2. Cut out or reduce certain foods and drinks
Just as there are types of food and drinks that are helpful during pregnancy, there are also those that pose greater risks than benefits. Things to avoid completely include alcohol , Caffeine and some types of fish should only be eaten in small quantities, just to be safe.
Find out more about these foods on our pregnancy diet page.
3. Take a pregnancy multivitamin and mineral supplement, such as Elevit Pronatal, throughout your entire pregnancy
Whilst pregnant, the recommended dietary intake of certain nutrients increases by up to 176%84, so even with the best intentions you may not get enough from diet alone. WHO recommends daily supplementation of iron, folic acid, vitamins, calcium in pregnancy.
Elevit Pronatal contains many important vitamins and minerals to help meet your increased nutritional needs. Elevit Pronatal is clinically proven to reduce the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida by 92% (and other birth defects).
4. Handle your food carefully
Proper and hygienic handling of food is always a good idea, but its importance is even more pronounced during pregnancy, as it will help reduce the risk of acquiring food- borne infections and illnesses.Simple measures like:
- washing your hands before handling food
- Keeping kitchen benches clean
- Washing fresh fruit and vegetables
- Cooking your food right through
- Storing it at the right temperature
5. Take prenatal and breastfeeding classes
These group sessions teach expectant mums what to expect on their exciting new journey, and how to prepare for labour. They are designed to help you to deal more effectively with the challenges of pregnancy, childbirth and parenting.
6. Manage morning sickness
In addition to pregnancy, morning sickness can also impact on your lifestyle. There are helpful tips available to help reduce the frequency and severity of morning sickness symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.
Taking a multivitamin-mineral supplement like Elevit Pronatal that has been clinically proven to reduce a risk and severity of morning sickness will significantly help you in managing your morning sickness. If your symptoms are severe or worrying, contact your doctor.
7. Reduce constipation and heartburn
During pregnancy, your digestive system slows down to give your body more time to absorb the nutrients from food. This can lead to constipation and heartburn.
To help minimize this, try to take smaller, regular meals throughout the day and abstain from fried or spicy food and carbonated beverages. Learn how to manage common conditions in pregnancy for some relief. An antacid could also help.
8. Exercise regularly
- Your commitment to fitness does not have to cease during your pregnancy. You just have to make the right adjustments to make sure that the activities that you pursue are safe, whilst reducing stress and preparing your body for child birth.
- First things first: consult your doctor about what kind of exercises would be best for you and where you are in your pregnancy. Generally, at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise everyday like walking or swimming would be preferable.76
- If you already exercise regularly, you may need to turn it down a notch so you don’t overdo it.
9. Start your pelvic floor exercises
During pregnancy you may find that you leak urine when you cough or strain. This is known as stress incontinence of urine and it can continue after Pregnancy.
By performing pelvic floor exercises, you strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and this helps to reduce or avoid this problem after pregnancy into your routine to help strengthen your bladder during and after pregnancy.
10. Avoid alcohol and quit smoking
Studies have indicated that babies of smokers are more probable to have congenital abnormalities, and miscarriage.77, 81 Also alcohol and cigarette smoking in women and men are linked to delay in conception.
The safest option is to avoid all alcohol during pregnancy and whilst you’re breastfeeding. It’s advisable to quit smoking as soon as you think you’re pregnant, if you haven’t already. Cessation of tobacco use, prevention of secondhand smoke exposure and prevention of relapse to smoking are key clinical intervention strategies during pregnancy. Inquiry into tobacco use and smoke exposure should be a routine part of the prenatal visit.
Your doctor is your best ally in finding a smoking cessation strategy that you can sustain all throughout your pregnancy, and perhaps even beyond.