Pregnancy Q&A

Whether you’re a first-time mommy or on your third baby, pregnancy can be a very overwhelming experience. With all the information available online and advice from family and friends, you can end up feeling very confused. Here are some of the most common pregnancy questions I receive, answered.

Question: What are the early signs of pregnancy?

Early pregnancy signs differ from woman to woman. The main sign is a missed period (however, not always). Other signs include headaches, tender breasts, nausea, and pain in your lower back. If you recently had unprotected sex and begin experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s best that you take a home pregnancy test (available at your local pharmacy) or visit your local clinic.

Question: When should I first visit the clinic?

The sooner the better, but you should book an appointment at your clinic no later than 14 weeks for your prenatal care. Prenatal care is important during pregnancy- it helps to monitor your baby’s development, to ensure a healthy and safe delivery. Visiting the clinic for prenatal care is also important for identifying any challenges to you or to your baby early enough to be able to reduce the risk for both of you.

Question: When will I feel the baby kick?

Women don’t feel the baby kick until 16 and 22 weeks of pregnancy. You might feel this later if it’s your first pregnancy. If no movement is felt post 22 weeks, I recommend speaking to your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

Question: Is it safe to have sex during pregnancy?

If you’re comfortable, it’s okay to have sex during pregnancy. It’s important to use a condom each time you have sex as there’s still a risk of HIV/STI transmission, which can affect the health of the baby. Remember to treat all sexually transmitted infection (STI) signs immediately.

Question: I’m 40 weeks pregnant, and I’m still not in labour…

It’s normal for you to give birth between 36 weeks and 42 weeks. Most healthcare providers consider inducing the pregnancy or consider C-section, 10 days after the estimated date. Your healthcare provider will advise you on the best procedure to follow.

Question: What food should I eat?

A pregnant woman should eat at least 3 three balanced meals daily. These food includes, starch, fruits and vegetables, oil and protein products under the guidance of your healthcare provider. Foods that are high in folic and iron are a must and it’s vital to take the vitamins you get from your healthcare provider. Check in with your healthcare provider for any changes in your diet.

Question: What food and drinks should I avoid during pregnancy?

Alcohol and excessive caffeine should be avoided as this can affect the health and the development of the baby. It’s recommended to avoid uncooked meat and seafood. Remember to wash all fruits and vegetables before consumption.

Question: What exercises and lifestyle habits are safe during pregnancy?

Most exercise (if not strenuous), can be considered safe. However, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider about your exercise habits or sporting activities to make sure that it’s safe for you at all stages of your pregnancy.

Smoking cigarettes or hookah (hubbly bubbly) are not safe during pregnancy as they can have negative impacts on your health and your unborn baby.

Pregnancy can be a very overwhelming time for any mother, but it’s important to take care of yourself and the baby by being informed. If you have any other pregnancy related questions, you can chat to me.

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Messagea Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).

 

 

 

What is Prenatal care?


Finding out that you’re pregnant can be both exciting and overwhelming. Whether you’re a first-time mom or not, getting prenatal care early on is important for a healthy pregnancy. Here’s why.

What is Prenatal care?

Prenatal care involves regular check-ups with your healthcare provider throughout your pregnancy to ensure that you and your baby are healthy. Regular prenatal care visits will help you learn everything you need to know about your pregnancy. It can also reduce the risk of pregnancy complications which can be caused by an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise and being exposed to a toxic environment.

  • A full physical exam which includes measuring your height, weight, blood pressure, breathing and pulse as well as a pelvic exam.
  • Blood and urine tests where your healthcare provider will test your iron levels and check for diabetes.
  • Sexual reproductive health screening, which includes an HIV test. If you test positive for HIV, you’ll be started on treatment early to prevent mother to child transmission.
  • Pap smears

Your healthcare provider will also give you advice on maintaining your health and that of your baby. This will include instructions on taking your vitamins, healthy eating habits, staying active, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Taking prenatal medication

Prenatal medication is taken during pregnancy and after birth. This medication is important because it gives your baby the extra vitamins they need for healthy development. The vitamins you’ll be given include folic acid, Vitamin C and iron supplements. Remember to take these exactly as prescribed.

Where to start your prenatal care

You can get started with your prenatal care at your nearest clinic. It’s essential that you start as soon as you find out that you’re pregnant so that your health and your baby’s health is not compromised.

