10 tips for a problem-free pregnancy

We give you a roadmap for a trouble-free journey to delivering your child

Pregnancy-10-tips-for-a-problem-free-pregnancy

What you eat and how well you treat your body and mind directly affect how well your little one thrives (no pressure!). but you don’t need to feel overwhelmed — we’ve condensed the important stuff into 10 simple guidelines. just follow our advice to give yourself a healthy and happy pregnancy.

1) Plan ahead

“To identify potential medical problems and optimise your health, you should ideally visit your gynae six months before trying to conceive,” advises Dr Kelly Loi, an obstetrician and gynaecologist at Health & Fertility Centre for Women.

          Once you get the all clear, your doctor will start you on prenatal vitamins, such as folic acid, which lessens the risk of your baby being born with a neural-tube defect like spina bifida. A woman should take at least 400mcg of folic acid a day (5mg if there’s a family history of it).

2) Rest and relax

If aches and pains are keeping you up at night, get a referral to a physiotherapist and learn simple exercises to ease them, Dr Loi suggests. A prenatal massage may help, too.
         Also, drink more fluids during the day, but less after 10pm, so you won’t have to keep going to the toilet during the night. If you need help sleeping, try deep-breathing exercises or download a meditation app.

“If you have been exercising prior to your pregnancy and your doctor gives you the all clear, then three to five times a week of gentle movement is great for you.”

3) Eat well

Follow a nutritious, balanced diet and include green, leafy vegetables; healthy fats such as raw nuts; whole grains like brown rice, quinoa and buckwheat; plus starchy vegetables like sweet potato and pumpkin.
          Also drink at least 2 litres of water daily, suggests medical nutritionist Karin G Reiter. Try and eat free range, organic meats and produce whenever possible, she adds.

4) Exercise regularly

Do low-impact exercises such as swimming, Pilates and yoga (they help strengthen pelvic-floor muscles) and walking. “If you have been exercising prior to your pregnancy and your doctor gives you the all clear, then three to five times a week of gentle movement is great for you,” notes Reiter, who is also a certified fitness instructor. Avoid jumping and lifting heavy weights.

5) Avoid smoking, drinking and reduce caffeine intake 

Nicotine and other poisons you inhale when you smoke will increase your risk of a premature or still-born baby, or one who has a low IQ and learning difficulties. Alcohol can harm baby’s growing brain, Reiter warns.

          Also, stick to just two cups of coffee (200mg caffeine) a day. Any more and you may have a miscarriage or low birthweight baby. “Green tea, black tea, chocolate and even Coke and Diet Coke contain caffeine,” Reiter points out.

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