1. Visit your doctor or midwife regularly
2. Eat well
- At least five portions of fruit and vegetables daily.
- Starchy foods (carbohydrates), such as bread, pasta and rice.
- Daily servings of protein, such as fish, lean meat, eggs, beans, nuts or pulses.
- Dairy foods, such as milk, cheese and yoghurt.
- Two portions of fish a week, at least one of which should be oily, such as salmon, sardines or mackerel.
- Stay well hydrated too. The amount of water in your body increases during pregnancy to help you maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
You don’t need to eat for two when you’re pregnant. You don’t need extra calories for the first six months of pregnancy.
In the last three months you’ll only need another 200 calories a day.
3. Take a supplement
You need to take folic acid for at least the first three months and vitamin D for the whole of your pregnancy and beyond.
Taking folic acid reduces the risk of your baby developing a neural tube defect such as spina bifida. Vitamin D is important for the development of your baby’s skeleton and future bone health.
If your diet is good but you don’t eat fish, you could take a fish oil supplement.
Talk to your GP, midwife or a pharmacist before taking supplements, other than the necessary folic acid or vitamin D. It’s always better to have a balanced diet, if you can, rather than relying on multivitamins.
4. Be careful about food hygiene
Wash your hands before handling food, especially, after toilet or handled a pet or other animal.
5. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise has many benefits for you, and therefore your baby, such as brisk walking, swimming, aquanatal classes, yoga, pilates
Helps you to cope with changes to your posture and strains on your joints during pregnancy.
- Helps you to stay a healthy weight, although it’s normal to put on some weight during pregnancy.
- Helps to protect you against pregnancy complications, such as high blood pressure.
- Increases your chance of a straightforward labour and birth.
- Makes it easier for you to get back into shape after your baby is born.
- Boosts your mood if you’re feeling low.
6. Begin doing pelvic floor exercises
Strengthening your muscles by doing pelvic floor exercises, or Kegels, regularly throughout your pregnancy will help. You’ll feel the benefit if you do eight pelvic floor squeezes, three times a day.
7. Cut out alcohol
Any alcohol you drink rapidly reaches your baby via your bloodstream and the placenta so you should immediate stop having it
8. Cut back on caffeine
Too much caffeine may increase your risk of miscarriage. Caffeine is in coffee, tea, cola, chocolate and energy drinks. As with alcohol, you may prefer to cut out caffeine altogether, particularly in the first trimester. Decaffeinated tea and coffee, fruit teas and fruit juices are all safe alternatives.
9. Stop smoking
Smoking during pregnancy can cause serious health problems for you and your baby. Smoking increases your baby’s risk of: premature birth-low birth weight-stillbirth-sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or “cot death”
10. Get some rest
Try to get in the habit of going sleep on your side. By the third trimester, sleeping on your side reduces the risk of stillbirth compared to sleeping on your back.
If your sleep is disturbed at night, try to take a quick nap in the middle of the day or go to bed early to catch up. If that’s impossible, at least put your feet up and try to relax for 30 minutes.
|And what about you, which tips do work for you? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments.|
If you’d like to consult more advice about pregnancy, don’t hesitate to consult our other articles.