Part 2: What to Expect During Pregnancy
Martin and Krista Prouty, who are expecting their very first child in 2021, approached the start of their family with care and research, with help from Avera Health Plans as well as Avera’s Maybe a Baby pregnancy-planning event.
“All first-time moms are in the same boat — there is so much to learn and it’s an exciting journey,” said Krista. “I’ve leaned on family, friends and my doctor for great advice to feel confident about myself and my baby.”
Tips to Help with Pregnancy Symptoms
Krista says she’s fortunate that her pregnancy has been going well with few concerns or pregnancy symptoms. Her day-to-day routine hasn’t changed much, except for a few minor additions.
“A friend of mine experienced more Charley horses during her pregnancy,” said Krista. “I didn’t want that, so I made sure to add at least a banana a day to my diet.”
Muscle cramps are common in pregnancy, but focusing on healthy diet options with plenty of electrolytes, which are minerals like potassium, can help alleviate episodes.
Krista also learned that around 20 weeks a mother-to-be should sleep on her side as this ensures blood flow to baby and avoids restricting blood vessels. Though she typically prefers to sleep on her back, she invested in a pregnancy pillow. The giant U-shaped pillow supports her growing belly and the rest of her body and eases discomfort.
“The pillow is so enormous it almost feels like a third person in our bed,” said Krista.
Prenatal Care Appointments
Every pregnancy is unique, and the frequency of doctor visits depends on whether you’re having a normal or high-risk pregnancy.
After finding out she was pregnant, Krista begin visiting her OB/GYN, Brenda Kallemeyn, MD, of Avera Medical Group 69th & Cliff, once a month. By 28 weeks, it is usually twice a month. At 36 weeks, Krista plans to see her OB/GYN once a week until baby comes.
These appointments check the health of mom and baby. Appointments often consist of ultrasounds, taking measurements of baby and going over current milestones. For example, expecting mothers are asked to start tracking kicking and movement between weeks 24 and 28 to make sure nothing is wrong.
Little movements, punches and kicks have made the experience and the anticipation of a new family member even more real to the Proutys.
“My baby is most active in the early morning and evening,” said Krista, “otherwise he or she is just chilling or napping. If your baby wasn’t active, you’d need to see a doctor immediately.”
Pregnancy During a Pandemic
Pregnancy is worrisome enough without having to add a global pandemic on top of it. Rather than building anxiety with “what ifs” and reading fearful headlines, the Proutys chose to follow proven guidelines of wearing a mask, thoroughly washing hands and avoiding big crowds.
“We live in a rural area, so it’s been easier to avoid large groups of people,” explained Krista. “My husband and I work on the farm, and I’ve been working virtually as a cosmetic sales director during the pandemic.”
Awaiting Baby’s Birth Day
As Krista and Martin eagerly wait for baby to arrive, they are making sure to enjoy every moment of pregnancy. While many people find out their baby’s gender before delivery, the Proutys decided to forgo that and decorate a gender-neutral nursery.
Krista is excited to move forward into the next stage of life with Martin, and Martin added that he’s looking forward to having a little sidekick on the farm. They plan to teach their child values about family, hard work and Christianity.
The next time we meet with Martin and Krista, they will be a family of three. You can learn more about pregnancy and birth services at Avera or join in Avera’s virtual Maybe a Baby.
Photos courtesy of Rachel Clelland Photography.