During pregnancy the health of the mother and the baby is paramount, as the body goes through a myriad of changes that distinguish the term of pregnancy from any other time.
The first port of call is to look at the diet, for it is vital that both mother and baby get enough of the important nutrients and vitamins that a healthy diet provides. It is recommended that the mother get into a regular routine, and following a balanced and well-devised diet is of paramount importance.
Fruit, vegetables and dairy products
This should involve, on a daily basis, the requisite intake of fruit and vegetables, vital for the nutrients and vitamins they provide, as well as at least one meal that included high protein foodstuffs. In the high protein class are poultry and eggs, fish and meat, beans and pulses, all of which give the body sufficient protein to process as required. Dairy products are calcium rich, and are another necessary daily food, with milk and yoghurt, or hard chesses equally of benefit.
Carbohydrates and a regular menu
The bulk of the intake in a day should consist of foods that provide carbohydrates such as cereals and pasta, potatoes and bread, or rice. Devise a menu around these – make it varied from day to day as you should still be able to enjoy your meals – and you are on your way to a healthy diet for baby and you.
Remember to keep the amount of fat filled and oily foods – margarine, butter, oily fish – down to sensible limits, and bear in mind that while oily fish (mackerel, tuna, sardines) contain much that is good for baby and you, too much of it can be a problem; keep it to two meals in a week. Try and cut back, too, on chocolate and caffeine-strong products, and keep sugar rich foods to a bare minimum.
Avoid these during pregnancy
There are some foods that must be avoided during pregnancy, and and that means avoided completely: food that contains liver, soft cheeses, raw eggs and fish from the marlin family can be dangerous in certain circumstances to pregnant women and their babies. It makes sense to avoid these at all costs.
Alcohol is another consideration, for while drinking up to two units a week, preferably at different times, has been shown not to harm an unborn child, any more can be dangerous. Many professionals recommend avoiding alcohol altogether, but if you are to drink, then keep to the above guidelines.
Likewise, smoking during pregnancy is not recommended, as the carbon monoxide element can be harmful to an unborn child. Try and give up for the term of pregnancy, or cut down to the very bare minimum.
Regular exercise helps the blood flow
Exercise is an important element of a healthy pregnancy, as even gentle exercise helps the blood flow around your – and your baby’s – body keep to a good rhythm. Regular, gentle exercise is recommended, therefore, as a beneficial thing.
A healthy pregnancy, then, is akin to a sensible daily routine, but with the added benefit of a healthy newborn baby at the end of the term.