A-Z of Pregnancy

A-nkles – Swelling is a normal part of pregnancy that is caused by blood and fluid. Normal swelling, which is also called edema, is quite common in the ankles.

B-ladder – Train your bladder to behave. Urinate every 30 minutes, before you have the urge, and then try to extend the time between trips to the bathroom each day.

C-affeine – Caffeine should be limited to less than 200mg a day once a woman falls pregnant. This is equal to about one 12 oz cup of coffee.

D-iet – During pregnancy you need more iron because the volume of your blood increases and your baby’s blood is also developing. For an iron rich diet, include at least two serves of meat, chicken, fish, legumes or nuts every day. eat wholegrain breads, cereals and green leafy vegetables regularly.

E-ndorphins – You may have higher levels of endorphins near the end of pregnancy. For women who don’t use pain medication during labour, the level of endorphins continues to rise steadily and steeply through the birth of the baby.

F-olic acid – Taking a prenatal vitamin with the recommended 400 micro-grams (mcg) of folic acid before and during pregnancy can help prevent birth defects of your baby’s brain and spinal cord.

G-ynecologist – A trained practitioner who’s had post-medical school training in only women’s reproductive and general health. They are the practitioners that deal with high risk patients, multiple births, etc.

H-umidifier – If you have the flu during pregnancy, you can treat yourself effectively at home by investing in a humidifier.

I-mmunity – the immune system is lowered slightly during pregnancy, making pregnant women more susceptible to coughs, colds and flu.

J-aundice – Mild jaundice occurs in about 60% of full-term newborn babies, and in up to 80% of premature babies. You’re most likely to notice it from the third day after birth. Jaundice is usually harmless and disappears after 1 to 2 weeks.

K-egel exercises – Pregnant women who perform Kegel exercises often find they have an easier birth. Strengthening these muscles during pregnancy can help you develop the ability to control your muscles during labor and delivery.

L-ifestyle changes – Healthy lifestyle changes pregnant women should make during pregnancy include eating energy-giving foods, body-building foods and protective foods. They should avoid foods that are more likely to contain harmful pathogens (e.g. processed meats). Alcohol and caffeine may affect foetal development and should also be avoided.

M-idwife – A midwife is a health professional trained to support and care for women during pregnancy, labour and birth. They help you to stay healthy in pregnancy and, if no complications arise, to give birth with little intervention. Midwives also care for you and your baby in the first few weeks following the birth.

N-utrition – Good nutrition during pregnancy can help to keep you and your developing baby healthy. The need for certain nutrients, such as iron, iodine and folate, is increased at this time. However, pregnant women may need supplements of particular vitamins or minerals. Consult your doctor before taking supplements.

O-rgans – To make space for a growing baby, our organs move during pregnancy and they move again after birth. It all starts with the uterus which enlarges and pushes out of the pelvic cavity. Eventually, the body rearranges vital organs such as the stomach, liver and intestines.

P-lacenta – The placenta is an organ that develops in your uterus during pregnancy. This structure provides oxygen and nutrients to your growing baby and removes waste products from your baby’s blood. The placenta attaches to the wall of your uterus, and your baby’s umbilical cord leads from it.

Q-uestions – It is important that you feel well-informed about your antenatal care and have accurate expectations about what will happen when you go into labour. You should always ask your obstetrician or midwife any questions you may have throughout your pregnancy regardless of how silly you think they are.

R-est – Your sleep isn’t as deep and refreshing as usual, and you’ll wake more often throughout the night. You need more than usual – as much as you can get. Resting during pregnancy is needed more than usual as you are growing another life-form inside you.

S-leep – The best sleep position during pregnancy is “SOS” (sleep on side). Even better is to sleep on your left side. Sleeping on your left side will increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and your baby. Keep your legs and knees bent, and put a pillow between your legs.

T-oiletries – Your toiletry bag for after you give birth should include nicer products than you would usually use including  body wash, shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, deodorant, and your favourite perfume.

U-ltrasound – Ultrasound is used during pregnancy to check the baby’s development, the presence of a multiple pregnancy and to help pick up any abnormalities. The ultrasound scan isn’t 100 per cent accurate, but the advantages of the test are that it’s non-invasive, painless and safe for both mother and unborn baby.

V-itamins – Prenatal vitamins are multivitamins that are specially formulated to meet the increased demand for micronutrients during pregnancy. They are intended to be taken before conception and during pregnancy and lactation. Since prenatal vitamins contain the vitamins and minerals that pregnant women need, taking additional vitamin or mineral supplements may not be necessary unless suggested by your doctor. Prenatal vitamins are often prescribed by doctors and also available over-the-counter.

W-ater – Your recommended daily water intake is higher during pregnancy but really varies based on your body type and size, how active you are, and so on, the general rule of thumb is somewhere between eight and ten 8-ounce glasses of water a day.

X-rated fun – Not running a business time schedule when trying to fall pregnant is more times than not more effective. Those that have more fun in the bedroom when trying also may experience less tension in their relationships.

Y-oga – If you’re attending a regular yoga class, be sure to tell the instructor you’re pregnant, and which trimester you’re in. Don’t do any poses on your back after the first trimester – they can reduce blood flow to the uterus.

Z-ygote – A zygote is the union of the sperm cell and the egg cell. Also known as a fertilized ovum, the zygote begins as a single cell but divides rapidly in the days following fertilization.

There you have it, my A-Z list of pregnancy. It was fun composing this list and the different resources I used to research the information used in this list.

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