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Two health tips for women who are pregnant with their first child

If you are pregnant with your first child, here are some tips that should help to keep you and your baby healthy.

Inform your obstetrician immediately if you develop unusual symptoms

A lot of pregnant women make the mistake of waiting weeks to tell their obstetrician about new and unusual symptoms that they have developed. They usually do this because they do not want to bother their obstetrician with what they believe to be a minor problem.

It is extremely important not to make this error. The reason for this is as follows; unusual symptoms, such as spotting, severe abdominal pain, or extreme vomiting (far beyond the normal morning sickness that most pregnant women experience) can often be a sign of a pregnancy-related complication that needs to be treated.

If you wait a few weeks (or even just a few days) to speak to your obstetrician about your symptoms, you could inadvertently put both your health and the health of your unborn baby at risk.

For example, if you have been vomiting profusely, this could mean that you have developed a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum.

If this is the case and you wait a few days to tell your obstetrician, you could become severely dehydrated. This could reduce the amount of fluid inside the amniotic sac (which could affect the foetus's health) and increase the risk of premature labour.

Conversely, if in this situation, you were to inform your obstetrician of your symptoms immediately, they could provide antiemetic medication that would stop the vomiting, as well as IV fluids that would rehydrate your body.

Don't fall for the myth of 'eating for two'

It's a common misconception that pregnant women are supposed to eat twice as much as they usually would.

However, the truth is that unless you are very underweight, you don't need to eat any extra calories during the first trimester, and you only need to consume a few extra hundred calories during the second and third trimesters.

Eating twice the number of calories that you need on a daily basis throughout your pregnancy is likely to lead to you gaining an unhealthy amount of weight.

This excess weight gain could make you far more susceptible to hypertension during your pregnancy and increase your risk of experiencing dangerous complications when you give birth.

As such, it's important to keep an eye on your calorie intake and to make an effort not to consume too many calories on a regular basis whilst you are pregnant.