April 3, 2017

FAQs About First-Time Pregnancy

Live Healthy

First-time moms-to-be have many questions, from what nutrients they should be getting to ensure a health pregnancy, to when they can expect their baby bumps to "pop."

Here, Kauai Medical Center OB-GYN Dr. Carol Fujiyoshi answers some common ones you can expect to encounter when you’re expecting.

I have morning sickness and am constantly exhausted – will my entire pregnancy be like this?
Usually morning sickness is something that will occur in the first trimester and last around 16 weeks. Most women start to feel better between 16-20 weeks. To help alleviate symptoms, women can try over-the-counter options, such as B-natal, which is vitamin B6. But if the morning sickness and nausea is really severe to the point where you aren’t keeping anything down, you should seek medical help.

When should I expect to “pop”?
A lot of women will try not to buy maternity clothes for as long as they can, but around 20 weeks is when their regular clothes begin to feel uncomfortable and they’ll give up and get maternity clothes. That’s when most women start showing. This is due to a forward shift of the uterus, and this is around the time the baby starts to get bigger.

Do I need to take a prenatal vitamin?
We highly recommend taking prenatal vitamins during pregnancy to help with all of the different changes women go through, and to help your growing baby. We also recommend taking a prenatal vitamin or multivitamin with 400-800 micrograms of folic acid daily prior to getting pregnant to decrease the chances of having a baby with a spinal cord defect like spina bifida.

How can I avoid getting stretch marks?
Unfortunately, there’s no magic solution to avoiding stretch marks. You’re born with the type of skin you have, and some skin is more prone to showing stretch marks than others. However, it doesn’t hurt to use some sort of moisturizer on your belly, because as the skin stretches, it can bring on dryness and itchiness. Using a moisturizer, lotion or oil is helpful. 

You can search for the answers to more of your questions on Hapai, a mobile health app from Hawaii Pacific Health. 

Hapai (the Hawaiian word for pregnant) features weekly updates so that mothers can track their baby’s development in real-time and learn about their own, unique pregnancy. The free app also features resources and tools for expectant moms – and dads – and provides helpful resources to guide them through their pregnancy, as well as tips for preparing for the day of baby’s arrival. 

“A mobile app can be very helpful for first-time moms because it gives them information about their growing baby and the advice that they’ll need during the different trimesters of their pregnancy,” Fujiyoshi says. “During a first-time pregnancy, you’re experiencing things you’ve never dealt with before, and that can be scary. Being able to check your symptoms or ask a question using a mobile app can help show what you’re experiencing is a normal part of pregnancy. Or, if it’s not, you know to seek medical attention.” 

Hapai is available to download for both iOS (Apple) and Android mobile phones. To get more information and download the app, visit WilcoxHealth.org/Hapai.