When you’re pregnant, it’s more important than ever to take care of your health.  Your body is now supporting two people and is working overtime to do so. Being informed of what this means for you and how to take care of yourself is your first step towards staying healthy during your pregnancy.  Keep reading for our tips and advice, then contact Lowcountry Pregnancy Center at 843-553-3505 to learn more about how we can support you.

Know Your Family’s Medical History

Being aware of your family’s medical history is a great first step.  Talking with your immediate family and asking them if they had any complications or underlying health conditions during their pregnancies provides you with helpful information to bring to your doctor during your first prenatal visit.  While not everything is passed genetically, it is good to be aware of your family’s history so you can know what to look for.

Listen to Your Body’s Signals

Pregnancy brings many changes to your body, and being aware of those is key.  A few of the main ones to watch out for are:

  • Bleeding.  While light bleeding or spotting is common early on in your pregnancy, as your pregnancy progresses, this is something to keep an eye on, as it could indicate something as minor as an infection or something as major as an ectopic pregnancy or potential miscarriage. 
  • Blood pressure.  High blood pressure can develop about halfway through your pregnancy, even if you don’t have a history of high blood pressure.  Some causes of it are if it’s your first pregnancy, if you aren’t getting enough physical exercise, or if you are continuing to drink or smoke during your pregnancy.  Most of the time, this is treated with blood pressure medication, but if it goes untreated, it could lead to a risk of preeclampsia, a serious medical condition.
  • Depression.  Because of all of the changes your body is going through, the rush of hormones and emotions can be difficult to manage for some.  While postpartum depression is relatively well-known, approximately 14-23% of women experience depression during their pregnancy.  While having off days isn’t uncommon, if your depression persists, you should reach out to your doctor for their input and advice.

Hygiene

While this may seem like a no-brainer, maintaining good hygiene during your pregnancy goes a long way towards maintaining your health.  And while this includes the classic washing your hands and showering regularly, you also need to be aware of external sources. As much as possible, avoid contact with family members or friends who are sick to avoid getting sick yourself and putting an extra strain on your body.  Also, if you are still sexually active, be aware that STDs and STIs can still be transmitted to not only you, but your baby as well, and can result in complications, making regular STI testing is extremely important.

Regular Prenatal Visits

Maintaining regular prenatal visits is a vital part of a healthy pregnancy.  However, it’s also just as important to find a doctor or OBGYN that you’re comfortable with and can discuss your pregnancy concerns with without any awkwardness or shame.  Having an ongoing, honest dialogue throughout your pregnancy goes a long way towards getting the medical support you need.

Additional Support We Can Provide

At Lowcountry Pregnancy Center, we are dedicated to making sure you have all the support and resources you need to have a healthy pregnancy.  We offer free parenting classes that give you the skills and tools you need to be prepared for parenting, as well as fatherhood programs for dads.  In addition, our Earn While You Learn program allows you to receive credits for attending classes that go towards material supplies, such as clothing, diapers, baby furniture, and more.  We also provide you with educational materials and community referrals for any additional needs you may have. Call us today at 843-553-3505, send us a message online, or stop by our center at any time to learn more about our services.

Additional Resources

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/staying-healthy-during-pregnancy/complications-of-pregnancy

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/staying-healthy-during-pregnancy/4-common-pregnancy-complications

https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/preconceptioncare/conditioninfo/health-problems

https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/maternalinfanthealth/pregnancy-complications.html