It’s a joyful thing to know that you’re pregnant, but the follow-up learnings can be overwhelming, hence we’re writing some really basic stuff for you to follow. That said, everyone’s pregnancy is going to be different, nevertheless, I hope this article can help you. I’m writing only about things we applied or experienced, and just highlighting the parts where I felt essential or would be useful to you.
First Trimester of Pregnancy
These are some of the things to be aware of during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Feelings of Nausea, Vomiting:
Be prepared and don’t be overconfident so you won’t get devastated if this comes along. Not long after the good news, Esther started to vomit, a lot! It went to the point a few weeks later where she completely lost her appetite, couldn’t eat but continued to vomit even though there was nothing left. This matter is severe, a mother must eat and keep the food in! And she was so weak! I decided to take her to the hospital (Columbia Asia at PJ) and followed the doctor’s advice and put her on drips. A few hours later she regained her color complexion and strength, and by evening she could eat, and keep the food in too! By the second day, she was back to her usual jolly self, able to eat and no more vomiting. We decided to stay another day just in case.
This decision would be the first major one I made that was spot on and worth it. It did cost us RM1,665 for the 3 days 2 nights stay, ouch, but entirely worth it. You can also go to government hospitals, my experience with them is not bad honestly. If you go to a clinic, they will very likely prescribe some meds for you. I highly doubt the effectiveness of it, and if this happens again on the next pregnancy, I’m going the same route, drips.
When it comes to supplements, there are many different suggestions out there, we’ve narrowed down the supplements we needed to take with advice from our doctors, and it was straightforward. Nathan is 4 months old at the point of this writing, and both mom and baby are very healthy!
Doubtless, this is something you’ve been told to take, but how much? Too much folic acid increases the risk of autism for the child, so don’t overdose. Our choice is Blackmores Pregnancy & Breast-Feeding Advanced. In some countries, they call it Blackmores Pregnancy & Breast-Feeding Gold; they are the same thing. This tablet contains many other essential vitamins and minerals including iron. 1 tablet contains 250ug of folic acid, so 2 brings a total of 500ug. Following the recommended intake, 2 tablets per day are enough for us throughout the pregnancy.
Next is calcium. Our choice is Nutrilite Cal Mag D Plus from Amway. Esther takes 3 tablets per day as recommended. Because calcium can hinder iron absorption, try not to take them together. She takes 2 tablets of Blackmores in the morning and 3 tablets of Nutrilite in the evening. This method worked great.
Whatever you decide to take, check with your Gynae if it is ok, always do that.
Second Trimester of Pregnancy
These are some of the things to be aware of during the first trimester of pregnancy.
2D Detailed Scan
There are many scans you can choose from, such as 2D, 3D, even 6D. For us, it is important to know whether or not our baby is developing well, as were there any complications or anomaly in his organ development. We went to Sonovision, located at Kelana Jaya, and took the 2D scan. You can only do this scan between the 20th and 25th week of pregnancy though, so take note! I’ve known other moms who did it later but the accuracy would take a hit, and some scans would not be possible. Our experience there was quite pleasant, so we’ll recommend it. There were also many patients when we were there. For us, the scan is about getting to know the condition of our baby early so that we can take any actions necessary as soon as possible.
Our baby’s development was great, except that the back of his skull was thicker than usual and that meant that there would be a higher risk of Down syndrome. These type of news can be disheartening, but it prepares us for the worse, I believe this is better than knowing it at the last moment. Although in our case there’s nothing we can do, in other cases such as finding a hole in the baby’s heart, you may be able to get advice early on, or even treatment. You get to prepare for whatever expenditure that may come later. If everything is fine, you get a peace of mind 🙂 The whole procedure cost us RM150, worth it. You can make an appointment here, and their contact number is listed there as well.
Sugar Level Test / Gestational Diabetes (Pregnancy Diabetes)
We did the sugar test late, near the end of the second trimester, you should do it earlier. Esther was required to fast through the night, and on the next day, they did a blood test on her. After that, they gave her a very sweet drink to drink, and instructed her not to eat anything for 2 hours. 2 hours later, they did another blood test, and she was then allowed to have meals. What they were trying to do is test her blood sugar while on an empty stomach, and another one after drinking a lot of sugar. Well, it turns out she has gestational diabetes.
One of Esther’s friend did this test in her first trimester, my sister and most of my friends didn’t do it because their gynae didn’t advise them. So now that you know, probe the topic with your gynae and ask them when you should do it because if you continue to take food that increases your sugar level when you have gestational diabetes, you will risk both yourself and your baby. In our case, because we were quite late to find out about her condition, our baby had to be monitored by the hospital after birth because he was producing so much insulin. Thankfully both him and Esther were fine in the end.
How To Deal With Gestational Diabetes
Here’s what you can do if your sugar level is high. Cut off food that gives a lot of sugar or carbohydrates, in fact, we completely cut off any food that has it, this includes rice, noodles, bread, fruits (berries are fine, like blueberries, blackberries, strawberries), and any sweet stuff. If you’re familiar with the KETO diet, you can follow their guidelines, if not, read on. This knowledge was important to us because without rice and noodles, even bread, what is the mother going to eat? A pregnant mom needs to eat!
Meat is a great option, though we were told to avoid chickens. There are still fish, beef, mutton, and pork (for non-Muslims). Vegetables and eggs are good too. We bought a lot of sausages from Abraham’s Sausages & Charcuterie (Non-Halal), and it was great! Just tell them you want the KETO option and make sure you order those that DOES NOT contain alcohol. Find food that is nice, so you can enjoy your meals. We also ordered miracle rice, miracle noodles that have less than 1% carbohydrates from iHerb. It is difficult to source for suitable rice and noodles locally, so we had to get it from the US. Take note that the rice tastes terrible, but the noodles are ok. They have no nutrients though, so don’t make it your main dish.
We have a friend that also thought that her sugar level is high, and avoided sugar altogether, in the end, her baby was very underweight because she never had gestational diabetes. So please do not assume, get it checked, so you know what to do.
Cramps are nasty little things, and it started to knock on the door near the end of the second trimester. The most effective way to stop it is to put your knee towards your stomach like you’re hugging your knee the moment you feel that it is coming.
Third Trimester of Pregnancy
If you’re looking forward to natural birth, perineal massage is essential. It reduces the chances of having perineal tears as the massage stretches the tissues around the perineal area. All the Gynae in Columbia Asia PJ recommends this technique to prepare for a natural birth. You can learn more about it from YouTube below. Husbands, you can do this for your wife too, in fact, it is probably more comfortable if you help.
If you already know what this is and how to prepare for it, skip to 1:41 of the video, if not, watch the whole thing, it’s only 5 minutes.
Healthy Mindset of Pregnancy
- Keep a positive mindset, but prepare yourself to accept all possibilities, so that when something doesn’t turn out as you expected, you won’t be devastated. Pregnancy is a long time, enjoy it.
- Watch your state of mind. It is very easy to slip into depression during or after pregnancy. Husbands, take notice of your wife’s behavior. If she is gloomy or moody most of the time, something may be wrong.
- Stay away from negative news and negative comments or stories. Sometimes the more you know, the less you’ll enjoy your pregnancy. Do your research, but don’t surround yourselves by too much negativity. Watch out, the people around you will give you a lot of advice or tell you many stories, and many of them will not be positive.
While waiting for your baby to arrive, you might want to learn a bit more about your baby’s development. We have written in detail about the different milestones, check them out here. In the meantime, I wish you a safe and enjoyable pregnancy. If you have any questions, ask away on the comments below. And congratulations 🙂