You’re Pregnant! Now What? (video/podcast)

Scripps OB-GYN explains proper care during pregnancy

Scripps OB-GYN explains proper care during pregnancy

Having a baby? Congratulations! No doubt you’re excited and possibly feeling a little bit overwhelmed — especially if this is your first pregnancy. What can you do to stay as healthy as possible throughout your pregnancy?

In this video, San Diego Health host Susan Taylor talks with Dina Fainman, MD, an OB-GYN at Scripps Clinic Encinitas, about actions you can take to help keep you and your developing baby healthy.

Get proper medical care

The first trimester of pregnancy lasts about 12 weeks. As soon as you have a positive pregnancy test, call your OB-GYN office to schedule your first prenatal appointment. Your doctor will order lab tests and perform a pregnancy ultrasound.

“During the second trimester, we’re assessing the growth and well-being of the baby with ultrasounds, lab tests and physical exams here in our office,” says Dr. Fainman. “We’re checking to see how you’re feeling and make sure that things like your blood pressure and heart rate and weight gain are normal.”

The third trimester begins around week 28 of pregnancy and lasts until birth. Your doctor will continue to assess the baby’s growth and development, address any concerns, and help you prepare for labor and delivery.

Be sure to attend all of your prenatal visits with your OB-GYN to help ensure you and your baby are doing well and identify any concerns early.

“Everybody experiences pregnancy differently. Some women have an easy time while other women get all the aches and pains. Talk to your doctor because there are various ways to manage each of these symptoms, depending on what’s causing them,” says Dr. Fainman.

“Sometimes it’s normal aches and pains of pregnancy, but sometimes it’s something more serious that we can’t just chalk up to pregnancy, and that’s for your OB to determine.”

Eat a healthy diet

A healthy, balanced diet is recommended for everyone, and especially important when you’re pregnant. Build your meals around lots of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, dairy, and healthy carbohydrates. Avoid raw or undercooked meat, fish or seafood, such as sushi, tartars, and uncooked or runny eggs, as well as unpasteurized dairy. Both raw meats and unpasteurized dairy can carry bacteria that could increase the risk of miscarriage.

“When you’re pregnant, a lot of people think they should be eating for two, but that is not true,” says Dr. Fainman. “You should be eating for you plus about 200 calories in addition to what normal intake compared to when you’re not pregnant.”

In addition, drink eight to 10 cups of water per day — and even more in the second half of pregnancy. Limit sugary fruit juices and caffeinated drinks like coffee or tea to one or two servings a day. Absolutely avoid alcohol, as well as smoking and all recreational drugs, including marijuana.

Make exercise a priority

Exercise is strongly recommended in pregnancy and will benefit you in the long run as well. If you already exercise, continue to maintain your routine, but do it safely. If you aren’t exercising regularly, it’s important to start walking at least five days a week, 30 minutes at a time.

“If you’re an avid exerciser, let’s say you run marathons or you do CrossFit, you can actually continue to do those exercises to your fitness level,” says Dr. Fainman. “There will be some limitations as the pregnancy moves along that you and your doctor can talk about.”

Do avoid anything that can cause traumatic injury, such as surfing or horseback riding, for example.

Get plenty of sleep

Eight hours of sleep is considered ideal during pregnancy. However, as your pregnancy moves along, you may feel more uncomfortable and find it more difficult to get a good night's sleep. Experiment with different types of pillows and sleep positions to find what works for you and take naps when you can.

“In general, we recommend that you avoid being completely flat on your back after 20 weeks of pregnancy,” says Dr. Fainman. “So, if you can be propped up just a little bit or tilted off to one side or the other, that’s the safest way to sleep.”

Be aware of warning signs

Most pregnancies progress smoothly with no complications. However, if you notice anything unusual, such as any amount of bleeding, painful cramping, or changes in how your baby moves in the later weeks of pregnancy, call your doctor. 

“Keep in mind, this is supposed to be an enjoyable and exciting time, but we also know that there are a lot of bumps in the road and it can be a challenge,” says Dr. Fainman. “When in doubt, reach out. We’re here 24/7 for all of our pregnant patients.”

Listen to the podcast on what to expect during pregnancy

Listen to the podcast on what to expect during pregnancy

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