Whilst being pregnant is not an illness. It is generally advisable to listen to your body during pregnancy and not overexert yourself.
Healthcare professionals do recommend that we avoid some foods and follow some simple guidelines whilst we are pregnant to help ensure good health for you and baby.
The important thing to remember is to use your common sense and if you are unsure about something, avoid it all together until you are able to check with your general practitioner.
It is important to have well-balanced, healthy diet whilst pregnant. This means eating food from all levels of the food pyramid; Lots of fruit and veg, red meat and fish, low GI carbohydrates such as brown rice, grains and wholemeal bread and lastly essential fats such as fish, olive oil and avocados.
The food you eat will not only fuel your body, giving you that much-needed energy but will also aid in the development and growth of your unborn child.
Foods to Avoid
It is recommended that you avoid the following foods while pregnant to prevent risk of contracting an illness. Conditions such as salmonella, toxoplasmosis and listeria can all lead to complications such as miscarriage, premature birth and birth defects.
– Raw meat and shellfish as they can be contaminated with toxoplasmosis or Salmonella.
– Deli foods as they can contain bacteria.
– Fish such as Swordfish, Shark and King Mackerel as they contain high levels of Mercury.
– Raw eggs can be found in foods such as Mayonnaise and Hollandaise sauces and some custards. Raw eggs can contain salmonella.
– Soft cheeses as they can breed Listeria.
– Unpasteurized dairy as it can contain Listeria.
Check with your medical provider before taking any form of medication. Some medications can be harmful to your unborn child.
Smoking including Second-hand Smoke
It’s fast becoming anti-social to be a smoker, with so many laws now preventing smokers from smoking in public places. It is harmful to your unborn child and is also harmful to your body. If you have not already given up, now would be a great time.
For non-smokers who have a smoking partner, it is very important to understand that second-hand smoke can be just as harmful to your unborn child.
Smoking and secondhand smoke can affect the growth of your unborn child, lead to miscarriage and premature birth amongst other complications.
It is advised to abstain from drinking any alcohol while pregnant.
It is recommended to limit the number of coffees or cups a tea you are drinking a day. Large amounts (3 or more cups a day) of caffeine can increase the risk of miscarriage, low birth weight and increases the baby’s heart rate in much the same way that it increases an adult’s heart rate.
Invest in some comfortable maternity clothing. Choose quality fabrics such as cotton and or bamboo. They are natural fibres and will keep you cool while allowing your skin to breath. Be sure to avoid tight restrictive waistbands, they may affect blood circulation.
Invest in some comfortable maternity bras that support and lift your heavy bust. Ensure that when you purchase the bras that the hooks and eyes are on the tightest hook. This way as your ribcage continues to expand you have room to expand the bra underhand too.
Invest in some comfortable cotton underwear. Avoid G-strings and other lace pieces. Choose a fuller brief for comfort.
High heels look fabulous but are not ideal for pregnant women. During pregnancy, our balance is affected and we walk differently. Attempting to walk in high heels is not necessarily a safe option and can lead to muscle strains and tendon damage.
Another reason to avoid high heels is swollen ankles. Some women will suffer from this, particularly in the hotter months. Look after your feet as they are carrying a much heavier load during pregnancy.
Hot Baths & Showers
When showering avoid water that is too hot! Keep the water temp to warm, as hot water can cause dizziness and fainting. Avoid hot stuffy rooms and stick to well-ventilated spaces. This includes your bedroom.
Exercise is important and it is essential to stay active throughout your pregnancy. It is, however, important to avoid overexerting yourself. Listen to your body and stop should you feel any pain.
Whatever your chosen form of exercise, it is important to consult your healthcare provider first particularly if you are new to exercise.
Housework is an essential daily task. It is important to be mindful of the cleaners and chemicals you might be using to clean.
Wear gloves at all times when cleaning to avoid contact with skin. Also, avoid inhaling fumes and if possible choose eco-friendly or natural cleaners to eliminate the smell completely.
Avoid changing the kitty litter whilst pregnant as the cat faeces can contain toxoplasmosis, which is a parasitic disease.
Avoid any form of X -ray when pregnant, as there is a small chance your baby may end up with birth defects or physical/mental problems from the use of radiation in the machinery.