Pregnancy Week by Week : Week 12 (part 2) - Entering Pregnancy with High Blood Pressure, Physical Injury during Pregnancy

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6. Entering Pregnancy with High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is the amount of force exerted by blood against arterial walls. If you’ve had high blood pressure before pregnancy, you have chronic hypertension. Your condition will not go away during pregnancy and must be controlled to avoid problems.

If you have chronic high blood pressure, you have a greater chance of having complications during pregnancy. Baby may be low birthweight and/or premature.

If your blood pressure is high when you get pregnant, you may have more ultrasounds to monitor baby’s growth. You may want to purchase a blood-pressure monitor to use at home so you can check your pressure any time.

Tip for Week 12

If you have diarrhea that doesn’t go away in 24 hours or it keeps returning, call your healthcare provider. Be sure to drink lots of water and/or hydrating fluids, such as Gatorade. Eat bland foods, such as rice, toast and bananas. Don’t use any medicines without your healthcare provider’s OK.

Most blood-pressure medications are safe to use during pregnancy. However, ACE inhibitors should be avoided.

7. Physical Injury during Pregnancy

Physical injury occurs in 6 to 7% of all pregnancies. Accidents involving motor vehicles account for 65% of these cases; falls and assaults account for the remaining 35%. More than 90% of these are minor injuries.

If you experience any injury, you may be taken care of by emergency-medicine personnel, trauma surgeons, general surgeons and your obstetrician. Most experts recommend observing a pregnant woman for a few hours after an accident to provide adequate time to monitor the baby. Longer monitoring may be necessary in a more serious accident.

It’s important to take care during pregnancy so you don’t get hurt. There are many ways to do this; it just takes practice and awareness. Use the tips below.

If You Have Psoriasis

We know over half of all women with psoriasis find their skin condition improves during pregnancy. This improvement may be due to increased estrogen levels. Treatment for psoriasis during pregnancy may include moisturizers or topical steroids; both are safe to use. Treatment for psoriasis in pregnancy must be very individualized.

• Keep your eyes open, and pay attention to your surroundings.

• Slow down. Don’t be in a rush to get someplace—that’s how many accidents occur, whether you’re walking, driving or just making your way.

• Don’t try to do too much—it can divert your attention from safety.

• Wear clothes and shoes that are comfortable and safe. Avoid long skirts that can trip you, carry a smaller purse, put away high heels and opt for comfortable shoes. During pregnancy, comfort and safety can go hand in hand.

• Use handrails when available, such as on stairs, escalators, buses and other places.

• Wear your seat belt every time you ride in a car.

8. Your Nutrition

Some women don’t understand the concept of increasing their caloric intake during pregnancy. Don’t fall into this trap!

It’s unhealthy for you and baby if you gain too much weight, especially early in pregnancy. It makes carrying your baby more uncomfortable, and delivery may be more difficult. It may also be hard to shed the extra pounds after pregnancy.

Chew each mouthful of food for 10 seconds to break down food. It makes it easier for your body to absorb vitamins and minerals.

After baby’s birth, most women are anxious to return to “normal” clothes and to look the way they did before pregnancy. Having to deal with extra weight can interfere with reaching this goal.

9. Junk Food

Is junk food your kind of food? Do you eat it several times a day? Pregnancy is the time to break that habit!

Snack foods account for nearly 20% of the average American’s daily calorie intake. Now that you’re pregnant, you may need to do away with junk food. What you eat affects someone besides just yourself—your growing baby. If you’re used to skipping breakfast, getting something “from a machine” for lunch, then eating dinner at a fast-food restaurant, it doesn’t help your pregnancy.

What and when you eat become more important when you realize how your actions affect your baby. Good nutrition takes planning on your part, but you can do it. Avoid foods that contain a lot of sugar and/or fat. Choose healthful alternatives. If you work, take healthy foods with you for lunches and snacks. Stay away from fast food and junk food.

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