7 Things You Must Know If You’re Expecting Your First Child

by Yuen Yi Ying
HEALTH  |  April 09, 2018
  • You need regular doses of folic acid
    1 / 7 You need regular doses of folic acid

    Most doctors recommend taking 400mcg of folic acid daily even before you get pregnant, because one never knows when that happens and folic acid is very important for baby’s developing brain and spinal cord. However, as with all other supplements and medications, consult with your doctor to determine how much you should take as excessive amounts of folic acid may lead to autism, obesity and diabetes in your child’s later years.

    Photos: 123rf.com and Pixabay

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  • You need to step up your dental care
    2 / 7 You need to step up your dental care

    Hormones during pregnancy relax muscles and gums, which could make your teeth feel shaky. More blood in your system could also lead to sensitivity, gum swelling and bleeding, while your bouts of throwing up could corrode teeth and cause cavities due to acid from your digestive system. With these factors at play, be sure to be extra diligent with brushing and flossing, go for regular dental appointments, and tell the dentist that you’re pregnant so he or she can do an extra thorough check.

    (Also Read: 6 Ways To Save Money On Your Dental Bills)

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  • You should avoid deli meats and soft cheeses
    3 / 7 You should avoid deli meats and soft cheeses

    Once you’re expecting, ham and cheese sandwiches are practically off the menu. This can be tricky if you’re somewhere that doesn’t have many food options or traveling to a place where that’s the staple food, so it’s always good to pack some fruit or snacks in your bag. The thing about deli meats and unpasteurised cheeses such as camembert, gorgonzola, brie and roquefort is that they could carry listeria, a bacteria that could cause premature or stillborn birth as well as miscarriage. Even if you’ve never had a problem with these foods before, pregnancy makes you more susceptible to catching listeriosis so it’s best to avoid them to be safe.

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  • You may experience incontinence
    4 / 7 You may experience incontinence

    It’s more common than you think but few pregnant ladies talk about it. The pressure of your growing baby against your bladder will make you feel like going to the bathroom more often, and you really should, even if it seems like you just went 15 minutes ago. All that liquid in your system can fill up your bladder quickly, and with baby pushing against it, unexpected leaks may happen if you laugh, cough or sneeze. It may be a good idea to bring some pantyliners or spare underwear with you in case this happens.

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  • You may have nasal congestion
    5 / 7 You may have nasal congestion

    It’s bad enough that even talking makes you feel breathless at times, but some mums also experience nasal congestion for weeks on top of this, thanks to increased hormone and blood levels that constrict vessels and cause more mucus production. Your doctor can probably tell you if you’ve got a cold, allergies, or if you have pregnancy rhinitis, and if it’s the latter, nasal saline sprays may help, or your doctor may prescribe some medication.

    (Also Read: 9 Ways to Get Rid of Sinus Problems)

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  • You may experience toilet troubles
    6 / 7 You may experience toilet troubles

    Besides the seemingly endless burping and passing of gas, pregnancy has other unglamorous side effects including haemorrhoids and constipation. Both are fairly common, caused by a combination of increased blood flow, pressure, muscle-relaxing hormones, and possibly some nutrients in your prenatal vitamins, but experiencing them may understandably cause a fair amount of panic, especially if you spot blood on the toilet paper. Your doctor may want you to come in for a quick scan to check that everything is ok with baby, but more likely than not, he or she will just ask you to have more fibre, drink up, and avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time.

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  • You may get appendicitis or ovarian torsion
    7 / 7 You may get appendicitis or ovarian torsion

    As baby gets bigger, your organs move to make space for your little one, but sometimes things can go awry pretty quickly. If you suddenly feel nauseous, lightheaded, have diarrhoea or experience extreme pain, call your doctor immediately and he or she may recommend that you go to a hospital quickly. It could be appendicitis, which is more common during the second trimester, though diagnosis can be tricky as anatomy changes may obscure scanning of the area. Blood tests can reveal if it’s appendicitis or food poisoning, but another complication that causes acute pain could be a twisted cyst by your ovary or a twisted ovary. This also needs to get checked out quickly as they could cut off blood flow and cause infertility.

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