Think of a w as a careful recipe that needs to be garnished with all the right ingredients. A ladle of love, plentiful servings of nutrition and a generous portion of pregnancy tips. While you’re likely to be able to find the first two within your family and your kitchen respectively, we’re glad you’re banking on us for the last one. For that last ingredient, we’ve dug out some tips that ought to keep you in the pink of health through your nine-month adventure.
Welcome to Pregnancy Tips 101. Let’s take it from the top.
Tip 1. Exercise
Oh, no. The E-word again. By now, you likely already know the importance of exercise, whether in pregnancy or in life. But exercise is harped on for a reason, and a good one at that. A consistent exercise regime is imperative for an expectant momma, because it can go a long way in helping to control weight, augment sleep, regulate blood circulation and invigorate the mind. In general, low-intensity activities like swimming, walking and yoga are considered ideal during pregnancy. However, any prenatal exercise routine should be adopted after a detailed consultation with your gynaecologist. A half-hour of daily exercise is recommended, but if you don’t feel up to it for any reason, don’t push yourself. Your body knows best, and it’s wise to listen to it.
Tip 2. Attend a Prenatal Workshop
A prenatal workshop can throw light on pertinent topics related to pregnancy milestones, body changes, nutrition, signs of labour, labour pain relief, a dad’s role through labour and stem cell banking. If you’ve been scouting for options in your city, look no further. Visit Cloudnine with your partner in tow to attend our award-winning Prenatal Workshop.
Tip 3. Eat Small But Frequently
Morning sickness affects more than 50% of pregnant women, and can have a significant impact during the first trimester. If you’ve been in its clutches, you know how bad it can be. And if the only thing you can keep down is toast and chai, take heart in knowing that there is a way around this miserable morning malady. Eating small portions frequently can allow your body to process food a little at a time, boosting your chances of retaining meals. Divide your meals into mini-servings and tuck in every two to three hours.
Tip 4. Take Prenatal Supplements
Prenatal vitamins form the foundation of a healthy pregnancy, and it’s advisable to start taking them even on the road up to conception. The development of your baby’s brain and spinal cord draws from vital supplements like calcium, iron and folic acid. Prenatal vitamins can be bought at any pharmacy, but it’s recommended that you acquire a prescription beforehand so that you can draw up a comprehensive nutrition plan with inputs from your gynaecologist.
Tip 5. Practise Lamaze
Nothing prepares you better for childbirth than a Lamaze class. It is a unique combination of exercise, breathing and relaxation techniques, designed to ease labour and promote a natural birth. Lamaze sessions will open doors to experts, to whom you can ask specific questions about labour and postnatal care. It will also bring you closer to other expectant parents, with whom you can exchange notes as you draw closer to your delivery date. On Cloudnine, our customised Lamaze programmes use a combination of massage therapies, breathing techniques and tools to work you through a labour simulation. Come, take a sneak peek to see what it’s all about.
Tip 6. Cut Out the Coffin Nails
Smoking isn’t good for you, but it’s even worse for your growing baby. Active smoking increases your baby’s risk of heart defects, premature birth, low birth weight and asthma. Likewise, alcohol can cause mental and physical damage to your unborn child, so it’s important that you leave both burns and bevvies off your pregnancy plan. Also, stay away from passive smoke. If there’s a smoker in your house, request them to move outdoors while lighting up.
Tip 7. Report Any Untoward Signs
Pregnancy has a way of springing an assortment of surprises on you, from twinges and tenderness to cramps and constipation. The tension can be compounded further if this is your first baby. There are some signs that you should note and report to your doctor immediately. Any form of pain or cramping, contractions 20 minutes apart, vaginal bleeding, dizziness, breathlessness, perennial nausea, joint swelling or decreased movement in the womb can all signal underlying problems.
Tip 8. Pamper Yourself
Who needs a reason to indulge when you’re already a walking-talking party for two? Give yourself much-needed me-time, because you won’t have much left once your mini-me arrives. Gift yourself a spa day, snatch unplanned movies with your hubby and reserve a Sunday for lunch with the girlies. A relaxed mind can have a calming effect on you and your belly bean.
Tip 9. Attend a Lactation Class
You’ll want to breastfeed your newborn moments after you give birth, so it’s vital that you’re aware of the process. Attend a lactation session on Cloudnine to prepare yourself for your impending arrival.
With these tips, you can add just the right flavours to your pregnancy. Mix well, season optimally and satisfy your heart (and your belly). Bon appétit!