“Okay, I'm pregnant—Now what?!”

I'm pregnant, now what?

Bringing a new life into the world is a big responsibility, especially if you are the mother to be. Your body will go through many changes, and if you are asking yourself—“I’m pregnant, now what?!”—it is important to know how to take care of yourself.

Timing is Everything—Know Your Due Date

After you have confirmed your pregnancy, it is important to calculate your due date. If you are an average woman who has a 28-day cycle, you ovulate on the 14th day. You can determine your new arrival by adding 7 days to your last period and then subtracting 3 months. For example May 2, 2010 + 7 days - 3 months = February 9, 2011. Of course, this is not set in stone, and if you have irregular cycles your doctor can help you find out when your new bundle of joy will arrive.

Know What to Eat

Your diet plays an important part in your baby’s development, “I’m pregnant now what”, takes on a completely new meaning. Because you are eating for two, it is important to know what kind of foods you should eat.

  • Lean meats are an important source of protein and vital to the fetus. If you are a vegetarian, it is perfectly safe to continue this lifestyle. Just make sure you check with your doctor and devise a healthy eating plan.
  • Keep your iron levels up by eating lots of leafy vegetables such as cooked spinach and dark-colored lettuce. Whole grain bread will increase your fiber levels. It is recommended that you have at least 20 grams a day.
  • Unsaturated fats are also important because fat is crucial for baby’s brain. Also, remember to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, but be sure to wash them.
  • Drinking lots of non-fat milk will help you maintain your calcium levels. This is important as your body can absorb twice as much when you are pregnant.
  • Beans and lentils are an excellent source of protein and should be included in your diet.
  • Eating foods that are high in folate and Vitamin B, are a must for every woman who is expecting.
  • Do not forget to drink lots of water, as it is vital to stay hydrated.

There are some foods that you should stay away from if you are pregnant.

  • Avoid soft cheese, which could cause bacteria. Most hard cheese is okay, but it is important to read the list of ingredients and look for pasteurized products.
  • Stay away from deli meats that have not been cooked. Just like soft cheese, they could contain bacteria.
  • High mercury fish should not be eaten at all. Saltwater bass, tuna steaks, swordfish and shark should be avoided, and remember to stay away from sushi. Low mercury fish like salmon, cod, flounder and sole are safe, and contain high levels of Omega 3 oils. These are very important to you and your baby’s health.
  • Cook eggs thoroughly. Runny yolks may have bacteria and could cause diarrhea. A woman’s immune system is not as high when carrying a baby. Remember that Caesar salad dressing contains raw eggs, and should be avoided as well.
  • If you are prone to heartburn, you should give up spicy foods. They will not hurt the baby, but could cause heartburn.
  • Most women know that they should avoid alcohol as it can cause birth defects. Making sure that you get the vitamins and nutrients you need is vital during your pregnancy.

Last But Not Least

It is important to see your doctor regularly. Even if you have had more than one child “I’m pregnant now what”, is something that you should discuss with your family physician. A healthy, happy baby is what every woman wants, knowing how to achieve that is the first step.

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