Tips For a Healthy Pregnancy
Hello, beautiful pregnant or TTC (trying to conceive) Queens!
Pregnancy is such an anxious time; all we want, more than anything, is a happy & healthy baby to be born at the end.
Here are some tips to help you maintain a happy and healthy pregnancy, and bring a healthy little angel into the world!
• Take prenatal vitamins. They’re fortified with essential vitamins and minerals in the perfect balance for pregnancy; standard vitamin supplements can contain too much vitamin E which is unsafe for growing fetuses due to a suggested link to congenital heart defects, so stick to specific prenatal supplements. They’re also fortified with folic acid – folate is essential for reducing the risk of neural tube disorders such as spina bifida. If they aggravate your morning sickness, ensure you eat a folate rich diet instead – leafy greens and pulses are fantastic, but avoid liver due to the excessive vitamin A content, which can cause birth defects in certain quantities.
• Stay hydrated! It’s so common to suffer with muscle cramps during pregnancy and dehydration will just make it worse. Dehydration can also make Braxton Hicks more painful. Potassium can help reduce cramping and nerve twitching so eat lots of bananas!
• FIBRE!!!! Constipation again is so common during pregnancy, the last thing you need is a diet lacking in fibre. Bring on the weetabix!
• Try to consume 2 portions of oily fish a week as this can aid your baby’s neurological development.
• Exercise! Nothing too strenuous; if you were a gym bunny before becoming pregnant then it is still safe to go provided that you know your limits. If you were a couch potato then it isn’t safe to suddenly jump into a gym routine once you become pregnant but it’s totally safe and very healthy to do low impact exercises like swimming and walking. Keeping fit through pregnancy can massively help you to have a good labour (*good* probably not being the best terminology but you get the gist!).
• Self care; pamper yourself. You are a beautiful pregnant goddess who is growing an entirely new and unique human inside you; take some time to relax and indulge in your favourite things!
• Try to get to know your baby’s typical movement pattern and frequency; a rough idea is better than no idea at all.
• Seek medical attention if you are concerned at any point, particularly if your baby’s movements aren’t what they typically are.
• Avoid certain foods; the NHS guidelines may make some people roll their eyes but they’re written for a good reason and they’re evidence based, so ignore anecdotes from mums saying they ‘ate pâté during pregnancy and their baby is fine therefore the guidelines must be crap’, and trust the professionals who say that it isn’t worth the risk. They don’t make the guidelines for shits and giggles, or to make life harder for us! They’re written to keep us and our babies healthy.
• Don’t be tempted by fetal dopplers. They’re medical equipment, so unless you’re trained to interpret what you’re hearing, it’s not a good idea. The organisation ‘Kicks Count‘ is currently campaigning to have them banned from sale, with Mothercare actually removing them from sale!
• Avoid caffeine. Here is the NHS guidelines about caffeine consumption in pregnancy.
• Stop smoking and drinking, and ignore the ‘I did and my baby was fine’ crowd… personal anecdotes don’t make this safe! There is no proven safe amount of alcohol to consume in pregnancy, and the same goes for tobacco.
• Be particularly careful with food hygiene – listeria isn’t fun and can harm your unborn baby.
• Do pelvic floor exercises; you’ll be thankful as they will potentially help you labour and help you to regain muscle tone ‘down there’ after the baby is born!
• This is likely easier said than done… but avoid stress where at all possible. I went on maternity leave at 29 weeks for this reason, and it is easily the BEST decision I have ever made for myself.
• Aaaaaand finally… look forward to the most amazing blessing of your life! ❤️ Think positive and happy thoughts, and if you are anxious, prepare yourself with facts and get reassurance from your midwife.
Thank you for reading! I hope that this helped prepare at least someone for a healthy and happy pregnancy; good luck to all you expectant mamas, and ladies who are trying to conceive!
Love from Katie! Xx