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Are You Pregnant?

If you are or planning to be, here are some important things to know about this wonderful event.

PREGNANCY

When do pregnancy cravings start?

Having pregnancy cravings is different for every woman. Some might not even get any cravings at all. But usually, the cravings start at your first trimester. It could be as early as 5 weeks into your pregnancy. The cravings probably get stronger during the second trimester and eventually stop during the third trimester.

How much weight should I gain during my pregnancy?

Weight gain during pregnancy differs from person to person. But ultimately, it depends on your body mass index pre-pregnancy. Most pregnant women gain around 10kg to 15kg throughout the whole pregnancy. Make sure to monitor your weight cause it may affect the growth of your baby and might cause complications during childbirth.

What prenatal vitamins should I take?

Before we talk about prenatal vitamins, you should make sure to have a healthy and balanced diet during your pregnancy. When it comes to vitamins, your doctor would probably advise you to drink folic acid, iron, and calcium. But before drinking anything, consult with your healthcare provider first.

What position should I sleep in? 

Experts say that the best position to sleep in, especially on your second and third trimester, is to sleep on your side. Sleeping on your sides will give you and your baby optimal blood flow.

Sleeping on your back isn’t advisable because this position rests the entire weight of the growing uterus and baby on your back, your intestines and your vena cava which is the main vein that carries blood back to the heart from your lower body.

What food should I avoid?

Make sure that the food you eat is fully cooked. Avoid unpasteurized dairy products. Avoid raw fish like sushi, they may contain high levels of mercury. Do not eat raw egg, it might be contaminated with salmonella.

Is it safe to have sex?

Yes, you can still have sex while you are pregnant. But, if you have a high-risk pregnancy, make sure to consult with your doctor first.

Is it normal to bleed during pregnancy?

It is common to have some bleeding during your pregnancy. But its best to inform your healthcare provider about it to make sure that there are no underlying complications.

Can I drink alcohol while pregnant?

It is best to avoid drinking alcohol while pregnant. Alcohol is a teratogen and can cause fetal alcohol syndrome, and increase the risk of stillbirth.

Is it safe to drink coffee while pregnant?

Some doctors don’t allow their patients to drink coffee while they are pregnant. Some allow their patients to drink 1 cup or 200mg of coffee per day. Best to consult your doctor first!

What are the signs of a miscarriage?

Common signs of miscarriage are bleeding, cramping, and pelvic pain. If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your doctor right away.

When can I find out my baby’s sex?

You can find out the sex of your baby as early as 20 weeks during an ultrasound.

How often should I feel my baby kick?

You should be able to feel your baby kick around 15 to 25 weeks of pregnancy. Some women feel the kicks as early as 13 weeks. First-time moms, on the other hand, may feel the kicking at close to 25 weeks.

LABOR AND CHILDBIRTH

How will I know when labor starts and when it is time to go to the hospital?

Passage of blood or mucous-like discharge, leakage of fluid, contractions, cramping or lower back pain are common signs that you are on labor. Make sure to talk to your healthcare provider, ask for guidelines on what you need to do, and how to identify true labor. It is best to follow these guidelines that you and your doctor have agreed upon when you should come to the hospital.

How do I time a contraction?

Contractions are cramping or tightening sensation that tends to involve a buildup, a peak of intensity, and a relaxing phase.

When timing contractions, start counting from the beginning of one contraction to the beginning of the next. It’s best to write down your contraction intervals. It will help your healthcare provider to asses the situation once you arrive at the hospital or clinic.

Who Can Be with Me at the Birth?

Here in the Philippines, most hospitals do not allow pregnant women to be accompanied by anyone during the actual birth. But some hospitals allow the husband or a family member to be in the delivery room.

What is an Episiotomy?

An episiotomy is a cut at the base of the vagina to make the opening for the baby larger.

Can I eat or drink during labor?

It’s best to ask first before eating or drinking anything once you get admitted. Most women can have clear liquids. But if you are having a cesarean section, you will not be allowed to eat or drink anything until after the delivery.

What if my bag of water ruptures?

When your bag of water ruptures, you may experience a gush or constant trickle of fluid in your vagina. It is likely that you or will soon be in labor. Once this happens it’s best to go to the hospital or clinic so that a healthcare provider can asses the situation.

When Should I Breastfeed My Baby?

Breastfeeding and skin-to-skin should be done within the first hour of delivery or as soon as possible. You’ll learn how to feed your baby and the baby needs to learn how to latch on.

How Long Will I Stay In The Hospital Before Being Discharged?

The average length of stay for a patient with vaginal delivery is 2 days. For a cesarean section, the average length of stay is 4 days.

POSTNATAL AND BREASTFEEDING

How long does it take to recover after giving birth?

Recovery time might vary for every woman due to the different ways the female body system responds to pregnancy and delivery. Complete recovery usually takes 6 to 8 weeks.

How soon can I have sex?

Many health care providers recommend waiting to have sex until four to six weeks after delivery, regardless of the delivery method.

When should I start using birth control?

It is best to ask a healthcare provider and to about your family planning options even before you give birth to make sure that you are prepared.

Should certain foods be eaten or avoided by breastfeeding mothers?

Breastfeeding moms can eat whatever they like without affecting the baby. But it’s best to eat healthy and nutritious food.

Can I get pregnant while breastfeeding?

Lactation Amenorrhea Method or LAM is a temporary family planning method that relies on breastfeeding. You can use this method and not get pregnant if you meet the following three criteria: (1) Your baby is less than 6 months old, (2) your period has not yet returned and (3) you are exclusively breastfeeding.

Can I drink alcohol when I am breastfeeding?

It’s best not to drink alcohol when you are breastfeeding. Small amounts of alcohol will get passed to your baby through your breast milk.

Can I breastfeed my baby even if I am sick?

Yes. When a mother is sick with cold, flu, diarrhea, or vomiting, antibodies are produced to fight the infection. These antibodies can be transferred to the baby. Getting these antibodies will help your baby fight off the same illness.

If you need maternal care (prenatal, delivery, postnatal), you can search for doctors, birthing homes and hospitals near you by using our HEALTH FACILITY LOCATOR. Simply input your location, then select “Maternal Care Services”  and click on the search button. The results will show the maternal care clinics within a 10 kilometer radius from your location.

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