Now that you're pregnant, taking care of yourself has never been more important. Your doctor or midwife will be able to give you health advice just for you, but here are some basics to get you started.

Healthy eating

Both you and your growing baby need extra food and water whilst pregnant.

Steady weight gain during pregnancy is normal and important for the health of you and your baby. However, it is also important not to gain too much weight.

Healthy eating can help with this. Choose most of your foods from the five major food groups (grains, meat, vegetables and legumes, fruit, dairy and fats) and limit items like sugary drinks, cakes, biscuits and potato chips.

A few more healthy eating tips:

  • Eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, and protein foods.

  • Limit refined grains and starches, which are in foods like cookies, white bread, and some snack foods.

  • Choose foods and drinks with less added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium (salt)

  • If you are feeling sick, try eating a piece of whole-grain toast or whole-grain crackers

Replace saturated fats such as butter, cream, cooking margarine, coconut and palm oil with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats such olive oils, nut butters/pastes and avocado.

These foods may have certain bacterias in themm that can harm the baby. It is important to stay away from:

  • Raw (uncooked) or rare (undercooked) fish or shellfish, like sushi or raw oysters

  • Soft cheeses (like feta, Brie, and goat cheese), unless they are pasteurized

  • Raw or rare meats, poultry, or eggs

  • Unpasteurized juices or milk

  • Lunch or deli meats, smoked seafood, and hot dogs – unless they are heated until steaming hot

  • Prepared salads like ham salad, chicken salad, or seafood salad

  • Raw sprouts, including alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean sprouts

Just remember that if you need support or someone to talk to, our Sonder support team is available 24/7 to chat whenever you need it.

Exercise in pregnancy

Staying active can help you avoid some complications during pregnancy, like gestational diabetes. It can also help you prepare for childbirth and support your mental health. You don’t need to do high-intensity workouts to feel the positive effects – a small amount of activity a day is better than nothing.

During your pregnancy aim to be active on most, if not all, days of the week. If you and your baby are healthy then try to include:

  • 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise per week, like walking or swimming, (or 30-60 minutes a day)

  • Women who already do consisten vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise, such as running, can continue doing so during and after their pregnancy. However, please consult with your midwife or doctor to ensure this is appropriate and safe to do so.

Listen to what your body needs and stop exercising if you feel tired or in pain

Smoking and pregnancy

Smoking during pregnancy exposes your baby to harmful chemicals. Every time you smoke, your baby effectively smokes too. Smoking while pregnant can result in a far higher risk of:

  • miscarriage

  • stillbirth

  • ectopic pregnancy

  • premature birth

  • low birth weight

  • birth defects, such as cleft lip and palate

  • damage to your baby's heart and lungs

Exposure to smoking during pregnancy can increase your baby’s risk of developing many health conditions, even after birth. This includes a much higher risk of lung conditions, middle ear infections and dying from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

There are many different quitting methods. Many people need to try a few different methods before they find one that works for them. Talking to your doctor is a good starting point, as is contacting Quitline.

If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app.

Information sourced from: Get Healthy NSW, Healthdirect, Eat For Health.

Image credit: Amina Filkins at Pexels.

All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.

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