Your body changes in amazing ways to prepare for the arrival of your bundle of joy and so you need to make a special effort to stay healthy during pregnancy. Here’s how.
What to eat and what not to eat during pregnancy
Eat plenty of high-fibre whole grains and (wheat) bread, five servings of fruit, four servings of dairy products and three servings of protein (eggs, meat, fish and nuts). The best foods for pregnancy include avocados, oatmeal, yogurt, lentils and dark green veggies rich in folic acid such as broccoli and spinach. Make sure you get 1200 mg of calcium, 25 mg of iron and 70 mg of Vitamin C every day. Ask your doctor about prenatal vitamin and mineral supplements.
Cut foods high in fat and cholesterol from your diet; limit daily fat intake to about 50 mg. Avoid swordfish and mackerel, known to contain high levels of mercury. Stay away from sushi and rare-cooked meat and eggs. Avoid food high in preservatives and unpasteurised cheese like Panela and Feta.
Indulge your pregnancy cravings, but in moderation. If you’re craving ice cream, have just one scoop instead of four, or better yet, go for low-fat frozen yogurts or sorbets.
A glass of wine a night? What about coffee?
When you drink alcohol, it enters your baby’s body as well, causing complications such as foetal alcohol syndrome, premature birth, and low birth weight. So it is best to avoid alcohol for the entire duration of your pregnancy. Try virgin mocktails instead! Excessive caffeine consumption has also been found to correlate with miscarriages so physicians recommend avoiding caffeine as well. But if you must have your coffee fix, stick to one or two cups a day.
Unless your pregnancy is high-risk, your doctor will recommend staying active right until your due date is near. In most cases, low-impact aerobics, walking, swimming, or yoga are acceptable forms of exercise for pregnant women as long as you don’t over-exert yourself. Avoid risky activities like mountain biking, ice skating, weight lifting, abdominal crunches and horseback riding.
|Pregnancy and music|
Researchers don’t know for sure how music affects foetal development, but they know that your unborn child reacts to sounds in your environment. It therefore can’t hurt to listen to soothing music during pregnancy. Even if it does nothing to help your baby, it will reduce your pregnancy stress. Mommy-to-be music favourites include Mozart for Mothers-to-Be, Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Schubert’s Fantasia in F minor, Miles Davis, Johnny Cash, and Enya.