Prenatal care matters in every stage of pregnancy, even if you’re far along. Not getting prenatal care increases the chances of your child experiencing birth defects, weight issues and other health problems. So, to ensure a healthy, fulfilling pregnancy, don’t miss your prenatal care visits.

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657.

Why is prenatal care important?

Pregnancy can be a sensitive time for new mothers, especially if you’re young. Most women feel overwhelmed when they find out that they’re pregnant and may not know what the first step to take is. That’s why I’ve broken down the concept of prenatal care and what it entails.

What is prenatal care?

Prenatal care involves regular check-ups with your doctor, nurse or gynaecologist throughout your pregnancy to ensure that you and your baby are healthy. Regular prenatal care visits will help you learn everything you need to know about your well-being and that of your baby.

What are prenatal care benefits?

Prenatal care helps you reduce the risk of pregnancy complications caused by an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise and exposure to toxic substances in the environment. It also reduces the risk of foetal (unborn baby) and infant complication caused by drinking alcohol and smoking during pregnancy.

It’s generally recommended that you start getting prenatal care as soon as you find out that you’re pregnant.

What to expect from your prenatal care appointments

At your first prenatal care check up, your health care provider will perform a variety of tests. This is done to screen for any pre-existing conditions that may affect your pregnancy and the development of your baby.

Prenatal tests typically include the following:

Physical exam – measuring your height, weight, blood pressure, breathing and pulse. This also includes a pelvic exam.

Blood  and urine tests – testing for sexually transmitted infections, (STIs) including the human immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Your doctor will also check for diabetes, anaemia, hepatitis B and preeclampsia (a dangerous condition caused by high blood pressure during pregnancy).

Sexual reproductive health screening – your doctor may do a Pap smear test and an early first trimester ultrasound test.

Vitamins – you’ll be given vitamins such as folic acid, Vitamin C and iron supplements to take throughout your pregnancy.

Where can you get started with your prenatal care?

You can get started with your prenatal care at your nearest health clinic, community hospital or your personal gynaecologist. The service is offered for free at government clinics and hospitals.

Prenatal care’s important for all expectant mothers. If you’re already pregnant and haven’t had a prenatal care appointment yet, that’s okay but quickly go to your nearest health clinic, community hospital or your gynaecologist to get started right away.

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Messagea Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).

Is he ready to be a father?

Have you ever heard someone say “I just really want to have a baby” or “I know if I have a baby with him it would bring us closer”? Or maybe you’ve felt that way recently. You may think you’re ready to have a baby, but what about the person that you’d like to have a baby with – are they ready?

Why having a child is a big deal

Having a baby because you think it would make someone fall in love with you or stay with you is not a good enough reason to have a baby, Choma. Children are a big responsibility so the decision to have one should not be taken lightly.

Falling pregnant just to save a relationship could actually cause more heartbreak in the long run. When a girl or woman falls pregnant, she has the right to do what she wants with her body. So her pregnancy is ultimately her choice. But once she has the baby, her partner does have the right to be a part of that child’s life.

Why you shouldn’t force bae to be a daddy

If a guy feels “forced” into parenthood, there’s a chance that he could actually become resentful and this could result in the relationship being even worse than before. This is not an ideal situation to raise a baby in. There’s also the risk of the guy refusing to be a part of the child’s life entirely, forcing the child to grow up without a father.

On the other hand, what if the father does stay and is a part of the child’s life, but is not a good father to the child? This could affect the child in the long run.

Remember Choma, once a child is in the picture, it’s no longer just about you and the person you’re having a baby with. Making sure that you make decisions that will be good for the child is very important, and knowing whether someone is ready to be a father forms part of those decisions.

If your relationship is not going well with a baby out of the picture, there’s no guarantee that it will be better with a baby. The baby could end up being your sole responsibility making life difficult for both you and your child.

Why it’s important for both of you to be ready

Children deserve to be raised in healthy environments by parents who are financially and emotionally ready to raise them. Always consider the fact that the baby you intend to have is not an object, but an actual human being.

If you’re still growing and figuring life out, it’s probably best to have a baby when you’re more mature and sure that you’re with the right person who you can raise a baby with.

What you can do in the meantime

Instead of having a baby with someone who isn’t invested in you or your relationship, focus on building relationships that are good for you.

And until you’re sure that you’re with someone you can build a family with, remember to protect yourself and use contraceptives. Using condoms and other contraceptives such as “the pill” is a good way to prevent unplanned pregnancies.

Condoms also protect you from contracting HIV and STIs so remember to stay protected.

Remember if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Messagea Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).