7 Dos and Don’ts when you are 4 months pregnant

Congratulations on passing the first (and most difficult) phase of pregnancy! Stepping into the second trimester can be overwhelming, especially when your bump starts showing. Now be prepared to have your belly tapped by strangers offering unsolicited advice!

There may come a time when you end up confused that who you should listen too. But, instead of listening to random myths and old wives’ tales, it is better to research and look up for a credible list of dos and don’ts that can help you in your second trimester of pregnancy until it’s time to pop.

We don’t want you to face undue stress and anxiety while you’re preparing to welcome your little bundle of joy. So here is a list of seven dos and don’ts that can help you understand nutrition, lifestyle tips, and working habits when you are 4+ months pregnant.

 

1- Make the right food choices

One of the most important nutrient during pregnancy is folate, which is the synthetic form of folic acid. It can reduce abnormalities like spina bifida, by a whopping 70 percent. In fact, you can get a healthy dose of folic acid from beans, citrus fruits and juices, whole grains, poultry, seafood and dark leafy vegetables such as spinach.

Apart from folate, pregnant women also need a daily minimum requirement of 1,200 milligrams of calcium to support a healthy pregnancy. Especially during the second and third trimesters when your baby develops bones and teeth. The fetus absorbs calcium from your body, so if you don’t take enough calcium, you can end up being calcium deficit and face risks like osteoporosis. Low-fat dairy products, dark leafy vegetables, and fortified orange juice are excellent calcium sources. However, don’t forget to take your prenatal vitamin too!

Did you know that the baby can taste food via the amniotic fluid? So, make sure you are getting enough nutrients and introduce your baby to a variety of flavors by choosing a healthy diet.

2- Have sex

Many couples are scared to have sex as the pregnancy moves forward. Well, there is nothing to be afraid of, as doctors often suggest being intimate with your partner, unless you are facing a complication like a placenta previa or a high-risk pregnancy. Don’t hesitate to talk with your doctor if you have any more questions related to sex during pregnancy.

3- Exercise and stay active

According to a research, active pregnant women are less likely to have a cesarean birth. Low-intensity exercises like brisk walking can reduce your risk of being overweight and developing gestational diabetes. Aim for simple stretches that improve muscle flexibility. It can help ease back pain and increase your stamina.

Don’t forget to do Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and prevent urinary stress incontinence, a common condition faced by many pregnant women. Here are some simple exercises that can boost your blood circulation during pregnancy, leaving you feeling refreshed and energized.

4- Get the essential tests done

After the 20-week mark, your gynecologist will recommend you to get an ultrasound done to check the growth of your baby. It helps in detecting birth defects, the location of the placenta, amniotic fluid and baby’s weight.

If the baby is on the bigger side, your doctor might ask you get a test for gestational diabetes (pregnancy-induced diabetes). So, don’t skip these essential tests as they can make labor easier.

5- Moisturize your belly

Now that your belly is stretching, you’ll notice thin red or pink lines across your belly, breasts, and thighs. Due to rapid weight gain, stretch marks can appear almost overnight. They may be itchy but avoid scratching and keep your skin as moisturized as possible. Not only will it reduce the itchiness, but a good moisturizer will also help lighten the stretch marks.

6- Get a stash of loose and comfortable clothes

Once you’ve crossed the 4th month, it is time to go shopping for maternity clothes. Your body’s shape and size will change rapidly in the coming months. Tight and uncomfortable clothes are a huge turn off during pregnancy and they can increase risks like pregnancy-related heartburn and vaginal yeast infections. So, be mentally prepared to shop for flowy and loose silhouettes.

7- Visit your dentist

Visiting your dentist during pregnancy may seem daunting. But it’s a must, as hormonal imbalances during pregnancy can leave your teeth more prone to cavities, plaque or gingivitis. The best time to visit your dentist is when you’ve crossed the 4-month mark as the doctor can detect any issues early on and fix them. It’s better to visit your dentist in advance before you have to face a serious dental concern later on during the pregnancy.

Don’ts

1- Don’t skip your prenatal multivitamins

While a balanced diet is the best way to nourish the body with essential vitamins and minerals, added nutrients are needed to support the growing baby. This is why, never skip your prenatal vitamins as they contain a high dose of important nutrients such as folic acid, calcium, zinc, and iron.

These vitamins are important to prevent birth defects and development of a healthy fetus. Ask your doctor to guide you that which multivitamin is the best for you and your baby.

2- Don’t gain extra weight

Gone are the days when pregnant women were expected to eat for two. In fact, doctors recommend all pregnant women to be careful about their food choices and portion size as a lot of weight during pregnancy can be harmful. You only need about 300 extra calories after you’ve crossed the 4th month.

3- Don’t sleep on your back

This one may seem difficult, especially if you are used to sleeping on your back. But, doctors advise pregnant women to sleep on their left side as this position promotes blood flow to the fetus. Don’t sleep on your back as it can block the blood flow to the baby and also cause other issues like lower back pain and shortness of breath.

Try to get your hands on a pregnancy pillow for ample support during nap time.

4- Don’t take over-the-counter medication without consulting a doctor

By now, you should know the fact that no medication should be taken without your doctor’s knowledge. Even the mildest over-the-counter medication can be a risk for your baby. Don’t hesitate to call your doctor and discuss your symptoms in detail so that he or she can guide you properly.

5- Don’t drink or smoke

Two of the most dangerous things in pregnancy are drinking and smoking. Smoking during pregnancy can cause the babies to have a lower birth weight and even puts them at a risk for future learning disabilities and physiologic nicotine addiction.

Women who drink alcohol during pregnancy are likely to deliver a baby with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) which includes symptoms like low birth weight, delayed achievement in milestones, behavioral problems and learning disabilities in the children.

The sooner you take control of the situation, the healthier your baby will be.

6- Don’t try strenuous physical activities or dangerous sports

After the fourth month, your belly gets bigger. Strenuous physical activities and other dangerous sports like tennis, football, horse riding, etc. can put you at a risk of a fall. Hence, it is strongly advised to avoid such activities.

7- Don’t take the stress

Your mental health during pregnancy reflects on your baby. It is natural to be tense at times but make sure you avoid situations that make you unhappy or sad for long periods of time. High levels of stress can release hormones that constrict blood and oxygen supply to the uterus and can impact your baby’s growth. This is why depression and stress should not be taken lightly during pregnancy.

If you are facing continuous bouts of anxiety and depression during pregnancy, talk to a doctor immediately. After all, a happy mama has the power to bring a happy baby into this world. You can contact a mental health counselor with the help of HIPAA compliant telemedicine apps.

Conclusion:

Every mom-to-be should know about these dos and don’ts as she crosses the 4-month mark and steps into the later months of pregnancy. In a nutshell, a healthy pregnancy is all about eating nutrient-rich foods and incorporating habits into your lifestyle. Stay away from drinking, smoking and undue stress and you’ll be prepared to deliver a healthy bundle of joy in the months to come.

Was this list helpful to you? Are there any other tips you’d to share with 4+ months, pregnant women? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll get back to you.

 

Author Bio:

James Crook is a passionate blogger who loves to write on health and fitness related topics. Currently, he is a working as a blogger for a Physical Fitness Dr. Wilson shoulder Surgeon. Follow @jamescrook911 for more updates.