Having a Healthy Pregnancy
One of the most important times to start taking care of you both physically and emotionally is during pregnancy. Here are some tips that you can follow to give you the best chance of having a healthy pregnancy.
Having a Healthy Pregnancy
See Your Doctor or Midwife
Once you have found out that you are pregnant you should get in touch with your midwife or GP as soon as possible to organise your antenatal care. By organising your care early on you will receive advice for a healthy pregnancy right from the start as well as have time to organise ultrasound scans and tests.
You should try to have a balanced and healthy diet when you can and strive to have:
- Five portions of fruit and veg daily
- Eat plenty of carbohydrates, but opt for wholegrain instead of white to get more fibre
- Daily servings of proteins and dairy products
- Try and have two portions of fish a week. One of these should be an oily fish. Fish contains vitamin D, minerals and omega 3 fatty acids which are vital for your baby’s nervous system.
In the first six months of pregnancy you will not need to have extra calories. In the last three months you will need to add an extra 200 calories a day.
Supplements during pregnancy are not a substitute for a healthy diet, but if you think that you are not eating well or are too sick to eat then supplements can help.
The supplement needs to contain 400 micrograms of folic acid as you will need this in when you are trying for a baby and in the first three months of pregnancy. Folic acid helps in reducing the risk of your baby developing a neural tube defect.
The supplement should also contain 10mcg of vitamin D for your babies bone health.
Talk to your GP about pregnancy supplements.
There are some foods that are not the safest to eat during pregnancy as they can carry a health risk to your baby.
These foods should be avoided as they may have listeria:
- All pate
- Unpasteurized milk
- Undercooked ready meals
- Soft and mould ripened cheeses
- Blue veined cheeses.
Salmonella can cause food poisoning and can get it from:
- Undercooked poultry
- Soft boiled and raw egg
Toxoplasmosis is rare but you can cut down on catching it by:
- Cooking meat and ready meals thoroughly
- Washing fruit and veg
- Wear gloves when handling garden soil and cat litter.
Mums to be can benefit from regular exercise as you are able to build your strength and endurance which will help you cope better with the extra weight of pregnancy. It will also make it easier for you to get back into shape after your baby is born and lift your spirits.
Exercises that are good for pregnancy are:
- Brisk walks
- Aqunatal classes
You should also look at doing pelvic floor exercises to strengthen these muscles as they can become weak during pregnancy and your pelvic floor can slacken. Having strong pelvic floor muscles will help to ward of stress incontinence that is releasing small amounts of urine when you laugh or exercise for instance.
You should aim to do eight pelvic floor squeezes three times a day.
Other things that you can do for a healthy pregnancy, is to stop drinking alcohol, quit smoking and get plenty of rest.