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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lifestyle Issues During Pregnancy

2:56 PM
Description

Because of the unique demands and changes placed upon the expecting mother's body, health, and emotional well-being by pregnancy, various accommodations and lifestyle adaptions are advised. They are as follows.

Clothes

Clothes will feel small after about 4 months. Buy maternity dresses that are loose, and do not put pressure on the stomach. Choose undergarments that stretch well at the abdomen.


Undergarments

Girdles are not necessary, but maternity girdles support the lower back and ease back pain. Bras maintain the normal shape and form of breasts. Big cups, a support strap that extends to the armpits so that the entire chest area can be covered, and wide shoulder straps are ideal. Women who plan to breast-feeding, should purchase special bras for this in the latter part of their pregnancy.


Shoes

Shoes are important because posture changes during pregnancy. Because they protect the feet and maintain balance as the stomach grows and appearance changes, flat, low-heel shoes are recommended. Comfortable shoes help prevent fatigue, back pain, and leg pain.


Baths

The body sweats more during pregnancy. Take a daily bath to ease tension and become invigorated. Be careful not to lose your balance and fall. There is no harm in bathing every day or every other day for relaxation and hygiene, but bathing for long periods is not recommended. Because the genitals become unclean from increased vaginal secretions, it is a good idea to wash nightly with warm water in addition to a bath. However, it is not good for the mother to wash the inside of her vagina (i.e., douche).


Sitz Baths

Sitz baths are not recommended. Washing with soap during a daily bath or washing the genitals nightly with warm water in addition to a bath is adequate.


Breast Care

When bathing, wash nipples with clean and soft cloth.


Teeth

Brush in the morning and after every meal.


Sex During Pregnancy

Pressure on the stomach may be uncomfortable, but unless a doctor prohibits it or it is overly strenuous, a woman may engage in sex during pregnancy. (Caution: There may be a danger of miscarriage in the later part of the third trimester. Consult your physician.)


Medications

Consult a doctor before taking any kind of medication.


Smoking

It is harmful to the baby. Pregnant women must quit smoking and avoid second-hand smoke (possibility of low-birth weight infant) during their pregnancy.


Make-up

Manicures and make-up for conditioning are fine.


Exercise

Walking or light walking exercises strengthen the muscles used during labor. Plus, it is relaxing and maintains physical strength. Exercises such as bicycling, aerobics, and swimming should be modestly paced so to avoid placing an undo strain on the body. When swimming, always swim in warm water.


Travel

When traveling long distances, planes and trains are the most comfortable and least exhausting mode of transportation. When traveling by car, stop every 2 hours and stretch or walk for 10-15 minutes. Avoid traveling long distances near the end of the pregnancy.


Work

A woman can continue to work as long as the job is not strenuous and tiring. Elevate and rest the feet during breaks if a job requires a lot of standing. Avoid workplace chemicals and toxic materials while pregnant. Do not lift or move heavy objects.

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