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8 steps to a healthy

pregnancy
1.Organise your antenatal care early
2. Eat well
3. Exercise regularly
4. Begin doing pelvic floor exercises
5. Limit your alcohol intake
6. Cut back on caffeine
7. Stop smoking

8. Get some rest


Wearing the right clothing:
During pregnancy your clothing needs to be
comfortable for obvious reasons. The expectant
mother’s breasts enlarge and her abdomen
expands, so clothing needs to be loose and
expandable. Supportive bras are important, as
well as comfortable footwear with low heels it
helps prevent back pain.
• 1.Organise your antenatal care early
Good antenatal care is essential to your baby's health. Choosing your carer early means you'll have months to build a good
relationship in preparation for the birth. Even if you are not offered a choice of carer, you may be able to develop a rapport with one
particular midwife or obstetrician you have met during the course of your pregnancy care.
2. Eat well
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Although you don't necessarily have to eat more when you are pregnant, it is important to eat a well-balanced and healthy diet.
Many women go off certain foods, but it's always possible to substitute those with others that provide similar nutritional value.
Make sure that your diet includes some vegetables and fruit, some carbohydrates (preferably wholegrain so you get plenty of fibre),
some protein, which might be fish, meat, eggs, nuts, or pulses, and some milk and dairy foods, every day.
3. Be careful about food hygiene
It is better to avoid certain foods in pregnancy because they carry a health risk for your baby.
Listeria, which can cause miscarriage or severe illness in newborns, can be caused by mould-ripened soft cheeses, such as Brie and
Camembert, and blue-veined cheeses, such as Stilton. Hard cheeses, such as Cheddar, and soft-processed cheeses, such as cottage
cheese, Philadelphia and Boursin, are safe to eat.
To avoid toxoplasmosis, which is rare, but can seriously affect an unborn baby, it is important to wear gloves when handling cat
litter and garden soil, avoid eating undercooked or raw meat, and wash vegetables and salads thoroughly to remove any soil or dirt.
Salmonella infections may be caused by eating
4. Exercise regularly
A good exercise programme can give you the strength and endurance you'll need to carry the weight you gain during pregnancy and
to handle the physical stress of labour. It will also make it much easier to get back into shape after your baby is born.
Exercise can boost your spirits and help ward off depression in pregnancy. Experts aren't sure exactly how,, but there is growing
evidence that it has a positive effect on brain chemicals, such as serotonin and dopamine, which help regulate your emotions and
mood.
If you are used to taking exercise in the form of a sport, you can continue with this as long as it feels comfortable for you, unless
your particular sport carries a risk of falls or knocks. More gentle exercise such as walking, swimming, aqua-aerobics, and yoga are
also very beneficial.
• 6. Begin doing pelvic floor exercises
It's very common for women who are pregnant or who have had children to experience stress incontinence; when small amounts of
urine leak out during activities, including sneezing, laughing and exercise. You can help prevent this happening by doing pelvic
floor exercises, starting before you get pregnant or during pregnancy.
The pelvic floor muscles are the hammock of muscles at the base of your pelvis that support the bladder, vagina, and rectum. They
can feel weaker than usual in pregnancy because of the extra pressure upon them, and because the hormones of pregnancy cause
them to slacken slightly.
Your pelvic floor can be toned and strengthened by a daily exercise pattern. Current recommendations are that you should do
pelvic floor exercises eight times, three times a day. Read our article on pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy for more
information on how to do them properly.
7. Limit your alcohol intake
Since any alcohol you drink rapidly reaches your baby via your blood stream and placenta, you may decide to cut it out
completely, or at least to monitor the amount you consume.
The Royal College of Physicians, and more recently, the Department of Health, recommend that pregnant women play it safe by
steering clear of alcohol. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Food Standards Agency recommends,
if you do decide to drink, a limit of one or two units of alcohol, no more than once or twice per week, and not to get drunk.
Women who drink heavily (over six units a day) on a regular basis during pregnancy are known to be at greater risk of giving
birth to a baby with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), which describes problems ranging from learning difficulties to
more serious birth defects.
8. Cut back on caffeine
Coffee, tea, and cola-style beverages are mild stimulants, and although the research evidence is not clear, some researchers feel
that too much caffeine may contribute to a risk of having a low birth weight baby, or increase your risk of miscarriage.
The current advice suggests that up to two mugs of coffee (equivalent to four cups of tea or five cans of cola) a day won't hurt
your baby, although one study suggests that even low levels of caffeine can increase your risk of miscarriage.
As with alcohol, it's best to err on the side of caution and you may prefer tocut down on caffeine significantly, or switch to
decaffeinated coffee, tea, or fruit juices, instead, particularly in the first trimester. A refreshing alternative is a glass of mineral
water with a twist of lime or lemon.
9. Stop smoking
Women who smoke increase their risk of miscarriage, premature delivery, stillbirth, and cot death.
Smoking in the first trimester also slightly increases the risk of having a baby with a cleft lip or palate.
While it is best to give up smoking before you even try to conceive, any reduction in the number of cigarettes you smoke per day
will give your baby a better chance. (Read more advice on how to quit smoking in pregnancy.)
10. Get some rest
The fatigue you feel in the first and third trimesters is your body's way of saying "slow down". A nap in the middle of the day
may seem like a luxury you can't afford, but you and your baby will both benefit. If you can't sleep, at least put your feet up and
relax for 30 minutes or more, in whatever way suits you best.
If backache is disturbing your sleep, try massage, aquanatal classes, or exercise classes specifically for back care. Exercise and
relaxation can also help with sleep problems related to stress. Try relaxation techniques, which are safe in pregnancy, such as
yoga, stretching, deep breathing, and massage. Always tell the teacher of any exercise or relaxation class that you attend that
you're pregnant or choose classes tailored for pregnant women.