Pregnancy: The First Month
During your first prenatal visit, the Doctor or Health Care Provider will collect lots of information. You will be asked about pregnancy symptoms and have blood tests. Questions about your past medical and family history will be requested. All sorts of information will be collected so later, if anything needs to be checked, we will have a reference point. A beginning point. Something to compare to, from beginning to end. Like weight, blood pressure, blood results. We are about to go on an amazing journey and we want all the information we can have. Your body is about to change in wonderful ways and a little person, me, will grow inside there. I say, let's be as prepared as possible!
During this First Month, Ask Questions!
I know you have a lot of questions. Ask your Doctor or Health Care Provider. They are there to help us. They enjoy being a part of this journey. Be sure to include them!
Are you tired? Sleepy? Have food cravings? Upset one moment and happy the next? There are lots of changes going on in your body. You need someone to talk to and that is why you have a Doctor or Health Care Provider. They can give you answers to your questions and they can help make the journey more comfortable. You will become friends. Remember, we all will be spending 9 months together!
Does Your Doctor Know . . .
It is important to tell your Doctor or your Health Care Provider about your past medical history. Have you been pregnant before? Have you had a miscarriage? Special health problems? Be sure to share everything, no matter how major or minor you think it might be. Let the Doctor or Health Care Provider decide. We both want to get the best medical help. This can happen only if you are honest and open with the Doctor or Health Care Provider.
What You Drink is Important to both of Us...
Drinking any alcoholic beverages while I am developing can cause problems in how my body and brain will work after I am born. What you drink goes directly to me. And it affects me twice as much. We both want me to be healthy, so please be very careful about what you drink.
A Word about Drugs...
Please do not take any drugs unless your Doctor or Health Provider has said it is OK. This includes prescription drugs and drugs that you can buy at the drug store without a prescription.
It also means any drugs that someone else may give you. And it especially means no drugs such as marijuana or cocaine.
Taking such drugs can cause damage to my little body or my brain. Before you put anything into your mouth or body, please think about me. It does make a difference!
We both want to me to be healthy...
Anything you take that is unhealthy can have a long term result on me. That means I could be retarded or have birth defects. That is not something you can go back and fix later. The decision you make today can change me tomorrow. Please make sure your decisions are good...for both of us. Thank you!
Is That Smoke?
I don't think I like smoke very much. I know it is not good for me, so I am going to ask you to please not smoke while I am growing. Smoking can cause me to be born too early...before I have time to grow like I need to. It could hurt my little lungs and make it hard for me to breath. Smoke can keep me from gaining the weight I need to be healthy when it is time for me to be born. Help me to be healthy and strong.
And please, do not let other people smoke around us. Second-hand smoke is not good either. Remember, whatever you eat and breathe, so do I!
Drinks that have caffeine in them might not be the best thing for us right now. Caffeine may be in coffee, tea and many soft drinks. You can get drinks that are "caffeine free."
Caffeine acts like a "diuretic" and draws fluid from the body. This means it also draws good things like calcium out of the body and we need calcium for both of us to be healthy. Caffeine also makes you feel "full" and makes you not as hungry. But because you are eating for two people, you need to eat good nutritious meals. It is better to drink lots of water, which is good for both of us.
Things That Are Hot...
As I grow in your tummy, you need to be careful about things that have extreme heat. These include hot tubs, saunas, electric blankets and heating pads. As your temperature increases, it can become dangerous for me. If you increase your temperature by using hot water or heat, and it stays over 102 degrees for a while, it could hurt me.
Please ask your Doctor or Health Care Provider about this. It is better for both of us to know in advance.
I Know You Used To Do That...But...
Because I am growing inside of you, there are things you did before that might not be good to do while I am growing. I know it will be hard, but think about how wonderful it will be when I come out healthy and strong and you know that you helped to make me that way!
Ask your Doctor or Health Care Provider for good "Dos" and "Don't" while you are expecting. Good foods and healthy exercise will help us both. I will thank you!
What Is That Smell?
There are many cleaning supplies that you can still use, even though you are expecting, but there are also some that might be dangerous. If the cleaner has a strong odor or fumes, check with your Doctor or Health Care Provider before you use it. Even if it is OK to use, try not to breathe in the fumes. Aerosol sprays cause more fumes. Try switching to pump sprays. Also remember to not mix different cleaning products. Together their fumes coud be very dangerous.
Mommy Needs to Take Care of Herself Too!
I know you were a busy person before I came along, but you might have to slow down for a little bit! Use good sense about everyday things. If you work and it means lots of heavy lifting, long hours or standing for a long time, maybe you should check with your Doctor or Health Care Provider. Working around loud noises or chemicals might also be a problem. While I am still growing, you might need to take it easy for a while. Again, it is better for us both to be healthy.