’re having contractions before your baby is full term, go to your hospital immediately. But don’t be worried, I know dozens of babies who came much earlier and were just fine.

15. Preparing for motherhood

My post, Preparing for motherhood will be up from Friday April 14. To be the first to view it, drop your email in the comments section. No one will see it but me.

16. Jara

 I originally planned to write ten tips, but as you can see, here we are…It’s because I keep remembering stuff. So I’ll just lump them all here.

  • Remember to sleep on your left side, experts say its best for your baby
  • Expect crazy sexual urges in second and third trimester-or don’t-not everyone gets this. I won’t tell you what category I fell into. (Runs to go wash hands with anointing oil)
  • Do most of your nursery preparations in second trimester.
  • Keep your feet elevated to prevent swelling
  • (I will add the rest when I remember, off to pick my princess from creche)
Please let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments section. Also, dearest mums, what did I miss? What other helpful tips should expectant mums have at their fingertips? (lol at the rhymes). Please share in the comments section.

3 Comment

  1. Bisola Adeniji says: Reply

    Great piece. God bless you. Just an addition. Discuss with your spouse who is coming for ‘omugwo’ If you wait till the baby comes, it might create issues. Cos it won’t be fair to send any of the new grandmothers back. They both mean well. Thanks

  2. Jennifer says: Reply

    Nice piece Laju. Waiting patiently for the next blog.

  3. Shalom Olumese says: Reply

    Really great piece. And how far with washing hands in anointing oil? Haba Madam? You’re still holy na… Lol. 🙂 Thanks especially for the jara. I’m waiting on the next one in the series.

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