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On The Plus Side: What To Expect After A Positive Pregnancy Test

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

You’ve finally seen the plus sign or two vertical lines on your home pregnancy test, and your doctor has confirmed your finding. Congratulations as you embrace your new role as mom-to-be.

But, other than a bulging baby bump, what can ladies in their first trimester of pregnancy expect? The experts weight in.

1. Nausea and Vomitting: More commonly referred to as morning sickness, though it can occur at just about any time of day, it’s a common experience for up to 85 percent of pregnant ladies. While a specific cause in NOT know, experts speculate that the pregnancy hormone known a human chorionic gonadotropin may just be the root cause. In fact, they suggest that the more in yours system, the “sicker” you’ll feel. And, some say that’s actually a good thing, noting that morning sickness reflects a healthy pregnancy and less likelihood of miscarriage of premature delivery.

They add, that while these symptoms generally “do” subside after the first trimester there are ways to minimize the effects and impact of morning sickness.

· Eat more frequently, but consume smaller portions. This method makes digestion easier for you body, plus it helps ensure your stomach is never empty, which only worsens nausea. As far as bland foods are concerned, experts suggest there is nothing to keep you from indulging in your healthy cravings, adding that your body will likely let you know what it wants and what it can tolerate.

· Use ginger root to soothe your stomach. Experts suggest grating it into tea or juice for the best benefits.

· Buy some B6, a supplement that can help empty your tummy faster. Consult with your doctor first and ask him about the appropriate amount.

2. Insatiable Cravings and Distates: Women in their first trimester may find they lean toward certain foods, some which they may have never liked before while they are staunchly repulsed by others, including some of their favourites. And, many question whether or not they should give into their curious cravings. Experts give moms-to-be the thumbs up for healthy craving and add that unhealthy cravings should be limited to an intake of about 75 to 100 calories per day. And, for food aversions they recommend replacing other foods for the ones you can’t seem to swallow; maybe even “sneaking” in the food your opposed to into more tolerable treats.

· Milk can always be replaced by low-fat cheese, yogurt, or by adding it to sauces, soups, cereals, or baked good such as pancakes.
· Veggies can be replaced by beta-carotene rich fruits such as mango, apricot, and canteloupe

· Replace meat with dry beans and tofu or add it to sauces, soups, or stews.

3. Sensitivity To Smells: Many pregnant ladies say they become more aware of smells during their pregnancy. Researchers believe this is your body’s way of keeping you away from foods containing a high bacteria content, or natural toxins, which may harm the fetus, especially in the critical first three months. But, they add, this usually subsides with time

4. Baby “Burnout”: Moms-to-be tend to be more tired during their pregnancy than they were before. And, experts explain, that’s because your body in experiencing overload so that your bundle of joy can develop and grow; adding that your ovaries are in full-production of progesterone which is noted as have a calming effect, much like a sedative, and your blood volume increases up to 50 percent so as to have enough to support the fetus.

Another potential possibility is anemia. According to experts more iron is necessary to form the baby’s blood cells and if not present, the baby will extract what it needs from your body, leaving YOU with less. They suggest having your doctor give you a blood test during your initial prenatal visit checking your iron stores, and if your count is low discussing taking an iron supplement.

Other solutions include:

· Get plenty of exercise. Experts remind pregnant ladies that just lazing around all day may feel good but it may cause you to be more tired than necessary. Jump start your body by moving around. Take a short walk or some light stretching, twenty minutes a day or a few times a week can do wonders.

· Get a prescription for pre-natals. Taking a prenatal vitamin, according to experts can help fill in the gaps if your appetite is suffering. And, since it contains iron, it can protect you from becoming anemic

· Don’t pass up a good cat nap. Experts suggest getting rest where and when you can, and for as long (or as little) as you can. Keep in mind that just 15 minutes (even during lunch) can boost your energy and your mood.

5. Potty “Problems”: Experts note that regardless of if you’re showing or not, your uterus IS expanding to accommodate your baby. And, that means more pressure on your bladder, which they say never really empties. Add to that the fact that your kidneys are in “overdrive” trying to flush your body of wastes. This means you’ll likely have to pee, often. And, while you may be tempted to cut down on the beverages, or holding back on your potty runs, experts advise against both. They note that that holding in urine may lead to an infection. To sleep through the night they suggest cutting out or significantly limiting liquids a few hours before you hit the sack and cut out caffeine in the evening, it’s a bladder stimulant. Finally, they suggest tinkling once last time before you go to bed.

6. Unexpected Outbreaks: Experts suggest you may experience an outbreak of acne due to overactive hormones that result in your skin producing more oil. They suggest

· Limit washing or overscrubbing say experts. They also suggest using gently products and cleansers to avoid overdrying your skin.

· Read product labels. While Glycolic acid gets a thumbs up, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, retinols, and products containing steroids do not, and may result in causing birth defects.

7. Short Windedness: Your baby, say experts will take your breath away, even before you even meet him or her. They note the expecting moms tend to inhale more deeply in an (unconscious) effort to offer oxygen to all that extra blood. And, they add, that while you may be getting enough air, you may still feel winded, primarily because your baby is transferring carbon dioxide to you.

8. More Frequent Headaches: Experts note tat due to a changing metabolism often resulting in low blood sugar and a surge in hormones and a reduction in blood flow to the brain can result in serious headaches for expectant ladies. They recommend hot and/or cold compresses, massaging your temples and getting plenty of fresh air. And, if these don’t do the job consult your doctor and ask him or her about taking acetaminophen, which is considered safe for pregnant ladies.

9. Irritated Eyes: Due to a surge in blood circulation, experts note that your body may feel somewhat swollen, including your eyes. In fact, your corneas thicken and curve which may “distort” visual images by refracting them. And, for ladies you wear contact lenses that may translate into making a “spectacle” of yourself until your baby is born.

Note that for some ladies, while vision tends to stay the same, eyes may feel drier than usual because of fluctuating hormones. Experts suggest giving eyedrops a try or seeing your eye-care professional to temporarily adjust your current (eyeglass) prescription.

10. Busting Out All Over: An automatic “boob job” is what expectant moms can expect as their breasts prepare to nurse their infant. Due to hormonal fluctuations and enlarging milk ducts, your breasts go through a growth spurt, typically around your sixth week of pregnancy, making your breasts feel tender and engorged. To ease the pain, experts suggest:

· Invest in better fitting, larger bras with additional rows of hooks for easy adjustments. And, try to steer clear of on confining front closures.

· Purchase a cotton “sleep” bra to alleviate soreness, especially if it’s making you so uncomfortable that you are missing out on rest. Experts note that the added support will alleviate the discomfort and pain.

11. Shifts In Sexual Desire: The deluge of hormones and blood flow can impact your nether regions, making both the vagina and the clitoris softer and more sensitive. And, for some ladies that means going into sexual overdrive, while for other it send it into park.

Experts point out that both these positions are normal and stress the importance of keeping your mate informed and aware of the changes (and reasons for them). They recommend making him feel wanted by showing loving attention and via alternative sexual expressions, including cuddling, touching, and back rubs.

12. Mood Swings: Because of surging hormones and a lack of a restful sleep, many ladies are prone to emotional mood swings during pregnancy. Experts note that feeling happy one minute and sad the next is not so uncommon. However, you should monitor your feelings and speak to a professional if you feel your need to. Having a good support system, including friends, family, and other moms-to-be is also a big help

Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > On The Plus Side: What To Expect After A Positive Pregnancy Test

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