The nine months associated with pregnancy are a whirlwind. For first time mothers and those expecting multiples, pregnancy can be full of questions and uncertainty. Trying to navigate the unfamiliar waters of this exciting time of life can make you second-guess everything that you’re experiencing and lead to unnecessary doubt and anxiety.
For instance, you may be wondering, is that twinge I just felt normal? Does this new ache mean anything? Is my ongoing morning sickness going to affect my unborn child’s growth and development? Of course, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all of these questions, but taking the time to learn more about what contributes to a healthy pregnancy can help take some of that burden off your shoulders.
Fortunately, many of the major complications associated with labor and delivery – as well as pregnancy itself – can be largely preventable. You can avoid these things by staying proactive about keeping routine checkups and becoming familiar with any clues that might indicate that something is amiss. Here are a few indicators of a healthy pregnancy that can help ease your anxiety along the way:
1. You’re Gaining Weight
Gaining weight during pregnancy is completely normal and absolutely necessary for growing a healthy baby. Many OB-GYNs advise that mothers should gain anywhere between twenty-five to thirty-five pounds during pregnancy depending on their starting weight. Women who are on the lower end of the weight spectrum should gain more weight, whereas women on the higher end may be advised to gain a more modest amount.
2. Your Baby is Hitting Its Milestones
While there’s a lot to be said for a mother’s intuition, there are some things that should not be left to chance. This includes the growth and development of your baby. Regular prenatal checkups can help ensure that your little one is reaching all of its developmental milestones. These routine appointments can also help determine if there are issues that need to be addressed. The sooner an issue is identified, the sooner measures can be taken to prevent problems from arising.
3. Your Baby is Moving Around
If you’re feeling lots of movement during your pregnancy, congratulations – your baby is on the move and growing quickly! Having an active baby is a great sign that everything is going well. Your bundle of joy will start to make its presence known after about twenty weeks. By the time the nine months are up, though, movement may decrease as there is less space to move around.
Signs to Keep an Eye On
Even though you’ll be experiencing a lot of new things during your pregnancy, and most – if not all – of them will be perfectly fine, there are a few things that you should be aware of so that you can address them if they arise. Certain symptoms can indicate potential problems that may require immediate medical intervention.
These signs include:
- An excessive amount of swelling
- Difficulty or pain while urinating
- Pain in the middle of your back
- Sudden or acute pain
- Bleeding, unusual discharge, or contractions
- A new and unexplained rash
- Severe illness or a fever
- Pressure on your pelvis
Furthermore, if your OB-GYN happens to notice anything unusual during a routine checkup, you may want to consider additional testing. NIPT (non-invasive prenatal testing) can allow you to know if your baby is at risk of developing any genetic or chromosomal anomalies during pregnancy. If tests come back with results that may indicate that your baby may be facing complications, your provider may recommend additional diagnostic testing to clarify the presence or absence of these issues.
Staying Healthy During Pregnancy
As an expecting parent, there are a lot of things that will be brand-new to you during pregnancy. Because of this, it’s normal to have concerns and questions. By taking charge of your health and staying on top of all of your prenatal care appointments you can help ensure a healthy baby – and a healthy delivery, too!