Pregnancy journey healthy living ideas and information…………..
According to the latest research, no amount of alcohol is considered ‘safe’ during pregnancy.
- The safest thing for your baby is that you don’t drink at all.
- What you drink goes directly into your baby’s blood stream.
- The most dangerous time to have alcohol is during the early stages of pregnancy.
Heavy use of alcohol in pregnancy can cause serious and permanent damage to your baby’s intellectual and physical development.
If you can’t stop, talk to a health professional. Local advice and support can be found at: Gateway Health (03) 5723 2000 .
Quitting smoking when you’re pregnant will give your baby the best start in life. Some of the risks attributed to smoking while pregnant include:
- Having a low birth weight baby, this increases its vulnerability to infection and health problems in adulthood
- Weaker lungs
- Weaker immune system
It is ideal to quit smoking before you fall pregnant, however quitting at any stage of the pregnancy will have benefits to the baby.
Being pregnant means that your body may need more vitamins and minerals to maintain your health and the health of your baby. It is important to follow a healthy, well balanced diet. For this to occur it is important to eat:
- fruit and vegetables
- breads and cereals
- dairy foods for calcium
- lean meats, chicken and fish for iron. (www.thewomens.org.au)
Folic acid is an important vitamin that helps the growth and development of your baby. It is important that you have enough of this before you fall pregnant and in the first 3 months of pregnancy as it can reduce the chances of your baby having spina bifida by up to 70%. You can get folic acid tablets in most supermarkets, chemists and health food shops. (www.raisingchildren.net.au)
Listeria infection is an illness usually caused by eating food contaminated with the listeria bacteria. Healthy people may experience no ill-effects from listeria infection at all, but the risks are substantial for pregnant women. The greatest danger is to the unborn baby, with increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth or premature labour. A listeria infection is easily treated with antibiotics, but prevention is best.
Some foods are more prone to contamination than others and should be avoided if you are pregnant.
Foods to avoid:
- Soft Cheese
- Soft serve ice cream
- Deli meats eg ham, salami, chicken meat, sandwich meat
- Bain Maire’s – in cafes, restaurants
- Raw seafood
- Pre prepared salads
- Raw egg eg in mayonnaise, mousse, raw cake batter (no licking the beaters)
Read More at The Women’s Hospital – Food & Nutrition in Pregnancy – www.thewomens.org.au/health-information/pregnancy-and-birth/a-healthy-pregnancy/food-nutrition-in-pregnancy/
Regular physical activity provides many benefits to you and may also help manage some symptoms of pregnancy. Before you start any new exercise programs be sure to consult with your doctor or healthcare professional. Pelvic floor exercises are important to do before, during and after pregnancy.
Benefits can include:
- Enjoyment and stress relief
- More energy
- Improved posture and stronger muscles to support your growing belly
- Improved circulation
- Weight control
- Improved sleep
- Preparation for the physical demands of labour and faster recuperation after labour
- Increased ability to cope with the physical demands of motherhood.
Issues to be aware of:
- Hormones can loosen ligaments which may increase your risk of joint injuries
- In your second trimester your blood pressure drops, so you need to avoid rapid changes of positions such as from lying to standing. As this may cause you to experience dizzy spells.
- As your bodies’ centre of gravity alters due to a change in weight distribution you may experience a change in coordination and balance.
- Pregnancy increases your resting heart rate, so try not to work at more than 75% of your maximum heart rate.
- Water aerobics
- Some activities are safe for women who did them prior to pregnancy such as running and strength training if done in moderation
Pre natal water aerobic classes are available Monday nights at ‘Moore than Swimming’ in Mason St Wangaratta (03) 5722 9221. The classes are run buy a qualified midwife from Northeast Health Wangaratta
For more information go to the website www.moorethanswimming.com.au