Tips to look after yourself during pregnancy
Pregnancy can be an amazing time, but it also comes with some huge changes. Take a look at a few ways that you can look after yourself, and in turn look after your unborn baby.
Practice "self care"
“It’s important to ‘start off on the right foot’ so to speak. Great self-care habits that you develop while pregnant can follow on once baby is here. It helps to keep things in balance, and can be great to prepare for birth,” says Dr. Lynn.
Taking time to do things you enjoy and having time out for yourself, are great practices to get in to before the new baby comes.
To support you, Bupa has developed a new web tool called mummatters. This handy resource lets you check in on your emotional wellbeing. It’s free and confidential and helps you get a better sense of how you’re going.
It takes a lot of work to grow a baby, so it’s important to fuel your machine with a healthy balanced diet. Some women only want hot chips or mashed potato on pasta. It’s ok to give in to most cravings, provided it’s only part of what you’re eating.
“Your baby needs nutrients to grow, and the baby gets them straight from the mother’s diet. During pregnancy, you have increased nutritional requirements- especially for protein, calcium, iron and folate,” says dietitian Rosalyn D’Angelo.
Protein builds new tissue, iron and folate is used in the formation of red blood cells, while calcium is needed for forming strong bones and teeth.
Don’t fall into the trap of “eating for two,” one of you is only very tiny and doesn’t need much – it’s about quality nutrients, not quantity.
“It is best to get a little bit of extra fuel from more serves of wholegrains or proteins. Additional ‘junk food’ won’t give your baby what it really needs,” tells Rosalyn.
“Stress can affect your blood pressure, and may bring on false labour,” tells midwife, Anita Lane. “Stress can also affect blood sugar levels so knowing how to relax and embrace the normal things in pregnancy is important.”
Things such as exercise, meditation, and communicating your fears can help alleviate stress.
“Asking questions opens up a discussion with your midwife who can give you advice and help you find more reliable resources for your research as Dr. Google isn't always helpful,” says Anita.
“Doing your research in early pregnancy or prior to getting pregnant can make the world of difference. What care options are available to me where I live? What is important to me during pregnancy and labour? Pre-natal education is important.”