Sunday, 28 October 2012
Top Tips For Staying Healthy In Pregnancy!
I have recently worked with several agencies over promoting health in pregnancy that will mean you're baby will be getting off to the best start when they are born. Working with the Department of Health's new initiative 'Start4Life' I've written a post about my top tips for staying as healthy as possible during your pregnancy.
My Top Tips for Staying Healthy In Pregnancy!
1. Stop smoking.
Now, I've never been a smoker, the odd one when I was a teenager as it seemed the 'in' thing to do at the time but other than that, it's not for me. I understand it's an addiction but during pregnancy to give your baby the best possible start, it's highly advisable to give it up. In 2010/2011 nearly 14% of mothers smoked throughout their pregnancies-that figure shocked me. Most said that they were worried the stress of quitting would damage the baby. To me that's just an excuse! The affects of smoking throughout a pregnancy are proven to be far far worse than the affects of stress. Babies born to smoking mothers are born much smaller because the cigarettes deprive the baby of the oxygen it needs, that's a huge reminder of your mistake once you're babies born. Smokers have higher chances of stillbirth, cot death and lung problems. Although I can only imagine how difficult it must be to stop smoking, it's highly advisable. The Start4Life website has lots of help for Mothers to be who want help to give up smoking.
2. Stop Drinking Alcohol.
These facts really interested me because when I was pregnant with Joshua I got mixed responses when asking about alcohol in pregnancy. Not that I drank in my pregnancy, I saw it as just something I needed to sacrifice for 9 months for my son. I think I had one sip of champers at a wedding reception the whole 9 months. I think the general opinion was that the occasional drink was fine-on it's own. I also think I read somewhere that a small glass of wine a week was 'allowed'. However after reading the Start4Life fact sheet I was proved wrong. It's advisable to stop drinking altogether. In 2005 54% of mothers drank alcohol in their pregnancies and 8% exceeded the limit.
Dr Dawn Harper explains that every single day your babies brain and vital organs are developing and alcohol can restrict this growth so it's best to cut it out altogether. I know know from a top expert that it's best to avoid it but if you are going to have a drink then no more than 1-2 units a week.
3. Remember to Excercise.
I'm not talking massive exertion, full on body pumping and marathon running here! Just 30 minutes walking each day will do it, and it doesn't all need to be in one go! I'm not one for exercising but next time I'm going to make more effort to get more walking in! After reading on Start4Life that walking regularly, or any regular exercise in pregnancy, your body is more prepared for labor! Not only this but walking helps you sleep better, helps combat anxiety and stress and also sets you up in a nice routine for when the baby does arrive for walking he/she every day!
4. Get Your 5-A-Day!
The whole five a day thing is very well documented now and couldn't be more important than in pregnancy. The nutrients that are found in fruit and vegetables are vital to your babies growth and development. It doesn't matter if you don't/can't have the fresh versions-the frozen and tinned versions still provide the same!
Vitamin D and Folic Acid are also really important for your baby, folic acid is given free by prescription so make sure you pay your doctor/midwife a visit to get it!
5. Monitor Your intake.
Now although I agree with healthy eating in pregnancy, I did also read that the whole saying 'You're eating for two' is a myth. You shouldn't actually eat for two in pregnancy, in fact you only need an extra 200 calories in the last months of your pregnancy-which is the equivalent to two slices of toast with margarine. HOWEVER I know how much my appetite increased at certain points in my pregnancy, as did everyone I know who's had a baby. So although you don't need to eat for your baby as well, most people do see a marked increase in their appetites, even if it's just because your burning more calories off with the extra weight you carry etc-I don't know but I would say that as long as everything is in moderation it's fine-except the odd day like I occasionally had where I could avoid the call of the golden arches!
So these are the top tips for staying healthy in pregnancy, and I learnt something about each one-there are basic things here that wish I had known in my pregnancy-even things that weren't relevant to me were interesting to learn! If you want more information on tips to stay healthy in pregnancy then visit the Start4Life website here.
Love Chloe xx